Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Speak of the Mighty Works

By Pequitte Schwerin

“Have no fear before the, because I am with you to deliver says the Lord.  See I place my words in your mouth!  This day I set you over nations and over kingdoms, to root up and to tear down, to destroy and to demolish, to build and to plant.”  Jeremiah 1:8-9

“My mouth shall proclaim your just deeds, day after day your acts of deliverance, though I cannot number them all.  I will speak of the mighty works of the Lord; O God, I will tell of your singular justice.” Psalm 71:15-16

“Some seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it. But some seed fell on rich soil, and produced fruit, a hundred or sixty or thirtyfold.  Whoever has ears ought to hear.” Mt 13:1-9

While you were busy trying to prove God stands behind you, God was before me lighting the trail, so he could lead us both.” ― Shannon L. Alder

God formed us and knows for what particular services and purposes he intended us. Unless we are sanctified us by the Holy Spirit, we can't serve on earth, nor partake of happiness in heaven. We can't think too highly of ourselves, nor venture beyond our powers. Even though we have a humble sense of our own weaknesses and insufficiencies, we should not draw back when God calls us.

Jeremiah was frightened that he would not be able to persuade the people to change from their evil ways.  Jeremiah supported King Josiah and his pious ways, but when the king died old idolatries returned.  Jeremiah suffered arrest, imprisonment, and public disgrace trying to lead the people into repentance for over 40 years to no avail.  For all his work as a prophet he was exiled and martyred.  

Remember God's covenant with Moses, helping him speak the words to lead the Israelites out of bondage.  Brother Aaron ended up doing the talking.  And then there was Jonah tasked with delivering the ultimatum to the Ninevites to repent or suffer the consequences.  He spent three days in the belly of a fish for his reluctance to carry out God's commands.

How many of us are eager to be public speakers?  I know I  get butterflies in my  stomach and feel my  heart racing when I  stand before a podium; even when I'm a lector and have prepared all week.  Kevin James was the superintendent fire Marshall during the 9/11 attack in New York.  He had struggled with his deficiency of public speaking and called this struggle his personal “jihad” (which in Islam really means struggle or effort, not the holy war most of us think it means).  He was in a position with the authority to make a difference.  Mr. James overcame this deficit with the help of God, and he wrote and spoke extensively about fire hazards, especially the dangers of fires caused by smoking.  Doubtless he saved many lives!

When our fears get the best of us, we forget that God will always be with us and has placed his laws within us and written it on our hearts. 

Why do we always fear we are not enough, can't speak well enough to convince, afraid to trust that God will be with us?  Call on the Lord when you find yourself in a challenging position outside your comfort zone.  He will always be there.  Where will you sow the words and speak the Good News?

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