Monday, November 24, 2014

God’s Message-Can You Hear It; Are You Listening?

Today is the last day of the Christian year. Today we celebrate and remember the greatest gift to the world, Jesus Christ.
Since it’s the last day we might be tempted to look back at where we’ve been, maybe even take time to reflect where we’ve known that God was with us and also those times when we didn’t feel God’s presence.
Since it’s the last day of the year we might also be tempted to look ahead and consider where God is calling us to be, what God is calling us to do, and how God is calling us to both be and do.
Jeremiah heard God’s voice when he was a boy. When God gave him his instructions Jeremiah didn’t think he had the qualifications to complete the work of the Lord.
So, as the old year ends and the new year begins next Sunday with Advent consider this, how is God speaking to us and what is he calling us to do? Can we hear God’s voice? What are we to do if we can’t understand what God’s saying?
We have two separate and different things going on in these two passages. One is God’s call to Jeremiah and the other is the message God gave him to take to the people while standing at the gates leading into the temple.
So, our task today is to understand how this speaks to us today. I believe that God calls people to particular work. We read about it in the Bible and we hear people tells us how they’ve been called by God for particular work.
Is God calling you? Is God calling this church? If God is calling us, how are we responding to the call of the Lord?
I don’t think it works very well to tell God we’re not qualified, we’re too young…or too old, we don’t know how to speak, or any of the other excuses we use when we’re asked to do something hard. Especially when we read how God has plans for us before we were ever conceived. That kind of gets my attention doesn’t it you?
So, that’s the first part and then there’s the second piece that basically telling the folks and the leaders of the church that they haven’t been doing the things God has been calling them to do and be. They weren’t treating each other fairly or justly.
As we heard read they were brazen enough to tell God they didn’t think they were doing anything wrong.  And who was this Jeremiah to be telling them that he was speaking the word of the Lord?
Two things, two messages for us today. One is a call and the other is a warning. Both can be scary and frightening for any one.
So, again, what is our calling from God…and what is our warning from God? I’m not sure I can give you the answer because I think the question is for each of us as individuals. There is the possibility that your call and my call could be similar maybe even alike but there’s also the possibility that they could be very different since we’re all uniquely different people created just for God’s purpose.
I haven’t given any answers to the questions presented. How do you know if and when God is calling you…or me…to a particular work? How can we discern God’s call…or warning? Think about that. What do you do? What would you do?
When I was a kid and I was perplexed with a sense of God’s call I’d go to my Bible and open it randomly thinking that if God had a message for me I would find it there and God would make sure the right pages fell open and my eyes would be led to the right words. I can’t remember if any real revelations came to me or not.
But my question isn’t for me but for you…and you…and you. What do you do? Is anyone here sensing a call from God that you don’t know how to answer? Maybe together we can help each other understand God’s message for us.
Jeremiah was in it alone and he suffered for the message God gave him to deliver. Maybe if we talk to each other about God’s call to us the work will be easier…maybe.
Friends, this week I’m asking all of you to sit with God and listen for the Voice of the Lord. Read his word for you, lift your prayers to God, and listen…because I believe God has a call crafted just for you.

May you be blessed with God’s grace and peace this week. Amen.

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