Jeremiah Devotions #1: Created with a Purpose
Bible Reading for Today: Jeremiah Chapters 1-2.
“Then the word of the Lord came to me, saying: “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.” Then said I: “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth.” But the Lord said to me: “Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’ For you shall go to all to whom I send you, And whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of their faces, For I am with you to deliver you,” says the Lord.” (Jeremiah 1:4-8).
In this opening passage of the Book of Jeremiah, we see the Lord’s initial call of this prophet. God affirms Jeremiah by telling Him three things: God knew Jeremiah before He created him, God sanctified him (set him apart for a special purpose), and God ordained him to be a prophet to speak His Word. Jeremiah responds like many other Bible heroes did when they were called by God: He makes excuses and tells God why he can’t do what God has called him to do. Jeremiah says, “I’m too young, and I don’t know how!” Ironically, Moses did the same thing when God called him and said, “I can’t speak!” But the Lord gently and loving rebukes Jeremiah and says, “Don’t say that. Don’t believe the lie that says you’re too young!” And the Lord tells Jeremiah why he doesn’t have to be afraid. He says, “I will be with you!” If God is for us, who can be against us?
The first thing I see in this passage is an encouraging reminder to all of us that we too – like Jeremiah – have been created by God. And not only created by the Lord, but made in His image, and created with a purpose. We are not merely accidental products of evolution. The Bible tells us, “He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world… having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself” (Eph. 1:4-5). Wow! Whenever you’re feeling discouraged, remind yourself that God created you, He chose you, He loves you, and if you believe in Jesus, then He has adopted you into His family!
Secondly, like Jeremiah, I too have struggled with God’s call upon my life. Who am I to be called to be a pastor, a husband, and a father? I don’t know how to do those things in my own strength, wisdom or ability! But then God reminds me that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” (Phil. 4:13). If He is with me, and I abide in Him and lean on Him, He will help me to do everything He has called me to do.
Lord, I thank you that – just like Jeremiah – you knew me before you even formed me in my mother’s womb. You have a plan, a purpose, and a destiny for my life, just like you do for everyone reading this devotional today. I pray that all of my readers would be encouraged with the truth that You know them, love them, and have a wonderful plan for their lives as well, and that they would embark on a great journey to know you personally. In Jesus’ precious name, amen!
Pastor Chris Jordan