February 7

Jeremiah 17:5-6

“Thus says the Lord: Cursed are those who trust in mere mortals and make mere flesh their strength, whose hearts turn away from the Lord.” vs. 5

As a prophet Jeremiah believed that he had been sent to the people with a word from the Lord, so he often prefaces his comments with the words, “Thus says the Lord!” He wants his hearers to know that he’s not just sharing his opinions about life, but that God is speaking through him. It’s the sort of thing that any faithful pastor or preacher should be willing to say at the start of every sermon. Such a conviction is what a congregation expects when a call is issued. No believer shows up at worship to hear a series of half-baked personal opinions from the preacher. People truly want to hear a word from the Lord–and they should expect that from time to time it will be offensive. What a pity it is when pastors pander to their audience and deliver messages designed to tickle ears and court favor. Certainly Jeremiah never did that, and he wasn’t received kindly. Ultimately his congregation threw him in a pit! So it’s not easy for a pastor to preach with Jeremiah’s conviction–every sermon will be an exercise in fear and trembling. It’s an awesome responsibility to bring God’s word in a way that will feed hungry hearts. It’s not that preachers always get it right–sometimes they mess up big time. Thank God for those pastors who keep trying–authentic words from the Lord are a precious gift!

Thought for the Day: Where am I hearing a word from the Lord?

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