Jeremiah 29:7 says, “Also seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”
I have been thinking a lot about this verse in my new role as Phoenix City Director with FlourishNow. While I may not know what it is to be in physical exile, as many in our world are today, the Bible is clear that we are spiritual “foreigners and exiles (1 Peter 2:11). What does this mean? I mean, I physically do live here, right?
Yes, in a sense. But I see things all around me that trouble me deeply.
The other day a friend and I were driving through our great city and on one corner, I saw a couple of people holding cardboard signs asking for help. On another corner were boarded up dilapidated homes. And just down the street there were businesses with broken, boarded up windows. All of these scenes would tell us there is no hope, no future for the people of this city.
But we know that we were not created to live like this. There is something in us that screams “NO, Stop, there is hope!”
Back to Jeremiah. We are to seek to help the city, love the city, bless the city and grow the city. The city is its people. Our just being in the city should change its destiny.
New and better jobs.
Wellness and wholeness.
Blessing and sustainability.
Justice will be our legacy.
I once heard an old pastor say, “When God moves in next door, the whole neighborhood prospers,” and that’s exactly what our plan for Phoenix is – to see God move in and through the work of His people and help the neighborhood and our people prosper.