May 2017

Blessed in the City

A city is built up by the blessing of the upright…Proverbs 11:11a HCSB

The presence of the upright is meant to impact the city by the blessing that is on the lives of God’s people. Too often believers join fellow citizens in bemoaning the condition of our cities and our nation, while forgetting that the power that is at work within to bring about the necessary changes or even save a city from destruction. Abraham interceded for his family residing in a wicked city and God was willing to save the city if enough righteous ones could be found. Just a few righteous residents would have saved the city from destruction.

God in His loving kindness and mercy has positioned His children in cities in need of some righteous residents. God places us in cities for His purpose. The location might be for a lifetime or it may change multiple times. Regardless of the constancy or change, while in that city, know that “God has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good work he planned for us long ago.” (Ephesians 2:10b) Residents ought to know that righteous people live among them. The presence of the righteous in the city should be known not just by the location of the physical church, but by the involvement of the believers in the city. Christ could be found among the people by the seashore with the working class, in the synagogues with the experts of the law, at the well with an ostracized resident, at the street trial of caught woman, at a family friend’s wedding and the funeral of another; a guest in the house of an arrogant Simon and in the home of the repentant Matthew. Every encounter was purposeful in sharing the good news of the kingdom of God. All did not receive the message, but it was proclaimed in words and deeds.

The steps of the righteous are ordered. Wherever you find yourself it is a place of purpose requiring your presence. Our purposeful God has assigned us to cities to bless and to build.

As righteous residents of the city, speak life over your city and into the lives of the leaders and residents. The mouth of the righteous is a well of life (Proverbs 10:11) and the lips of the righteous are the delights of kings.” (Proverbs 10:16a). Become actively involved in meeting the needs of the under served and the “least of these” in the cities. We have the answer and the hope many are seeking. Expose the people to the hope of Jesus Christ that resides within the righteous. “The hope of the righteous brings joy.” (Proverbs 10:28a) Pray for the peace and prosperity of your city. Whether the city is a beloved childhood hometown or the result of a recent relocation, there’s an assignment to build up the city. God commanded his people to “seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which He carried them…and to pray for the city, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.” (Jeremiah 29:6, paraphrased).

Are you still wondering what in the world is going on in our cities? The answer resides in you and you reside in an assigned city. Be a blessing to your city. Recognize the purpose and power of your presence.

Jennifer Jarrett is a member of the South Georgia Women’s Discipleship Board, and serves alongside her husband, Woody Jarrett, Pastor of the Sunset Family Worship Center in Eastman, Georgia. She holds a Masters in Social Work and has extensive experience in the nonprofit and military communities. She serves as the Director of the Women of Destiny ministry; currently sits on the South East Regional Fellowship (SERF) Women’s Ministry Board and the Dodge County Food Bank and Pantry Board. The Jarrett’s have four children: Alexis, Chelsea, Caleb Joshua (CJ) and Kayla.