He Set You apart!
He Set You Apart!
† In Jesus Name †
May you realize the grace of God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, who set you apart from before you were formed, who will have you share with others His love, and our need for it!
To the Nations
A few weeks ago, 6 of us had the blessing of picking up 24 youth who were all born in Eritrea. Just curious, how many of you know where Eritrea is?
Last week, Pastor Bernie shared for a few moments about what happened in the Sudan, where he put stoles that our ladies made, on the shoulders of 16 newly ordained pastors, just as he had three years prior.
Yesterday, some of us went to a Himalayan restaurant in Artesia, and celebrated with a young lady and her family, as she prepares for a wedding next week.
Next week on our campus, our brothers and sisters in the second service will be celebrating Chinese New Year.
As I look out over our congregation or our preschool chapels, I see people from all over the world, from 5 continents. And from even some very, very different places, like Lawrence, Massachusetts.
It is an amazing thing to think of, as we hear again, God’s word to Jeremiah
5 “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart and appointed you as my prophet to the nations.”
God’s words to Jeremiah, and to us. Yes, to us.
Jesus has done the same thing to us that He did to Jeremiah. He set us apart with a purpose, to share a message with people from all of the world. A message that we all need to hear, even as it has to tear some down, and lift others up.
What we call law and gospel in “Church language”. That’s the message Jeremiah was given; it is the message Jesus died to reveal, it is what Peter and Paul and others claimed from the Middle East throughout all of Europe to Central Africa to India in one generation.
It is the same message that everyone needs to hear, no matter if they are 3 or 93, no matter their ethnicity or their culture.
It is a message that crushes those of us who think we are the only righteous folk around, revealing to us that we are sinners, and there is nothing we can do to repair what we’ve broken. For that is what sin does. It shatters relationships; it shatters family, it shatters us as individuals.
God’s law isn’t just about behaving properly; it is a way God designed for us to live in peace, to know we are loved. And when we step outside the plans God has for us, it crushes us, as the things He warns us against come true.
One pastor put it this way, use the Law to afflict those comfortable in their sin, and those afflicted by their sin, comfort them with the good news.
The news every prophet, every pastor, every evangelist and every believer counts on and is chosen by God to embrace and share with others.
The news of the gospel. That God loves us that He will heal our brokenness. That He will make our lives like new. That our sin will be forgiven, that our the relationships will be reconciled.
This is the gospel that all need to hear, it is the reason we have hope.
God has made all of the creation, and all of us in it, with a purpose. The purpose of living with him, as His children, as the people He loves. He loves us so much that Christ died to make this possible. TO heal our relationship with Him and with others, not just until the next time we destroy it, but for all of eternity.
That is why when we are saved when He cleanses us, there is no need to do so again.
Like most ministers, Jeremiah had a problem with God trusting Jeremiah with the message. We can find a million reasons why we shouldn’t have to share God’s message with our neighbors and family, never mind to the world.
But God has chosen us. He knows us as long as He knew Jeremiah, from since before we were born, from before we were conceived.
The message isn’t complicated, and as we realize it, the inclination to share it is automatic. God is with you. He loves you; He wants to comfort you and reconcile and heal that which is broken.
Don’t hold back, let Him do so…and rejoice!