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Do You Have a Goal for Your Life?

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March 13, 2023 10:58 pm

Do You Have a Goal for Your Life?

The Steve Noble Show / Steve Noble

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March 13, 2023 10:58 pm

Do You Have a Goal for Your Life?

Steve talks to Pastor Dave Lomas from San Francisco about goals in your life. What are some of your goals and how will you achieve them?

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The following program is recorded content created by the Truth Network. And now, here's your host, Steve Noble. Thank you Steve.

It's always been a great blessing. And then, of course, at the wedding just a little over a week ago, and I said this when I came back, Pastor Dave Lomas joins us live now from San Francisco. That was by far, Dave, and my wife said this, all of our family said this. That was by far the best wedding message I've ever heard in my life. So thank you for all that you've sewn into our son, and in particular in that day. It was just awesome. It's good to see you. How are you?

I'm well, thanks for having me on, Steve. And yeah, I love weddings, and I make sure that they're properly married. Yes. And understand what they're getting into. So I usually use the wedding ceremony to go, you know this, but I want to make sure that you have this on tape or something, film. You are married now, and you know, a covenant is really important. Yeah, you did a masterful job of swimming in the deep end of the pool when it came to the covenant and everything that's involved with that. Well, at the same time, having quite a bit of humor, especially when you were getting rained on. Well, we were all getting rained on for the first seven minutes. Was that a first for you getting rained on actually when you started running a wedding?

Oh, 100%. I've never, when I got there and Hayden's like, we're doing it outside. I'm like, wow. Okay, let's do this.

We're doing this. And it was kind of sunny. And then as soon as we were walking down the aisle, I saw this giant rain cloud off the coast, like right over Alcatraz.

Yeah, kind of Alcatraz. And I'm like, that's coming our way. And then sure enough, drenched. Yeah, it was pretty funny. But then it cleared up again, and God is good. And we had to have a sense of humor, which is wonderful. So he sent me a couple weeks back, Dave.

The vision series, the start the year, and I've gone through all three of them. I took 13 pages of notes on my little yellow pad. And as usual, it did not disappoint. And these are some big issues we're going to talk through the day. Dave and I are just going to kind of vibe back and forth. Because this is a sermon series he did basically through January.

And if you hadn't noticed, it's the middle of March. So I'm not expecting you to remember every single detail. But I have a lot of them written down. So I just want to go back and forth and talk about some of these things. But I just wanted to set everybody up so you understand kind of where we're going today. With some really big questions, and you use the word existential when you were preaching about this, and having kind of this existential angst and asking questions like, Do you have a goal for your life? And what do you want? Or what is your philosophy of life?

And if you don't have one, you might be miss living. And these are really big concepts. And oftentimes, I think we minimize what it means to live, you know, follow Jesus, love God, love Jesus, love the Lord, your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, labor, your neighbor, your self, there you go, boom, that's my philosophy of life, which, of course, is true in and of itself.

But there's a whole lot of unpacking that needs to happen there. But what was going on, Dave, that kind of led you because it was obviously had a lot to say, what kind of led to you to do the vision series this year in such an impactful, it's just like such a broad topic, and really a deep existential question. Yeah, I think that whole series came out of one, maybe phrase that I had been turning over in my head for a few years. And that phrase, and I've said it before, but I've never really done a series on it is that we have a vision for your life. That was the phrase that like, I want to do a series, a vision series on like, we actually have a vision for your life. And I think it's Dallas Willard who talked about how we, we often pastors, often really want people to follow Jesus and really want people to like live in obedience to Jesus and then become like Jesus. And then when the person asks, well, how do I do that?

We don't have a robust answer. This is Willard's words, not mine. And I remember being really, he did this, he said this in the book, The Spirit of the Disciplines. And I remember years ago reading that book going, I will be, he said, it's a rare leader who has, who can list very clearly what that means on here's how you become like Jesus.

We always think kind of happens by osmosis or like hang around the church or hang around me or whatever. But it's a rare leader who has like a clear way. And years ago when I read that, I'm like, I want to be a rare kind of leader that way. And then recently asking the question or the phrase, we have a vision, we as a church have a vision for your life. Where everyone actually has a vision for people's lives, like everyone does. Whether it's a tech company, whether it's an advertising agency, whether it's a big corporation, whether it's your boss, everyone has some sort of vision they have for your life. And I think the, I think the churchies have a vision for people's lives as well. And so that came out of that, like, we have a vision for life, and here is, here it is.

And we kind of unpack it over the last three weeks. Yeah, and when I was watching that one, I wrote down, Dave Lomas has a vision for my life, question mark. And of course, it isn't that Dave in particular has a vision. Dave is only going to reference as we unpack this over the course of the hour. He's only going to reference what Jesus, and we're going to look at Jesus as a philosopher, what Jesus wants us to do with our lives. And I'm going to get into things with you, Dave, about being saved. I'll mention Hayden again, because oftentimes we think primarily in terms of the end goal, salvation, we get to heaven. What happens between now and then?

Well, we got progressive sanctification, really general, but not very specific. I'm going to finish with this quote, we're going to hit the break. Why is it important to have a philosophy of life? Because without one, there is a danger that you will miss live. That despite all of your activity, despite all the pleasant diversions you might have enjoyed while alive, you will end up living a bad life.

I don't think any of us want to do that. That's William Irvine from A Guide to the Good Life. That was part of Dave Lomas' series. Pastor Dave Lomas, Reality San Francisco, believe it or not. This is Steve Noble. We'll be right back.

Welcome back at Steve Noble, The Steve Noble Show. I'm going to go back to this quote and then we'll get Pastor Dave Lomas from Reality San Francisco back in here. Why is it important to have a philosophy of life? Because without one, there is a danger that you will miss live. Remember that word, miss live, that despite all your activity, despite all the pleasant diversions you might have enjoyed while alive, you will end up living a bad life. There is, in other words, a danger that when you are on your deathbed, you will look back and realize that you wasted your one chance at living. Instead of spending your life pursuing something genuinely valuable, you squandered it because you allowed yourself to be distracted by the various baubles life has to offer. Baubles, B-A-U-B-L-E-S, are just kind of worthless little trinkets.

They're shiny, but they're worthless. And that's a really powerful question. And Pastor Dave, when when you were preaching through this and this was the first session on the Vision Series just at the beginning of the year there at Reality San Francisco, that that was the question that hit me. I'd like to think that I'm living a pretty meaningful life at this point, but that's that was am I miss living? And I look back and go, I spend I think I spend a significant amount of time miss living, but unpack that for us, because I think that's something that's a question we all need to wrestle with.

Yeah. The, you know, people in my context in San Francisco move here to do something big, like really big, whether it's starting a company, building out their portfolio, building out their resume, their CV. They're trying to make their life like worth like count, doing something big.

And so usually when I share quotes like this, I'm getting at this deep angst that a lot of people in my town have. And that is, I want my life to count for something. I want to live like YOLO. You only live once. Let's do this thing.

And so I'll try to scratch underneath that. And like, are you sure you know what you do? You have a coherent philosophy of life. And if you don't, then you're just moving from one thing to next. And by philosophy, what I mean there is like a coherent way of living. This is like old school ancient philosophy, not like philosophy you get in college now that just tries to disrupt everything. This is like an ancient way of living where you had a coherent way of living. You had a way that you believed the world worked and what reality was.

You had a politic where you believed how society operated and you lived your life with character, with all of this stuff kind of integrated. This is a philosophy of life. Because most people don't have a coherent philosophy of life. They just pick and choose between different podcasts and books they're reading and a movie they saw.

And they don't have any coherent philosophy. There's a good chance that you could be misliving. And so what I'm trying to do there and why I shared that quote and what that means is that think deeply about your philosophy of life. Because what happens is, and this happens, I would imagine, Steve, where you live, it happens where I live, where we absorb our cultural context and all of its norms and we don't check if it actually is coherent. We don't check, is this the way of Jesus? Is this a coherent way of living?

Can this be repeated? Does this apply to the rich and the poor? Does this apply to the marginalized? So where I'm from, it's a really progressive kind of ideology that sweeps through our town. And so people just adopt it because they live here. And so it's challenging that. Like, wait, wait, wait. Is that coherent with the way of Jesus?

The same thing happens in very conservative areas. Like you adopted that probably because where you live is a match up in line with the philosophy of Jesus, like the way of living that Jesus teaches us to live. Yeah, it's so good.

I just posted on Facebook Live for everybody a link to the Vision series at reality's website, And in this particular one, and when you started the series, you were referencing Mark 8, 34 through 37, which says the following and calling the crowd to him with his disciples. He said to them, if anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it. But whoever loses his life for my sake and the Gospels will save it. For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? For what can a man give in return for his soul?

That sounds once I was listening to the message when you said this, I was like, OK. Yeah, I'm totally with you. That sounds like Jesus is offering us the philosophy of life. And oftentimes people wouldn't associate Jesus with being a philosopher. Yet that's what he was, wasn't he?

Yes. And this is where Jesus was a rabbi, for sure. But he lived in a world in a world steeped in philosophy.

So actually, we have Jonathan Pennington, who is a scholar, I think, out of Kentucky. He has a book called Jesus, the Great Philosopher. And the opening of his book talks about how we've uncovered a first century church that has a mural, like a mural of Jesus, almost perfectly preserved, a mural of Jesus from the first century of him in a philosopher's haircut, a philosopher's cloak. And because he gave us a way of living, philosophers would give us a way of living and then they would live out their way of living.

And most philosophers wouldn't even write like their disciples would write about their life and their teachings because they embodied them. And Jesus comes into the stream perfectly and it's like, I'm going to give you a way of living. A lot of people come to Jesus thinking that he's just a savior. And I'm not taking anything away from that because he is the savior. He is the Lord. But we don't take him as like teaching us how to live. And teaching us how to live a good life, like a flourishing life. We don't think of Jesus like that. We think of Jesus as a savior figure who saves from our sin so we don't go to hell.

But we don't go. But, you know, he's a philosopher in that if you read Matthew, it's broken up in sections of teaching you how to live. And then he uses what philosophers would use and he would use he would turn phrases on their head and he would he would show you the like the consequences of living this way. So you have to think like the the the last shall be first and the first shall be last. And those are basically like the fate of your life if you live this way. This is what philosophers do all the time. And so Jesus taught like this all like where your treasure is. I mean, this is literally me right now currently.

And this is a live show so I can say this because this is going to be recorded and posted in tweets. As of right now, banks are shutting down in San Francisco as you know this. Yeah, banks like my bank, the bank I use is like threatening being threatened. This morning I woke up to like, oh my gosh, is my bank going to shut down?

It's like lost 80 percent of its value today. And I've been meditating on this since last week. Jesus is teaching where your treasure is that your heart be also. Don't store up your treasure on earth where the markets, where the like where banks can foreclose, where moth and rust destroy.

And it's just that he said, this is the and again, this is what it's a way of living. Live your life in such a way. That your true treasure is placed in the kingdom of God. And then where when if your treasure is there, then your heart's there. So far, my treasure is in my bank and it collapses. My heart's there.

My heart's going to get crushed. Yeah, that's right. So this is this. So Jesus was a philosopher.

And I and I think, you know, when he's teaching here in Mark eight, Mark eight, this is what he's doing. He's he's he's saying you can mislive. You can gain everything. And and then lose it all. You can you can gain the whole world and lose your soul. Again, these are the these are the like flushes to call this the the like the fate, the fate of your life. You can gain the world. And the the end fate is you've lost your soul. Meaning anything you can mislive. So he's like, I want to make sure you don't mislive. And this is how you live.

So you don't miss it. Yeah. And I think for all of us, for the majority of this audience, me being 57, we're in that in the second half of life.

And we might have mislived the first half to a certain extent. Let's make sure we don't do that with what the Lord has for us left to do. We'll talk about that with Pastor Dave Lomas from Reality San Francisco, We'll be right back. Is your studio in a studio or is it your house?

Studio, not my house, separate studio. Which means I brought some of my Star Wars stuff here. Welcome back, everybody. It's Steve Noble on The Steve Noble Show with Pastor Dave Lomas, Reality San Francisco. You heard that right. We've got a pastor on the show from San Francisco. And we were talking about this earlier, Dave, how people from my neck of the woods and in my clan out here, which is very, very conservative. When we say San Francisco, they're just there's almost nothing positive is going to come out of dropping that phrase into a conversation.

And everybody's going to kind of think along the same lines. Let me just take a sidebar here for a second. Why are you in San Francisco? Oh, I mean, the simple answer is that God called me, called my wife and I here to San Francisco in 2008. So from a prayer meeting, God, a prophetic call to come here.

And that's the short answer. We grew up in central California, so we would drive to L.A. and San Francisco a lot. And so and so we had come up here, you know, growing up and stuff like that.

But, yeah, really felt cold here. And then that unfolded to planting a church here and then that unfolded to making a life here and trying with our lives to. See the kingdom of God and be a part of the kingdom of God breaking into the city. And it's interesting to note in most people, again, in my context, if I ask you the question, what's the toughest thing about the most challenging thing about pastoring in San Francisco?

Most of the people in my neck of the woods are going to think, quote unquote, culturally or politically. But one of the things and you mentioned this in the last of these three messages, which I put the links up, everybody. There's no way we can plumb all the depths of everything that God has spoken through Dave in this series at the beginning of the year, the Vision series. So I've got the links up.

I would highly encourage you to go listen to it for yourself. But the fact that you lose what, four to six hundred people every year at Reality SF because people and I love this whole notion of are you a miner or are you a farmer? This is a town and a part of the country that was birthed out of the gold rush.

That's why they call it the San Francisco 49ers in 1849. But that's amazing to me that that there's that many people coming and going, even just in your church. Yeah.

The turnover transients. I mean, whatever you want to call it happens. And it's been a part of our church since the very beginning. So you have to grow by like 30, 40 percent every year to stay the same. Not that we're church growth church at all. Like we don't like try to grow. Yeah.

Actually, we're going to shrink. But. But yeah, it just it's crazy. So we had to embrace that. So there's two things that we have embraced the same time.

We've embraced this like notion that you come to San Francisco and you treat San Francisco like a a minor M-I-N-E-R would and has that minor spirit is still the spirit of San Francisco. You come extract the gold, extract the resources, extract the wealth and you peace out. You leave and sometimes you leave the city way worse than you found it. Like miners often did depleting the land.

And that's it. Hoping that people move here to see themselves as farmers and farmers have to treat the land differently than miners do because their kids depend on them cultivating the land. So they have land to to steward when they get older and the next generation and the next generation.

So at one at one side, we like come here as like a farmer to plant and to nurture and to be like fruitful. And then also we see ourselves as ascending church because we literally send out people like all over the world all the time. People move to Singapore. They move to Florida. They move to New York.

They move everywhere. And we I almost pray for and bless someone almost every Sunday. That's just really moving.

And and so we get to see that. So I do a lot of work with pastors as well and equipping training, helping pastors. And it's really cool when I meet a pastor, it's like we've got a couple from your church and they're like there. I'm just thank you. Thank you for them.

Thank you for what you invested in them. And they're leading a prayer ministry. I just met someone last week.

I got the lead in our ministry and they're incredible. And like that's like the my favorite thing to hear is like one of the ways that we think about it is what kind of people are we exporting? I mean, that's a really crass way of thinking about saying it. But it's a really good way to think about what kind of disciples are we sending out into the world? What kind of what kind of people are we exporting into the world? Which led us down this whole way of thinking years ago of like, who are we helping people to become?

And that sort of sort of thing. So, you know, you unpack that a lot in the second in the second message in the series is you're becoming someone. Who are you becoming? And all these choices, all the things we've chosen to focus on, which obviously has context in terms of worship that we're becoming someone.

Do you like the person that you've become or that you're becoming? And that's why I like in a city like San Francisco. And this was I wanted to ask you real briefly about having your logo design, which is really a funny story. But that that the things there at reality practices of presence, which is prayer, scripture, Sabbath and fasting, and the practices of participation, hospitality, generosity, community and vocation.

I would imagine I'm in the Bible Belt, man. It doesn't seem like that stuff is a life support system. But if I'm living out in a city like San Francisco, it seems like that has to be the essence, which also is why the logo is even while it's right here on the TV. It's it's so simple.

Yeah, it's so accurate. Yeah. So I'll start with the logo story and then work out to the practices. So, yeah, we had a very famous designer who designs all sorts of like logos that everyone knows really well. A world famous designer. And he's a Christian and he knows about our church and lives in New York.

And a friend of a friend connected us. He's like, I would love to do the logo. And then he gave us a masterclass of like, hey, listen, logos are super simple. Think of any logo, the checkmark of Nike, the McDonald's arches, all of them are so simple that you would think like who got paid to design that.

It is so he goes, that's that that's usually. And so he's like, so he showed us the logo that that's on the screen behind you. And I remember thinking.

Who are we paying him to design this? And and then explains it. And he explains basically the heart behind our church in the logo. And it was just so clear.

It was so insane. And and so it's like this is this is genius. And so in that there on the logo has these like four corners that point in and four corners that point out that talk about this movement that we have as a church, this inward movement of like the formation of the soul and this outward movement of like participation with God in the renewal of all things. But then also this kind of holds the practices. And so, like you said, in our context, the the practices that we've come up with over like nine years of thinking about this, we've kind of backed into a rule of life. So one of my mentors, who's a very well-known writer, Christian author, that sort of thing. A mentor of mine said I asked him years ago, like nine years ago, I would love to have our church live under a rule like a rule from the word mean trellis, like a way that people grow in Christ and are fruitful.

Think of a vine and a trellis. That's literally what a rule was. Yeah, John 15. Exactly. So he's like, you don't discover, you don't make a rule, you discover it. It's like AA was discovered.

It wasn't like we're going to make a thing for sobriety. There's people that got sober and then they came up with the steps after it was discovery. So going along journeys, we went on like a nine, eight, nine year journey of like discovering. What is it that how we orient our lives to practice the way of Jesus that would bring about flourishing and Christ's likeness in our in our context? And so we came up with those eight prayer. This this is this is morning prayer. This is the prayer of examine. This is participatory prayer. This is intercessory prayer.

This is all like just a prayer life, having a robust prayer life. And then scripture. This is a biblical literacy. This is a devotion to scripture of like learning its story. And then Sabbath rest is so important in a city like San Francisco because nobody knows that a rest and fasting, which is really important to that, that like shapes the body and shapes the mind around like obeying the spirit versus always obeying our bodies. And then hospitality. And these are participation, generosity, community, vocation. I can I don't have to get into all of them. But anyways, we found that these are ones what's given our lives to them.

Yeah. Become like Jesus in a city like this and really hold the way of Jesus like central for follow Jesus in San Francisco. I think it's so important to remember for all of us. And you talk about this as well in the final message that you did.

Then you had a guest and did the fourth message. But talking about when you're in Jeremiah 29 and being in Babylon and a lot of people tend to think of San Francisco as Babylon and the rest of the country isn't quite there yet. But but I think the whole stinking country is Babylon. And in Jeremiah 29, God's not calling the exiles to change Babylon.

He's calling them to bless Babylon and live in there for a certain period of time. They 70 years were out. And I think it's a great lesson for all of us that I want to spend the third segment talking about, because the one thing I know you can't do in San Francisco is change politics. There's just not enough people there.

You just can't do anything about it. I think the country is moving in that direction quickly. And so besides, quote unquote, saving America, which was never the deal in the first place, that's the thing I love about the practices of presence and the practices of participation, is that helps you become who Christ would want you to become.

I will make you, he said, fishers of men. There's a lot in there. And then take talking about place. Most of us don't think about this at all, like living in a city versus the suburbs or just thinking about your Jerusalem, where you happen to inhabit city or suburb. Do you really live in terms of a place?

Are you thinking like that? We're talking to Pastor Dave Lomas from Reality San Francisco. We'll be right back.

Welcome back at Steve Noble, The Steve Noble Show, the pain of a heartbreak. Well, I don't want to experience that on my deathbed when I get to that point, whatever it is. Whenever it is, I want to be able to look back and say, I believe I lived, I had a life that was well lived. I think I pursued what God had for me and I became the person he wanted me to become. And that's a lifelong process from the moment you actually become a Christian to the moment you get to go home to heaven. And then that's why this series from Dave Lomas at Reality San Francisco was so impactful for me personally, even though I feel like I spend the most of my time doing things that quote unquote really matter from a kingdom perspective. That's not all that I do.

So what do I do with the rest of my time? And so I think it's good. And that's why I appreciate you being here, Dave, for all of us to kind of think philosophically about our lives as Christians and who would God have me to become? And then, by the way, you mentioned earlier Jesus, the great philosopher, rediscovering the wisdom needed for a good life by Jonathan Pennington.

I ordered that book yesterday. So good. I was going to say, one of the things I appreciate about your teaching is you're not afraid to come at it from the deep end of the pool and a kind of a philosophical look at scripture and how do we apply that to our lives. So it's really been a blessing to get to know you from afar and to benefit from your preaching like our son has for so many years. But thank you again for your time today.

Really means a lot to me. All right. So let's talk about something else. This was another one of the quotes that you used.

There's so many good ones. This is from David Jansen. The 20th century will be remembered as an age of wondrous creativity when Americans voluntarily shattered their lives into distant and dissonant fragments. America's industries learned how to assemble atomic bombs, airplanes, iPads and the genetic codes of life itself in the same era that American society disassembled the ancient overlap of family, food, faith and the field of work. Americans reached for the stars as they withered their roots and inhabited space, but lost any sense of place. And so place in this in this sense, in terms of your series, the Vision series at RealitySF was a city. And you mentioned this. And again, we're talking specifically about your city, which is San Francisco, where you on a yearly basis lose anywhere from 400 to 600 people at the church because people come there as miners.

M-I-N-E-R-S, as you said earlier, Dave, to dig and to take and to leave. They don't come there as farmers. And then, you know, I'm sitting there going, OK, well, I don't live in San Francisco.

I don't live in the big city. But city has an interesting place in scripture. Oh, yeah. Yeah, I think that sermon I pulled from Jeremiah 29. We know Jeremiah 29 from like the thoughts that I have for you.

It's good. And but it goes on to talk about how I mean, it's really hard to understand the context of Israel and Babylon when Babylon has completely destroyed your city. I mean, if you think about that, imagine some other city or some other nation that we would cringe that they would come and destroy it. And then and then pull out the best and the brightest after they've just killed off so many people and move them to their country to make them, you know, to assimilate them and then eventually pull a bunch of other people into their into their nation. And their hope was what when they went to exile in Babylon, Babylon wanted them to become Babylonians, just, you know, become like us. And and there was prophets. If you've read Jeremiah, I'm sure a lot of listeners have. There's prophets saying we need to we need to get out. We need to get out of the city.

And so we preserve our way of living. And Jeremiah is like, all those prophets are false prophets. Here's what the Lord says. And then it goes into that that that really, really beautiful and important passage about how I want you to stay there. I want you to stay. I want you to build houses. I want you to settle down on your plant gardens on you to eat.

I want you to marry to have sons and daughters. And then it says, I want you to seek the peace and the prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. So it's like God did this.

So I use this and I think this is such an important text of scripture, because what was what's happening here is. Israel, the Hebrew people were not trying to make Babylon into the New Jerusalem. They weren't trying to completely change Babylon. So it became a place that looked like Jerusalem. They were trying inside of it to bless it and then to form their own souls. And God was forming them as a people.

This is where we know from history. This is where the first like synagogue happened is was in Babylon, where you would walk and you would live in community. And then the rootedness of of the Jewish people all came out of exile. Like the scriptures, all the scriptures that we have from the Hebrew Bible came out of this exile in Babylon.

They were finally able to write it down. So so much of who they were as a people were defined in a city like this. I think that's something to to learn about and to think about when we think of places like San Francisco or New York or wherever. But being like a godless place that needs to be wiped off the map, like think about how like the opportunity to become the kind of people in these places, very secular places, become the kind of people that that that that are formed in a way that you're becoming the people of God in this really secular place. So I think that's the invitation for our church. I think that's what I love about doing ministry San Francisco. We can do that. We can do that and be so different from but still love and bless our city, but be create in the city like a kingdom of priests. So all this like first Peter language, like we could become that in our city. There's such a great opportunity to do that. So I think it's I think it's I think it's vital to live in cities that Christians live in cities. I think this is really important.

If you have if your child says, I'm moving to San Francisco, we should be celebrating that. Right. Unlike some of the folks that we told about that a couple of years ago. Well, as I was working my way through this, this part of the series that you did, Dave, we're talking to Dave Lomas, senior pastor at reality, San Francisco, reality s f dot com, and I've got the direct link up to the series.

You should go listen or watch it yourself. You know, I thought about you were leaning into the suburban mindset a little bit, and I just made me look around my neighborhood. Listen, every house in my neighborhood has about an hour as about an acre.

Now, I don't know how many people can live on an acre in San Francisco, but it's a lot more than the four or five that occupy my house in any given time. Yeah. In suburbs, we individualize, we separate, we protect ourselves, we have our boundaries. In a city like when we spent six days in San Francisco recently for Hayden's wedding, everybody's on top of everybody, which interestingly enough, isn't that our destination anyway?

Yeah. I mean, I'm sure everyone knows this, the Bible begins in a garden, it ends in a city. I think that people who live in the city can live in the future now. Absolutely, it's imperfect, but we get to work out the context of which the future is. The future will be very, very urban, for lack of a better word, and we could help bring about through the power of the Spirit, the redemption and the context of what the future will be. I think when God gave John that particular vision of a city in Revelation, I think we're tempted to overlook the reality that redemption, the context of our redemption is the city. Think about that, the context of our future redemption is a city, and context matters, it matters a lot. I think there's a really unique call to cities in Scripture and the redemption of it. Cities were never God's idea. We learn from Genesis that cities were created out of sin, and even in Babylon, a desire to make a name for themselves and to put up a God in its own image. Then God's like, we have to take this down because anything they do, they can do anything with new technology, brick and mortar. We get the same language in Exodus when Hebrew people were being oppressed. They had to use brick and mortar to build whatever they were building. We're not told with the storehouses, but it could be like the Tower of Babel again.

This is a little hyperlink. Egypt's trying to set themselves up as a new God or as the God of gods. It has a really horrible history, but what God does is He takes things that have their origin and sin and He redeems them.

This is what the beautiful thing is. The Bible starts in the garden, humanity creates cities, and then God redeems the city and then ultimately makes the new heavens and the earth a city, a new Jerusalem. I think that even the idea of a sinful city like all of our cities in America, these can be the context of our redemption. God can take things that were meant for evil and turn them in for good. That's why I live here.

That's my hope. Yeah, and I think we can all, to a certain extent, a lot of people, a lot of Christians in America today, the Amish way of life is looking increasingly more attractive to just pull out, to get away, to segregate, and to avoid, quote unquote, the city. But we see God integrally involved in the city, and it's a great opportunity for us.

And even just to think in terms of a place, when you go back to that Jeremiah passage, it's really pretty pregnant with meaning. Build houses and live in them. Plant gardens and eat their produce. Take wives and have sons and daughters. Take wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage. Multiply there and do not decrease, but seek the welfare of the city where I've sent you into exile. And pray to the Lord on its behalf, for in its welfare, you will find your welfare.

And that's my challenge to all of us. Are we looking at the redemption of America in all the wrong ways? When you think about the redemption of America, do you think about the White House? Do you think about Congress? Or do you think about individuals?

Do you think about people made in the image of God? And that's one of the things that I've loved about this series. Dave, we're up against the end of the show, but let's do this again. I so appreciate the way you think and the way you lead and the way you preach. I hope we can do it again. Yeah, thank you so much, Steve, for having me on.

This is so fun. You're very welcome. Stay right there. We're going to pray together. Everybody, thank you so much for your time. I've got the links up on Facebook Live. This is Steve Noble on The Steve Noble Show. God willing, I'll talk to you again real soon. And like my dad always used to say, ever forward.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-16 01:31:16 / 2023-03-16 01:47:24 / 16

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