Summary: Epiphany 4(C) - Our loving Lord appoints us through divine grace, with a divine promise, and with his divine message.
OUR LORD APPOINTS US (Outline)
February 1, 2009 --
EPIPHANY 4 --
INTRO: Another new government administration brings another round of presidential appointments. The super bowl will choose another most valuable player. Such appointment or choices come with a certain amount of earthly glory, honor, fame, and power. None of us may ever be a most valuable player on any sport team. But today God reminds each of us that we are most valuable people in his eyes. Why? Simply because God has chosen and appointed us as his very own. "You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit--fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. This is my command: Love each other" (JOHN 15:16,17).
OUR LORD APPOINTS US.
I. Through divine grace.
II. With a divine promise.
III. With his divine message.
I. OUR LORD APPOINTS THROUGH DIVINE GRACE
A. Verse 4. It is crystal clear that the words here are the words of the Lord, not the words of Jeremiah.
1. This was an awesome responsibility that Jeremiah was appointed as God’s spokesman.
2. Verse 6. Jeremiah felt unqualified. Jeremiah tried to find an excuse from this calling.
B. Verse 5. God makes it very clear that this divine choice for Jeremiah is beyond his changing.
1. The Lord intimately knew Jeremiah even before his conception. Imagine that!
2. Even before his birth the Lord had set apart Jeremiah for great and godly things.
3. After his birth the Lord appointed Jeremiah as a prophet to nations. No excuse changes.
C. Our Lord has chosen each and every one of us to live in his light! We no longer sit in the darkness as so many millions still do in this world today. The Lord sought us when we sought him not. The Lord chose us when we were still his enemies. The Lord loves us in spite of our selfish, lovelessness toward him and others. The Lord, our Lord appointed (chose) us through divine grace. "For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will"(EPHESIANS 1:4,5).
D. We might try to make excuses because of the awesome responsibility God has given each one of us. Jeremiah tried. The apostle Paul tried. Moses tried. "But Moses said to God, ‘Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?’"(EXODUS 3:11). Moses continued with many more excuses. But the Lord did not excuse Moses. Humbly we realize we are not even worthy to be called God’s own, but we are. Humbly we realize our Lord has chosen to be his own to do great, godly things.
OUR LORD APPOINTS US through divine grace even though we are not worthy and deserve nothing.
II. OUR LORD APPOINTS US WITH A DIVINE PROMISE
A. Jeremiah tried to use the excuse that he was “only a child”. He did not feel ready to speak for God.
1. Verse 7a. The Lord said that is not an excuse. Jeremiah was only a child – a child of God!
2. The Lord had great plans for Jeremiah. Verse 7b. Jeremiah must go and must speak.
B. Verse 8. Jeremiah would not go alone. God would be with Jeremiah and rescue him always.
1. This was a low point in Jewish history. Bad kings misled God’s people. They hated Jeremiah.
2. Jeremiah remembered God’s promise often. God always came to his rescue to spare his life.
C. God promises us his abiding presence and rescue still today. We may not feel qualified. We may make tons of excuses to soothe our guilty consciences. Our Lord reminds us we are not alone, never. The encouragements of God’s promises are given us in his word. Seeking, knowing, and confessing the Lord first is the answer to any and every excuse our sinful nature makes. "But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect"(1 PETER 3:15). There are many, many people filled with fear in this trouble world today. More and more than ever more and more people need to hear the promises of God. They need to hear God is with them. God can calm all their worries and fears.
D. All of God’s promises are sure. Not one of them has ever failed. Take time to read Romans, chapter 8. The Lord reminds us that all things work for our good. Then the Lord provides his ultimate assurance.