Straight Outta Context: Matthew 18:20 – Pastor Chris Decker 7/2/17
Straight Outta Context: Jeremiah 29:11 – Pastor Chris Decker 5/28/17
Straight Outta Context: Psalm 23 – Heidi Decker 6/4/17
We are currently going through a series we call Straight Outta Context.
Context is everything!!!
We lose so much when we don’t look at the bigger picture…
Do you have a favorite verse? A lot of us do. However do we know the verse in context? Do we know who said it? Who they were saying it to? What was going on at the time? What was written before and after the verse?
Keep in mind when the books of the bible were written they didn’t have chapters or verses. Chapters weren’t added until some 1,200 years after the book of Revelation was written. Verses weren’t added until some 300 years after that right around the year 1555.
So it is easy for us to quote and sometimes misquote a verse out of context.
Without context we lose some or maybe all of its meaning.
We believe that when studying the bible, context is everything. It can give new meanings to old familiar passages. Our 1st week we looked at the well known passage of Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
Knowing the background of the story plus reading the verses before and after vs. 11 you get a whole new feel for what it is saying. Let’s look at verses 7-14 and see if this alone can help increase the meaning of the passage.
7 Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” 8 Yes, this is what the Lord Almighty, the God of Israel, says: “Do not let the prophets and diviners among you deceive you. Do not listen to the dreams you encourage them to have. 9 They are prophesying lies to you in my name. I have not sent them,” declares the Lord.
10 This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. 11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity. I will gather you from all the nations and places where I have banished you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back to the place from which I carried you into exile.”
Pray for who has you in Exile? That’s big… Think about it. What happens if whom ever has you in exile fails? You fail. If they succeed you will also benefit from that.
Vs. 11-14 Some say this passage was never intended for us. Although it wasn’t written to us we can still benefit from it. Don’t think that God doesn’t have plans for each and everyone of us. He also doesn’t want any of us to fail. My favorite part of this chapter is vs. 13-14a 13 “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.
God has plans for us, God wants us to prosper, God plans to give you hope and a future. Are you ready to seek Him and find Him with all of your heart? If you do He will be found by you. You will find what He has promised.
~ Pastor Chris