Summary: There are few verses in the Bible that get quoted more than Jeremiah 29:11. People really connect to it, but does it connect to them? What does this verse really have to say to me?
A. Well, if you’re like me, the story made you angry – livid – it really raised my hackles
1. April – Michael Sharkey – thought his home was in good hands
2. Left to fight for our country in Afghanistan – but while gone – squatters –his home
3. Despite his ownership – no contract with squatters to live there –moved in –change locks
4. Police did nothing – civil matter –not their department –hire a lawyer –frustrated/violated
B. And it was frustrating to watch the story develop – frustrating for Sharkey –law-abiding
1. Soldier who was serving our country –home owner –tax payer – HIS property
2. And it was frustrating because no amount of logic/reason seemed to impact squatter
3. House was empty/available – no reason to move out – no reason to do what wanted
4. That was –until news –a certain motorcycle club –hundreds of members –on their way
5. That was the motivation the squatter needed to clean up – get out – middle of the night
C. We have very strong feelings about right and wrong – clear ideas of personal property-rights
1. We don’t like the idea of someone claiming something –no right to
2. Not theirs, not paid for, not suffered for – simply doesn’t belong to them
3. And yet – when it comes to this book (Bible) – very often we do just that
4. Find a promise we like in here –something that sounds good –looks good on a card
5. And we “name it and claim it!” But if we’re honest –too often –squatting on a scripture
D. There are a lot of great promises in here – beautiful things –give us hope –help
1. But it’s essential that we understand how to read them and how to apply them
2. Some of the promises God made to original audience came with a price – we didn’t pay
3. To simply claim them because they sound good – wish they were true –dangerous
4. Misapplying, misappropriating – mistake – simply squatting on Scripture
5. And making it say something to us that it was never meant to say.
E. There is probably no verse more guilty of misappropriating than Jeremiah 29:11
1. If you don’t recognize book/chapter/verse –promise you –recognize the words
2. See them on greeting cards, posters, plaques, Facebook posts and tattoos
3. It’s a beautiful verse – an amazing promise –but divorced from context…
4. It is misleading – need to ask – What did God really say? Really saying to us?
5. TEXT: JEREMIAH 29:11 (PAGE 656)
F. As your preacher I am constrained to applying Scripture within proper rules of interpretation
1. I cannot simply lift a passage out of its setting – historical, spiritual, scriptural ….
2. And apply it like a Band-Aid to whatever wound you have. Whatever need we experience
3. So I look at a passage like Jeremiah 29:11 and I have to ask – what is this teaching me/us?