In Jeremiah 29, God tells His people how we are to think about our cities, how we are to relate to our cities, and what hope there is for cities. We are to think as exiles on a mission. This world is not our true home–our citizenship is in heaven–but we have work to do for God’s glory and our joy. We are to relate to our cities by loving them and being for them, seeking their welfare. However, the hope of cities is not man, but Jesus, who will one day ultimately make right what we have made wrong by our sin. Because Jesus died for sin and resurrected as conqueror of sin and death, He will one day usher in a new heaven and a new earth, creating a new city where those who trust Him will dwell with Him in ultimate welfare, forever.
Jeremiah 29:4-11 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. 8 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, 9 for it is a lie that they are prophesying to you in my name; I did not send them, declares the Lord.
10 “For thus says the Lord: When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will visit you, and I will fulfill to you my promise and bring you back to this place.11 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.
1. Was there anything from Sunday’s Sermon or the Big Idea that had an affect on you? What questions do you have about the sermon or the Scripture?
2. What stands out to you in Jeremiah 29:4-11 and why?
3. Do you think like an exile on a mission? Do you love the city or loath the city? Are you of the city or for the city?
4. How can we as a Community Group love and serve the city?
*Take time to pray, brainstorm, and plan tangible things you can do as a CG to seek the welfare of your city.
5. Spend some time praying for your city and then for one another.
Revelation 22:1-5 “Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3 No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, andthey will reign forever and ever.”
Because Jesus took the tree of death outside the city of Jerusalem, we will get the tree of life inside the city of the new Jerusalem. We know how the story ends. Let us rejoice!
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