Make a difference in your city! | Gig Harbor | Chapel Hill Online
Here at Chapel Hill we are determined to make a difference in the city of Gig Harbor. It’s following a Biblical command to seek the welfare of our city and show love to the place we live. In this sermon by Pastor Mark Toone, learn what the Bible teaches about being for the place you live, and how to carry it out.
We want to meet you! Join us for a service LIVE every Sunday morning at 8:30, 10 or 11:30 here on YouTube, at our website at chapelhillpc.org, or IN PERSON in beautiful Gig Harbor at 7700 Skansie Ave.
When have you found yourself living in a place that was not your home? How did you respond?
Read Jeremiah 29:4-14. What was Jeremiah’s message and why was it a radical thing to be asked to live out? In what ways do you personally find it challenging to “seek the welfare of (your) city?”
What is one practical way that you and your LifeGroup can demonstrate love for your city? Make a plan to do something together in the next 3 months to bless the city.
It’s hard to believe but this September 11, we will commemorate the 20th anniversary of 9-11. 20 years! We will never forget where we were the moment we heard the news. If you are too young to remember, it’s hard to convey the sense of horror and anger we experienced as a nation in that act of evil.
But imagine this. Imagine those airplanes were only the beginning. Imagine if the powers of the world had seized upon that moment, aligned with our enemies and invaded us. Imagine if our city was invaded; we were driven from our homes, herded together, transported to the Port of Tacoma, loaded on a ship and carried off into exile.
That is exactly what happened to the Jews in 597 BC. The Babylonians attacked the Jewish nation. They pillaged the temple, kidnapped the king, along with the best and brightest of their nation, and carried them 600 miles away to exile in Babylon. If that story sounds familiar, it should! It’s the book of Daniel! We studied that for many weeks! The story of a young man and his friends who were kidnapped, assimilated and raised into positions of godly influence under King Nebuchadnezzar.
Well…Jeremiah is the OTHER side of that story. Jeremiah was a prophet called by God to STAY in Jerusalem following the Babylonian invasion. He warned the remaining residents of further judgment if they didn’t turn back to God. (They didn’t, by the way. They didn’t learn their lesson. Ten years later, the Babylonians returned, wiped out the city and destroyed the temple. The people should have listened to Jeremiah!)
But…his ministry wasn’t limited to the remnant in Jerusalem. Jeremiah ALSO sent letters of encouragement to the Jewish exiles who had been carted off to Babylon in which EVERYTHING was strange: the language, religion, customs, dress, food. How resentful they must have been! How bitter…how heartbroken. Wouldn’t you?
Now here’s the question: how should they behave there? Their liberty stolen. Their dignity violated. They are prisoners of war. What should their attitude be towards your captors? How would YOU behave in this situation? Well…Jeremiahs’ advice might surprise you. Listen: Jeremiah 29: 4-7.
“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; 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 you will find your welfare.
PICS TO FOLLOW? During World War II, the Germans invaded France and set up a puppet regime to do their bidding. But an armed rebellion rose up against the Nazis. It was called the French Resistance and it was in part responsible for the success of D Day and Hitler’s ultimate defeat. The Resistance took up arms, produced newspapers and provided escape networks for Allied soldiers trapped behind enemy lines. The French Resistance did everything it could to subvert and weaken their enemy.
So…is that what Jeremiah advised? When he sent his letter to the Jewish exiles in Babylon, did he encourage them to subvert? To rebel?
Not at all! “Settle down,” he said! “Don’t live in tents; build homes. Don’t forage; plant gardens. Don’t stop living! Get married…have children and grandchildren. Multiply. Grow! Flourish!” Here’s his shocking summary: “…seek the welfare of the city…and pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare you will find your welfare.”
…to read more visit chapelhillpc.org/listen