Speaking to Youth

Re: Verse reading – Jeremiah 1 (day five)
6 Then I said, “Alas, Lord GOD!  Behold, I do not know how to speak, Because I am a youth.” 7 But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’ Because everywhere I send you, you shall go, And all that I command you, you shall speak. 8 “Do not be afraid of them, For I am with you to deliver you,” declares the LORD.

This morning I am aware of when God chose to “call” Jeremiah.  Jeremiah was a youth.  It was a moment and message that would shape the rest of his life.

This weekend in our Youth Ministry is our Freedom Weekend (Disciple Now).  Over a hundred teenagers gathered in homes around this city for concentrated and intentional times of Bible study, worship, service work, and community with other believers.  A setting that often the Lord uses to eternally change and shape their hearts and lives.  Will you pray for them?  Will you pray that God’s Word will “come to them”?  Will you pray that God will speak to them?  There is NO greater message or moment than when The Living God speaks to the human heart.

Words of Truth

Re: Verse reading – Jeremiah 1 (day four)
Jeremiah was called to speak God’s Words.  Judah had become completely disoriented to God and it was Jeremiah’s responsibility to speak God’s truth into his nation.  It was not Jeremiah’s responsibility to figure out what to say…God promised in verse 9 that He would put His words into Jeremiah’s mouth.  What a wonderful promise!  Later in this chapter (verses 17-19), God reaffirms that He will deliver Jeremiah when the nation fights against him.  Jesus faced the very same opposition to His message…sometimes from the religious leaders, sometimes from family, and sometimes from His disciples.  At the Mount of Transfiguration, the disciples were disoriented to God’s plan and God spoke from heaven.  (Matthew 17:5).  “Listen to Him!”  God was reorienting them to Him.  Jeremiah and Jesus would speak in order to bring people back to God’s perspective.  The people did not always listen, but that was not the preacher’s responsibility either.  We, too, must be obedient to speak truth… God will give the words and be our protection.


Re: Verse reading–Jeremiah 1 (Day Three)
“Today I have made you a fortified city…”  God called Jeremiah to a hard life, but he did not place him at the mercy of hostile forces.  God kept Jeremiah at the mercy of himself, which was the only safe place for Jeremiah to stand.  Will we believe that God will do the same for us if we heed his call?  Will we believe that a yes to God will only give us deeper assurance of his safekeeping?  Hardships will come—and suffering, and death, perhaps.  But we must decide whether we will actually believe that no matter what may befall us, God will keep us from ultimate harm.  This is God’s protection, this is God’s mercy, this is God’s love—against which nothing can prevail.

Qualifies the Called

Re: Verse reading – Jeremiah 1  (day two) 
“Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.” Have you said these words?  Perhaps it wasn’t about being too young but rather not being qualified for the task to which the Lord has called you.  Like Moses, Abraham, David and countless others before and since, Jeremiah voices the question of doubt.  It is clear that God doesn’t need us, and yet he chooses to use us to accomplish his will on earth.  That is an encouraging thought and more so when you think who he uses.  Today remember when you doubt your purpose that he rarely calls the qualified, he just qualifies the called.

Hard and long assignment

Re: Verse reading – Jeremiah 1 (day one) 
“The words of Jeremiah. . .The word of the Lord came to him in the thirteenth year. . .of Josiah. . .and through the reign of Jehoiakim. . .down to the. . .eleventh year of Zekekiah. . .when the people of Jerusalem went into exile.” (v 1-3)  40 years.  That is how long Jeremiah labored with the people of Judah.  Kings came and went.  Three of them.  He stayed at the task.  Courageously communicated the word of the Lord.   There were times (many) when it was unpopular to do so.  Times it was dangerous.  Times when he complained to God at the difficult and thankless task that was his.  One thing, however.  Jeremiah remained faithful.  Even when there was no success to point to.  No encouragement from others. For the next 12 weeks it will be our privilege to study the life and message of this brave man (and another like him named Ezekiel).  They were faithful to hard and long assignments.  You?

All the prophets

RE Verse reading – Luke 24:13-35 (day seven)  “Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?  Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.” (v 26-27)  It is a good transition for us.  Today is our last study in Luke.  Next week we begin 12 lessons in Jeremiah and Ezekiel.  Jesus referenced the prophets because they inspired Him.  He learned from them.  Learned that suffering would be a necessary part of His ministry.  Ours too.  “Blessed are you when people insult and persecute you.  Rejoice and be glad. . .for this is the way they treated the prophets.”  (Matthew 5:11-12)  What price/privilege will be required for us to know the Lord and speak for Him in an unbelieving age?  The prophets can tell us!  Lord, give us ears to hear in the next few weeks.  “Your sons and your daughters will prophesy”  (Acts 2:17)

We Were Hoping

Re: Verse reading – Luke 24:13-35  (day six)
Not rare, I suppose.  Many people find themselves in a place like the Emmaus road disciples.  “We were hoping (past tense) that He was going to redeem Israel” (v 21)  Been there?  Know someone who is?  Tried faith.  Tried prayer.  Sincerely hoped to find power and help.  AWOL now.  Disappointed.  The problem (for them and for us) is that we do not believe the Scripture.  “Was it not NECESSARY for the Christ to SUFFER these things and to enter into His glory?” (v 26) None of the prophets predicted an easy or quick solution to the problems of this planet.  If we cherish such ideas, it is because we did not listen to them.  Christ faced days that were painful and long and unfair.  We will too.  The glory that follows is worth every sacrifice, but nothing exempts us from the price.  Many who give up hope,  never had Biblical hope in the first place.


Re: Verse reading – Luke 24:13-35 (day five)  Verse 15-  “While they were talking and discussing, Jesus Himself approached and began traveling with them.”  This is the reality of this encounter from the beginning.  The 2 men were with Jesus but didn’t know it (perception). Sound familiar?  Often times our own issues, experiences, and circumstances keep us from a close and connected “fellowship” with Christ.  Notice the word “fellowship”.  The relationship NEVER changes, just OUR ability to hear and sense the presence of the Living God.  One of the significant truths found in this passage is that Jesus shows us the future reality (we experience as New Testament Believers) of the work of the Holy Spirit in the heart of the believer. John 14:26  But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.”

He helps us see and sense REALITY.  The continued promise and presence of the Lord.  Matthew 28- “and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Open Mind

Re: Verse reading – Luke 24:13-35 (day four) 
Wouldn’t you like to have been in on that bible study!  As the two men were walking and talking, Jesus joined them.  He began a process of teaching them the Word of God.  He explained the scriptures to them so they could understand.  Later, in the closed room with His disciples, verse 45 says, “Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures”.  Jesus will do the same for you and me.  He will open our minds, through the Holy Spirit, so that we can understand God’s Word.  God does not want His Word to be a puzzle to us…He wants us to clearly understand.  How often do we depend on our own resources though to ‘figure it out’?  God stands ready to open our mind to understand the Scriptures…all we have to do is ask.  We may also run back seven miles in order to tell someone else what we now understand.


Re: Verse reading – Luke 24:13-35 (Day Three)
“What things?” [Jesus] asked.  Even after his resurrection, our Savior was the same Jesus, the same teacher who patiently walked alongside anyone who would engage him, engrossed in conversation, shepherding the curious to clarity, leading the acquiescent to alarm, bringing the sorrowful to surprise.  Jesus wasn’t playing dumb when he asked the Emmaus-bound travelers to explain their dejected state.  He well knew that when we tell him what is on our minds, when we converse with him, we begin to think more deeply.  He leads us into the light.  Jesus knew “what things.”  The question is, do we?