I am going to start by simply providing Pastor Bill’s sermon:
Jeremiah 1:4-7, Then the word of the LORD came to me,
saying: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you;
before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a
prophet to the nations.” Then said I: “Ah, Lord GOD!
Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth.” But the LORD
said to me: “Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’ for you shall go to
all to whom I send you, and whatever I command you, you
Don’t you find Jeremiah’s response to God to be a little
humorous? Jeremiah thought he was too young to be a
prophet of God, but God told him that while he was being
formed in his mother’s womb, He had ordained him to be a
prophet. Now that’s young!
Did you know that God has given you the power to
overcome anything or anyone whom Satan might use
against you to prevent you from fulfilling God’s purpose for
your life? Doesn’t Paul teach us in Romans 8 that all things
work together for good to those who love God, to those
who are the called according to His purpose?
You may ask, “Where is this power, and how do I access
it so that I can move forward in my walk and purpose in
Christ?” Romans 12: 3 says that “God has given to every
man (person) the measure of faith”. With that faith, we
can stand on God’s Word and overcome our accuser when
he tries to stop us from obeying God’s will. God has also
given us His Spirit, who will empower us to obey… once we
choose to accept and fulfill God’s purpose on earth.
Look at young Jeremiah’s response to God when He
declared to him that he would be a prophet. “I cannot
speak for I am a youth.” It was as though Jeremiah didn’t
back at God with an anxious response. It would be the same
as one of us reading this word today, saying to God, “I can’t
do what you’ve called me to do for you on earth because I’m
___________. Fill in the blank with your excuse.
We must understand that our faith has given us power
over the Devil, our past sins, and changed our eternal
destination, all because we chose to trust in Jesus as our
Savior. If our faith in Christ has done all these things for
us thus far as children of God, don’t you also think that our
faith in God’s Word can empower us to be successful in our
purpose as well?
It’s true that all have sinned and fallen short of God’s
glory, but it’s also true that God looked through the blood
of Christ and saw our need more than our faults, and for
His sake, He forgave us. When we place faith in Christ,
it becomes the great equalizer. Our faith in Christ and
God’s Word makes us acceptable and worthy to serve and
represent God in the earth. You can do all things through
Christ because it is He who gives you the strength.
Grace is given to all who place their faith in Jesus as
God’s only begotten Son. Grace gives us the power to
do successfully what was impossible to do before grace
was granted. Therefore, we don’t have to measure up to
someone’s standards in order to carryout God’s will in our
lives. All we must do is have faith in God, humble ourselves
as Jeremiah had to do, and accept the plan that God has for
us with thanksgiving. A thousand mile journey begins with
the first step. If you’re not serving God according to His
divine purpose because________, then you can begin today.
Just be willing, and He’ll be there to help you succeed.
I really love the way Bill writes, he thinks, he presents his case. When Bill talks, he doesn’t tell you all the ways you are going to Hell or spew brimstone and fire. That would be like telling a child all the things they are doing wrong without guidance on how to do them right. Bill focuses his energies on trying to teach the values of God, the way to be a servant to God using positive reinforcement. Encouraging and guiding with love and kindness.
Changing paths, I find it interesting that I wrote this on my Facebook status the other day and had not read the sermon until now:
I will accept you. Tall, short. Thin, fat. Happy, sad. Giving, taking. Wealthy, poor. I will accept you. Crazy, sane. Loving, hating. Hungry, full. I will accept you. But will you accept me? God made you in his image. His image is all of you. He asks for kindness, consideration, respect of your body, mind and spirit for that is what he used when he created you. When we are not accepted we hurt. When you forget what God gave you he hurts. We are all connected.
Jeremiah was the prophet in God’s time, right? No. Jeremiah was a prophet in his time, but everyday including today is God’s time. He was born in the image of God and so are you. God cast your spirit into a special mold and ordained you to be who you are as long as you are carrying His words in your daily actions. If you allow life, the struggles, those negative beings who have cast God’s love aside, to alter your presence than you have turned your back on the greatest gift God has given you – YOU!
There are days, weeks, months even years that weigh you down as though a freight train is sitting on you head. I get that. I am, personally, in one of those places, but I’ll still hold God at his word and believe he will carry me through. Some days are harder than others, and right now I am fighting with some of those weeks, but I know that I have God, I have Bill, and I have all the love of friends and family waiting for me as I am ready to accept.
My son asked me why I seemed sad the other day, and I could only say, “Some days are easier than others.” I wonder if Jesus, Jeremiah, Mary and Joseph, … have ever felt that way? Some days are easier than others. I think about how so many came to hate Jesus though he was born in the purest image of God. I think about how Mary was shunned and ridiculed though she was given the most purest gift from God. And how they made it through those dark days, and times. All they had was each other and their God, my God, the one I share with them, in making and in belief. I wonder and ask because I need courage and strength some days to just walk out my front door. And in the belief that they were able to fight a more difficult battle, in seeing the joy of my children, as Mary saw the joy of Jesus as a child, that I too can make it through these days.
I am born into the image of God, and in me he holds the key to the spirit of my life. If I allow those who have no faith, no kindness, no consideration, to take it away than I am disrespecting God. Though I do believe God is kind, forgiving, loving, patient, understanding, and I know that when I cast doubt (not of God) of my ability to shake off the hurt and feed into the negativity around me by action or reaction that in the end God will not falter in his hand in my life. He’ll bring me back home and hold me tenderly for He is my purest of Father.
He made me.