SERVICE FOR THE LORD’S DAY
June 7, 2020
WORDS OF WORSHIP The Beatitudes Matthew 5:3-12, NET
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.
4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5 “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.
7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God.
10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to them.
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you and say all kinds of evil things about you falsely on account of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because your reward is great in heaven, for they persecuted the prophets before you in the same way.
God of mercy and grace, we gather to worship and seek your wisdom in a time when our world is desperately in need of you. We can’t fully understand the violence that has erupted in cities around our nation. We are still straining to cope with pandemic. The world’s patience has worn thin, as people who are called to help one another have instead brought harm. We want to say, as our spiritual ancestors did, “How long, O Lord, how long?”
As we read again the Words Jesus spoke, we wonder, how long must those who have been persecuted wait for justice? Where are the peacemakers? Who will show mercy? When will we live in righteousness? How long must we mourn? Today, Lord God, as we begin to learn about the life and message of your weeping prophet Jeremiah, as we also weep for your people, for our world, help us begin to find answers, to find hope, to find peace. Amen.
CONFESSION AND PARDON Jeremiah 3:12-13,15 GW
God commanded Jeremiah to call the people to confession and repentance with these words, “‘Come back, unfaithful Israel.
It is the Lord speaking.
I will no longer frown on you
because I’m merciful,’ declares the Lord.
‘I will no longer be angry with you.
13 Admit that you’ve done wrong!
You have rebelled against the Lord your God.
You have given yourself to strangers under every large tree.
You have not obeyed me,’ declares the Lord.’”
Let us also make our confession to God with repentant hearts.
We confess, O God, that we have also given ourselves to the ways and teachings of the world, rather than remain faithful to Your teachings in Your Word. We are guilty of turning a blind eye to injustice, of silence when we should have spoken up for what is right. We are guilty of cowering in fear rather than reaching out to protect. We are guilty of assuming everything is okay, if things are going well for us, without a thought to what others are suffering. We are guilty of stereotyping and of speaking in generalities rather than taking a genuine look at individuals. We are guilty of assuming the best of some and the worst of others without acknowledging that everyone is capable of doing right, and everyone also does wrong at times. We are guilty of sometimes taking the easy path when it isn’t the right choice. Lord, help us see where we go wrong, individually and corporately. Help us not only admit our sin, but Lord, help us be willing to change. The world will not change around us, if we do not change ourselves.
God promised Jeremiah, “15 I will give you shepherds after my own heart. They will be shepherds who feed you with knowledge and insight.” The One God sent was God’s own Son, Jesus, who became our Good Shepherd. But Jesus also willingly become the sacrificial Passover lamb, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. It is through that gift of Jesus that we are saved, and our sins forgiven.
Thanks be to God!
PASSING THE PEACE
May the peace of Christ be with you.
PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION Jeremiah 15:16, NET
Jeremiah once said, “As your words came to me, I drank them in,
and they filled my heart with joy and happiness
because I belong to you, O Lord God of Heaven’s Armies.”
Mighty God, may we too drink in your words and devour them
That we might find in them the nourishment we need to live. Amen.
Jeremiah 1, GW
1 These are the words of Jeremiah, son of Hilkiah. He was one of the priests at Anathoth in the territory of Benjamin. 2 The Lord spoke his word to Jeremiah when King Josiah, son of Amon, was in his thirteenth year as king of Judah. 3 The Lord also spoke when Jehoiakim, son of Josiah, was king of Judah and during the 11 years that Zedekiah, another son of Josiah, was king of Judah. The Lord continued to speak to Jeremiah until the people of Jerusalem were taken away into captivity in the fifth month of the year.
4 The Lord spoke his word to me,
5 “Before I formed you in the womb,
I knew you.
Before you were born,
I set you apart for my holy purpose.
I appointed you to be a prophet to the nations.”
6 I, Jeremiah, said, “Almighty Lord, I do not know how to speak. I am only a boy!”
7 But the Lord said to me, “Don’t say that you are only a boy. You will go wherever I send you. You will say whatever I command you to say. 8 Don’t be afraid of people. I am with you, and I will rescue you,” declares the Lord.
9 Then the Lord stretched out his hand and touched my mouth. The Lord said to me,
“Now I have put my words in your mouth.
10 Today I have put you in charge of nations and kingdoms.
You will uproot and tear down.
You will destroy and overthrow.
You will build and plant.”
11 Again the Lord spoke his word to me and asked, “Jeremiah, what do you see?”
I answered, “I see a branch of an almond tree.”
12 Then the Lord said to me, “Right. I am watching to make sure that my words come true.”
13 Again the Lord spoke his word to me and asked, “What do you see?”
I answered, “I see a boiling pot, and its top is tilted away from the north.”
14 Then the Lord said to me,
“Disaster will be poured out from the north
on all those who live in the land.
15 I am going to call every family and kingdom from the north,”
declares the Lord.
“They will come, and they will set up their thrones
at the entrance of Jerusalem’s gates.
They will attack all the walls around the city
and all the cities of Judah.
16 I will pass sentence on my people because of all their wickedness.
They abandoned me,
burned incense to other gods,
and worshiped what their hands have made.
17 Brace yourself, Jeremiah!
Stand up, and say to them whatever I tell you to say.
Don’t be terrified in their presence,
or I will make you even more terrified in their presence.
18 Today I have made you like a fortified city,
an iron pillar, and a bronze wall.
You will be able to stand up to the whole land.
You will be able to stand up to Judah’s kings,
its officials, its priests, and all the common people.
19 They will fight you, but they will not defeat you.
I am with you, and I will rescue you,” declares the Lord
2 Peter 1:19-21, NET
We possess the prophetic word as an altogether reliable thing. You do well if you pay attention to this as you would to a light shining in a murky place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 20 Above all, you do well if you recognize this: No prophecy of scripture ever comes about by the prophet’s own imagination, 21 for no prophecy was ever borne of human impulse; rather, men carried along by the Holy Spirit spoke from God.
Matthew 5:17-19, NLT
17 “Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose. 18 I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not even the smallest detail of God’s law will disappear until its purpose is achieved. 19 So if you ignore the least commandment and teach others to do the same, you will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But anyone who obeys God’s laws and teaches them will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Today we begin a deeper look into messages from the prophet Jeremiah. To be honest, I had intended to preach on Elijah’s story this summer, but God kept pointing me to Jeremiah instead, and Elijah stories kept sneaking into other sermons. As I read through the first round of study for Jeremiah this week, in light of events that have taken over the news on every level, I understood why God said Jeremiah. While the issues are not exactly the same, the level of turmoil certainly is.
I’ve had this opening thought in my head all week. We are a nation at war. The world has been fighting COVID-19, but other issues pushed to the forefront in recent days as well. We are not fighting terrorists from elsewhere; we are fighting ourselves, and we need to fight the attitudes and assumptions we harbor within us. None of this will be easy. We need the strength and hope found in our faith to face the hard work ahead of us.
When Melissa Spoelstra wrote this Bible study in 2014, she said, “When we look around at today’s world, hope usually isn’t the first word that comes to mind. In many ways we live in an age of uncertainty. If we allow our thoughts to linger on things such as the national debt, the pesticide-covered food supply, the condition of the environment, the increase in violence toward even our most innocent, and the looming moral bankruptcy of our culture, we can get pretty discouraged.”[i] I read this and thought sadly, not much has changed. Let me give you a glimpse of where she is headed with this study. “Living in such an unstable world, we tend to have a propensity to worry. Other choices of fear, doubt, and bitterness call us to select their posture when life gets overwhelming. Yet God offers us another choice. Through Him we can dare to hope – not in the government, our family, a job, or even the church. God calls us to surrender our wills to His and rest our hope in Him alone.” Again, as I read her words, I knew she is right.
This is what we continually need to do. Jeremiah lived in a time devoid of hope and yet, he found hope in God’s messages and promises. We do that, however, not claiming to determine the agenda but surrendering our own will and privilege to seek and do the will of God as found in God’s Word. In that process, Spoelstra confesses how easy it was to forget that message even while writing this study. It’s not hard to picture her illustration of losing focus at a stop light trying to gather up what had spilled from her purse. Bumping the car ahead of her was a needed wake up call. She reflected then, “I need to pay attention to really important things (like keeping my foot on the brake) instead of letting a small distraction (like my purse contents) put me in danger of hurting myself and others.”[ii] We do get distracted my minor details of daily life and lose sight sometimes of the big picture of God’s plans and intentions. I don’t mean that we shouldn’t deal with daily needs, but that we should keep them in perspective. Wake up calls came in Jeremiah’s day and continue to come in ours. We have a choice about what we will do with them.
So, what were the major issues of Jeremiah’s day? Spoelstra writes, “This prophet also found himself in a nation known for materialism, economic crisis, political globalization, and religious plurality.” [iii] The Cultural Backgrounds Bible notes, “Jeremiah was born into a world of violent changes and intense power struggles.”[iv]
Power was shifting from Assyria (who had conquered the northern kingdom of Israel in 722 BCE) to Babylon (a threat to the southern kingdom of Judah where Jeremiah lived). In the short period between the two, Judah had some independence. Under young King Josiah, the Temple was cleaned, and the scrolls of Torah found. This led to major reforms in the life and faith practices of that nation. However, Babylon began to fill the power vacuum left by Assyria on the international scene surrounding Judah.
Jeremiah’s “ministry lasted some forty-plus years, as he proclaimed unpopular truths during the reigns of Josiah, Jehoahaz, Jehoiakim, Jehoiachin, and Zedekiah. The first group of Jewish exiles was taken to Babylon in 597 BCE. Then in 586 BCE the Southern Kingdom came to an end when Babylon conquered Judah and carried many more Jews into captivity. Jeremiah remained behind in Judah but was later taken to Egypt against his will, where he continued his prophetic ministry and probably spent the remainder of his life (Jeremiah 43-44).”[v]
The book of Jeremiah and Lamentations (attributed to Jeremiah) “show how God looks at a culture which knew Him and deliberately turned away.”[vi] I have to ask, are we as a society any different? Spoelstra states that through Jeremiah God “continually asks [his people] to place their hope in Him instead of political alliances, material possessions, and people.”[vii] I suspect God wants us to hear the same message today. She goes on say, “if we are willing to delve beneath the surface of God’s warnings to His heart of love behind, we find the underlying message: that hope-filled living is possible even in an unstable world.” [viii] This is what I hope we will gain from this study, a godly perspective on how to live as God’s people in an unstable world.
Spoelstra was not kidding when she wrote, “Finding God’s hope filled plan for us will require an openness to change. That’s why we begin with surrender.”[ix] She honestly notes that “Jeremiah’s message was not a popular one. Unfortunately, the people of Judah did not see the hope in God’s plans for them, and they did not heed Jeremiah’s warnings. Their failure to make life changes in light of God’s call to hope in Him led to exile.”[x] My prayer matches hers, ‘that we will not be like them.”
Jeremiah spoke to God’s people 2600 years ago, yet his words are still relevant. He wasn’t that different from us. He got discouraged and depressed when he looked at the conditions around him, not just the outside concerns, but the people’s lack of concern for matters of justice and their lack of obedience to God’s will. In spite of Josiah’s reforms, they again became indifferent and uncommitted to God.
Jeremiah wasn’t perfect either. When God called him into a prophetic ministry to be God’s spokesman, Jeremiah made excuses as have so many others, Moses or Jonah for example. Jeremiah’s excuse was his youth. Behind that were his own fears. However, “7 The Lord responded, ‘Don’t say, ‘I’m only a child.’ Where I send you, you must go; what I tell you, you must say. 8 Don’t be afraid of them, because I’m with you to rescue you,’ declares the Lord.” [xi]
Some of us have been wrestling with speaking out against what is wrong in our world. We don’t want to offend anyone. We don’t want anyone to retaliate against us. We aren’t sure we see the whole picture. We might misunderstand or be misunderstood. We might not have the right words. We aren’t sure anyone will listen to us or that we have the relationship base upon which to take our stand. But our excuses don’t really excuse us from our hesitancy, if God is the one urging us to speak. However, I must admit there can still be consequences in terms of human reactions. There were for Jeremiah as well. Still when it is God calling us to speak, I trust that God will give us the words, as God did for Jeremiah.
Surrender means giving up our excuses. Surrender means a willingness to change. As I think about the justice issues we are facing again right now or others we still wrestle with from past protests and others we still need to address, I see the truth of this statement, “The changing of a culture starts with the individuals who are living within it.” I’ve heard echoes of this statement in many ways recently, but it also takes me back to the classic quote, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” Apparently Ghandi didn’t actually say this though it is usually attributed to him. However, it is still good advice whoever originated it. On Joseph Ranseth’s website he suggests becoming the change will cause us to do three things.
- “It stops us from judging others;
- It replaces complaining about others with reflection on self;
- It stirs us into taking action within the only thing in the world over which we have any control: ourselves.”[xii]
Spoelstra is clear that as God called Jeremiah, so Jesus also calls us to “go when and where He sends, speak His words, and prepare for action without fear.”[xiii] The question isn’t our excuses or fears. I like how she puts this, “God knows His callings can be scary. He doesn’t give us marching orders and a slap on the back and then fling us out to figure things out on our own.”[xiv] God has promised multiple times in the Bible to be with us. The real question we need to ask is whether it is God who is calling and have we heard God accurately. This is an issue of discernment.
Jeremiah heard God’s message and spoke it obediently. But that doesn’t mean he never had questions or doubts. We need to learn from Jeremiah who “talked with God from a very honest place. When he was confused, he asked questions. When he didn’t understand, he rehearsed the character of God.”[xv] Think about that. Honesty with ourselves and with God is absolutely necessary though sometimes we have to work at discovering our own truth. When truth is unfavorable our minds work hard to hide it even from ourselves. When we are confused about God’s truth and message, there is nothing wrong with asking questions. My favorite discernment prayer as some of you know is this, “God, make it so clear I can’t miss it!” I often encourage people to pray for discernment or for clarity. Abraham asked God questions. Elijah did. Jeremiah did. It’s okay for us to do so. What does it mean to rehearse the character of God? Think about how you understand God’s character from what you know of the Bible and what you have experienced of God in your own life. As you are trying to discern God’s will, one thing you can do is ask if this is something God would want, something God would ask; is it in line with God’s character?
Spoelstra highlights another aspect of discernment I find helpful. She shares from her own experience, “When I finish making excuses and arguing with Him and finally surrender to His voice, I have a peace in my soul that literally feels like a weight has been lifted. I smile when I should frown. He holds me together when I should be falling apart.”[xvi] Peace that comes not from the circumstances but in spite of the circumstances can come when we are sincerely doing our best to be obedient and surrender to God’s will.
Confirmation of God’s will can come directly as when Gideon laid out a fleece asking God to make it wet when the ground was dry or dry when the ground was wet.[xvii] Confirmation can also come through words of scripture, a song, something said by a friend or even in a sermon. Sometimes it comes through circumstances. Spoelsta says it is for her “always too clear to be a coincidence.”[xviii] We want discernment regarding God’s will before we submit to it in humble obedience. One of the promises Jesus made regarding the Holy Spirit it that it would guide us into all truth.[xix] Let’s be sure we lean into that promise and ask the Holy Spirit to guide us in all we say and do.
Jeremiah’s message was not what the people wanted to hear, because what was coming was the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. No one wanted to accept that reality. As Spoelstra puts it, “Babylon was nipping at Judah’s heels, demanding tribute, taking their best people (like Daniel), and threatening total destruction. Jeremiah’s suggestion to fully give in didn’t sit well with a government that was trying to rally its fighting men and boost morale.”[xx]
There are messages we don’t want to hear or admit. There are messages to which we have mixed reactions. In terms of the local congregation, we don’t want to hear that we have a leadership gap, that our resources are stretched thin, that we have decisions we need to make, that the future will require more change. It’s been tough, and we are tired.
With regard to COVID-19, most didn’t want to hear we have to stay inside quarantined during the pandemic. We didn’t want to give up going to work, going out to eat, hanging out with friends, spending time with family. Others were worried about going to work in the midst of the risks. Some of us are unsure about going out in public now.
In response to the killings that have sparked public protest, many don’t want to hear that some police officers harm rather than protect, that reform is needed in many police departments and other agencies. Others have waited a long time for the rest of us to admit that need. We don’t want to hear that we are privileged. We don’t want to hear that we are racist. We don’t always want to do the hard work of learning where the injustice still exists and then doing something to change it. That means making an honest assessment of and doing the tough work to change internal attitudes and assumptions we have grown up with subconsciously. It also means taking a hard look at the systems of society that were established and maintained on similar assumptions and reforming them as needed.
Like the people of Jeremiah’s day, we don’t want to hear any bad news, but it is necessary to hear truth, if we are going to make intelligent decisions and move forward.
Here is how Spoelstra words it, “the message of surrender is not as popular as the message of victory. We want God to fix our circumstances and tell us everything is going to work out.”[xxi] We continually tell each other it’s going to be fine. But things will not always be okay. Bad things will happen. People will make mistakes and bad choices. We know this even if we don’t want to hear it. But here’s the really tough part for many of us, “While sometimes God chooses to intervene …other times He calls us to surrender. Ultimately, He gives us victory through that surrender. He teaches us things, develops our character, and draws us close to Him through our struggles.”[xxii]
In the midst of the chaos in our world right now, we have opportunities to come to God, to learn, and to become better people. God did not cause the circumstances we find ourselves in, but sometimes God allows it, as he did both the Assyrian and Babylonian takeovers. God can use the tough times to teach us lessons so easy to ignore when everything seems to be going well. Spoelstra’s take on the Babylonian exile is classic, “God allowed the people of Judah to face destruction and captivity in order to help them see their ‘barrenness’ and how far they had drifted from Him.” [xxiii]
Spoelstra warns us honestly that “Delivering and obeying God’s message of surrender takes faith and obedience. And once we’ve taken that step, it is often tested by fire.” [xxiv] Jeremiah’s life also demonstrated the risk that comes with obedience and faithfulness to God’s message. In one case Jeremiah was jailed in a cistern. This was a pit in the rocky ground, covered with plaster, used to collect rainwater. In drought it would be dry or in some seasons just muddy. If you read Jeremiah 38, his punishment for speaking an unpopular truth was to be lowered by rope into a muddy cistern.
You know the Apostle Paul was often on the run, spent years in jail, and was eventually killed for speaking God’s Word. From my United Methodist history, I know sometimes John Wesley was run out of town after being tarred and feathered if his sermon was unpopular. You can think of other examples from our lifetime. Martin Luther King Jr. comes to mind. Jesus knew our call was not to an easy path, yet he said to his followers then and to us today, ““Those who want to come with me must say no to the things they want, pick up their crosses every day, and follow me.”[xxv] But Spoelstra also notes, “Jeremiah learned that surrendering to God brings peace and purpose even in the midst of terrifying circumstance.”[xxvi]
God may call us to risk taking an unpopular stand, yet God does not abandon us in the midst of that. Not everyone will have the same call. For some it will be to speak out in public. For some it will be finding the courage to disagree with a friend or family member and explain to them why you think differently than they do. For some it will be to participate in a peaceful protest. For others it will be finding creative expressions of what we believe is right. For some it will be working publicly on justice issues. For others it will be seeking to change systems toward justice working behind the scenes. For some it will be reading or listening more with a willingness to change our own opinions, words, and behaviors. For others it will mean becoming better informed on issues and realities before we vote in the Fall. Whether or not we answer God’s call is a choice we each must make.
Let me end today with these words from Jeremiah about such a choice. This is Jeremiah 17:5-8, NLT.
5 This is what the Lord says:
“Cursed are those who put their trust in mere humans,
who rely on human strength,
and turn their hearts away from the Lord.
6 They are like stunted shrubs in the desert,
with no hope for the future.
They will live in the barren wilderness,
in an uninhabited salty land.
7 “But blessed are those who trust in the Lord
and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.
8 They are like trees planted along a riverbank,
with roots that reach deep into the water.
Such trees are not bothered by the heat
or worried by long months of drought.
Their leaves stay green,
and they never stop producing fruit.
May we become such trees in the wilderness, stable, nourished, vibrant, and productive[xxvii]drawing deep from the living water of Jesus Christ, refreshed by the breeze of the Holy Spirit, as we seek to know and serve the Lord, our God.
AFFIRMATION Apostle’s Creed, Ecumenical Version p. 14
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
Loving God, we come before you
trusting in your steadfast love that endures forever,
and in your peace that is beyond our understanding.
We need both.
We live in a nation and a world torn apart
Struggling to battle disease, but also human prejudice.
We mourn with the family and friends
Of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor
And countless others whose names we do not know.
We pray for those tasked with reforming policy,
So that officers can do their job appropriately and safely
For themselves and for all they are charged to protect.
We pray for justice in court systems,
So that those who have caused harm will be corrected,
And those who are innocent will not suffer more.
We remember Tiananmen Square
And we pray for fresh justice between Hong Kong and China.
We pray for cooperation around the world as we continue
To fight the battle against COVID-19.
We continue to pray for those in health care professions,
And now for those going back to work in other industries.
We pray for the many whose jobs and businesses are gone,
That they will find new ways to work and meet their needs.
We pray for those who are sick and those who may yet become infected.
We pray for the families of those who have died.
We pray for those who are dealing with other ordinary stuff of life,
For those who have recently moved.
We pray for those facing medical tests and procedures.
We pray, Lord, for the courage to assess our own attitudes accurately,
To change where we need to change,
To learn what we need to learn,
And to speak out where we are called to do so.
PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING
We give thanks to you, O God, today and every day,
For the many blessings we too often take for granted.
If there is food not only on our table,
But in our refrigerator and cupboard, we give you thanks.
If we slept in a comfortable bed last night,
And our neighborhood was safe, we give you thanks.
If we had a choice of clothes to wear when we got up this morning,
And a warm shower or bath was available, we give you thanks.
If we have access to transportation, to medical assistance,
To basic services, we give you thanks.
If we have use of phones or television or internet or mail, we give you thanks.
If we were able to hear or read this worship service today, we give you thanks.
As your grateful people, we come before you
And remember the prayer our Lord taught us.
THE LORD'S PRAYER
Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, thy will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.
Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom and the power
And the glory forever. Amen.
CHARGE & BLESSING
I want to end our worship each week with the familiar words of hope from Jeremiah 29:11. This week I am reading them from the Common English Bible.
I know the plans I have in mind for you, declares the Lord; they are plans for peace, not disaster, to give you a future filled with hope.
May the God of Hope be with you, sustain you, and empower you with the teachings of Jesus the Christ, and the guiding power of the Holy Spirit as you face the week ahead.
[i] Melissa Spoelstra, Jeremiah: Daring to Hope in an Unstable World, Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2014, p. 57 (Since I am using a kindle version, p. for this book will refer to location # not actually page # in the book, because I don’t have hard copy to check that.)
[ii] p. 76
[iii] p. 80
[iv] NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible, Jeremiah Historical Background Notes, found online at biblegateway.com.
[v] Spoelstra online at https://www.abingdonpress.com/jeremiah with Digging Deeper notes for Week 1
[vi] Spoelstra, p. 85 quoting Francis Shaeffer
[vii] p. 87
[viii] p. 89
[ix] p. 132
[xi] Jeremiah 1:7-8, CEB
[xiii] Spolestra, p. 229
[xiv] p. 243
[xv] p. 395
[xvi] p. 406
[xvii] See Gideon’s story in Judges 6
[xviii] Spolestra p. 472
[xix] John 16:13
[xx] Spolestra p. 288
[xxi] p. 296
[xxii] p. 297
[xxiii] p. 694
[xxiv] p. 234
[xxv] Luke 9:23, GW
[xxvi] Spolestra p.368
[xxvii] p. 706
Jeremiah lived 2600 years ago, but has as much to say to our world today as he did to Judah then. The Bible Study from which I am taking much of this series is Jeremiah: Daring to Hope in an Unstable World by Melissa Spoelstra. A Bible Study to accompany the sermons can be found at Faith Adventures.