This is a summary of the sermon preached on January 5, 2020.
- Date: Sunday January 5, 2020
- Venue: A Sunday service at Tokyo Multicultural Church
- Title: "God calls and fulfills"
- Scriptures: Jeremiah 1:4-19
4 The word of the Lord came to me, saying,
5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
before you were born I set you apart;
I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
6 “Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.”
7 But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. 8 Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.
9 Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I have put my words in your mouth. 10 See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.”
11 The word of the Lord came to me: “What do you see, Jeremiah?”
“I see the branch of an almond tree,” I replied.
12 The Lord said to me, “You have seen correctly, for I am watching to see that my word is fulfilled.”
13 The word of the Lord came to me again: “What do you see?”
“I see a pot that is boiling,” I answered. “It is tilting toward us from the north.”
14 The Lord said to me, “From the north disaster will be poured out on all who live in the land. 15 I am about to summon all the peoples of the northern kingdoms,” declares the Lord.
“Their kings will come and set up their thrones
in the entrance of the gates of Jerusalem;
they will come against all her surrounding walls
and against all the towns of Judah.
16 I will pronounce my judgments on my people
because of their wickedness in forsaking me,
in burning incense to other gods
and in worshiping what their hands have made.
17 “Get yourself ready! Stand up and say to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified by them, or I will terrify you before them. 18 Today I have made you a fortified city, an iron pillar and a bronze wall to stand against the whole land—against the kings of Judah, its officials, its priests and the people of the land. 19 They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.
THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.1
What is your mission or call from God?
Do you have any specific vision or goal in life which you think God wants you to accomplish?
In today’s passage, a person named Jeremiah is called by God to be a prophet to the nations (v. 5).
I don’t think every one of us here is called to be a prophet like Jeremiah. But I believe that we all have God-given missions in life just like Jeremiah.
And today’s passage would help us to see the nature of God-given missions. In particular, we’d see what kind of people God calls to give missions, and how the missions will be fulfilled.
In Jeremiah 1:5, we see some amazing facts about God.
This means that God calls people not because they have done something great to God. It is
Also God calls people not because they have some special abilities or have some experiences. In case of Jeremiah, God called him when he was young and inexperienced (vv. 7-8).
In a sense, God had given him everything he needed to accomplish the God-given mission.
Here some may wonder that Jeremiah had such strong faith in God that God called him.
Well it is true that Jeremiah was obedient to God in proclaiming His words to fellow Israelites in spite of hardship (11:18-19; 15:15-18; 17:14-18; 18:18-23; 20:1-2).
But Jeremiah also struggled with his mission, having some doubts and even complaints to God (20:7-18).
He was an ordinary person, not perfect, just like us. Nevertheless, God had called him and gave him a mission for His purpose.
God shows Jeremiah two visions. Through the first vision, God tells Jeremiah that He is watching to see that His word is fulfilled (vv. 11-12).
In this particular context, “God’s word” which was being fulfilled meant the destruction of the kingdom of Judah. This is described in detail in the second vision in vv. 13-16.
Notice here that
God used Jeremiah as well as the northern kingdoms, who were non-Jews, to fulfill His word.
God had not only given Jeremiah everything he needed to accomplish the God-given mission. But
God calls us not because we have done something great to God; rather it is
We struggle. We have some doubts in life. We even disobey God from time to time. Yet, God calls us and gives us missions for His purpose.
Moreover, we are not alone on the mission.
I don’t know about your God-given specific mission. It varies from person to person. But whatever that may be,
Rather never forget that it is not you but God Himself who actually fulfills the mission with you.
To tell you the truth,
God knows that you struggle in faith, and that you disobey God from time to time.
Yet, still He loves you the way you are.
God the Son, Jesus, came to die on the cross because He wanted to be with you.
Jesus wants to work with you to fulfill your God-given mission.
To that end, you’ve got the Spirit of God dwelling in you. The Spirit will empower you and give you all you need to accomplish the mission.
God knows that you are not perfect anyways.
You are not alone.
Bibliography and Notes
- Dearman, J. Andrew. Jeremiah, Lamentations. The NIV Application Commentary. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Zondervan, 2002.
- Thompson, J. A. The Book of Jeremiah. 2nd Revised edition. The New International Commentary on the Old Testament. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans, 1980.