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1029: Jeremiah: A Servant Chosen and Equipped

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University
The Truth Network Radio
July 8, 2021 7:00 pm

1029: Jeremiah: A Servant Chosen and Equipped

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University

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July 8, 2021 7:00 pm

Pastor Tom Fuller continues the Seminary Chapel series entitled “Old Testament Servants,” with a message titled “Jeremiah: A Servant Chosen and Equipped,” from Jeremiah 1.

The post 1029: Jeremiah: A Servant Chosen and Equipped appeared first on THE DAILY PLATFORM.

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Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina today on The Daily Platform were continuing a study series from seminary chapel called Old Testament servants today speaker is Rev. Tom Fuller, pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Easley South Carolina go and take your Bible and turn with me if you led to the book of Jeremiah, and our attention will be in the first chapter I when Dr. Newton extended the invitation to speak and related to me this the theme of the choosing and equipping calling and equipping of Old Testament figures. I was right at that point finishing up reading the book of Jeremiah as part of my devotional reading and in light of the ministry to me to sign a devotional level, I determined that unless the Lord redirected I just go ahead in and settle into the life and calling of this man. I think you know that his ministry I was not blessed by God to being used to bring about a revival really his ministry wasn't blessed with fruitfulness that was anything that we might refer to as a great work of God. In fact, it's not an exaggeration in red. Dr. Carson say that Jeremiah's ministry was doomed to what to human eyes was fruitless.

Thus, and that really is the case, we learn right here in chapter 1 and verse two that Jeremiah's ministry started during the days of Josiah, and we even have a specific year. The 13th year of his reign, and so that puts the date at 627 BC and as you continue to read into verse three he ministered right to the end of the verse. He ministered and tell the ultimate fall of Jerusalem five 586 and and we say, at least until then, because the later chapters indicate his ministry continued for several years beyond the fall, but you can do the math. 627 two 586 and and beyond and out you arrive at the conclusion that he ministered for over 40 years and the vast majority of those years were dark days of really accelerated spiritual decline again. We know from the record of second Kings that after Josiah. Every leader departed from God and the people followed suit. I don't need to turn second Chronicles 36 mentions Jeremiah by name and and notes that at the end of his ministry, Kings, the priest, the people and in others use the phrases that come right out of that text. They all had stiff necks and hard hearts. They were exceedingly unfaithful.

They follow the abominations of the heathen, and then to just wrap it all up. Verse 16 of second Chronicles 36 says that they mock the messengers of God and despised his words and misused his prophets until the wrath of the Lord arose against his people, till there was no remedy and said that that's that's the backdrop of Jeremiah's ministry.

He was one of the principal messengers that were mocked that that was despised and was misused and that market for decades, right up until I God use Babylon to destroy Jerusalem.

So the question we want to look at this morning is how does God prepare a man for that kind of ministry. How does God prepare a man for faithfulness, even in the face of decades of rootlessness on the theme of your series again. The choosing and equipping and that I want to explore together how in Jeremiah's case, the calling was actually a foundational component of the equipping and I think will be able to see in this first chapter how several elements of Jeremiah's call for help to equip him to be faithful and in the face of a fruitless ministry that extended out over decades and the first element that were going to spend relatively little time on is that is is so straightforward. Verse number five.

God told Jeremiah as you can see that he had been set apart from prophetic men for prophetic ministry sense what had sent since before he was born, God had sent him a part of this and ordained that this would be his ministry.

And that just seems like in light of the of the very painful circumstances that God knew Jeremiah was going to face. He taught the extra stop to assure his servant that so that there was no doubt that in serving in this role. This was the mind and purpose of God.

I chose this before you were born for you. Jeremiah, the Bible, church history, personal experience in ministry all witness to the fact that that all of God's servants face some dark days at a minimum, and many face, dark seasons extended seasons of what seems to be for rootlessness, betrayal, open animosity, and in those days and ends seasons like that assurance that that not of this has caught the Lord by surprise. Not of it as is the product of mere happenstance to know that this is his calling his doing will be a source of of stabilizing strength and we know of course that Jeremiah received the assurance that he got through special revelation, a new test administers art art, expecting that and now is not the time for us to explore the components of a New Testament call, but I would just remind us that that Paul told the elders in Ephesus that the Holy Spirit is the one I had made them overseers. He told arch of us to take heed to the ministry which he had received of the Lord and and Paul repeatedly. Of course said about his own ministry. He described it as something he had received and he was thankful that God had put him into it so New Testament of ministers as well ought to be held expect divine initiative that God is moving in God's putting a not just man's choosing and and you will face dark days in ministry and in those days a just tell you the time that you have spent exploring indications of divine initiative in your calling will not be wasted. But those will be a source of strength to remain faithful and then would have us know a second element now be beginning in verse number sex and on the second element of Jeremiah's call starts with him as you see in verse six. Objecting offering an excuse that he didn't think he had the speaking ability necessary and at this point he's claiming his youthfulness and his youthful inexperience as a main contributor and when he says that he was a child.

They are the words used to describe baby Moses in Exodus 2 but it's also used to describe a young man who were strong enough to go with Abraham to recover Lawton in his possession at the most think that by Jeremiah using the seas.

He's at least indicating that he wasn't yet 20 years old so you think about receiving the kind of commission that he gets when he's a teenager and that certainly could be intimidating but it's obvious that the Lord didn't accept this response is a valid objection being a teenager and thinking that you don't have the ability to speak is and cut a work in verse nine, the most specific counter to that from the Lord, to the concern about the speaking ability.

Notice in verse nine then the Lord put forth his hand and touched my mouth and the Lord said in the me, behold, I have put my words in my mouth and I verse number seven is back up there. He the Lord says to him, you're going to go where I send you whatever I command you, you're going to speak so you're talking to choose the hands and you're not to choose the message and any verse nine, here's what's going to happen. I'm to put my words in your mouth and and this was the assurance to Jeremiah that God is more than able to equip anyone that he chooses. And again, we have to acknowledge that there there some special revelation is taking place here at Jeremiah's experiencing God's touching his mouth and hearing his voice and again, presumably all of that's intervention but but with the acknowledgment of that when when we understand the ideals of New Testament ministry. We recognize that no preacher is commissioned to go out and create sermons that no preacher is commissioned to figure out a way to say something about some Bible theme were in second Timothy four verse two. As you know, to preach the what to preach the word first Timothy chapter 4 we are to preach as the very oracles of God preach the words that God has already given and so are our first responsibility when it comes to preaching ministry as is to be an investigator of the scriptural text with the intent of of displaying and and then proclaiming the.

The big idea of the tax. The main idea of the tax at and certainly down the line is sermonic work is going to need to be done to effectively proclaim the scripture to my audience but I'll just tell your brother not from the early days of ministry. It has been wonderfully assuring to me that I didn't have to be a creator, sermons, and I did not have to be at a great extemporaneous speaker because I am nothing of the sort IATA since early in in college years of of God's calling and and was was thankful to preach and one opportunity I had a a seasoned evangelist came up after I was done preaching and he said that was good but next time try this and he gave me a five point outline of my message all the literary but I'm never going to build a do that and even early years into assistant pastoring. It was great that dedication to preach and but how my going to come up with enough to say on a regular basis and the opportunity both to be under Dr. Mark Minnick and to be over some preaching conferences that Detroit with the Dr. Doran and really understand you have one of two, and I know you've been through this but yet you have one of two thoughts in mind of one of them is what can I say as you begin sermon preparation or the other is what does this say one of them.

I'm creating in the other I'm investigating but but I have the wonderful privilege that Jeremiah would have of not having to figure out what I have to say, but just investigating what God has already said and proclaim his words and and there's more to that the preaching call and and gifting understand, but but I don't need to live with anxiety that I'm not equipped to come up with enough to say in ministry calling for both Jeremiah and the calling for us today is to preach God's own words. Be diligent to be a workman and stay out of it. This was the one nonnegotiable of your calling and then we can take note of 1/3 element of Jeremiah's call, and it involved really the clarifying witness of of two object lessons. Both of these and inventions again but notice in verse 11.

The first was that of an Allman branch that the rod of an almond tree and on the almond tree was the first Street abide in the spring was assigned to the people. Today, the spring is coming. Allman trees but but then there is a play on words here that that Hebrew readers would would detect the Hebrew word for Allman branch sounds much like the word that is used in verse 12 for the expression the hastening of my word, or the idea is that watching over my word to make sure that as you can see the end of verse 12 to make sure that it is performed that that it is fulfilled. So Jeremiah was encouraged to have total confidence that what God says is coming is coming. What what all of God's word is true and will be fulfilled because God is going to, as it were, watch over his words to bring them to the fulfillment and then right on the heels of that, the second object lesson that he sees. Here is it points to a specific prophecy you can see in verse number 13 that it is as you continue to work down a seething pot or or the idea is a boiling pot and not that pot in verse number 14 were told is it boiling pot of destruction that was coming from the north and going to be poured out on that the southern kingdom of Judah and this is a quite graphic way of predicting God's judgment meted out through that the Babylonian conquests in all that was going to come with it and and with those visions, a Jeremiah now has received greater clarity that his ministry was largely going to consist of proclaiming a calming judgment, a judgment that would be a devastating consequence, even as as other explanations gone following a a devastating consequence of departing from God. They judgment that, in keeping with again that all the branch figure is a judgment that no doubt would come judgment is coming for departing from God and it will certainly be fulfilled. Now I just want to pause there to say if you received that kind of clarity from the Lord regarding your calling right.

Here's your calling that that your ministry is going to consist of proclaiming to an unrepentant people that catastrophic judgment was on the way how excited would you be about continuing to prepare for that kind of ministry and the and the fact is that Jeremiah was far from the only one to face that you've heard as I've heard, I think is appropriate missionary conferences that the call of Isaiah. In Isaiah 6.

Whom shall I send who will go for us and Isaiah says Jeremiah why here. My send me what do you think Isaiah slightly. He surrendered and and Lord, send me II can't wait to be used to view and typically at the missionary conference. That's the end of the text because why because right after that, God tells Isaiah all right, here's what I'm doing, you're going to your ministry is going to involve confirming the hardness and the blindness of a people that will not turn and be healed or hears easy kill. God told Ezekiel I'm going to send you to a nation of rebels. They are impudent they are stubborn and they will not listen but I want them to know that they've had a prophet in their midst. How excited you get about that wife stirs you about you know dreams for ministry and and we could think that you know that that's an Old Testament, you know, time of the clinch and type expectation. But think about what the Lord had to save and about the apostle Paul's calling right acts chapter 9 and you know this familiar with that but but the Lord said to Ananias this about Paul said he's a chosen instrument of mind to carry my name before Gentiles and kings and children of Israel, and we hear that and we say now that's the army that's the kind of ministry that would be a great privilege to have bear bear the name of Christ before many, but the very next verse says, for I will show him how much he must what how much he must suffer for my sake and and you and I both well know that there is fruit in Paul's ministry and I'm not minimizing that had all but but there were dark and lean days as well. For Paul, and days where you you can hear the agony in his voice. As we read a days of rejection and betrayal, and loneliness. Days of extended suffering, and Paul would say about aphesis a great door and effectual is open and he hardly gets out of his mouth and then adds, and there are what accompanying that they are many adversaries and he spent years of being transferred from one form of imprisonment to another before ultimately facing a a martyr's death and not I don't want anyone to get me wrong about how I understand the Scripture about ministry are how I feel about ministry. The call to be God's messenger in the place of his appointment is something I'm thankful for every day and inestimable privilege but ice. I tell you, on the authority of the Scripture that the Scripture, nowhere represents it as a call to some kind of romantic ideal of success you know where where you just experience unrelenting seasons of fruitfulness. That's apparent. Everybody mean that that the church you pastor the parachurch ministry that your part of that.

It just, you know, grows bigger and better and you buy more landing you build bigger and and and better buildings and in your influence ministerial English is grows and grows at end brother and if you think of your calling to ministry in terms of that kind of success at some point.

At some point you will quit as many do, or perhaps even worse, you'll stay in but you'll end up selling out God's truth by adjusting your ministry style, and even your message to make sure that you are viewed as successful and there were contemporaries of Jeremiah who did that very thing that would cry peace peace when there was no peace that the clarity that Jeremiah guy from the visions was was certainly sober but it was also reassuring. The encouragement was that that God will watch over his words and see to it that that they are fulfilled. His word will be effective to his intended purpose and, when unknown.

Wrestling's in my own soul about a sense of usefulness in ministry and and has it been cut short has been limited as it whatever else can can go through our minds about that I can I come back to this truth, that if I am way I'm supposed to be that I am preaching what I'm supposed to be doing that I couldn't be more fruitful anywhere doing anything else and and I don't fall back on that fatalistic me, but by the grace of God anchored in in in truth in faith and and draw upon the same kind of clarification that Jeremiah would have to drive to remain faithful. Don't quit college us your where you work where you are because of God putting you there preach his word and and he'll bring it to its intended conclusion and then I would have us to note one last element of of the call.

In this chapter and verse number 17. Notice at the call included a challenge to display courage. You can see is you began therefore gird up the loins is essentially dressed for work and then arise. So you don't get dressed for work, get up and get going, but do it without being what do it without being dismayed. The word means to be broken to be shattered.

Yo just fall apart coded pieces collapse and in challenging to the opposite of that in challenging to encourage the Lord didn't sugarcoat the difficulties of me. Verse 18 he he mentions the you will be against the whole land that even details enemy you want to talk about political leaders like kings you want to talk about religious leaders like the priests or even the common people had Jeremiah experience that the day there is a day he said to God, I feel like I'm against everybody and everybody is against me and God told him that right from the beginning and end were of course very capable of doing this can use the word stupid for lack of a better word, work were capable of doing stupid things that unnecessarily stir up opposition, but no one should think that if I just do right.

It's going to take me down a path that avoids opposition and avoids loneliness. One of the repeated exhortations to God's servants is be strong and of a good courage.

You know that Paul told Timothy explicitly that God has not given us the spirit of fear and end at the end of verse number 19 when it seems like all these forces are there notice if what if word again if were doing what God's commissioned us to do. We can be assured that he is what that that he is with us and one way or another, and that last phrase he will deliver us and run and if you if you will, pulling to those promises.

It will nurture and you what Dr. Carson referred to as Titanic prophetic Kerr hitch that is needed and days of the clench and and I urge you to consider these elements of Jeremiah's call as part of God's equipping you to faithfulness and dark days. Consider divine choosing. Consider the ability of God to fully equip anyone that he does choose and remember it's his word.

That is the ultimate equipment. Consider the clarification that you may be sent to a hard place of service at a difficult time but he will watch over his word to fulfill his purposes and consider that with the commission comes at a challenge to courage and I know that there's many in here that that are still seeking the mind of the Lord regarding the whole matter of the call and I would just say to all of us what ever realm of ministry. We have one exhortation from Jeremiah's life and testimony is pursue faithfulness, not success, pursue faithfulness, not success, but but in light of how specific this is in in the calling for may be as clear as anywhere I would just say that if you are called you are going to face, dark days, and there is some unique and peculiar pressures and burdens that will come with what you have. He has called you, I would also say with the songwriter rise up all man of God be done with lesser things give heart and soul and mind, and strength to serve the King of Kings and and let these elements of the call be a source of of equipping you the faithfulness even in dark days. Let's pray together Lorna heavenly. Our heavenly father we we thank you for each of these that is here.

And Lord, thank you for the way that your equipping them through even the training of this seminary and Lord I thank you for the fact that many of them already. Right now recognize your hand on their life and calling to a full-time preaching ministry and Lord. We also pray for them that you you would strengthen them through the elements of that cold like Jeremiah received Lord give us all courage to in the face of the declension that is all around us in our in our secular world and in the declension that were seeing even within gospel preaching Christianity. Lord we we pray that you, you would give us courage to be faithful to not quit but not adjust to be faithful to your word. We we need your help were thankful that we can expect that as we seek you for Lord we pray that you would strengthen each of us for faithful ministry in the days to come.

In Jesus name we pray. Amen. You been listening to a sermon preached in seminary chapel of Bob Jones University by Rev. Tom Fuller, pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Easley South Carolina. Thanks again for listening. We look forward to the next time as we study God's word together on The Daily Platform

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