Strangers in a Strange Land: Jeremiah 29.1-14
1. V.5-6: Build, develop, be fruitful & multiply (v.10: a true act of faith!).
2. V.7: Prosper the pagans & so be prospered. Notice how the welfare of God’s people becomes the avenue, the 8-lane freeway, of God’s gracious kindness to come flooding God’s enemies with God’s Goodness! We’re just plain good for the world!
3. V.8-9: Be careful not to get side tracked. In 21-32 God mentions & denounces 3 specific side-trackers, by name. Don’t let these talking heads to get you side-tracked & off-course!
4. V.10-14a: V.11!!! Hope in God‘s Rescue; look for God‘s rescue, live into the hope of God‘s rescue.
[9-But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10-Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy. 11-Beloved, I urge you as sojourners and exiles to abstain from the passions of the flesh, which wage war against your soul. 12-Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.13-Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, 14-or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. 15-For this is the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people. 16-Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. 17-Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor.]
“But while they live in both Greek & barbarian cities, as each one’s lot was cast, & follow the local customs in dress & food & other aspects of life, at the same time they demonstrate the remarkable & admittedly unusual character of their own citizenship. They live in their own countries, but only as nonresidents; they participate in everything as citizens, & endure everything as foreigners. Every foreign country is their fatherland, & every fatherland is foreign country.”
“….one derives from [Augustine’s] writings, what is best described as an “Augustinian sensibility.” It is the sensibility of the pilgrim through time who resolutely resists the temptation to despair in the face of history’s disappointments & tragedies, & just as resolutely declines the delusion of having arrived at history’s end.”