Today's encouragement comes from Jeremiah 29:4 & 5, where we read these words:
"Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel, to all who were carried away captive, whom I have caused to be carried away from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and dwell in them; plant gardens and eat their fruit."
Instead of seeking to destroy the Babylonian culture to which the Judean cap-tives had been taken, Jeremiah, under God's direct inspiration, encourages them to build-up the Chaldean society. To many of the captives this instruc-tion must have grated against them: they would rather be terrorists in their enemies' land, than to be assets to it.
The same is true of the church today. We are the only rightful "owners" of the earth, under Jesus—and we are to be a blessing to every community in which we live—even if, for the present, there is the illusion that they have been usurped by the devil and his minions.
[Puritan quote of the day: "In all the comfortable providences of your lives, eye God as the Author or Donor of them.” —John Flavel, in, "The Mystery of Providence"]