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God Calls Jeremiah

(Jeremiah 1:4-10, 14-17)

Lesson 3 -- fourth quarter 1996
September 15, 1996

by Mark Roth
© Copyright 1996, Christian Light Publications

God surely wouldn't call me!
It's time for something new.

Hesitant or outright hostile? Fearful or downright petrified? Confident or even cocky? Too young or too old? Unable to talk or unable to stop? Laudable past or questionable heritage? Materially unattached or economically bound? Tall or short? Thin or heavy? Weak or powerful? Crippled or fleet? Thinker or doer? Introvert or extrovert? Perceptive or blind? Tell me, friend, whom does God call?

History, Biblical and otherwise, abounds with accounts of unlikely choices. That is, unlikely from a human perspective, but utterly logical and obvious when seen through God's eyes. So don't go by what you can see. In fact, don't even go by what you cannot see!

Whom does God call? He calls the available. How often we have heard that said. And the statement is true. However, God also calls the unavailable! Did you ever think about that? Furthermore, God calls the able. Whoa! Just wait a bit! Before you protest that too much, let me explain. Remember, God looks through His eyes and evaluates with His Spirit, not through our eyes nor with our spirit. I'm impressed by the notion that God can look on His choice (so pathetically unable in man's eyes) and confidently say, "Chris can do all things through Me which strengthens Chris." Think this through: whom God calls He declares able.

God wouldn't call you? Why not?

Ah, youth! We love to be (on) the cutting edge of improvement, or at least change. We chafe at the grooves and ruts of preceding generations. We are keen on tearing down and building greater. So we trundle through life seeing the things, people and perspectives that need to give way to the new. I wonder what you noted just this week that you would like to see changed in your home, your school, your community or your church. Perhaps I make unfair and inaccurate assumptions about you on the basis of what I was. Was?! Some people think I'm still too much of a radical. Others think I am still driven merely by the desire to see things changed. I suppose the grammar-oriented might label me an adjective -- solely designed for modifying other things!

God told Jeremiah it was time for something new. How many people (young and old) would exult in the mandate "to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down"! They are all primed with stitch rippers, sledgehammers, power screwdrivers, hand pruners, and backhoes. Everywhere they peer they see things that need undoing. They think they know the exact what and how of the dismantling process. And perhaps they do.

But they forget something.

They are also commanded "to build, and to plant." I don't mean to be a boastful Daddy, but start up a bulldozer in downtown Portland, put my son Andrew (he's barely two, I'll have you know!) in the cab, and he'll dismantle a few things for you.

Before we set about to remove the old, let's make sure we have listened closely to the Designer. Then we shall know that we are replacing the good with the better, maybe even the better with the best.

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