In yesterday’s devotion I continued reflecting on the 7-11 Principle that is found in Jeremiah 29. If followers of Christ are to expect God to prosper their own lives, they need to seek the prosperity of the city in which they live. But what do we mean by prosperity? What does prosperity mean in the biblical text and what might that look like as we apply it to our everyday lives?
In an earlier post about the 7-11 Principle, I reflected on Tim Keller’s point that many of us act more like plunderers of the places we live instead of being people seeking to bless the city. If we are going to live out the 7-11 Principle from Jeremiah 29, then we must understand that we don’t get the blessings of verse 11 (“plans to prosper you”) without committing to the work of verse 7 (“seek the prosperity of the city”). Leaders are to model a life that refutes the consumeristic notions of our day, whereby we focus on blessing ourselves. Instead, we should learn to strategically invest resources in order that everybody can have a “future and a hope” (verse 11).
In yesterday’s devotion we continued to explore the 7-11 Principle from Jeremiah 29. We saw that God’s promise of blessing to the exiles in Babylon is connected to their commitment to seek the shalom of Babylon itself. For us, this means Yahweh is assuming we are committed to bless whatever “Babylon” he has placed us in (that could be in the suburbs, downtown city-centers, or rural countryside). We must understand that our prosperity is directly linked to our commitment to seeing the prosperity of our city as a Christ-follower.
In a prior devotion I introduced the 7-11 Principle: the idea that the blessing promised in Jeremiah 29:11 (“For I know the plans I have for you”) cannot be separated from the prior command in verse 7 (“Seek the peace and prosperity of the city”). The exiles in Babylon were likely hearing two divergent invitations for how to live in the city where they were held captive.
In yesterday’s devotion I began explaining the 7-11 Principle. I shared how Jeremiah 29:11 (“For I know the plans I have for you…”) is one of the most popular bible verses — with various products available for purchase as proof. But this verse is commonly not understood within its context of the Babylonian captivity.
Our passage today talks about God’s plans. But what do I mean by this “7-11 Principle”? I’m not talking about indulging in Slurpees or eating 99-cent hot dogs from this well-known convenience store. The 7-11 Principle is something to help people remember the context of a well-known verse from the Old Testament book of Jeremiah.