Lord, make your church throughout the world ready to hear your word today. Guide those who teach it to speak with conviction and clarity. Enable those who listen to give their complete concentration. May all acknowledge the supremacy of the Bible message. In Jesus’ name. AMEN
Lord, teach me to handle difficult people who pay back evil whatever they themselves receive. When they conspire to cause trouble, help me to return their evil with good. Help me to return their evil with good. When they speak mischievous words let me ignore it. In Jesus Christ. AMEN
Lord, help me today to keep up my “steam” when disappointment and failure would get me down. Lord, I am tempted to give in and give up too easily and sometimes I allow a difficult task to defeat me just because it is difficult. Give me tenacity and stickability. In Jesus’ name I ask it. AMEN>
“Your people who were born in exile will one day say to you, ‘This land is too small – we need more room to live in!'”
Isa 49:20 GNB
Today national affairs are measured in terms of economic growth. If the Gross Domestic Product is up by 2 percent we are managing. If we push that higher then prosperity may be ahead. If it drops things don’t look too good. But because the population is increasing we have to grow the economy. To do this we devise big plans for development. When that happens everyone rolls up their sleeves and works with a will. (That is the theory, anyway).
In the middle of all the mayhem of the Babylonian exile and the destruction and decay of Jerusalem, God promises growth. The community has increased in the exile, and those remaining behind have increased as well. The resultant combined population will be too big for the capital city to accommodate. So there will need to be a growth plan. It is wiser to look ahead and to focus on the future than to mope about the mistakes and disasters of the past. But it will not mean going back to an “as-you-were” situation. A bigger and better community with a growing economy lies ahead. It is, of course, one thing to look ahead and hope. It is something else to make it all happen. But with God “All things are possible”.
God’s promises are never negative or pessimistic. The future belongs to him and he leads Christian disciples forward toward whatever the future holds. There will be problems and setbacks as well as growth and progress. But God does not plan for failure. And he is out ahead leading his people forward.
Lord, help me to look ahead positively.
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