This video clip is exactly 1 minute. The bumblebee pollinates the Autumn Beauty Sunflower. More seeds can be expected. For other sunflower varieties, the seeds can be eaten by both man and birds. It can also produce sunflower oil. Best of all, it can be planted to grow more sunflowers.
In Jesus’ parables, the seed has a twofold meaning.
- It is the Word of God (Luke 8:11-15).
- The good seed also refers to the people of the kingdom (Matthew 13:38),
“The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;”
Not very long ago, I came across a blog post stating that Jeremiah 29:11 is “widely taken out of context.” The blogosphere is inundated with seminarians who get this talking point from their theology professors. They disseminate what they learned in class with fervor. I don’t blame them.
However, as they have been deeply inculcated with the mantra, “Context, context, context,” some, not all, end up discouraging application. Without application, the principle becomes constrained to history. You cannot live out a promise that is meant for a specific people, almost as if the principle it teaches us about the nature of God becomes forgotten.
I’d like to introduce a few more verses to meditate on, in conjunction with Jeremiah 29:11— John 3:16 and Acts 10:34-35 (which takes us to more verses).
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
John 3:16 shows us God’s plan for all of humanity is redemption for anyone who believes in Jesus, both Jew and Gentile. We all need redemption because each person is captive to sin, with eternal damnation as a consequence (Matthew 13:49-50, Revelation 14:11, Revelation 21:8). Eternal life happens to be our blessed hope (Titus 1:2),
“In hope of eternal life, which God, that cannot lie, promised before the world began;”
Not only that, those who believe in Christ are promised the abundant life in John 10:10,
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
“Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.”
Acts 10:35 gives clarity that God’s principles and benefits, since He grants believers sonship (Romans 8:14-16), can be applied to the one who fears him and does what is right.
The verses following Jeremiah 29:11, illustrates a picture of sonship and God’s nature and relationship with every genuine believer,
“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.”
“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.”
No one disputes the context of Jeremiah 29:11. However, even if some prestigious professor tells you its principles and the encouragement can never be applied to anyone else, you can be sure that that professor is not looking at the big picture; God is faithful. He does not change (Hebrews 13:8) and He shows no favoritism.
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