Pentecost 22 – Monday DevotionImage result for mark 16:15

Readings: Jeremiah 1:1-19 and Matthew 21:23-46

Jeremiah 1:4-8  Now the word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Then I said, “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth.” But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the Lord.”

 

“Sent By God”

Have you ever found yourself in a situation that, to you, felt impossible? It seemed like a no-win situation but, in the end, everything turned out for the good? When you reflect back on those times how much of God’s hand do you see guiding you through?

There are many ways people will explain away God’s action in their lives. Unfortunately, they are all human-based and, eventually, they will fail or be exposed for what they truly are. It is when we see God’s involvement and give Him the credit that we see true success.

God sends Jeremiah to speak His word.  Jeremiah declares himself but a youth. He was looking at his limitations instead of what God could do for, and through, him. God reminds Jeremiah, and each of us, that He has called us and appointed us for the work He sends us to do.

In the words of People’s Bible Commentary: “The Lord also has chosen each of us to be his own, even before our conception or births. At our baptisms he made that choice known to us. As we look to our baptism, we will find the same kind of promise, assurance, and anchor in the Lord as Jeremiah did by looking back to the promise given to him at his call.” (Gosdeck 1995)

Do not be afraid, for I am with you to deliver you. Have you taken the time to apply those words to your life? Have you thought that they were spoken to you and for you? You need not fear because God is with you. God has delivered you and He will continue to give you the words you need to speak to honor and glorify Him. When you are in an uncertain situation take a moment and pray. He has promised to give you the very words you need to speak through the power of the Holy Spirit!

The words God spoke to Jeremiah, Jesus also spoke to us.  In Matthew 28 and Mark 16 Jesus tells us to go to all nations, to go to all the world, and proclaim the Gospel.  God sends us with His words of forgiveness. He sends us to share the blood covered cross and the empty tomb. With whom do we share? Everyone. All nations. Every person we meet.

Maybe, as we do so, the fear begins to creep in again. What do we say? What if we offend them? As you read God’s Word do you realize how often people came up with excuses that He overcame?  How many people were offended by the Prophets? Or what about Jesus, Who was often found offending the religious leaders of the day by holding them to the Word of God? 

No, we do not go out of our way to offend. But we do go out of our way to proclaim God’s Word. We hold fast to that Word. We do not change that Word. And we can do so with a boldness and certainty that comes only because we know we are forgiven and sent with His Word. We also have His promise of deliverance.

Yesterday we celebrated All Saints Day. It reminds us of all the faithful witnesses who have gone before us. They stood on the Word of God. These same saints stand as witness to the truth of God’s Word and to our call to remain faithful to that Word, even to death. Do not be afraid. He is always with you.

 

PRAYER:  Father in heaven, You daily grace us with Your blessings. The greatest blessing of all is the forgiveness we have received in Your Son, Jesus. We pray that, as we live in that forgiveness, You would also give us the courage to speak the words You send to us that they might reach the ears for whom You intend them, through Jesus, our Savior. Amen.