Summary: In Jeremiah 29, we find God performing parental discipline. His beloved people’s comfort and way of life had become a way of death. A deathtrap. BUT if they surrender to the enemy—completely counter-intuitive—they will escape with the lives. Doesn’t that sound crazy?
God’s ways are not our ways and sometimes the safe places are the very places we should NOT be. They will lead to our death. And the things that seem most dangerous and scary are what will lead to safety and life.
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Benediction: God, send us. Even when we are frightened of change, of difference, of challenges. Because we know that YOU are sending us, and that you are not sending us alone. We trust your plan. We trust your promise. We place ourselves in your care and know that it is bigger than our fears and desires. Thank you. Amen.
Study Guide (Download PDF)
- Sometimes we must learn the hard way by ourselves. Sometimes we learn from an older sibling or a friend. What lesson do you remember learning “the hard way” for which you wish you had had an older brother or sister to learn from? Have you ever spared a younger sibling from having to learn the hard way? Were they appreciative?
- Regarding Jeremiah 3: consider how you might feel if a spouse or sweetheart was unfaithful to you. What does that tell you about God’s love that he wants to take Israel back? Do you have trouble forgiving yourself for something you’ve done? Does it help knowing that God forgives you?
- Jeremiah 29:11 tells us that God knows the plans he has for us. How comfortable would you be if you knew what was coming in the next week or year? How much do you honestly want to know?
- Regarding Matthew 25:40: Have you ever been hungry, thirsty, a stranger, in need of clothes, sick or imprisoned and someone reached out to you? How did it make you feel? Consider these six areas—where do you find yourself serving most naturally? In which area(s) do you have the most trouble reaching out? Make a list of ways that YOU can do something in each of these areas and try to find a way in which to do it this coming week.