Archive for April, 2011

h1

Speak to the Nations…

April 7, 2011

Our calling and God’s comfort.

Jeremiah 1:1-10

God never gives one a task, without also providing the means to complete the task.  Jeremiah was faced with an immense vocation.  He was called to proclaim truth to a wayward, disinterested, sinful and even hostile generation.  It is telling and should be encouraging that God never fails to raise up the weak to confront the strong.  The pattern in scripture is clear: Abraham was impotent, Moses was inadequate in speech, David was an adulterer, Paul was a murderer, and Timothy was young and inexperienced.  Each man struggled with his calling and in weakness doubted God’s ability and even His wisdom at the outset of their call.  But despite these weaknesses, God was faithful once the work was begun to complete that work manifesting an even greater glory through their weakness.

What comfort this passage conveys through God’s sovereignty on display.  Jeremiah was told that the task to which he was appointed was consecrated long before he was born.  God knew him, knew what he would face, and knew what his limitations would be, and called him anyway.   This passage is a testament to the purposeful grace of God.

Jeremiah protests that he is but a youth, that he does not know how to speak.  Yet with a single word and an outstretched hand God removed his doubt.  “Behold I have put my words into your mouth, see that I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms.”  And like Isaiah before him, Jeremiah was made clean and his mouth was opened.  God chose the man, the mission and the message.  The words in Jeremiah’s mouth were not his own, but were placed there by God; with this knowledge how could he not preach to the nations.

We must realize that each of us in Christ has been formed with a purpose.  We have been given God’s word, it is implanted in us and written on our hearts.  His Word brings the sword, divides families and confronts cities, it “plucks up” and “breaks down.”  But it also “builds” and “plants;” (vs10) it never returns void and if received meekly, it will save souls. (James 1:21)

With the knowledge of my calling, and the message given me, the question pounding in my heart and mind is;  How can I not preach the gospel with confidence?  For even in the face of opposition, God’s words are a comfort, “Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you…” (vs8) It is my prayer that God’s hand, outstretched toward my weak heart, contains more grace than judgment; so that my mouth may be made clean.  So that I too may speak to the nations.

h1

From Whence Comes Our Confidence?…

April 4, 2011

From whence does our confidence in ministry come?

God in His infinite wisdom has made us mortal.  We will seek, serve, secure, and be saved, only to die.  The greatest priests, preachers, evangelists and prophets are made to serve but a while; then the bloom fades, the flower withers and the ground on which they preached remembers them no more.

It is tempting to place your hope in that long chain of witness, whose humble starts were in upper rooms and arid wilderness.  The priests of Israel and the Apostles of Christ were, after-all, commissioned by God; the priests to practice atonement and the apostles to proclaim that atonement perfected.  When we take pride in those testimonies and works, in the faithful service of such men, and the glory of our own obedience, God reminds us that we were predated in plan, purpose and providence.  Before the Apostles there were the priests; before the priests there was Aaron; before Aaron there was Abram (Abraham); but before Abram there was Melchizedek.  (The “king of righteousness, ” the lord of Salem (peace) who worshiped and served the Lord Most High.)  If Abram had been tempted to think that the God of his calling was in his head, or his own creation; he arrives in Canaan to find a priest of his God.  A priest of an order, pre-Jewish, Pre- Christian, serving the pre-existent God.  The writer of Hebrews gives the most encouraging word for those disenchanted and dismayed with the weakness of human priestly service.  “For the Law appoints men in their weakness as high priests, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect forever.” (Heb 7:28)

The Law does what it does, it illumines the weakness of man, and guides him in his service to God. (Rom 7:7)  But thanks be to God that the object in which we place our trust is not the service of the weak, but the saving of the Son, who “always lives to make intercession for us.”  This guarantor of this new covenant, is not limited by time, not constrained by old covenants but has been, is and will be our  perfect sacrifice and savior.  So we go forth with confidence to enter the Holy places, albeit briefly, with confidence, rooted in “the blood of Christ, the new and living way.” (Heb 10:19)

 

h1

Some Meditations on Scripture…

April 4, 2011

Periodically I post some thoughts on Scripture.  This blog is devoted to that Word, which God asks that we receive with meekness, that it might save our souls.  So it is with meekness and reverence that I approach the text and ask for it to speak, salvation, surety, and profound truth into my life.  The Word is the greatest purest vehicle for the demonstration and pronouncement of God’s eternal glory.  So if we are to delight ourselves in Him, let us do it through His gift of revelation, which never ceases to reveal, pierce and secure.

It is my prayer that these posts will point you to that gift, and encourage you find joy in its receipt.  Posts to follow.

First up: Our confidence in Ministry, Hebrews 7.

Next: Speak to the Nations…