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Summary: Allow God to enflame your heart once again with the passion to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ!

WHEN IT COMES TO RELIGION AND ESPECIALLY MINISTERING IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST, IT STILL CAN MAKE US CRINGE, IF NOT BRISTLE INSIDE, WHEN WE HEAR OTHERS USE WORDS AND PHRASES SUCH AS “TOLERANCE,” “INCLUSIVENESS,” “SENSITIVITY,” AND EVEN “RELGIOUS PLURALISM.”

THE WORLD IS NO DIFFERENT TODAY THAN IT HAS BEEN FOR PAST SOCIETIES, GENERATIONS, OR TIME ERAS IN THE HISTORY OF HUMANITY. THE FACT IS CLEAR: WITNESSING AND MINISTERING FOR JESUS CHRIST IS DIFFICULT, CHALLENGING, AND OFFENSIVE TO THOSE WHO DO NOT KNOW JESUS PERSONALLY.

1 CORINTHIANS 1:18, “THE MESSAGE ABOUT THE CROSS DOESN’T MAKE ANY SENSE TO LOST PEOPLE. BUT FOR THOSE OF US WHO ARE BEING SAVED, IT IS GOD’S POWER AT WORK.” (CONTEMPORARY ENGLISH VERSION)

SIMPLY PUT, OUR SOCIETY WILL GO OVERBOARD TO ENSURE THAT WE DON’T “OFFEND” ANYONE WITH OUR WORDS, ACTIONS AND RELIGION ESPECIALLY IF THAT “RELGION” IS CHRISTIAN FAITH.

PAUL KNEW FIRST-HAND THE COST OF BEING AN OUTSPOKEN AMBASSIDOR FOR JESUS CHRIST. 1 CORINTHIANS 4:10-13, “WE ARE FOOLS FOR CHRIST…TO THIS VERY HOUR WE GO HUNGRY AND THIRSTY, WE ARE IN RAGS, WE ARE BRUTALLY TREATED, WE ARE HOMELESS….

WHEN WE ARE CURSED, WE BLESS; WHEN WE ARE PERSECUTED, WE ENDURE IT; WHEN WE ARE SLANDERED, WE ANSWER KINDLY. UP TO THIS MOMENT WE HAVE BECOME THE SCUM OF THE EARTH, THE REFUSE OF THE WORLD.”

IT CAN GET DISCOURAGING, LONELY, AND EVEN SCARY AT TIMES WHEN WE SHARE OUR FAITH IN JESUS CHRIST ONLY TO HAVE OTHERS NOT ONLY REJECT IT, BUT THREATEN US, LAUGH AT US, OR CHIDE US FOR THE MESSAGE WE BRING TO THEM.

IT CAN BE FLABBERGASTING AS TO WHY ANYONE WOULD REJECT SOMETHING THAT IS SO WONDERFUL AND WHY THEY CAN WALK AWAY FROM AN OFFERING OF HOPE, JOY, LOVE, PEACE, FORGIVENESS, WHOLENESS, AND ETERNAL LIFE IN GOD’S KINGDOM.

DEALING WITH THIS ALMOST ALL THE TIME, ONE COULD COME TO THE CONCLUSION THAT THERE’S REALLY NO POINT IN SHARING THE GOSPEL ANY MORE BECAUSE PEOPLE, OUR SOCIETY, AND OUR WORLD HAVE BECOME SO SECULARIZED IN THEIR THINKING AND UNDERSTANDING OF GOD. IT HAS GOTTEN TO THE POINT THAT IT EVEN SEEMS THAT THE WORLD HAS BECOME HOSTILE TOWARDS NOT ONLY JESUS, BUT CHRISTIANS IN GENERAL.

THE ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF ALMIGHTY GOD AND HIS SON JESUS CHRIST HAS BECOME SO LIMITED THAT JESUS IS NO LONGER SEEN AS “THE WAY” BUT JUST “A WAY” AMONGST ALL OTHER “POSSIBILITES” OF WHAT LIES ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE THRESHOLD OF DEATH.

I WOULD IMAGINE JEREMIAH THE PROPHET PROBABLY FELT THE SAME WAY OVER THREE THOUSAND YEARS AGO. THE PEOPLE’S UNDERSTANDING OF GOD HAS BECOME SO FOULED UP.

HE HAD BEEN GIVING HIS PEOPLE THE MESSAGE OF GOD, PLEADING WITH THEM AND PRAYING FOR THEM, BUT NOTHING SEEMED TO DO ANY GOOD. THEIR HEARTS WERE LIKE STONE, HEAVY, HARD AND UNCHANGING.

THERE COMES A POINT WHEN EVEN GOOD PEOPLE GET FED UP. NOTICE HIS WORDS IN JEREMIAH 20:9: "IF I SAY, ’I WILL NOT MENTION HIM OR SPEAK ANY MORE IN HIS NAME....’"

JEREMIAH WAS OPENING HIS HEART TO GOD AND EXPRESSING THE DEPTH OF HIS INNER EMOTIONS. LITERALLY SPEAKING, HE WANTED TO QUIT HIS MINISTRY. HE HAD WEARIED FROM HAVING OTHERS REJECT THE MESSAGE HE PREACHED. HE WAS TIRED OF THE RIDICULE, THE INSULTS, THE BARBS, AND THE SNEERS.

IN FACT, HE EVEN GOES AS FAR AS TO THINK THAT SOMEHOW, GOD HAD DECEIVED HIM BY LETTING HIM BE MOCKED AND RIDICULED BY THE PEOPLE.

HE HAD GIVEN SO MUCH OF HIMSELF TO FAITHFULLY WARN THEM OF THE COMING VIOLENCE AND DESTRUCTION ONLY TO BE REWARDED WITH INSULTS AND RIDICULE.

JEREMIAH IS DISCOURAGED AND IS SERIOUSLY CONSIDERING JUST “CALLING IT QUITS” BY WITHHOLDING GOD’S WORD IN ORDER TO AVOID FURTHER PERSECUTION AND REJECTION.

SO, HE EVENTUALLY DID, BUT ONLY FOR A SEASON. AS THE SCRIPTURES SHOW US, JEREMIAH GOES ON TO SAY: " BUT WHEN [I] STIFLED AND SUPPRESSED THE MESSAGE OF GOD, [I] WAS LIKE A CONTAINER FILLED WITH HOT STEAM, READY TO EXPLODE. HIS WORD IS IN MY HEART LIKE A FIRE, A FIRE SHUT UP IN MY BONES. I AM WEARY OF HOLDING IT IN; INDEED, I CANNOT."

NO AMOUNT OF PERSECUTION AND NO DEPTH OF DISCOURAGEMENT COULD HOLD BACK THE POWER OF GOD WORKING IN AND THROUGH HIM. SUCH THINGS HAVE NO POWER OR AUTHORITY IN THE PRESENCE OF ALMIGHTY GOD. THE WORD OF GOD WOULDN’T STAY PUT WITHIN JEREMIAH ANY LONGER.

HE SOON FOUND OUT THAT HE COULD NOT DENY HIS MISSION TO BE ONE OF GOD’S PROPHETS. HE COULD NOT DENY HIS CALL BECAUSE HE FOUND NO OTHER SATISFACTION THAN TO PREACH GOD’S TRUTH TO OTHERS.

HE RAN HEAD-ON INTO AN UNDENIABLE REALITY: IT IS JUST AS DANGEROUS NOT TO GO WHEN CALLED BY THE LORD AS IT IS TO RUN WITHOUT BEING CALLED. JEREMIAH WAS WEARING HIMSELF OUT TO UTTER EXHAUSTION BY TRYING TO WITDRAW AND REMAIN SILENT.

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