This year I’ve been doing something new in my devotional reading. I’m spending the whole year in the book of Jeremiah. Since there are 52 chapters in the book, I’m focusing attention on one chapter a week (it’s chapter 31 this week).
This has been a way more encouraging study than I expected. Since Jeremiah is known as the “weeping prophet,” I wasn’t exactly expecting all smiles and sunshine. However, I was anticipating learning from a man who showed as much courage and tenacity as almost anyone in Scripture.
Jeremiah not only served God faithfully for over forty years, he lived through the darkest days of Israel’s history. He was in Jerusalem during the horrific siege, capture and decimation of city by the Babylonian armies. On top of all this, his own countrymen treated him worse than the Babylonians: they resisted, ridiculed, attacked and imprisoned him.
Jeremiah’s life and his writings are impacting me powerfully. I’m coming to know God in a deeper way. I’m learning lessons about ministry faithfulness in difficult times.
I’ll pass along some of what God is teaching me through Jeremiah in this blog. Occasionally, I’ll post an insight from Jeremiah’s book that has been especially challenging or comforting.
Jeremiah’s book begins with the story of his calling to ministry. While the specifics are unique to him, there are elements of his calling that echo into our stories. For example, Jeremiah is a testimony to the truth that God’s plans for our lives are put into play before we are born. He sovereignly positions and prepares us to fit in to His larger purposes. He did that for Jeremiah. He does that for us as well.
At the national conference for the Associated Gospel Churches (AGC) this past June, I spoke about the lessons we can learn from Jeremiah’s calling. Here’s the outline of the message that brings out the main ideas:
God’s call to ministry shows the sovereignty of His control (verses 1-8)
- Over our family of origin
- Over our genetic make up
- Over our time and place in history
- Over our inadequacies and inexperience
God’s call to ministry requires faithfulness to His Word (verses 9-16)
- faithfulness involves an accurate understanding of God’s Word
- faithfulness involves a courageous communication of God’s Word
God’s call to ministry includes a promise of His support (verses 17-19)
You can listen the sermon below. Watch for future posts that come out of my “Year with Jeremiah.”
If you sense God may be calling you to vocational ministry, get in touch with us at Heritage!