Summary: Life is a complexity. Anybody who has traveled down the birth canal ought to be able to testify to that. LIFE IS A COMPLEXITY. We are continually engaged in a process that leads to ups and downs, hills and valleys, highs and lows. We are victorious, a
Evangelist Herman E. Wesley III
SAFE AND SAVED
Message prepared for Delivery at the 64th Annual National Lectureship of the churches of Christ in Birmingham, Alabama
Tuesday, March 25, 2008 at 4:50 p.m.
W.C. Edwards, Host Minister
Giving honor to God, I am appreciative on this day to brother W.C. Edwards and the team of individuals working with him for the extension of this opportunity to speak with this audience today. We bring you greetings from the NorthPointe Church of Christ in Montgomery, Alabama where God has smiled on us richly in the establishment of this new work. I am honored to have in the audience this afternoon my greatest supporter and best friend, the one who holds my hands when they grow weak and gives strength to my stride when I grow weary. The one who signifies in my life the meaning of encouragement, loyalty and love…not only as a life partner, but as my sister-in-Christ. My wife, Sonja is here today, and she is accompanied by my sons, Brandon and Christian, and a few members of the NorthPointe family. We also sincerely appreciate your support of THE REVIVALIST NEWSMAGAZINE, and our editor is also present today, sister Dianna Tease of Plano, Texas, and we encourage you to stop by our place that has been set up in the main foyer of this Civic Center.
The text and subject assigned to me this afternoon is this:
Jeremiah 17:14, and I want to read it into your hearing from the New International Version:
Jeremiah 17:14 (NIV) 14 Heal me, O LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise.
SAFE AND SAVED. That’s what I want to talk about. SAFE AND SAVED.
Life is a complexity. Anybody who has traveled down the birth canal ought to be able to testify to that. LIFE IS A COMPLEXITY. We are continually engaged in a process that leads to ups and downs, hills and valleys, highs and lows. We are victorious, and yet we are defeated. We are strong, and yet we are weak. We are big, and then we are small. Don’t let anybody fool you into thinking that life is always lived on an even keel. That’s not life…Life, help me somebody, is a complexity!
The time allotted for the proper treatment of this text is not available, and I am resigned to hone in specifically on the context herein, but what’s going on here is we find Jeremiah, the prophet Jeremiah, the man of God, Jeremiah, the leader of the people, Jeremiah, praying to God for healing and saving mercy, for himself. I think this is significant what’s being revealed here,
and I am not in the mode this afternoon of casting general assumptions on the pulpit or the pew, and so, if you don’t mind, I’m going to make some personal application with this message, and share with you how it helps me, and hopefully, if you find yourself n a similar position, at some time or another, this will prove helpful to you, but whatever the case may be, I think it significant that in this text the man of God found it necessary to pause, to stop for a moment, to take a break and pray to God for healing and saving mercy for himself. We are in an age that says, when the preacher needs prayer, something must be wrong, but I suggest that when the preacher does not need prayer, something is wrong.
SAY AMEN IF YOU CAN!
Jeremiah has just closed a section of scripture where he recognizes that there are those who depart from God. He acknowledges the righteousness of God in abandoning those to ruin that forsook him and revolted in their allegiance to Him (verse 13). He recognizes that those who “depart from me (Jeremiah), from the word of God which I have preached, do in effect depart from God, and that their names are like names written in dust, which describes the lack of permanence in their calling and their relationship with God, but it’s almost as if Jeremiah was saying, as Paul would say many years later, “I don’t want to be preaching to others while I myself become a castaway!”
The Psalmist said it this way, “If the case of those that depart from God be so miserable, let me always draw nigh to Him”(Psalms 73:27,28), and in order to do that, Lord, heal me, and save me! This is the preacher! Heal my backslidings, my bent to backslide, and save me from being carried away by the strength of the stream to forsake thee.” In Jeremiah’s ministry he was continually exposed to the malice of unreasonable men. Lord, save me from them, and let me not fall into their wicked hands. Heal me, or sanctify me by thy grace; save me, which is just another way of saying ‘bring me to thy glory.”