Jeremiah 17:15 ESV
“Behold, they say to me,
‘Where is the word of the Lord?
Let it come!’”
We, as followers of Jesus Christ, are to be the Lord’s witnesses in sharing the truth of the gospel throughout the world. We are to make disciples of Christ of people of all nations, teaching them to obey the commandments of the Lord (New Covenant). And we are to be the light of the world and the salt of the earth in not only sharing the gospel with others but also in living what the gospel teaches, which is not a “feel good make everybody happy” gospel. But it is a gospel message which pierces to discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart (Hebrews 4:12).
[1 Pet. 2:9; 1 Pet. 2:21; Matt. 5:13-16; Matt. 28:18-20; Acts 1:8; Acts 26:18; Rom. 10:14-15; Jn. 4:31-38; Jn. 13:13-17; Jn. 14:12; 1 Jn. 2:6]
But when we do share the truth of God’s Word and the truth of the gospel of our salvation (the whole counsel of God), we should be prepared to be mocked, to be made fun of, to be attacked verbally, to be called all sorts of names, to be falsely accused, to be betrayed by those closest to us – to be rejected, ostracized, ignored, mistreated, “defriended,” “unfollowed,” and slandered, too. For many people are following the lies and not the truth. And so they are going to oppose you if you are telling them the truth.
[Matt 5:10-12; Matt 10:16-25; Matt 24:9-14; Lu 6:22-23; Lu 21:12-19; Jn 15:1-21; Jn 16:33; Jn 17:14; Ac 14:22; Rom 5:3-5; Phil 3:7-11; 1 Pet 1:6-7; 1 Pet 4:12-17; 2 Tim 3:12; 1 Thess 3:1-5; Jas 1:2-4; 2 Co 1:3-11; Heb 12:3-12; 1 Jn 3:13]
Jeremiah 17:16-17 ESV
“I have not run away from being your shepherd,
nor have I desired the day of sickness.
You know what came out of my lips;
it was before your face.
Be not a terror to me;
you are my refuge in the day of disaster.”
Now to be honest, there were times in my life when I did run away from being the Lord’s shepherd to the people, and I am not speaking here of me being a pastor over a church congregation. For a shepherd is someone who leads the sheep in the way they should go, and who counsels them in the right way, and who corrects or exhorts them if they are going the wrong way. So you don’t have to be in a position of rule and authority over anyone to shepherd God’s sheep. We are all supposed to exhort and encourage one another in the body of Christ so that we all reach maturity in Christ.
[Rom 12:1-8; 1 Co 12:1-31; Eph 4:1-16; Eph 5:17-27; Col 3:16; Heb 3:13]
But yes, I did run away from God’s calling on my life because Satan was fighting against me so very hard all my life, really, to try to stop me from obeying the Lord and from doing what God has called me to do. And then one day, at the age of 52, I stopped running, not that I ran every time. I did serve the Lord many times over many years in many different ways in which he called and gifted me. But then Satan would send someone against me, well more than one someone to beat me down until I gave up.
But at age 52 I stopped running and I yielded my life over to the sovereignty of God and I accepted his will and his plan for my life, which includes persecutions and mental beatings and rejections. And at age 54 he called me to this present ministry and I have been serving him faithfully the past 18 years. Now that doesn’t mean I had no more battles. The battles had only just begun, but the Lord has led me all the way, and he has given me his strength and his endurance to keep going, and to keep doing what he has called me to do, and I am no longer running away.
Jeremiah 17:19-20 ESV
“Thus said the Lord to me: ‘Go and stand in the People’s Gate, by which the kings of Judah enter and by which they go out, and in all the gates of Jerusalem, and say: “Hear the word of the Lord, you kings of Judah, and all Judah, and all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, who enter by these gates.”’”
And this is God’s calling on my life. And the “People’s Gate” for me is the internet, which is where the Lord has sent me to share his gospel. And my calling is to write down what the Lord teaches me from his word each day and to place it on the internet for the internet to run with it and to take it to the people. But the Lord didn’t stop with just having me write documents, but then he had me write songs and then sing the songs with my old voice. And then he had me write poems and now he is having me do video talks, too. And boy this has been some journey! But he has led me all the way!
And so what I want to encourage you with today is that our God is the God of the impossible. I would never have imagined in my wildest dreams what all the Lord has done through me these past 18 years. And so if you are where I was, knowing that God was calling you to be his voice, to be his witness, to take his gospel to the people, and to be his minister, but you are being faced with all kinds of opposition and so you have run away from that calling, then please get back in there and trust the Lord to make it happen through you. And then just follow him each step of the way.
By Paul Baloche / Lenny Leblanc
Above all powers above all kings
Above all nature and all created things
Above all wisdom and all the ways of man
You were here before the world began
Above all kingdoms above all thrones
Above all wonders the world has ever known
Above all wealth and treasures of the earth
There’s no way to measure what You’re worth
Crucified laid behind the stone
You lived to die rejected and alone
Like a Rose trampled on the ground
You took the fall and thought of me
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