Jeremiah 1

Vs. 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.”  Even before Jeremiah was born, God would already have His will for him.  Amazing, huh?  Jeremiah would begin serving God as His prophet at the tender age of 20.  Though Jeremiah was young & felt inadequate, God would use him anyway!  God told Jeremiah He would protect him and give him the words to speak.  The almond tree signified God’s eye watching.  God’s people had now forgotten him.  All of God’s prophets of the past—Hosea, Joel, Amos, Micah and Nahum, all those who had been contemporaries of Isaiah—had now passed off the scene. Zephaniah and Habakkuk were still living. Ezekiel and Obadiah were also in the same time with Jeremiah, but they are not going to prophesy until the captives are actually in Babylon. Daniel, too, will be prophesying later on. But at this time, Jeremiah stands alone, and he is to proclaim these judgments that are to come upon the nation.  God would warn Jeremiah that he would have an incrediblely hard task, his own people would be against him.

Regarding application…Stand Up For Something!  Vs. 17, “Get yourself ready! Stand up and say to them whatever I command you. Do not be terrified by them…”  In the final chapter of his book Walden, Henry David Thoreau (Amercian author of the 19th century) writes: “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.”  “If anyone desires to come after Me,” said Jesus, “let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me….For what is a man profited if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?”  Matt. 16:24-26.  In light of that sobering question, what decision will you make? Will you conform to the crowd or carry the cross?  Jeremiah was willing to Stand up in the face of opposition!

In the movie Braveheart…Mel Gibson’s character William Wallace stands up against tyranny and fights for Scotland!  It’s a story of someone going against the odds…but even William Wallace would have his followers.  Jeremiah would be asked by God to do something crazy from human standards….Stand up, but you must do it alone.  Jeremiah’s story is one truly heartfelt and deeply moving story of a man who stood up against the odds.  But did Jeremiah really do it alone?  Of course, not…God was there…but it took an incredible amount of faith on Jeremiah’s part to believe & act upon it!  Sometimes, we may feel alone & know one else understands what we are going through….but God does!!!!  You are never alone.

Jude 1

Vs. 3, “Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt I had to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints.”  We see Jude’s humility and his desire to both shepherd and teach the church.  One of the main problems of why this was happening was the lack of understanding “GRACE” – undeserved acceptance & love (The YG here’s this defnition often).  These false teachers lacked a fear of God and took advantage of the fact that God’s grace covers their sins.  It was reckless teaching with a selfish motive.  Whether it was for financial gain, poplularity, pleasing the crowds, personal agenda…these teachers relied on their own talents rather than the strength of the Holy Spirit.

Regarding application…Build Ourselves Up.  Vs. 20, “But you, dear friends, build yourselves up in your most holy faith and pray in the Holy Spirit.”  In the midst of such falsehood and deception, we as Christians must all the more build ourselves up.  Remember, the enemy here wasn’t the pagans & unchurched…it was those in the church that were endangering the truth.  There is a name for this: Apostacy = The abandoning of the faith.  Even today, apostacy is rampant in the churches…especially in the faith that truly saves.  Question: What is building up?  Simply studying & knowing His word…we do that through QT’s!  Additionally through prayer, fellowship and dependence upon the Lord…we continue to build each other up.   Just as you cannot build a house without a foundation, we cannot build our lives without the foundation of Chirst.