TEXT: Jeremiah 29:1-9
MESSAGE: “Seeking To Plant Roots In Our City”
Our vision as a church is to be a church for our city that seeks new life in Jesus.
“Americans are lonelier than ever—even though opportunities for social connection have exponentially increased. Even with affordable phone calls and free email, we’re talking to each other less…After decades of bowling leagues, Americans began bowling alone. Today, in the age of social media, we’re not even bowling. We’re scrolling alone. How did social isolation become such a disturbing trend? And how can the church respond to the loneliness epidemic?” — Jeremy Linneman
TEXT: Jeremiah 29:1-9
“The Babylon of the Bible is characterized as a culture set against the purposes of God — a human society that glories in pride, power, prestige, and pleasure. Babylon makes appearances throughout the Bible, most notably (and literally) in the story of Daniel. But Babylon is there in the pages of Scripture from beginning to end. From the Tower of Babel, the “first city of man”, in the book of Genesis to the final act of God’s justice and restoration in Revelation, Babylon is both a place and an archetype of collective human pursuits set in opposition to God.” — David Kinnaman and Mark Matlock
Q: What does God tell the people of Israel while in exile, and how can this apply to believers today? There are three areas that we see from our text about planting roots. It’s a challenge to move from…(1. Career to Calling 2. Going to Staying 3. Consuming to Contributing)
  1. Career to calling (v. 1-2)
 “These are the words of the letter that Jeremiah the prophet sent from Jerusalem to the surviving elders of the exiles, and to the priests, the prophets, and all the people, whom Nebuchadnezzar had taken into exile from Jerusalem to Babylon. This was after King Jeconiah and the queen mother, the eunuchsthe officials of Judah and Jerusalem, the craftsmen, and the metal workers had departed from Jerusalem.”
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men…” – Colossians 3:23
“Without something bigger than yourself to work for, then all of your work energy is actually fueled by one of the other six deadly sins. You may work exceptionally hard because of envy to get ahead of somebody, or because of pride to prove yourself, or because of greed or even gluttony for pleasure…” – Tim Keller
  1. Going to staying (v. 4-6)
“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.
Lesslie Newbigin — “I am neither an optimist nor a pessimist; Jesus Christ is risen from the dead!”
  1. Consuming to contributing (v. 7-9)
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.  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 are prophesying to you in my name; I did not send them, declares the Lord.”
“Through the blessing of the upright a city is exalted, but by the mouth of the wicked it is destroyed.” — Proverbs 11:11
“…most churches tend to start with the attractional model—’come to our church so we can help you’—with the unintended message that the city is there to help us grow our church. We don’t mean to, but it says in effect that the city/community is here for us to plant or grow our church. Instead of the attraction model (everything being about you), if you start with an attitude of loving your neighbors, I promise the leaders will notice a difference.” – Tom Wood
TAKEAWAYS: How can we start to plant roots in our city?
Seek > Settle
“Apprehension infiltrates many aspects of modern life. Anxiety about looking your best and eating right. Pressure to perform your best in school and get ahead. Aching questions about calling, jobs, and finances. Frequent comparisons to others on social media. (Gen Z is the most likely generation to admit that seeing others’ lives on social media makes them feel insecure about themselves.) Fears about losing faith. Ironic worry about mental health and social wellness. Uncertainty about choosing the right spouse, the right career, the right anything, the right everything. So many alternatives at our fingertips can be exhausting rather than freeing.” — David Kinnaman and Mark Matlock
Deep > Shallow 
Acts 17:26 — “…And 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 place
Contribute > Consume 
Kingdom > Castle 
“…We…face a common challenge as followers of Jesus in the advanced modern world. It is, I believe, that we trust in God and his gospel and move out confidently into the world, living for a new Christian renaissance, and thus challenge the darkness with the hope of Christian faith, believing in an outcome that lies beyond the horizon of all we can see and accomplish today.” — Os Guinness
“…so Jesus also suffered outside the city gate to make the people holy through his own blood. 13 Let us, then, go to him outside the camp, bearing the disgrace he bore. 14 For here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come.” — Hebrews 13:12-14
“Jesus Christ was thrown out of the city of God so you and I could be brought in. Why? He got the punishment. He got the banishment. He got the exile. Sin deserves to be thrown out of the city, but Jesus Christ took it for us. So when you believe in Jesus, you are automatically enrolled in the city of God. You become a citizen of the city of God. Listen carefully. Jesus lost the city that was so we could become citizens of the city that is to come, and that makes us salt and light in the city that is.” — Tim Keller

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