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How great is it to be in church or reading your Bible and realizing that your way of thinking can be totally reformed? Many of us feel that we know the Bible pretty well, so a lot of us feel that these revelations only come around every once in a while. I had a revelation in my Bible study group last weekend, when we covered the verses of Jeremiah 29:1-23. You are probably familiar with the famous verse from Jeremiah 29:11 that reads, “”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.”” This verse is usually written on the side of your coffee mug, pinned to your wall or on a plaque in your house… but fewer people than you might think actually know the context that it is taken from. You see, at the beginning of Jeremiah 29, it is explained that Jeremiah is delivering a letter from God to the many leaders who were exiled from Jerusalem. God was explaining why they were uprooted from a comfortable home where they experienced a privileged life, to a city where they were unknown and out of place. God was telling these exiles to settle into Babylon, grow their own food, and have children. He told them that after 70 years, he would take them back to Jerusalem. God stresses that there is a reason that this is happening to them and He is watching over them the entire time. He wants them to know that they need to love their new city and make the best of their situation. Having been born and raised in Memphis, TN (where Shelby is headquartered), I have grown to love my home and all of its familiar sights and sounds… but it can be easy to see some of the downsides of living here. I’ll admit, when I first heard that we are the poorest city in the country, I had a strong feeling of resentment towards Memphis. My moment of revelation happened just a week later at this Bible study where we talked about loving your home and honoring God wherever he decides to place you. We aren’t supposed to run from our hurting cities, but need to get involved, give back, and help to make them better places. We can all make a difference no matter where we are, and it’s a great feeling to know that God has a plan for each of us and is trying to use us for His glory. Do you have any favorite Bible verses that have changed your way of thinking?

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