Summary: This sermon explores the question, What is the meaning of life? With the answer being found in God and his purpose for our lives.
“An Awesome Purpose”
Jeremiah 1: 1-10
A little boy came home from church looking visibly upset. His mother asked what was wrong.
"We learned a stupid song in Sunday School today."
"What was the song?" the mother asked.
"It says Jesus wants us to be his sunbeam."
"What's stupid about that?" said the mother.
"Because," the little boy fumed, "I don't want to be a sunbeam. I want to be a Fireman."
Do you remember those commercials where someone climbs to the top of a high mountain to ask a Guru, ‘What is the meaning of life?” It truly is a fascinating question. One that I have asked myself many times. And I would venture to guess that everyone wonders about? Why are we here? What is the meaning of life?
Our Father has a purpose for every life. We can read about His purpose all throughout scripture. We know Hehas a plan for His creation. And everything He has created is a part of his plan.
All through the Holy Scriptures we are reminded of that plan. In Romans chapter 9 the apostle Paul tells us.
“In order that God's purpose of election might stand, not because of works but because of him who calls.
Yes our Father has a purpose for everything under heaven and he has a purpose for you and me.
O we might be like the little boy who wanted to be a Fireman, but it is our Fathers purpose, not ours that counts.
Have you ever wished you had the power to set the destiny of your children, especially when you see them making some terrible decisions? Well God has that power, and what He wills, happens. O we can mar that purpose by our sinful behavior, but eventually, Our Father’s will wins.
Becky and I recently read the Book of Jeremiah and I have been led today to show you something special. It is the call of the then young Jeremiah. There is a line in that scripture that really sticks out to me. It speaks to me something very precious. It speak of our Fathers, love and power. It is where He states in his call in verse 5:
“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.”
Now Jeremiah was born into a priestly family. From his father on back, all of his family where priests and Jeremiah was expected to be a priest as well.
But our Father had other plans for his life; instead, he was called to be a prophet. The Priests where loved, respected, and honored all the days of their lives, but
Nobody likes prophets. They tell us the things we don't want to hear--they tell us we're sinners, they tell us we've got to look after the poor, they tell us that we're prostituting ourselves to the popular culture, and if we don't turn ourselves around RIGHT NOW and obey God, then we're in for disaster. This is not at all the type of ministry that Jeremiah was looking forward to.
Well, like many of us when God calls us, Jeremiah began to come up with excuses: I'm too young, I wouldn't know what to say. Jeremiah's excuses are no different from our excuses; the bottom line is that in our modern society, we seem to think that we know better than God. That his word is old fashioned and too restrictive. It seems we do not fear God any more and even the church is willing to tell him that he is wrong.
But our Father tells Jeremiah: "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."
Wow! What an awesome charge. And then, in the following verses, God promises to be with Jeremiah and equip him for the task.
Jeremiah would need those words of assurance. As a prophet, he would be mocked, humiliated, beaten, imprisoned, and threatened with death. And yet, Jeremiah never once gave up. He lived to see his prophecies fulfilled and his name vindicated.
But what kept him going? I believe when Jeremiah was at his lowest point, locked deep in a dungeon, without human contact, abandoned by everyone, he remembered these words, "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." He was special, he had a purpose, and he was not alone.
I want to ask you something. If you could ask our Father one question, what would it be? “A few years back, a company called Yankelovich Partners conducted a nationwide survey, and asked people that question: One-third of the people said if they had an audience with God, they would ask why they were put here on earth. (1) In other words, what is their purpose in life?