Day 17

Jeremiah Compelled to Preach

from the Lent 2020: His Love Endures reading plan


Jeremiah 20:1-18, Jeremiah 21:1-14, Jeremiah 22:1-30, Isaiah 9:6-7, John 11:25-26

BY Kaitie Stoddard

Have you ever felt God place a message on your heart that you couldn’t help but share? Sometimes that calling arrives on your doorstep when you least expect it. That was the case for me when my daughter was diagnosed with Down syndrome. God has used her life to show me His deep love for all people, regardless of their abilities or achievements. My eyes have been opened to the shortcomings in my own heart, and in the heart of our culture, to affirm the worth of every human being because they are made in the image of God. I knew God was leading me to spread the word about how “perfectly and wonderfully made” people with Down syndrome are.

Sometimes the task God gives us is unpopular. The truth can be divisive, and by sharing the truth of the gospel we may lose friends, family, and opportunities. In some parts of the world, the consequences of faith are far more dire, putting the very lives of believers at risk for preaching the Word. The prophet Jeremiah was no stranger to persecution. He was given the dangerous assignment of calling Jerusalem out for their injustice and unfaithfulness to God. And while he was faithful to preach that message, it was not without internal wrestling.

One might look at the prophets of old and assume that witnessing is somehow easier for them than it is for you and me. We might think they liked the public stage and all that came with it. But Jeremiah makes it clear he would run away from the spotlight in a second if it didn’t mean running away from God too. So why doesn’t Jeremiah forget the risky business of prophecy and find a more convenient, safe way to serve God? Jeremiah is compelled to speak out because, as he said, the Lord’s message “becomes a fire burning in my heart, shut up in my bones. I become tired of holding it in” (Jeremiah 20:9). His heart is so deeply tethered to the Lord’s that he cannot waver from his created purpose.

As followers of Jesus, God places specific callings to our lives through the movement of the Holy Spirit in us. For each one of us, the big-picture calling is to proclaim the name of Jesus. But we have all been entrusted with unique circumstances and gifts that shape the way we point the world to Christ.

What is the specific “burning” you feel in your bones? Are you being faithful to proclaim it? While it’s tempting to let the fear of repercussion silence you, look to the faith of Jeremiah for courage. He was a man who preached a dangerous message and experienced the backlash, but knew deep down he could do nothing less. The reason Jeremiah was able to be so bold was not because he was strong or special, but because he trusted that God is a “violent warrior,” one who could not be stopped (Jeremiah 20:11). That same powerful God is calling you and me to share the truth with the world in a very particular way. He will be with us every step of the way. The question is, will we let God speak through our lives?

Post Comments (57)

57 thoughts on "Jeremiah Compelled to Preach"

  1. Audrey Roseboom says:

    I have no idea what my calling is, but I’ve always felt a deep connection to how badly people need to see Jesus’ love and have felt extremely passionate about showing it to everyone I come by. Pray that the Lord will use my life to be a reflection of Him and that it will only be used for Hid glory!

  2. Kim says:

    I’m praying for you and your husband, too. It’s hard to wait. God can make a way!!! I’ve seen Him do it. Continue to be a gentle loving, non-nagging Spirit. And wait for God to change his heart. I’m asking God to help him receive the Bible…to know you and receive your love . ❤️

  3. Bridgette Alvarez says:

    Amen. I am in prayer with you about sharing the good word with your husband and God opening your husband’s heart to receive God’s word. I’m thinking back to the church’s prayer points from the beginning of the year, pray for opportunities and boldness for gospel conversations. I believe that God turned my husband’s heart towards Him before he passed away in November. It took persistent prayer and boldness to have those Godly conversations and sometimes rejection but of course it was worth it.

  4. Bridgette Alvarez says:

    I love ❤️ the reading today and totally agree with the vignette. God use me, speak through me. It’s my daily prayer.

  5. Parasa says:

    God, please help me and make me strong to share your message with many. Provide your knowledge and wisdom to serve you more faithfully.

  6. Jennifer Anapol says:

    I pray the Lord would show me what my particular calling is during this season. That I would feel a “burning” in my heart to share the message he has given me.

  7. Tina says:

    Dorothy, beautifully said.. sending you love and hugs..❤

  8. Carrie Brewer says:

    This convicted me today! The Lord has put it on my heart to share the gospel with my husband, but I have not obeyed as I am fearful of his reaction. I bought the He reads truth bible to give him for our anniversary next week and I am afraid I will chicken out and keep it hidden in my drawer. Lord give me peace to share the good news with others and help me show them grace when they do not understand. Open my husbands heart to receive your word and let the Spirit guide my words and actions.

    1. Laura Quines says:

      Praying for your husband now!!

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