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In his book, Good to Great, Jim Collins writes about organizations that achieve greatness. He found that among those that went from good to great, the first step they took was to face the brutal facts of where they stood, not sugarcoating the truth. That was the same advice God gave the people of Judah who were in exile. God had told them they would be in captivity 70 years, but one false prophet sugarcoated the truth. He told them their exile would soon end and they would be going home soon. Here is the blunt message God sent them, found in Jeremiah Chapter 29—“This is what the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, the God of Israel says—to all the captives he has exiled to Babylon from Jerusalem: Build homes, and plan to stay. Plant gardens, and eat the food they produce. Marry and have children. Then find spouses for them so that you may have many grandchildren. Multiply! Do not dwindle away! And work for the peace and prosperity of the city where I sent you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, for its welfare will determine your welfare.” God told them to face the brutal facts. They were in exile for disobeying God. God now says, turn from your rebellion, work for the good of the city, and at the right time, I will change your situation and bless you.” Repenting of sin and trusting in God’s Son is still the way to enjoy God’s best.

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