Jeremiah 1:17 (NLT)
17“Get up and get dressed. Go out, and tell them whatever I tell you to say. Do not be afraid of them, or I will make you look foolish in front of them.
Jeremiah 2:11-13 (NLT)
11 …my people have exchanged their glorious God for worthless idols! 12The heavens are shocked at such a thing and shrink back in horror and dismay, says the LORD. 13For my people have done two evil things: They have forsaken me—the fountain of living water. And they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns that can hold no water at all!
Jeremiah 2:25 (NLT)
25Why do you refuse to turn from all this running after other gods? But you say, ‘Don’t waste your breath. I have fallen in love with these foreign gods, and I can’t stop loving them now!’
Jeremiah 2:33 (NLT)
33“How you plot and scheme to win your lovers. The most experienced prostitute could learn from you!
John 10:10b (NLT)
10My purpose is to give life in all its fullness.
John 10:13 (NLT)
13The hired hand runs away because he is merely hired and has no real concern for the sheep.
Hmmm… several observations are going through my head right now. Where do I start? I’ve used some of the texts above when I’ve preached. In fact, they have been right on my favorite themes in the last few years. Interesting. I’ve linked them together, but it is cool that the reading assignment links them together too.
But first, the call for Jeremiah to tell the truth is powerful God tells him to say what he hears and sees and that God will take care of everything. Jeremiah isn’t to mince words, or be afraid — he is supposed to just say it. If he doesn’t, God will make him look foolish.
I find it interesting that Jeremiah is afraid he will look foolish if he tells Jerusalem these things. Yet, God tells him He will make him look follish if he doesn’t! That is irony for you. In many ways this is my fear — so this text really spoke to me.
The other thing that spoke to me from Jeremiah was the idea of leaving God and chasing after idols. He says that we could teach a few things to the prostitutes. Indeed, we refuse to leave these false Gods — “because we’ve already fallen in love with them.” Yet God doesn’t take that as a good excuse.
Sometimes we have to make a decision, not based on feelings, but based on what is right.
Finally, in John 10 I see Jesus telling us why we should stick with Him. This is where the abundant life is found only in Him — not in false Gods.
And the last text mentioned above reminds me of those who abandon their calling to seek selfish motives. It seems like there is a lot of that lately. Churches being started by pastors who don’t care about their congregations and new mission organizations that start to promote selfish ambitions. This is sad. These people truly act like hired hands and haven’t grasped the love like their savior has.
I wish people could remain on track.
If I’m afraid of looking foolish and therefore don’t say what He asks me to say, God will make me look foolish. I guess I better be bold and say what I have to say then.
I also have a ways to go before I quit seeking false idols. Why do I fall into that trip?
I am saddened by people who are not remaining loyal to the teachings of the church and are going off to do their own thing.
Dear God, give me patience with myself and others. Teach me to preach what I’ve heard from you and to stay away from things that are not of you. Teach me to be more than a hired hand.