SERMONS: Re:orient Part II Living As Exiles

posted by Bethel Communications | Nov 1, 2020

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Show Notes

What does it mean to live as exiles? This week we explore that question as Pastor Jason Greene opens up Jeremiah 29:1-14 as the second part of our RE:orient series.



Good morning, Bethel Church. Oh, my goodness. I cannot tell you how excited I am to be with you today. Yeah, I know one thing is certain I am more excited than any other person in this room. I guarantee it. What you don't know is since March, well, maybe, you know, this. Uh, I have been preaching to a camera for seven months and, uh, we've been up in an upstairs room up here, and then we've been standing off to the side, some of you will kind of picture this. You've seen it in your living room and to be here with, like people is, is amazing and what a journey it has been. It is my absolute joy to look into people's eyes and say, if you have a copy of God's word, I want to invite you, open them up to Jeremiah chapter 29 today, as we continue our Re-Orient series, Jeremiah chapter 29.

You know, one of the greatest lines in all of cinematic history is uttered by a young girl, to her traveling companion who finds herself whist away from her home by way of tornado and ends up in another land. And as she reappears in this new land that she is completely oblivious to, as she's looking around and surveying, uh, the topology and she's surveying, uh, the new critters that she finds in this new land, she turns to her traveling companion and she utters these words. Toto, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore.

What's interesting about that is we know, Dorothy, of course she is in this new world. And as she's looking around everything that she has known, it's just, it's just different. The people are different. The, the, the scene is completely different. The, all the places, all the people, everything is just completely new to her.  And one thing is certain to her, everything has changed. And I wonder if in this world that we live in and I certainly mean the last seven months and the Corona apocalypse and all that good stuff that we've been going through. But even over the last, let's say five, 10 years as a nation, if you've had this moment maybe recently, or maybe you've had it in the last little while here where you've, you've looked around, even your country, you've said, you know what? I don't know that we're in Kansas anymore. Because the people, they just act different. The places don't seem to be the way that I remember them. Have you had that moment? I know that I have, um, and I think many of us find ourselves in that particular place.

One missiologist, and a missiologists is somebody that just studies mission and missional movements in the world, said that for America, there was a moment in our history and not, and I want to be clear, not for every class and for every race of people in America, but for, uh, for a window in, in, in America, uh, people thought of America as like a, like a Jerusalem of sorts. People, people talked the same way. They had the same language and they had, the same God, they had the same values. I want to say something to you. If you feel like we're living in Jerusalem. I just want to say to you, Christian, I don't think we're in Jerusalem anymore. It feels much more like Babylon than it does Jerusalem, doesn't it. And if we are to take up our place in our modern day, Babylon. What would it look like for us to live well as exiles in Babylon? Because that's exactly what we are. We are exiles in this world. You're an exile in this room, if your hope is in Christ. And what that means is that your ultimate home is in Christ as well.

You're an exile. You're, you're a refugee, you're a resident alien. I love that term. Resident alien, you are residing somewhere that is not your home, but you're also an alien in that place where you're living, because this place is not ultimately your home. And so just like a resident alien, you are living in a world and we're living in this tension, right, Being, being in the world, but not being of the world. Right. There's tension that Jesus left us as we, as we live in this world, as we love this world, but not the things of this world, tension, right. And as we live here, we want, we want to live where we are, like, we want to be all in and we want to live where we are, but we also, it's difficult to do and not abandon our values and our, our, our way of thinking into, and to not, you know, just go the way of the world and assimilate, but to understand that we are under an ultimate authority, that is not any authority in this world. We're exiles, we're resident aliens in this world. And so what I want to do today is I want to look at how it is that you and I are supposed to live as exiles in this world, live as a people that live in this world, but are not of this world.
I am, I am convinced at this cultural moment that we find ourselves in, as we are just a few days away from one of the most tense elections in our nation's history. I am so much more concerned with the way you live, as opposed to how you vote. I, I just am. I think our world, our neighborhoods, are going to be transformed by the way that you and I live day in and day out. And so how do we do that effectively? Well, Jeremiah 29, if you're familiar with this text, Jeremiah is a prophet and he's writing to the nation of Israel. He he's one of many prophets that have been writing, speaking on behalf of God, to a group of people, God's people this time around Jerusalem and in Judah and he's writing to them and just like other prophets he's written to these individuals, telling them judgment is coming.

You have abandoned your God, and so please turn back to your God. Please turn away from these idols that you have, you’ve assimilated into this, this culture that surrounds you. Please turn back to the Lord. I'm calling you to repent. I'm calling you to do what God has told you to do. Quit having corrupt worship, quit neglecting the poor and the orphan and the widow. These are all things that the prophets were just screaming out at the people, but, the people continued to rebel. And so God sends, uh, by way of deliverance of his people, judgment. He sends a group of people called the Babylonians and they have a, they have a pagan King named Nebuchadnezzar, and he comes in and for many years he raids Jerusalem and ransacks it and burns it to the ground, and eventually it is ultimately destroyed, and a group of people are carried off into exile, into Babylon. So here's this remnant, this group of people. Much like Dorothy, they find themselves, they knew what life looked like in Jerusalem, and now they're in Babylon and they're going, I don't know who I am. The places and the people it's just altogether different, different language, culture, values, leaders, all these things.

And Jeremiah picks up his pen and he writes to the people to let them know how they're too function in Babylon as God honoring exiles. We're going to see today how we are supposed to function as God honoring exiles. Jeremiah 29, Jeremiah writes from Jerusalem to those remnant exiles in Babylon. He says this verse number one, “these are the words of the letter that Jeremiah, the prophet sent from Jerusalem to the surviving elders of the exile”.
So he writes to the leaders and to the priest and to the, to the prophets, to the religious leaders, but then he says, and really, really to all people. Whom Nebuchadnezzar had taken into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon. This was after King Jeconiah, and the queen mother, the eunuchs, and the officials of Judah and Jerusalem, the craftsmen and the metal workers had departed from Jerusalem.

The letter was sent by the hand of, and I'm just going to save myself embarrassment and not read verse number 3. Okay. It's a lot of people and, and you can read those on your own. Verse number 4. It is said, “thus says the Lord of hosts”. This is God's word through the prophet, Jeremiah, “the God of Israel to all the exiles whom I have sent into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon”. He says this “build houses and live in them, plant gardens and eat their produce. 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. 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, and you will find your welfare. For thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel do not let your prophets and your diviners who are among you, deceive you, and do not listen to the dreams that they dream, for it is a lie that they're prophesying to you in my name. I did not send them declares the Lord,  For thus says the Lord when 70 years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place, For, I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you and you will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. I will be found by you declares the Lord and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven, you declares the Lord, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you, into exile”.

Four truths about how God oversees and leads his exiles.

Truth number one is this, if you're taking notes. We need to look ,look and recognize that there are assignments that God gives by way of exile. Notice first, the assignments of God by way of exile. What do I mean by that? Well, how did God's people end up in exile? Well, I already explained that one of the reasons that they're there is because of their rebellion, because of their lack of repentance.

But ultimately the reason that they end up there is because Nebuchadnezzar, this pagan King, raises up his army, marches 700 miles to Jerusalem and sieges it, right? That's why they find themselves in Babylon, that’s what verse number one tells us is that Nebuchadnezzar is the one that took them into exile, that that's how verse 1 starts. But if you read on you see, and I tried not to emphasize it too much, but in verse number 4, you notice it is God, God says he is the one who has sent them into exile verse 4.  Verse 7, It says they are where they are because I have sent you into exile. Verse 14 says the same thing.

Ultimately the people find themselves in Babylon, not because of some pagan king, but because of the living God.  He is the one that has moved them into exile. He has a purpose in it. Notice this, God is the one that determines our destination, not a pagan King. God is the one that determines our destination. God is in control, of who is in control. He, he just, he always is. It doesn't matter who, who wins the election in the grand scheme of things on Tuesday, because God is in control of who's in control. Now it matters. But does that make sense at a much higher level? God is in control of who is in control and he is in control of our destination.

God is the one that sent them into Babylon. He has a purpose in it and a plan in it. Notice number two, God’s the one that determines their duration as well in that place, not just the destination, but the duration. God is the one, through the prophet Jeremiah, that says you're going to be there for 70 years.
The reason that he says that is because there are false prophets. Did you notice that in verses 8 and 9? There are false prophets that are speaking. It's the only thing that Jeremiah writes to them and says, don't do this. There's a lot of instructions. But one thing he says, don't listen to these people. And in verses 8 and 9, it tells us that these prophets, these diviners, they're deceiving you, they have their own dreams and their own ideas of what's going on here, and God says, no, I have a different desire. I have different dreams. I have a much longer duration. What these, what these false teachers are telling you is this is just a speed bump, this is just a speed bump, and I want to say no. This, what, what Jeremiah is describing here is not a speed bump. It's a tope, you know, what a tope is?. If you've ever been to Mexico, there, they are, they are Mexican speed bumps. These things are not speed bumps. We have a global partner in Mexico and I've been to several of their, of their sites, and these topes are there, they are, they're not speed bumps. I, I would compare them to mountains. These things are mammoth. And the reason that topes exist in Mexico is because people typically don't obey the speed limit. You posted, 70 kilometers an hour, and they're like, what a great suggestion. And so they go and, but, but there's signs and there are these topes and, and when you get to a tope, it's not a speed bumps. Some speed bumps, you just go up, hold on in the back. These things, you have to stop, come to a complete halt and you ease over this thing, and a lot of vehicles bottom out on them. They're that tall. It is meant to stop you and arrest you if you don't heed it. And that's what Babylon is for the people of God. It is not a speed bump. It is a tope.

Listen, don't, don't call what God calls a tope, a speed bump. That's what he's saying here. God's in charge of the duration of this thing. Man, I would like to be out of it tomorrow. I'm sure that you would, but I'm going to trust in God's timing and his duration. He's in charge of our destination, our duration, and he is also in charge of the desired outcome in our exile. Know, there's a great text in Acts chapter 17, where Paul is, if you can remember this scene, Paul's walking through Athens and he notices that there's a statute to an unnamed, unknown,God, just, just in case they missed one. Right? And Paul comes and he's speaking before the Areopagus, and he's talking about revealing this God we know as the creator God, Jehovah God. And one of the things that he says, as he's speaking about this, this universal God over all creation, he says this, in verse 26. This God, he says he made from one man, every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined, allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling. Did you notice that he says God is in control of when you were born and the period in which you lived, and he's also in charge of where you were born, whether it is Tri-Cities or it is Philippines, God has determined even that, he's determined it.

Why? Verse 27. That they should seek God and perhaps feel there way toward him and find him. One of the ways that I like to sum this section of scripture up, I sum it up this way. God moves people so that he can meet people. God moves people so that he might meet people. That's what he's doing with these exiles. He's moved them to this place because he desires to enter into a different, a refined, a, a, just a better relationship with them, but not only them, God has in mind the Babylonians as well. So, so know this, that God has assignments by way of exile. That where you are, where you find yourself today, in the home that you live in and the apartment that you rent in, the job that you work in, the school that you attend, you are not there by accident. You are there by assignment. God is the one that gives the assignments and he gives assignments sometimes by way of exile.

Truth number two. There is notice this, the mission of God through his exiles, the mission of God, through his exiles, again, God is doing something and he wants to do something in his people. But oftentimes I would say almost every time when God's wanting to do something through his, in his people, he's also wanting to do something through his people. He doesn't just want to work something up in you, no, he's doing things in you because those things are headed to someone else. Right? And here's what's happening. He tells them what the mission is in verse number 7. I want to just read it again. Verse number 7 says this. He says, “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”.

Now that word welfare there is the Hebrew word Shalom. I don't know if you've ever done a word study on the word Shalom. Sometimes it's translated welfare as you see here in the ESV, sometimes it's translated peace, but that word Shalom means so much more than welfare, so much more than peace. That word Shalom means complete wholeness. Like when, when you and I think of peace, we think of lack of adversity or lack, lack of, I don't know, war. But that's not what Shalom means. Shalom means complete wholeness. It means looking out for somebody's welfare. That they would be flourishing in every area of life. Okay? So if you think about fully flourishing, let's, let's go back to this text, verse number 7, he says, this is what I want you to do. People of God seek the full flourishing of the city where I have sent you into exile. I want you to seek the full flourishing. That means spiritually, emotionally, economically, culturally, racially, whatever it is, of the Babylonians, those that have hauled you away from home and made you captors, or captives.

Is that crazy? I mean, some of you are familiar with the scripture and you’re like, yeah, it's pretty crazy. No, they enslaved them. They, they decimated their homes and dragged them away. And you know, when you're in bondage like that, they can do anything that they want. I don't know what they've done to them.

And they drag them away and say, you're going to restart your life here. We know through the book of Daniel that they attempted to assimilate them in the culture. You are going to eat our food, learn, learn our language, study at our schools, all of these things. And Jeremiah sends word by way, uh, or uh God sends word by way of Jeremiah to these people. And he goes, you know what you need to do to those dirty rotten scoundrels. You need to get your eyes off yourself, look around and say, how can I bless them? How can I make sure that their kids are doing okay in school? How can I make sure that their business is thriving? That's what I want you to do. Put it to them.

Do, do you see how radical this is? I mean, it's exactly what Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, where he's looking around and he has this, you've heard it said this, but I say this. Remember those, where Jesus looks and he goes, listen, I know that you've heard, love your neighbors and hate your enemies. I say, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. This is, this is Jesus going old school. He's going back to Jeremiah 29:7. And that word seek, that you see there means to look intently. What, what, what God's saying through the prophet, Jeremiah, is I want you to get your eyes off yourself and off your own stuff, and off your own, whatever is going on, and I want you to look up and I want you to look intently on how you can bless those dirty rotten scoundrels known as Babylonians. This is radical, right? Well, here's the thing, you and I need to do that. I don't know who your enemy is. My guess is, is there's some people right now, even in this season that gets your blood boiling, you know. I, if we can do that, the good Samaritan test, like if you thought about who the Samaritan is in your life, and you're like, man, if that guy was holding this guy's political sign there, I don't know that I'd stop on the side of the road and help him, you know, whatever it is, whoever your person is, we all have people that just push our buttons.

These aren't just button pushers. They're much more, but really you and I are supposed to live for the peace of all people, especially our enemies. By the way, Jesus, the Prince of Shalom, right, the Prince of peace. He modeled this for us, Jesus in his, in that final night with his disciples, John 14:27, he says this, he says, listen, I have Shalom and Shalom or peace is what I'm leaving with you guys. But my, my, my Shalom, my peace that I have demonstrated to you guys, I give to you, like, I, I entrust it to you. And what did, what did the Shalom of Jesus look like? Well, it looked two ways when Jesus was taking peace, fully flourishing into people's lives, two things were occurring. Number one, Jesus was always going to people and he was, he was asking them, he was, he was encouraging them and even putting his finger on them and saying repent and believe. Because the greatest peace that you and I need is peace with God, to have a relationship with a God that created us and Jesus came to be the bridge to that relationship. So Jesus comes and he says, put your faith and trust in me, repent and believe that's a greatest peace that you and I can offer anyone.

But the second thing that Jesus would do, and sometimes these would, one would come first and one would come second, but oftentimes they would, they would both come, but Jesus would come and he would bring peace. He would bring flourishing to people, physically, spiritually, emotionally, ethnically like all these different things, Jesus came and he was just bringing Shalom wherever he went. So how do you, and I do it. If, if this peace that we have experienced has been entrusted to us, what do we do? Well, here's what that means, is that you and I are, we are bringing peace. We're looking intently, and every time we have an opportunity to open up our mouth and declare the gospel of Christ, we get to tell people that Jesus is the way the truth and the life. And we call them to repent and believe we are bringing Shalom. Only way that we're going to do that, by the way, just by way of reminder is if we're looking intently, right? Oftentimes that stuff doesn't fall in our lap, but if we look up and we look around, God, oftentimes will bring people along our path that we get to open up and bring Shalom too, the peace that comes only through the gospel.

We bring Shalom as we make disciples. You know that making a disciple. What we're doing is we are, we are attempting to see people fully flourished. Discipleship is not just spiritual. It's holistic. We're talking about people being formed, reformed into this image where mind emotion will affections relationships, all these things are being formed into a closer image of Jesus. When you spend time with your small group, when you spend time discipling your kids, you're bringing Shalom, you're working for peace. Another way that we're doing it, we already talked about, when you mentioned at the, be the church initiative, we set up an opportunity for our benevolence funds to be available to anyone that calls Bethel home. Up to a hundred dollars, reimburse reimbursable to you.

And so we've been getting stories, enough people that this hundred dollars in their pocket that's reimbursable, it's just burning a hole in their pocket, and they're looking around, they're looking intently, they're seeking who can I bless? Who can I bless. There's one story of a person that attends the Richland campus here, uh, she was out at Costco doing some shopping and she saw someone that's standing on the corner with a sign that said they needed, they needed food. And so I think many of us have seen people like that maybe even seen this exact same woman. She stopped, got out of her car and had a conversation with her and said, tell me more. And so she told her that she was, she was a migrant to this country that her husband has a job, but it's just not enough to keep food in their cupboards. And so she said, where are you living? What's going on? Well, we live in a motor home, uhm, over here, and this is our situation that we're in. And she said, would you go shopping with me? And so she went and fully stocked this motor home. She said the a hundred dollars covered, covered, or the Bethel, you know supplement covered the first a hundred dollars and I took care of the rest. But that first hundred dollars was the catalyst for her to look up, look around, stop and bring Shalom to that family.

We have a, a Bethel member in Prosser and, uh, she was telling us about how she has a, a second cousin. Whose, whose wife had a severe drug addiction that led to her death just a couple of months ago. And her second cousin is raising their kids now as a single dad and is really struggling just in life. But one of the things that she noticed is just their lack of, lack of clothing options for the season. So she knew about the, be the church initiative. And so she took initiative and went and shopped and bought all these gifts of these brand new clothes for these kids. And they were sitting around opening up these gifts, and and her cousin turned to her and said, “your church is doing this”? And she said, “yeah, we're just being the church”. And he said, “I want to join you at that church”. And we're hoping that he's maybe even there this Sunday in Prosser. 

There's another small group that they heard about a single mom who has, I can't remember if it's six or seven kids. One of those, one of those children's battling cancer right now. And so this small group took their resources and pulled them together and paid the rent for this single mom. Just so many ways, but what it is is it's looking up, looking around, being intentional and bringing peace. Have you done that? Have you taken advantage of the be the, be the church initiative, or just any other initiative that is not seeking your own agenda? Right, that's what it's all about. Our agenda becomes secondary and others, even our enemies agenda becomes primary.

Truth number three. There are instructions that are given here, for how we are to live as exiles. The instructions of God, for how to live as exiles. How are they going to do this? Well, Jeremiah gives them some very practical things in the way that they're to live. Notice verse number 5, he says, “build houses and live in them. Plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters and take wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage”. What he says is I want you to set up your life here. Like, where you are, be here. What's interesting is what he doesn't tell them as refugees, these people that had their homes ransacked, he doesn't say, all right, here's what I need you to do. I need you to have underground meetings. You need to build an army, and I need you to rebel to the best of your ability. Be an insurrection in this town. That's not what he tells him to do. On the other side, he does not tell them to retreat, to insulate, to just go under ground. No he tells them to be all there, and by the way, one of the reasons that Jeremiah is writing this is not only were there false prophets saying, hey guys, this isn't a speed bump. But he's also heard word that the people have retreated. They are a broken people and they're not getting on with the assignment of God. Psalm 137 verse 1, the Psalm captures their heart, It says this by, “by the rivers of Babylon, we sat and wept when we remembered Zion. There on the poplars, we hung our harps for there our captors asked us for songs, our tormentors”. Do you see how the Babylonians are described here? They demanded songs of joy. They said, sing us one of those songs of Zion.

“How can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a foreign land? If I forget you Jerusalem may my right hand, forget its skill. May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth if I do not remember you, if I do not consider Jerusalem, my highest joy”. Sounds a little bitter, doesn't it. And so Jeremiah writes, he says, get away from the weeping at the river, and build your house. What he's saying here is unpack your suitcase. God has not assigned us here for a season. He's assigned us here for most likely a generation 70 years. So what he's saying here is this may not be your favorite place, but I want you to lay a foundation here. I want you to put up walls. I want you to slap some paint on those walls and hang some pictures on the walls.

That's what I want you to do. Be here. I want you to plant gardens. So he wants them to, to enter into the, kind of the think seasonally, right? That is what he's saying here. I want you to, I want you to go and plant, and I want you to think that man, I'm going to plant in the spring, cause I'm anticipating being here in the fall. Like there's some anticipation. I want you to go to your Babylonian neighbors and ask them about the soil. I want, I want you to ask them about the plants that grow here. Be a good neighbor. Let them be a good neighbor to you. Ask them about Babylonian recipes. I know they’re your tormentors, but go ask them what their favorite Curry is and how you make it and how it comes out of your garden. Right? Think seasonally, he says marry and have lots of kids, so not just seasonally, but start thinking multi-generationally. You're going to be here for a long time. And where you are be all there.

I remember having this conversation with my family when we moved almost six years ago from Northeast Ohio and everything that they had ever known to this piddly little town called Prosser Washington, if you've heard of it. And I don't know if you've ever been to Cleveland, Ohio, but Cleveland is, is, is not Prosser. It's very different, very different. And I remember some of my kids skipping as they came to Prosser and other ones, I was dragging to Prosser, to be honest. But as we are starting to put up our walls and plant our gardens, which we literally did, and starting to establish our lives, those that were still dragging their feet, I said, listen, I need you to, we are here. We're actually here by assignment from God. I need you to be all here. And by God's grace, my family has been all there in Prosser. As a matter of fact, as, as I was approached by the elders about taking this position, we were having conversations about where I needed to live, because I am so intertwined in the Prosser community, my wife and I, we, to great lengths have laid down our lives and our families to see the flourishing of Prosser come to be.
And it's hard. Like if you've done that in any place to pick that up and to take that and put that somewhere else, it's hard, right? Wherever you are. I hope that you're all there. All of these words that are used here by the way are commands. It's really interesting. It isn’t here, here’s a helpful suggestion,  build a house, he says no, build a house plant, plant your lives, plant generations to flourish here. There's ownership here. There's presence here.
But our fourth and final point is this, just, just think about this with me, just practically speaking. How do you have the fortitude to do this? With these people that are just, they're not your people? This culture is so anti-God. How am I supposed to be here? 

Truth number four is this, there is a future hope for exiles. There's a future hope. When you don't want to live intentionally when you don't want to live missionally. Jeremiah gives these words and look again, very familiar verse to, to many of you. Verse number 11, he says, I know the plans I have for you. I have plans for Shalom, welfare and not for evil to give you a future and a hope. He's reminding them that this place that he sent them, that they are exiles, they are resident aliens. This is not their true home, but they are to be all there. And one of the motivations for them in that presence, is in that present is God giving them hope that he has their future in mind. The hope is not in the plan. The hope is in the one that has the plan and he has a plan. He's working it out. He has a future home for them. For those that are in exile that are recipients of this letter, their future home is going to be the city of Jerusalem. For you and I, our hope is the new Jerusalem. You and I, we, we are only going to do life here in exile on this planet, in this nation for, I don't know, 70 years for some of us. Cut that number down, right? If you were to add 70 to your age right now, where does that put you? Oh my goodness. That's a lot of math. All right.

But, but let's just, let's just throw that number on every one. Let's just say it's just another, it's just a lifetime. That's it? Like, God's only asking you to live as an exile in this place, just for one lifetime. That's it. By the way thank God that’s it. I'm done in a lot of ways, I'm weary, but he goes, listen, you can do it, it's just, it's just 70, it's just a lifetime. Just do your lifetime here. How do we do that? Because we know our future hope, we know our ultimate home. We know that Jesus was, was absolutely dead on right when he said I'm going and where I'm going it's to prepare a place for you. So that when I come again, I'll receive you unto myself so that you can be with me. That's where we're headed. Listen, the recipients of this letter, they had a biological and spiritual father by the name of Abraham. And he set the example for all of us, of how to look forward to what is to come, Hebrews 11: 9 through 10 says this by faith, he, that is Abraham went to live in the promised land. By the way, what land did Abraham leave, Abraham left Babylon, right? He left Aie or Ai his city. And he went to the land of promise as in a foreign land, he said, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob heirs with him of the same promise. And he did this why, or by what means, verse 10, for he was looking forward to the city that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God.

So are you seeking the peace, the peace, the complete wholeness, the flourishing of where God has assigned you in the place that God has you living, working, playing. Are you seeking the peace, of the place that God has assigned to you? Are you all in where you are? Are you, are you living in light of the fact that there is a hope that you're longing for. You have a true home, and is it fueling you as you give yourself away for the people around you? I'm convinced that we need to live out the life of an exile. Maybe Jeremiah gives us a glimpse of what that looks like to effectively do that because what the world needs, is it needs exiles like this living on mission, loving them well and bringing the peace that Christ left us.

Let’s pray. Lord Jesus we know that we live in a world that is not our home. I think every single day as we tune into social media, into the news feeds, whatever it is, we look around. We see that this world is just not our home and God, I just want to say thank you for the reminder that this world is not our home. Thank you for shaking us up even over these last seven or eight months that you have. You've brought things to light that were once in the darkness. And I thank you God for turning the lights on and revealing things in us. Father, I pray that as we live lives as citizens of your kingdom, first and foremost, As, as we live as resident aliens, that we would, that we would reside here, that our hearts would, that you would help us to live as if this world is just passing away. For us to consider that as we pour our lives out here, it's just for a moment it's only a lifetime. That we need to live and love in this way. So Lord, we lay down our lives again, as, as a sacrifice, as an offering to you and say, God, wherever you want to take us, whoever you want to put into our lives and whatever you want to make of that situation. We pray that we would glorify and honor your son, the Lord Jesus in all of it. And may we bring peace in a world gone crazy. And in the chaos that will most likely ensue in our nation this week. May we be the bearers of peace we ask in Jesus name.
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