Making the Welfare of the City our Burden - Jeremiah 29:4-7
Making the Welfare of the City our Burden
4 “Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon: 5 Build houses and live in them; plant gardens and eat their produce. 6 Take wives and have sons and daughters; take wives for your sons, and give your daughters in marriage, that they may bear sons and daughters; multiply there, and do not decrease. 7 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.
Introduction: According to the Association of Religious Data Archives based on 2010 census figures, 52 % of Scott County is not attending church.
Personal Needs of People in Scott County
- #1 Priority is their personal health
- Day to Day financial worries
Spiritual Needs of People in Scott County
- Dealing with stress
- Finding companionship
- Finding a good church
Family Issues of People in Scott County
- Dealing with teen and child problems
- Dealing with strengthening their marriages
- Dealing with Divorce
Community Problems of People in Scott County
- Neighborhood Crime and Safety
- Finding / Providing Good Schools
Hopes and Dreams of People in Scott County
- Finding time for Recreation / Leisure
- Finding a satisfying job/ career
- Finding retirement opportunities
Types of leadership and interaction with leaders of People in Scott County
- They prefer leaders who will mentor them and work alongside with them in making important decisions.
- They are looking for leaders and people who will together use their spiritual gifts and talents to work as a team.
- What should be our response to this alarming statistic that 52% of the people in Scott County do not attend church personally?
- What about the church’s response of compassion?
- What in the name of Jesus Christ can and should we do about this disconnect from God with so many people?
Illustration: We are challenged today by a modernized recasting of Tertullian's question: What has Boston to do with Bosnia? ... Why should we concern ourselves with the human tragedies of Bosnia, Somalia and Bangladesh? Why should the holocaust taking place in Rwanda touch our lives when it is obvious that the sovereign Lord has placed us so as to be secure from those dangers and other winds of adversity? Should we worry about restoring democracy to Haiti, ask questions about human rights in China or be concerned with the plight of Cuban emigrants? Why should we burden ourselves with the burdens of the world and allow [ourselves] to be disturbed by statistics of war, disease and poverty? Why should the turmoils of the world disrupt the tranquility of our hearts and surrounding? May I suggest that there is only one compelling reason--"For God so loved the world." - Peter Kuzmic at his installation as Distinguished Professor of World Missions and European Missions at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (Sept. 9, 1994). Christianity Today, Vol. 39, no. 1.
Purpose: Every Christ follower is commanded to go beyond the walls of their houses, church and secure relationships to care about the needs and welfare of their community.
And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. (KJV)
- We are living in Babylon like exile here on earth. I don’t need to go into any detail that if you are a believer in Jesus Christ, you are not a friend of this world, even here in the USA. What is it that we should do?
What does seeking the welfare of our city look like?
- We, first of all must do the ordinary things of life well
- Be a great neighbor in your neighborhood, at your school / locker mate, sports teammate, with your co-workers.
- o Take your trash out on time
- o Pay your bills on time
- o Cut your grass
- o Do the essential /responsible things well and remember, you are doing it all for the Lord
17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
- It is just as important before the Lord that you prepare for Awana and teach Sunday School as it is to take care of your house, your cars and your lawn.
- Seek the best for the place God has planted you. Be a concerned voting citizen, be involved as much or as little as you can in civic opportunities or volunteering outside of the church. YMCA partnership
- Pray to the Lord on behalf of your city, your neighborhood. When you walk around your neighborhood, pray for your neighbors that you know or don’t known
- Ask God to do great things in your city
- Pray for the character and morals of the city and its leaders. That is way more important than the material prosperity for businesses and people in the city
- Pray over the needs of the city you are in
- By praying for the welfare of the city, you will find care, health and welfare for yourself. You will enjoy the benefits of the city being and doing what God wants. – Jeremiah 29:7
- We must be continually mindful that we are merely sojourners and exiles according to I Peter 2:11. We are “just passing through” as one Christian song says and we need to be ever mindful of that so that we have the right perspective of what matters in this life
- We will do our best for this world if we are salt and light and not allured by the attractions of this world
- We are called to be the contrast to the world to point people to the Savior
- We serve our city best by getting our values from “The city that is to come” – Hebrews 13:14
- Lastly and most importantly, we will do our city the most good by calling as many of the citizens of that city to become citizens of heaven – Philippians 3:20. If we do the former four things, we will have a platform to share our faith with power by our example.
Conclusion: Let’s go out and serve our community today and show them that we are here from PVBC to bring welfare to our city with no strings attached. We are a small church with a big vision that wants to make a big impact on our community for Christ.