Rev. James Wong
(1) The Notions of Success Today ...
Achieving goals, acquiring wealth, prestige, favor, and power. Successful people enjoy the good life—being financially and emotionally secure, being surrounded by admirers, and enjoying the fruits of their labors. They are leaders, opinion makers, and trendsetters. Their example is emulated; their accomplishments are noticed. They know who they are and where they are going, and they stride confidently to meet their goals. By these standards, Jeremiah was a miserable failure. (LAB)
(2) The Call of Jeremiah
"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." ~Jer 1:5 (NIV)
(3) The Call To Tough Duties
For 40 years he served as God's spokesman to Judah; but when Jeremiah spoke, nobody listened. Jeremiah was commanded not to marry or to have children to illustrate the impending coming judgment of God.
· He was beaten and put in the stock at the Upper Gate of Benjamin (20:1-3)
· He was seized by the priests and prophets (26:7-11)
· He was beaten and thrown into prison for a long time (chapter 37)
· He was thrown into a cistern and he sank down into the mud (chapter 38)
· He was taken to Egypt against his will (chapter 43).
· He was rejected by his neighbors (11:19-21), his family (12:6), the false priests and prophets (20:1, 2; 28:1-17), friends (20:10), his audience (26:8), and the kings (36:23).
(4) What Sustained Jeremiah In His Tough Calling
“Because of the Lord 's great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him." ~Lam 3:22-24 (NIV)
There are those who go through life with great memories of achievement and accolades. They have never received any tough assignment. God’s son was given a tough assignment. He left his comfort, suffered and died to redeem this broken world.
(5) The success of Jeremiah
Success, as measured by God, involves obedience and faithfulness. Regardless of opposition and personal cost, Jeremiah courageously and faithfully proclaimed the word of God. He was obedient to his calling.
Compare yourself with Jeremiah if you think your serving is a tough assignment.