“And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the Lord for it; for in its peace you will have peace.” (Jeremiah 29:7) The people of Israel had been carried away into exile in Babylon. They were in a foreign country which was the center of idolatry and worldly lifestyles. How should they live in a culture that was so alien to their own? Could they live for God in a pagan city?
We in America are waking up to the fact that we no longer live in a Christian culture. We live in a pagan, pornographic, perverted culture. What always existed in the back alleys of America is now openly praised in the schools, military, government and media. How should we who are disciples of Christ live in a world corrupted with sin, relativism and narcissism?
God told the people of Israel who were in Babylon to “seek the peace of the city”. They were to do this by praying for the city in which they dwelt. The reason given was that in the peace of Babylon they would find their peace. God’s people are called to be peacemakers in a violent, divided world. We begin the peace process by our goals. “Seek” tells us that our goal is to bring people into a peaceful relationship with each other by helping them to be at peace with their Creator. This is done today by lovingly proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ. When pagans get saved, they have the Holy Spirit in them. Through our union with Christ, the Holy Spirit produces the fruit of the Spirit which is love and peace.
The perverted cultural atmosphere of America today is similar in many ways to the world into which the Apostles of Jesus Christ brought the gospel in the first century. The gospel is transformational today as it was then. God brings peace to the city, one person at a time through the gospel of Jesus Christ. Think about it!!