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PRELUDE – “Regeneration

WELCOME & CALL TO WORSHIP – Hebrews 10:19-23

Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the holy places

 by the blood of Jesus, by the new and living way that he opened for us

through the curtain, that is, through his flesh,

and since we have a great priest over the house of God,

let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith,

with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience

 and our bodies washed with pure water.

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering,

for he who promised is faithful.

 

Song –

Great Is Thy Faithfulness” by Thomas Obediah Chisholm and William Marion Runyan

 

CONFESSION OF SIN  – Daniel 9:7-11

To you, O Lord, belongs righteousness,

but to us open shame,

 as at this day, to the men of Judah, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem,

and to all Israel, those who are near and those who are far away,

in all the lands to which you have driven them,

because of the treachery that they have committed against you.

To us, O Lord, belongs open shame, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers,

because we have sinned against you.

To the Lord our God belong mercy and forgiveness,

for we have rebelled against him

 and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord our God by walking in his laws,

which he set before us by his servants the prophets.

All Israel has transgressed your law and turned aside,

refusing to obey your voice.

And the curse and oath that are written in the Law of Moses the servant of God have

been poured out upon us,

because we have sinned against him.

 

Song –

Create in Me a Clean Heart” by Keith Green

ASSURANCE OF PARDON –

Who is a God like you,

pardoning iniquity and passing over transgression for the remnant of his inheritance?

He does not retain his anger forever,because he delights in steadfast love.
 

He will again have compassion on us;he will tread our iniquities underfoot.

You will cast all oursins into the depths of the sea.

 

Song –

He Will Hold Me Fast” by Ada Ruth Habershon and Matthew Merker

PRAYER

SCRIPTURE READING – 1 John 2:18-20

SERMON – “The Last Hour”

LORD’S TABLE

OFFERING

Songs –

On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand” by Edward Mote

Be Unto Your Name” by Gary Sadler and Lynn DeShazo

O Church Arise” by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend

BENEDICTION

ANNOUNCEMENTS

POSTLUDE – “Come As You Are” by David Crowder

Do all things

without grumbling

or disputing.

Philippians 2:14

*grumble, grumble, grumble* Why do I have to wear this blasted mask?

*humph, humph, humph* I just hate Zoom calls!

*grr, grr, grr* I can’t believe the National League is going to have the Designated Hitter

We’ve been reading through the book of Philippians lately in our Bible Reading Plan. It is SO timely, isn’t it?

For example, the command in 2:14 to do everything without grumbling is deeply convicting. In this season so much seems so hard. Just going grocery shopping is a massive inconvenience. We’ve had to give up so many plans. The temptation is strong to gripe and complain, to turn critical and cynical. But 2:14 confronts that attitude.

And Paul’s admonition fits right into the larger context. Paul has been calling on Christians of all people to be radically selfless. Grumbling reveals deep-seated selfishness. We grumble when our own preferences, desires, or needs are not being met. But in Philippians, Paul is saying that we should think of others’ needs above our own.

When we have that posture of humility and servanthood, it reduces the impulse to complain. Unity becomes more important than my individual comfort. The glory of Christ becomes my aim more than having things done my way. Serving others becomes a joy instead of a hassle. I don’t have to assert my will; I can adapt, even submit, to others’ wills.

As we re-convene meeting together a lot is going to be asked of each of us. There will be decisions made that you don’t like or disagree with or would have done differently. You’ll have new opportunities to sacrifice your time and ease and schedule to prioritize community. You may remember that the people you had a break from for a while can annoy you.

But our desire should be to have a heart that says, “Whatever it takes, I’ll do it! Count me in! How can I help? Whatever God asks, I’ll trust him to help me obey. In what ways can I give up my desires to serve someone else?” We should gladly do things we don’t like because it’s for someone we love.

This is going to be a great chance to lay aside our own preferences and bend over backwards to accommodate others’. We are going to have ample opportunity to extend a lot of grace to each other.

Why would we want to do this? It’s easier to grumble and disengage. We do it, quite simply, because Jesus did it for us. Have you experienced his grace – Christ’s utter humility displayed in leaving the comfort and ease of heaven to be infinitely inconvenienced for you? He didn’t have a chip on his shoulder as he bore the Cross for you. Doesn’t that make you want to stop whining about little things and live for others?

“I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus” (Phil. 1:8). I can’t wait to see you!

Seeking to selflessly serve you,

And needing your selfless grace,

Pastor Nathan

Dear IBC Family,

I hope you are having a wonderful, sunny weekend.

We’re getting closer to being able to worship together again on the Lord’s Day, but for tomorrow we will still have to have home worship.

We’ve selected an older sermon from Pastor Nathan for you to listen to as part of your home worship. Hopefully it will be helpful for us in thinking through current events from a biblical perspective. The title of the sermon is “Sexual Sins” and it is from Leviticus 18, so be aware in case you feel it would be better not to have your kids listen.

As always, the Spotify Playlist has been updated with new worship music to help you meditate upon the Lord and his goodness with your family, roommates, or by yourself. Sing along with the recordings of some of these songs or find and print the music to sing acapella or with accompaniment if you can.

The prayer for this week comes from Thomas Reade – “On the Blessedness of a New Heart.”

Oh! divine Redeemer,

out of whose inexhaustible fullness I would daily draw

a rich supply of grace into my needy soul,

be pleased to impart unto me an undivided heart;

that to please You, may be my greatest happiness,

and to promote Your glory my highest honor.

Preserve me from false motives, from a double mind, and a divided heart.

Keep me entirely to Yourself,

and enable me to crucify every lust,

which would tempt my heart from You.

Enable me by Your grace to walk

in one uniform path of holy, childlike obedience.

When tempted to turn aside to the right hand or to the left,

may I keep steadily Your way,

until brought before Your throne,

I see Your face, behold Your smile,

and fall in ecstasy at Your feet,

lost in wonder, love, and praise.

For the Memory Verse, try to recite all of Psalm 1 again without looking.

For Kids’ Corner…

Story: “Jars of Oil” (pages 222-225 of The Beginners’ Bible if that’s helpful)

Songs:

1. “My God Is So Big”

2. “The B-I-B-L-E”

Please remember that our online Town Hall for members will be at 11:15 AM.

And don’t forget that if you would like to meet with one or both of us for lunch or a walk, please email us at elders.

Praying for you all,

Pastor Theo

But you,

why do you judge your brother?

Or you again,

why do you regard your brother with contempt?

For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.

Romans 14:10

In the past few months, we as a church have lived through a variety of diverse challenges and heartbreaks which have stretched us in ways we never could have imagined at the beginning of this new year.

On the one hand, the viral pandemic placed all of us in a precarious position of attempting to continue our bonds of fellowship while quarantining ourselves for the sake of the health of our spiritual family and physical neighbors.

One the other, the recent string of criminal police activities has forced us to reckon with the bitter realities of the present injustices still at work within our own homes and communities. Given the time and place the Lord has put us in, it is inevitable that over the next few months we will have to have a series of very difficult and controversial conversations within our own body and amidst our spheres of influence as to how we are to best understand these issues and how we can move forward in confronting these matters in a Christ-like manner.

With these thoughts in mind, I wanted to do a brief overview of the doctrine of Christian liberty in order to help give us a framework in which we can have these conversations together in a productive and loving manner. Please note, I am not claiming to have all of the answers to these difficult questions. In a lot of ways, I am still learning and growing in how I can best love others during these dark days. But one thing the Bible is very clear on is that even in the midst of sharp controversy Christ’s body is still one. And I hope that in this brief survey of Romans 14 we understand that as we engage with one another (which we should), we remember that we are speaking with brothers and sisters in Christ.

The context of Romans 14 is simple enough to grasp. After Paul has spent the majority of his letter clarifying the doctrine of justification by faith alone, Paul makes a shift from the theological to the practical in Romans 12. Following along that vein of thought, Romans 14 answers the specific question – How does the doctrine of justification by faith alone affect the way Christians engage one another in controversial matters? What is the bond of unity which holds us all together, and how do we gauge when we ought to confront one another and when we ought to accept our differences?

I don’t have the time or space to survey the entire chapter. Instead, I am going to pull out a few keys which I think are useful for us in framing this conversation.

First, the aim of our unity is the glory of Christ. Paul is confronting a mixed community of Jewish and Gentile believers, all of whom come into the house of God with different expectations and convictions. Often these different convictions with respect to the observance of Jewish holidays or dietary restrictions tended to lead to incredibly divisive church splits. But for Paul, none of these matters were meant to be the key uniting factor in bringing together the community of God. For Paul, the decisive aim of Christian community is summed up in vv. 7-9 – “For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself; for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and the living.”

For Paul, the unifying factor of the Christian church is the singular desire to make much of Jesus Christ. This means in his case, while he personally did not mind eating and drinking things which were condemned in traditional Judaism, he did not view those who refrained from partaking as lesser Christians (I would argue the reference to the weak and the strong Christian at the beginning of the chapter is a bit ambiguous). Rather he commended them as equal brothers and sisters in Christ who alongside himself desired to make much of Jesus Christ in all manners of life. In so far as their aims were true to that end, Paul perceives those who hold such diverse perspectives as members of the Body of Christ.

Second, the ground of our Christian unity is not necessarily our actions, but the finished work of Christ on behalf of his people. This can be clearly seen in verse 20 – “Do not tear down the work of God for the sake of food.” The logic of this passage takes a little bit to unpack. If you think about what Paul has been arguing for the past few chapters – justification by faith alone – you can better understand what Paul means here when he speaks of Christian’s tearing down what God had built up. Namely, if justification is by faith alone, and our acceptance before God is solely based upon the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ to sinners, then who are we as justified sinners to reject one another on the basis of their imperfections or errors? God is the one who judges, and God is the one who justifies.

More importantly, God is the one who brought this community of justified sinners together to make much of his Son Jesus. And if God brought about this work, who are we then to say that God made a mistake in letting this or that person in because clearly a “good Christian” wouldn’t be so shallow or hold to such inappropriate behaviors or beliefs?

Please hear me very carefully here. This does not mean that there are no beliefs or behaviors which are categorically antithetical to the Christian faith. A number of times throughout his writings, Paul lists various beliefs and practices which mark a member of the community as liable to expulsion. There are absolutes which Christians are demanded to believe and to live by. But that being said, not everything that is set before us on a day-to-day basis belongs in the category of excommunication.

I would argue then that the question we must all ask when we are confronting one of our fellow members on a particularly controversial topic is whether or not we can still call this person a Christian even if he or she happens to disagree with us on this issue. If we cannot, our conversations must be more polemical, for in those instances we are fighting for their very souls. However, if we can still call them Christians, then we need change the nature of our conversation and make it less about changing minds and more on seeking how to push and edify one another to best glorify the Lord together, sometimes even with assumptions or practices we disagree with (Rom. 14:19). At the same time we need to work on reigning in our own personal liberties so that we do not present a stumbling block to others in their own attempts to make much of Christ (14:13).

This doesn’t answer all of the specifics, but hopefully this gives us a goal for which we are all aiming for, and some general categories to differentiate what kind of disagreement we are having while we are all attempting to reach that end. People are fallible, and the Lord is still at work in all of our lives honing and shaping us more and more into the image of Christ. And since God is patient with us, it is important for us to be patient with one another, knowing that we are all sinners who were mercifully saved by the Lord.

~ Pastor Theo

Hello IBC Family,

Praise the Lord for these past few days of sunshine and fair weather! We’re praying that even within the limitations of Phase 3 quarantine you are still able to enjoy and feed on the provisions of God’s grace throughout this season of life.

With that said, the highlighted ‘Sermon of the Week’ is from a less well-known pastor who has helpd me in the past named Alex Montoya. It’s entitled Under Grace, Not Law.He’s a little more old school in his approach, but I hope his sermon is still beneficial for your spiritual growth.

As always, the Spotify Playlist has been updated with fresh worship music for you to use to further meditate upon Christ and his Word.

Finally, the reading for this week comes from Ephesians 2:1-10.

And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked,

following the course of this world,

following the prince of the power of the air,

the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience –

among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh,

carrying out the desires of the body and the mind,

and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us,

even when we were dead in our trespasses,

made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved –

and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace

in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.

For by grace you have been saved through faith.

And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God,

not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works,

which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

The Memory Verse is all of Psalm 1. When we can finally meet all together again, everyone should be able to recite Psalm 1 from memory!

Here’s the Kids’ Corner curriculum:

· Story: “Fire From Heaven” p. 209 (Lesson 12)

· Songs:

1. “What a Mighty God We Serve”

2. “My God is So Big”

· Children’s Bulletins attached that go along with the lesson.

Praying for you this week,

Pastor Theo

Saturday Morning Prayer Meeting

(6/13/20)

Come to Jesus!

 

 

“I Must Tell Jesus”

https://youtu.be/nZ47rDBmmP8

I must tell Jesus / All of my trials
I cannot bear these burdens alone
In my distress / He kindly will help me
He ever cares and loves His own

I must tell Jesus / All of my troubles
He’s a kind and compassionate friend
If I but ask Him / He will deliver
Make of my troubles / Quickly an end

I must tell Jesus / I must tell Jesus
I cannot bear these burdens alone
I must tell Jesus / I must tell Jesus
Jesus can help me / Jesus alone

Tempted and tried I need a great Savior
One who can help my burdens to bear
I must tell Jesus / I must tell Jesus
He all my cares and sorrows will share

I must tell Jesus / I must tell Jesus
I cannot bear these burdens alone
I must tell Jesus, I must tell Jesus
Jesus can help me, Jesus alone

 

 

Come

Matthew 11:28-30

“Come to me,

all who labor and are heavy laden,

and I will give you rest.

Take my yoke upon you,

and learn from me,

for I am gentle and lowly in heart,

and you will find rest for your souls.

For my yoke is easy,

and my burden is light.”

Tell Jesus about your burdens…

 

 

Come

Matthew 11:28-30

“If anyone would come after me,

let him deny himself

and take up his cross

and follow me.”

 

Tell Jesus how you’ve used him like a mascot,

to prop yourself up,

to get things

to feel good about yourself…

Repent…

Remember again today that you have died…

Find your life, your righteousness, your all in him…

 

 

Come

John 6:35

“I am the bread of life;

whoever comes to me

shall not hunger,

and whoever believes in me

shall never thirst.”

 

Tell Jesus ways you have tried to fill your hungers

and slake your thirsts on other things besides him…

Let’s praise him for the ways he satisfies…

 

 

To Jesus

FORGIVER – “Take heart, my son; your sins are forgiven” (Mt. 9:2).

FRIEND – “I have called you friends” (Jn. 15:15).

SERVANT – “The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve” (Mk. 10:45).

INTERCESSOR – “I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail” (Lk. 22:32).

COMFORTER – “Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (Jn. 14:27).

CONFRONTER – “You are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man” (Mk. 8:33).

TEACHER – “Listen” (Mk. 4:3)!

COMING JUDGE – “Depart from me…” (Mt. 25:41).

DEFENDER – “Leave her alone” (Mk. 14:6).

SAVIOR – “The Son of Man came to seek & to save the lost” (Lk. 19:10).

EVER-PRESENT – “I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Mt. 28:20).

 

 

Come

John 4:29

“Come,

see a man

who told me all that I ever did.”

 

Let’s pray for our evangelism efforts…

A man without self-control

is like a city broken into

and left without walls.

Proverbs 25:28

I’ve noticed that many of us are struggling to be disciplined lately, myself included. Maybe we never really were, but it’s become obvious now that our routines have been disrupted.

Working from home is new for many, bringing new temptations towards sloth and/or overwork. It might be that your sleep schedule has become erratic now that you don’t have to get up and go out. Perhaps your diet and exercise and personal hygiene regimens are not great. Circumstances and social media have been taking many of us on a wild ride of emotions lately. I won’t ask how your Bible reading and prayer routines are going (wait, I guess I just did).

The issue of discipline is really a matter of self-control. Are you in control of yourself, or are you being jerked around by your passions? Are you guided by a renewed mind steeped in God’s revelation, or is peer pressure telling you what to think? Have you learned to tame your tongue, or are you saying (or typing) whatever is the first thing to pop into your head? Do you set the agenda for your day in submission to God, or are you dictated to by the immediate, the urgent, or the whims of the moment? Can you wait, or do you unreflectively grab what you desire right away? Can you do things that you don’t necessarily want to do, or are you an addict – unable to stop or say No to a substance or activity or thought?

Are you self-controlled? To paraphrase the proverb, a person without self-control is like a Jewel with bashed in windows. There are no proper boundaries. You are susceptible to anyone coming in at any time and taking from you. You’re not functioning properly. You’re a mess.

A person without any self-control has no defense against the world, the flesh, and the devil coming right in and telling you what to do. You’re at their mercy… and they are not merciful.

But God is!!! Praise him that he’s not grading you on your level of discipline to make the cut for his kingdom. You don’t (you can’t) earn your salvation through your self-control. You know you can be addicted to working out, eating right, religious duties, etc. too, right? Biblical self-control is not self-salvation. It’s a result of salvation.

Self-control is a fruit of the Holy Spirit (see Gal. 5:23). Struggling believer: you are struggling because the Spirit of God dwells in you and has given you a desire to please him and be pleased with him. You are united to Christ. You are a new creation. You are no longer in bondage to sin. You have the freedom and the power to fight for new habits. “Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires” (Gal. 5:24).

Now “walk by the Spirit” (Gal. 5:16), “keep in step with the Spirit” (Gal. 5:25), “sow… to the Spirit” (Gal. 6:8), “be filled with the Spirit” (Eph. 5:18). This is our new purpose, together. “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works” (Tit. 2:11-14).

Your fellow struggler,

Pastor Nathan

Hello IBC Family,

The recommended ‘Sermon of the Week’ is an older sermon by Pastor Nathan from our study of Deuteronomy entitled, “The King” (the manuscript can be found here.) As we are confronted with the blatant lack of justice in our world, we hope this sermon will provide the biblical categories necessary for thinking through how Christians can best be a people who seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with our God (Micah 6:8).

The Spotify Playlist has been updated with a new set of worship music for this week for you to draw from in your home worship.

The reading for the week comes from The Valley of Vision.It’s a prayer entitled “The King.”

O GOD,

Praise waiteth for thee,

and to render it is my noblest exercise;

This is thy due from all thy creatures,

for all thy works display thy attributes

and fulfil thy designs;

The sea, dry land, winter cold, summer heat,

morning light, evening shade are full of thee,

and thou givest me them richly to enjoy.

Thou art King of kings and Lord of lords;

At thy pleasure empires rise and fall;

All thy works praise thee and thy saints bless thee;

Let me be numbered with thy holy ones,

resemble them in character and condition,

sit with them at Jesus’ feet.

May my religion be always firmly rooted in thy Word,

my understanding divinely informed,

my affections holy and heavenly,

my motives simple and pure,

and my heart never wrong with thee.

Deliver me from the natural darkness of my own mind,

from the corruptions of my heart,

from the temptations to which I am exposed,

from the daily snares that attend me.

I am in constant danger while I am in this life;

Let thy watchful eye ever be upon me for my defence,

Save me from the power of my worldly and spiritual enemies

and from all painful evils to which I have exposed myself.

Until the day of life dawns above

let there be unrestrained fellowship with Jesus;

Until fruition comes,

may I enjoy the earnest of my inheritance

and the firstfruits of the Spirit;

Until I finish my course with joy

may I pursue it with diligence,

in every part display the resources of the Christian,

and adorn the doctrine of thee my God in all things.

Praying for you this week. If you would like to meet with one of the pastors for lunch please email elders at immanuel dash baptist dot net.

Seek the welfare of the city

where I have sent you into exile,

and pray to the LORD on its behalf.

Jeremiah 29:7

This week showed us the lack of shalom in Chicago. It’s a good time to revisit this passage that is foundational to our church’s vision.

In light of recent events, many will find reasons to disdain the city and seek to get out of it. It was the same in the 6th century B.C. with the city of Babylon. It was pagan. It was oppressive. And many Jews living there couldn’t wait to evacuate. Yet Jeremiah wrote them this letter saying that God wanted them to stay for another seventy years. They weren’t supposed to see the city as a place to leave, but rather a place to love. They were to…

Seek – hope for, work for, invest their time/energy/ heart in increasing the…

Welfare – the well-being, the peace, the shalom, the right ordering, the healthy flourishing of the…

City – that dense, diverse conglomeration of bodies and buildings that amplify human potential for good and for evil where the LORD had sent them into…

Exile – a less-than-ideal, often hard, home-away-from-home. And they were to…

Pray– constantly ask the LORD to bless the systems, structures, and inhabitants around them.

Similarly, the people of God today are called exiles (1Pe. 1:1). Our true home is the heavenly Jerusalem and we long to be there (see Ph. 3:20), but God has sovereignly determined that we live for now in Chicago (see Acts 17:26). He may call you elsewhere at some point, but always remember that there is really no ‘greener grass’ anywhere east of Eden. And for now God has us here to serve our city.

Do you ache with the pain of Chicago? And do you desire its security and prosperity? That will require more than just slogans and well-wishes. For those who marched peacefully yesterday, standing side-by-side with other city-dwellers for the basic dignity of every person made in the image of God, you heard the two African-American men on the sideline thanking the crowd for this demonstration, but admonishing that it’s going to take ‘more than this.’ That is so true.

Jeremiah 29 fills out for us more of what it will take. He reminds us that it’s going to take time, like generations. Many parts of our great city that went up in flames in the riots of 1968 are still recovering. We impatiently think in terms of quick bursts of activism and those can be part of the strategy. However, it’s been demonstrated that most deep, sustained effects require faithful presence. Please pray for longshoremen and longevity. We have some big challenges ahead in our city that was already facing a budget crisis (our kids’ school has had a budget cut every year the last 8 years that we’ve been there), and now a lagging economy, a stretched healthcare system, and the fallout of civic unrest. Chicago needs citizens committed to helping for the long-haul.

Jeremiah also shows us that a lot of what we’re supposed to do for the common good of the city is unglamorous. Buy a house and fix its broken windows. Plant a garden and weed it. Get married and raise kids. It’s all very ordinary, un-sexy stuff that won’t make the news or maybe even Instagram. But all those ordinary things: shoveling sidewalks, talking to neighbors, volunteering at school, going to work, paying taxes… adds up to a city that functions.

At the end of the movie that we watched together last Friday there was one of my favorite quotes of all time:

The growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts, and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs. – George Eliot

I thought that quote was somewhat misapplied. After all, Franz Jägerstätter has a Wikipedia page and was beatified by the Roman Catholic Church. I think it’s more about people who will never be noticed doing things that seem utterly mundane – giving a cup of cold water (Mt. 10:42) and sounding no trumpet (Mt. 6:2). That’s what God mostly uses to sustain the world.

The gospel gives us an unparalleled ability to do such un-acclaimed acts of love since we don’t need the approbation of anyone – we have it all in Christ.

And just having a functioning city is not our ultimate goal; it is sharing the gospel. Jeremiah told the OT exiles that in Babylon’s welfare they would find their welfare. Paul tells Timothy to pray for civic leaders that “we may lead a peaceful and quiet life” (1Tim. 2:2). The point is not truly selfish. It’s so that we can have an arena in which to preach the gospel and grow the church.

Someday this city will melt. “Here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come” (Heb. 13:14), “that has foundations, whose designer and builder is God” (Heb. 11:10). Until then, let’s love our city in every way we can, including inviting all its residents to join us there in the eternal city through repentance and faith in Jesus.

~ Pastor Nathan

From @immanuelchicago on Twitter

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