Welcome to “Word from The Center” MONDAY, a devotional word from the Center of our faith, Jesus Christ, with reflections on His Word. I’m Gregory Seltz. Today’s reading is Jeremiah 1:4-10, where the Bible tells us of God’s Call to His Old Testament Prophet, Jeremiah,   

The word of the Lord came to me, saying “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.” “Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.” But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord. Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I have put my words in your mouth. 10 See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.”



It’s hard to image this scene in Jeremiah’s life. He is being commissioned to proclaim a message from God that is bound to get him in trouble with the powers that be. He doesn’t have much confidence in himself to handle that either. To him, his youth was evidence of his inexperience and unworthiness. You might say that he took an honest look at himself and found himself wanting. All of us could use a similar dose of that humility, couldn’t we? It is evident that, in and of himself, he is not the man for the job, especially when it comes to representing God to the nations of the world in that day. He feels his inadequacy and his insignificance deeply. What can overcome that reality? What can stand a man or woman back on their feet when they are on their knees in weakness or on their backs from trouble?

Today we need to learn that the source of Jeremiah’s strength can also be ours. Though you and I are not necessarily chosen to be God’s spokesman to nations today, we are given the same strength and power to be God’s people to whomever He sends us. Jeremiah’s confidence would not be in himself, but in the Lord who knew him intimately even before he was born. Wow! Don’t tell me that God doesn’t care for you and me. Even at our most vulnerable stage of life—totally helpless and dependent in our mother’s womb—He cares. We live in a time when people actually argue outrageously that if you are vulnerable in your mother’s womb, you are disposable. God’s Word emphasizes that, even in our weakness and vulnerability, we are precious to God and, likewise, as those made in His image, we should hold each other dear as well.  

Jeremiah’s courage was also not to be found in himself. It was not rooted in his eloquence or stature. Instead, it was rooted in his confidence that the one who knew him also loved him and would protect him, come what may. And, finally, Jeremiah’s power was not in his musings about God, but in God’s Words given to him. They enabled him to faithfully and boldly proclaim words such as, “To uproot and tear down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant,” as God himself saw fit.

That’s the very power, courage, and blessing that you and I have as well because God has put His Name on us through the waters of Baptism and has given us His Word to share with those whom we might meet. Our inadequacies can be overcome by His strength; our fears can ultimately be silenced by His promises; and our mission can only succeed as we share what we have been so graciously given. So, don’t focus on your inexperience, your fear, or your lack of confidence. Instead, focus on the One who claimed you as His own, learn from and lean on the words that He has given you through His Scriptures, and then boldly love others the way that He loves you. For Jeremiah, as well as for you and me, God’s Word is always more than enough for what we face each and every day.

PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, give me a diligent heart to focus on the words of the Bible as the source of Your power for my life and salvation. May I also confidently share those words of life and salvation with those I am privileged to love in Your Name. AMEN.

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