I’ve been taught to live well in the city in which you dwell–get invested in the local church, get a job, form relationships, and minister to those people in your workplace, your neighborhood, your supermarket, etc. Basically, live intentionally. But today was the first time I saw Scripture that screamed those ideas.
Pastor John preached on Jeremiah 28-29 this morning. This part hit me the most:
“Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. But seek the welfare of the city where I have sent you into exile, and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.”-Jeremiah 29:4-7
The broader picture is that we are in exile right now– we are here in the world awaiting the day we are physically reunited with the Father in all his glory (we are citizens of heaven- Phil 3:20, so here we are sojourners and exiles-1 Peter 2:11). But we are called to dwell in our cities: build houses, dine there (or grow your own food if you’re into that?:)), have kids, put them in the local schools, pray for the city, and seek the welfare of the city through ministering to the people and actively serving. While we are here in this city that isn’t lasting, we are to seek the city that is to come (Heb 13:14) by being ministers of the gospel. May we not be so consumed by our own lives that we forget our desperate calling: to make disciples of all nations.
Specific to my life, I want to invest in this city in which I dwell. I’m about to spend my summer here in Johnson City… the place I usually only see August through May. But this summer I’ll be here, investing in this city with this idea of local mission in my mind. God, may this summer be fruitful to your kingdom. For yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory, forever. Amen.