Summary: The preborn are people; the preborn are preknown; the preborn are prized and the preborn have a purpose.
Taking Life Seriously
Rev. Brian Bill
Show “Sanctity of Life” Video (www.worshiphousemedia.com).
I’m so glad we started today’s service with children singing. We value families at PBC and believe that children matter to God. I came across some post-it notes that contain brief notes that kids wrote to God. Here are a few funny ones…
* Dear God, I went to this wedding and they kissed in church. Is that OK?
* Dear God, I think about you sometimes even when I’m not praying.
* God, thank you for the baby brother but what I prayed for was a puppy.
* If you watch in church on Sunday I will show you my new shoes.
* Dear God, if you give me a genie lamp like Aladdin I will give you anything you want except my money or my chess set.
* Dear God, please send Dennis Clark to a different camp next year.
* Dear God, maybe Cain and Abel would not kill each other so much if they had their own rooms. It works with my brother.
* Dear God, please put another holiday between Christmas and Easter. There is nothing good in there now.
I’m really looking forward to our new sermon series called, “Profiting From the Prophets.” For the last three winters, we haven’t found a new holiday but we’ve been on a journey through the Old Testament and now we come to the final division of books. If you’d like to catch up or go back and review, all of these sermons are posted in full-manuscript form and audio on www.pontiacbible.org.
The words of the Old Testament prophets cut through the millennia, grab us by our shoulders, and shake us from our slumber. Written long ago but relevant for today their message calls us to fresh places of spiritual growth.
Please turn in your Bibles to Jeremiah. We see in the very first verse that Jeremiah’s father was a priest. Actually, his grandpa was a priest as well. To be a priest was a pretty cool thing. But Jeremiah was called to be a prophet. That wasn’t so cool because a prophet was not always real popular among the people.
Everyone liked having priests around but not everyone liked it when the prophet showed up because his preaching wasn’t always positive. Jeremiah’s 40-year ministry focused on the nation’s sinfulness and impending judgment. His was not a prosperity message but was rather a message of coming tragedy. As a result, he was misunderstood, arrested, imprisoned, and was in constant danger of losing his life.
This book is a challenge to outline because it’s really an anthology of sermons delivered during the reign of several kings in Judah. In the midst of all the tough words, there are several tender passages that I’ve put in my personal “favorites.”
* Jeremiah 9:23-24: “Let not the wise man boast of his wisdom or the strong man boast of his strength or the rich man boast of his riches, but let him who boasts boast about this: that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness, justice and righteousness on earth, for in these I delight.”
* Jeremiah 17:9: “The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?”
* Echoing the words of Pastor Joe Michael as he challenged us last week to never stop communicating the gospel of grace, we read in Jeremiah 20:9: “But if I say, ‘I will not remember Him or speak anymore in His name,’ then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire shut up in my bones; and I am weary of holding it in, and I cannot endure it.”
* Jeremiah 29:11-13: “For I know the plans I have for you…plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.”
* In reading through the book I was struck by how a parent’s spiritual commitment has the potential to greatly impact their children. As we continue to focus on families at PBC, I commend Jeremiah 32:39 as a prayer for all parents: “I will give them singleness of heart and action, so that they will always fear me for their own good and the good of their children after them.”
* Jeremiah 33:3: “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”
God’s Word About the Womb
As I pondered these passages, it struck me that had Jeremiah not been born, we might not have these weighty words. To use today’s language, if Jeremiah had been aborted when he was in his mother’s womb, we would have a huge hole in our Bibles.