From the Pastor:
Jeremiah 29:7, 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.
There are many Christians who have Jeremiah 29:11 memorized. If they don’t they might have it on a plaque on their wall, on a book marker, or, like my wife Emily, on a bracelet their husband gave them. We keep the words of God’s promise that He has a future of hope for us. Less familiar to us are the instructions of God to His people that preceded the promise. During 2020, we are going to focus on God’s words to the Hebrews in exile in Jeremiah 29:4-14 and especially this instruction in verse 7. God’s message to those in Babylon was in response to false prophets telling the people not to settle in Babylon and to just take care of themselves as they wait out their captivity. In Jeremiah 29 God spoke through Jeremiah to tell those taken in captivity to settle because they would be there for a while. They were not to keep their bags packed waiting for a quick return to Jerusalem. God’s message was to get comfortable and to look to the good of those around them; as they sought the welfare of the city, they would find their welfare also. How applicable can this be to our mindset today? As Christians we can often look at the world around us and think that we don’t want to deal with the world’s problems, and that we should simply look out for ourselves until Christ returns. Like the unfaithful servant in Christ’s parable, we are afraid of losing the salvation and new life He has given us so we hide, waiting for the king to return only to present what has already been given us. There is a temptation to bury our heads in the sand, but this is not the calling of God. There are many reasons that you may have for being a part of Dueber Church. People look for many things in a church—uplifting music, inspiring preaching, quality programs and teaching are just a few. The reality is that God has a calling on our lives and has called us to be part of the church. He has a calling for His church to be a blessing to the community around it. Just like the Hebrew people, the church finds its welfare in seeking the welfare of the city in which it dwells. For those churches that look to the welfare of the city around, them there is a vision, a future, and a hope. During 2020 we are going to emphasize looking for the welfare of the city. What is the vision God has given our church for the city around us? How are we called to pray on behalf of Canton and the surrounding area? How can we be a blessing to those in our community? People in our community need the light of life. They need the wholeness that Christ brings. They need help with education, finances, and nutrition. People need hope and help to overcome addiction and find freedom from drugs and alcohol. Our city has many needs and needs the church of Jesus Christ to seek its welfare. People need us to be concerned not with simply presenting ourselves to Him as those who hold on to what He has given them, but to bring them to our King presenting them so He can heal them and make them whole. Let’s make 2020 a year to seek the welfare of the city in which God has sent us.
In Christ, Pastor Jon