Lessons learned from the prophet Jeremiah.
Last month, I outlined 3 lessons I had seen from the study of the prophet Jeremiah.
1. Godly service isn't easy. 2. Godly service actually get harder not easier. 3. Despite points 1. and 2. we are able to mature in godliness as our life of godly service grows.
I have thoroughly enjoyed and been blessed while studying Jeremiah's life and prophetic ministry over the past month. I thought it appropriate then to share some of the truths and insight into this inspirational bible character with my readers.
SO. here goes...
1. Despite the wickedness we see in this world and the ever increasing sinfulness pervading it...
God is still on the throne
God is Judge over all and WILL eventually pay the nations the wages earned from their sin.
"No nation can despise God's law and defy His rule without suffering for it. The prophecy of Jeremiah teaches that very clearly." W.W.Wiersbe
2. Despite God's servants (past, present and future) hesitating in answering His call on their lives, people like Jeremiah, who surrender to His call on their lives CAN impact history by pointing nations to God's Word.
3. Despite the pull of the world to attempt to hoodwink us with it's damaging 'relative truth' lie, Christians MUST take a stand for the truth contained in God's Word amidst fierce opposition.
4. If you choose to fully surrender to His call on your life and stand on His truth, you must remain DECISIVE to do so without wavering in your resolve.
"As never before, our homes, churches, cities and nations need decisive leaders who will obey the Word of God.
The politician asks 'Is it popular?'; The diplomat asks 'Is it safe?' But the true leader asks 'Is it God's will?' 'Is it right?'" W.W.Wiersbe
Jeremiah was a man who obeyed God's call despite the difficulties that would ensue as a result. He battled doubt like the rest of us but role modeled the best way to handle his emotions. Whenever he wanted to give up, He went to the Lord. He worshiped first and offered up his worries afterwards. By presenting this pattern of prayer, he demonstrated to us that when we do the same, our problems are dwarfed by God's greatness and our faith can rise in spite of our obstacles and concerns. He pressed into God rather than people. He quickly realised that God was unchanging and faithful, people are not. He knew that to be a God -pleaser who seeks after righteousness is the only way and that people pleasing and idolatry will only lead to ruin.
Jeremiah regularly demonstrated what the Lord was telling him to convey to the people in a number of action sermons.
One of my favourite action sermons and perhaps the most powerful one which showed Jeremiah's great faith can be found in Jeremiah 32. In this chapter, Jeremiah is in the court prison. We read that God told him to purchase a piece of land. It was a completely illogical request. Jeremiah was in essence, buying a piece of the battlefield in a land that he knew would be taken over by their enemies. It was Jeremiah himself who had been spreading this message from the Lord for years so he knew it would come to pass! He also knew he may never get to dwell in and enjoy this land God directed him to buy as his people would be captured and taken to Babylon for 70 years!
While reading this story and how the events unfold, you see Jeremiah was essentially 'putting his money where his mouth is'. The bible says that "Faith without works is dead"(James 2:26) and Jeremiah was showing he believed in God and His promises and trusted Him with the results.
I love this ... "Faith is not believing in spite of evidence but obeying in spite of consequence."
This business transaction wasn't carried out only between Jeremiah's cousin and himself but before many witnesses. Word would have quickly spread that Jeremiah had done another crazy thing! The king and the people already thought him to be nuts! But Jeremiah obeyed God despite what others may have thought and said, despite how he would have been viewed, despite how strange God's directive might have been. We read that Jeremiah acted out of faith first, then went to the Lord in worship and lastly turned his concerns to Him. God met Jeremiah's needs and confirmed to him he did what was right. "Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God."(Romans 10:17) The Lord reassured Jeremiah that "fields would again be bought in this land." (Jer. 32:43)
Isn't this story a good lesson to all of us? We may be ridiculed for standing on God's truth and faithfully walking in His ways, but God knows and sees and WILL vindicate us in His way and timing. The life of godly service isn't easy, but it is and will certainly be worth it!