Dress Yourself for Work

Jeremiah 1:17-19 ESV

“But you, dress yourself for work; arise, and say to them everything that I command you. Do not be dismayed by them, lest I dismay you before them. And I, behold, I make you this day a fortified city, an iron pillar, and bronze walls, against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests, and the people of the land. They will fight against you, but they shall not prevail against you, for I am with you, declares the Lord, to deliver you.”

Jeremiah was a man of God who was called of God to be one of his prophets, to speak the words of God to the people, and to not fear the people’s response to those words. But the words Jeremiah was often given of God to speak to the people were not pleasant feel-good messages. They were not messages which tickled their itching ears. They were not positive and upbeat and encouraging messages by human terms and definitions of what is considered as encouragement.

So, why did God have Jeremiah give out what might be considered negative and discouraging messages today? Because most of God’s people at that time were living in open rebellion against the Lord. They were doing evil in the sight of God, and they were forsaking the Lord and his commands. And they were worshiping other gods, and they were making offerings to these other gods instead of making offerings to the one true God who created them and who gave them the breath of life.

And so it is today, at least here in America it is. So many people professing faith in Jesus Christ are living no differently from those who make no profession of faith in Jesus Christ. For they have bought into a false gospel message which is telling them that all they have to do is “believe” (not usually biblically defined) in Jesus one time, and now all their sins are forgiven (past, present, and future), and heaven is guaranteed them when they die, but regardless of how they live their lives on this earth.

Therefore, it appears that the majority of those who give lip service to the Lord Jesus are not surrendered to him as Lord of their lives. They have not truly died with Christ to sin, and so they have not been raised with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. And so many professers of faith in Jesus Christ have forsaken the Lord, for they are continuing in their sinful practices, and they are not walking in obedience to our Lord’s commands (New Covenant).

And instead of surrendering their lives to Christ, they are surrendering their lives to the gods of this world. And they are following after false teachers and their false gospels and they are worshiping the gods of this world rather than the one true God. And it is evident in the things that they speak, and in the things that they write, and that they post on social media, and in the things that they talk about the most when they are with other people, and in how they spend their spare time. Christ is not their Lord (Owner-Master).

And so the Lord is calling some people today to be his messengers, not as prophets, but just as his followers and as his servants, to share the Scriptures and what they teach, and to share his biblical messages, not just with those who make no profession of faith in Christ, but with those who do profess faith in Christ but who are not living in righteousness and holiness, but who are still walking in sin in open rebellion against the Lord. And often these messages are correcting error and they are proclaiming the truth.

But we live in a Christian culture today which is giving out the message that if it is Christian that it needs to be happy and cheerful and comforting, and if it is at all correcting wrong, and if it is speaking the truth in love, that it is to be regarded as negative and judgmental and/or legalistic. But if they truly follow this way of thinking, then how can they read the New Testament in its full context? For honestly, most of the New Testament is correcting wrong thinking and behaving, and it is encouraging right thinking and behaving.

Nonetheless, if you are one who is teaching the New Testament, and you are correcting error, and you are teaching the truth in opposition to the lies, then you are going to be opposed, ignored, unliked, unfollowed, cast aside, and rejected. But you must be faithful to the Lord and to your calling and not be persuaded by the opinions of other humans. You must get up every day and follow the Lord Jesus in obedience, and whatever the Lord gives you to speak or to write, that you must do, as long as it is biblical and not antibiblical, which would mean it really wasn’t from the Lord at all.

But we are not to fear being rejected. We are not to fear people’s responses to us. We are not to be afraid of having people fight against us, and even having them yelling at us, and accusing us falsely of what we did not do. For if we are following the Lord Jesus, and if what we are speaking is the truth of the Scriptures, and in truth with regard to the spiritual condition of what is called “church” in America today, then we are to be at peace in knowing that we are doing the will of God and that God is going to use it in people’s lives.

[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; Rev 6:9-11; Rev 7:9-17; Rev 11:1-3; Rev 12:17; Rev 13:1-18; Rev 14:1-13]

Oh, to Be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer

Lyrics by Thomas O. Chisholm, 1897
Music by W. J. Kirkpatrick, 1897

Oh, to be like Thee! blessèd Redeemer,
This is my constant longing and prayer;
Gladly I’ll forfeit all of earth’s treasures,
Jesus, Thy perfect likeness to wear.

Oh, to be like Thee! full of compassion,
Loving, forgiving, tender and kind,
Helping the helpless, cheering the fainting,
Seeking the wandering sinner to find.

O to be like Thee! lowly in spirit,
Holy and harmless, patient and brave;
Meekly enduring cruel reproaches,
Willing to suffer others to save.

O to be like Thee! while I am pleading,
Pour out Thy Spirit, fill with Thy love;
Make me a temple meet for Thy dwelling,
Fit me for life and Heaven above.

Oh, to be like Thee! Oh, to be like Thee,
Blessèd Redeemer, pure as Thou art;
Come in Thy sweetness, come in Thy fullness;
Stamp Thine own image deep on my heart.

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