How are you? How has your week been as exiles in this world?

We talked about this truth this past Sunday as we looked at Jeremiah 29. Just like the Israelites were exiles in Babylon, we are exiles in this world. Our ultimate citizenship is not here on this earth, but it is in the kingdom of heaven.

This means that we are called to be set apart. We are in the world, but we are not of the world. Our core identity and worth are not found in worldly categories, but they are found in Christ. This affects every aspect of our lives.

However, although we are not of the world, we are still in it. We are called to be set apart, but we are not called to be totally separate from it. We see in Jeremiah that Israel is called to integrate with society. Christians are called to be the light. The light does not run away from darkness but instead penetrates it. Have we penetrated this world instead of running away from it?

One way we are to be integrated with society is by seeking the welfare of the city and praying on its behalf. Have we sought it this week? This year? Have we been a redeeming presence in our classrooms, workplaces, communities, and cities? Have we shared the gospel? Have we been faithful in our work? Have we sought the prosperity of the city instead of seeking our own? Have we fought for the good and justice of the city at a cost to ourselves? Have we earnestly prayed for our city?

We are not only called to be the light, but we are called to be the salt. Salt loses itself for the preservation and the seasoning of the food it goes into. We are called to lose ourselves for the preservation and the seasoning of this world. It can only happen through the sharing and the living of Christ.

These are humbling truths. New Life, have we been able to seek the welfare of those around us? Have we been able to seek the welfare of the city?

We can only do this because Christ sought our welfare first. He is the Ultimate Light. He did not run away from this sinful world. He did not abandon the sinful people that mocked Him. Instead, He took on flesh and entered into it.

He is the Ultimate Salt. For the preservation and seasoning of rebellious people like you and me, He sought our welfare first at a cost to His own. He lost all prosperity, welfare, and peace on the cross as He bore the wrath of God for the guilt and shame of our sin. Because He so loved us that He laid down His life for us, we are able to lay down our lives for one another and our city.

Church, may we be His hands and feet for the redemption of our communities, of our cities, and of this world.

See you all for our Lord’s Day worship. Hope to see you at Friday Night Study @7:30pm as well! Grace and peace be with you.

In Christ,
Pastor Tim

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