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DO NOT BE AFRAID TO SPEAK (CAPTIONED)

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Sermon text, JEREMIAH 1:4-10, taken from the HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION Let us rise for this morning's sermon text recorded for us by the prophet Jeremiah, where we read from Chapter 1, beginning with Verse 4: THE WORD OF THE LORD CAME TO ME, SAYING, "BEFORE I FORMED YOU IN THE WOMB I KNEW YOU, BEFORE YOU WERE BORN I SET YOU APART; I APPOINTED YOU AS A PROPHET TO THE NATIONS." "AH, SOVEREIGN LORD," I SAID, "I DO NOT KNOW HOW TO SPEAK; I AM ONLY A CHILD." BUT THE LORD SAID TO ME, "DO NOT SAY, 'I AM ONLY A CHILD.' YOU MUST GO TO EVERYONE I SEND YOU TO AND SAY WHATEVER I COMMAND YOU. DO NOT BE AFRAID OF THEM, FOR I AM WITH YOU AND WILL RESCUE YOU," DECLARES THE LORD. THEN THE LORD REACHED OUT HIS HAND AND TOUCHED MY MOUTH AND SAID TO ME, "NOW I HAVE PUT MY WORDS IN YOUR MOUTH. SEE, TODAY I APPOINT YOU OVER NATIONS AND KINGDOMS TO UPROOT AND TEAR DOWN, TO DESTROY AND OVERTHROW, TO BUILD AND TO PLANT." This is the Word of our Lord. Let us pray: Glorious and gracious God, may the words of my mouth and the meditation of each of our hearts be acceptable in Your sight our only source of hope and comfort. Amen. Pastor Dave motions for the congregation to be seated. Dear Followers of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ: The time in which Jeremiah lived, was certainly a time of turmoil for God's people. For God's children at that time, were suffering tremendously. We realize that throughout the Old Testament, God had called a people to be His own. Brought them up out of Egypt and placed them in a land that was filled with tremendous blessings, so that He could show them and lead them and also through them send His Messiah. God's people, when they got into that land filled with all of the blessings began to forget about God. When they came into that land, they didn't drive out all of those people who had vile worship practices. The heathen nations that were there... they let some of those remain. They even married with some of those. And year after year, their worship of the true God deteriorated. It became mixed with that of idols. We have the tribe in the northern part of Israel setting up a new worship center. Building golden calves to represent God and having the people come there to worship them. God came to them yet repeatedly with His prophets with His Word, to forsake the idols and to return to Him. The northern tribes didn't heed that warning. And God brought in the Assyrians and hauled them off ... never to be heard from again. Dispersed them away. Because they had turned from their true God and their worship of Him. And now we have a small group of God's people living in and around Jerusalem, who are falling into the same patterns of neglecting God. Putting their trust in the worldly kings and the worldly treasures for protection and for help. And Jeremiah, one day, receives the call from God. God comes to Jeremiah at this time of tremendous turmoil with the southern kingdom...all that was left of God's people. And God comes to the prophet Jeremiah and He says: Before you were created, I knew you. Before you were knit together in your mother's womb, I had set you apart. You are going to be the one to go to My people. To share with them the message that I have to send to you. Jeremiah should have taken great comfort in that fact. Should have been reassured that God was on his side and that God was with him. God who had created him. Set him apart for this very purpose had now called him to action ... to be the one to go to God's people. But maybe Jeremiah himself realized the people that he was to go to were not going to be receptive to all of God's will. They were just getting further and further away from God. Maybe he realized that his age was going to be a problem because that's what he brings up. He brings it up to God and he says: You know I'm only a child. I don't know how to speak well. And God said to him: Don't say, I am only a child. Realize, I have selected you. I will put My words into your mouth. I will be with you and I will rescue you. And maybe that should have been a warning for Jeremiah. That in his ministry he was going to need to be rescued. To date Jeremiah's ministry was not a pleasant one. His fellow brothers in the faith wanted him put to death for the messages that he proclaimed. He had a horrible time when he watched God's children being dragged off into the Babylonian captivity. And he lamented in anguish. The destruction of Jerusalem. The Holy City of God, destroyed to rubble. Maybe Jeremiah knew that his work was going to be difficult and hard and he said: I don't know how to speak. But God said to him: DON'T BE AFRAID! Don't be afraid because YOU ARE going to go. You're going to go to the places and the people that I send you to. And you are going to tell them the words that I have placed in your mouth. You need to realize this. That is why I created you. That is why I formed you to be the one to accomplish this work for me. And God reaches out and touches the mouth of Jeremiah and said: See, I put My words in your mouth. Now you are to go and share that message. And Jeremiah did. Jeremiah did what the LORD had asked of him. He had gone to God's people. He went to them repeatedly, with the threat of punishment for their unbelief. With the reminder of the Gospel that Messiah was still going to come. He did his building. He did his planting. He also did his uprooting and that was what was of most importance. Not, where he went, but actually what he said. And the same message is true for us today. We are fully aware that God has created us to be unique individuals. We've been reading about that in First Corinthians in our Epistle Lessons. How we are all wonderfully special and unique with different gifts created by God, for different kinds of service. Today we are reminded once again that not everyone is going to be a prophet, not everyone is going to be a teacher, not everyone is going to have the gift of administration. We all have different gifts, but yet we come together understanding the love of God. Because God IS love. And He has shown that love to us in His Son, Jesus Christ. And that is what brings us together. That is what bonds us together as the family of God here at Zion to go and to do. To go and to speak and to not be afraid. Not be afraid because God has created us to be exactly who we are with the gifts needed to carry out His work. And what a wonderful reminder that is and even though we are sinful human beings, He sent His Son to save us. To show us that love, that we are not perfect. We will NOT be perfect in this world, but He has come to cover our sin. He sent His Son to suffer tremendously; to die on the cross of Calvary in punishment and payment for MY sins because of HIS love for me. And He has called me to be His own. He has made me holy, setting me apart from the world and He has done the same thing for you. Called you to be His son. Called you to be His daughter. Called you out of the world to be set apart, for Him and for His purposes. And He has said: Now go out in your life. Yes. I have received a call from you as a congregation to come here and to lead you in worship. To carry out the ministry of the Gospel, to teach and support you in YOUR ministry of the Gospel. That's a wonderful gift. That is a wonderful thing that we practice Biblically in our synod ... the Divine Call. That you didn't hire me. That you didn't put out an ad saying: This is what we need in a pastor. And if you don't meet all of that criteria, don't even bother responding. You gathered together as the people of God and prayed. And the Holy Spirit led you to a decision. And you extended to me a call. And the Holy Spirit worked in my heart and in my life to come to you and to proclaim the Gospel. To come here with all of my imperfections; with all of the things that I CAN do, and all of the things that I can't do. To know that at this time God has said we are here working together with all of the things that YOU can do and all of the things that you can't do. And all too often we get in the mindset of Jeremiah saying: I'm too young. I can't talk. Maybe we're like Moses. Moses said: I have a stammering tongue. But the prophets of the Old Testament when faced with that great task ahead of them focused on their own insecurities ... their own shortcomings, instead of focusing on who it was that would make them unafraid. That it was the LORD who had called them. The LORD who would be with them. The LORD who would rescue them. And the same thing is true of us. When we put up barriers to going and doing God's Word, it's because usually our own insecurities are our own things that we think we can't do well and we don't want to stress ourselves. Instead of focusing on what God is going to do when He is with us and His strength and His power. So often we DO sit back and say: I don't know what to say. I wouldn't know what to do. God will TELL you what to do. God will put the words into your mouth. You trust in Him and His Holy Spirit from the message that He has taught you day after day and year after year as you have lived as one of His children. In the Word ... studying what God has said. Using all of those passages that have brought you comfort to comfort others. Using those passages that have reminded you of your own sinfulness. To go to those who are trapped in sin, who are struggling with sin. Reminding yourself of the passages wherein you find comfort in the forgiveness of God and going to those who need that same comfort of forgiveness. To do the work of God and to do it unafraid. That IS the high calling that we have. That is the WONDERFUL GIFT that God has given to us as His church. Which He reminds us in the Psalm for this morning. We take that so seriously; we share that with our children. With the next generation. We have such GREAT JOY in the knowledge of our salvation. We cannot help but share that with those who are living in pain and suffering outside of the Gospel message. It is Satan who wants us to be afraid. It is Satan who wants us to remain in one spot doing nothing. It is Satan who wants us to be silent and we need to realize that our God has been victorious over him. Through His resurrection on Easter Sunday morning, He silenced Satan and all of the critiques he could have against God. Jesus Himself has ascended to the right hand of God, sitting there on God's throne ruling over all authorities that have been placed under His feet. That IS OUR GOD! He IS MY LORD and MY Savior and ... What do I have to fear? I have no fear in Jesus Christ because His perfect love, drives out all my fears. And I trust in that. I rely on that. So I look at the world around me and say: God you have placed me here to go to them. You have created me and placed me at this exact time FOR YOUR PURPOSE. Use me for that, LORD. He will give each of us the words that we are to tell; the words that we are to say, whether they be words of Law, or words of Gospel; words that tear down or words that build up. It is the whole counsel of God that He has given to us. So I encourage you today: Do not be afraid, but go, and do what God has in store for you. Amen. Let us rise. Now may the peace of God which goes beyond all of our understanding, keep your hearts and your minds and especially your lives in the one true faith unto life everlasting. Amen.

Video Details

Duration: 17 minutes and 36 seconds
Country: United States
Language: English
Producer: R & M
Director: Jesus
Views: 104
Posted by: hischild on Feb 4, 2010

Just as God told Jeremiah in the Old Testament, it's the same with us today. We do not need to be afraid of sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ because the Holy Spirit will be with us and He will give us the words to say. Contact Pastor Dave @ www.ziontorrance.info

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