Thursday, February 07, 2008
COMPELLED TO MINISTER
The following is from Steve Troxel at God's Daily Word Ministries.

It is our responsibility to shine the light of Jesus into the world. God will sometimes use powerful preachers to share the gospel message with thousands; but most often, He uses common people like you and me to share His love with one individual at a time.

Sharing the gospel usually does not come naturally. We fear being offensive or rejected, and mostly we fear not having the right answers. A portion of these fears are perfectly natural. But our fears are always magnified by the enemy who seeks to keep us silent. Satan hates for us to speak the truth!

God chose Jeremiah to be a prophet forty years prior to Israel's captivity in Babylon. This was a difficult time to be God's spokesman - His message was not at all pleasant. From his first days as a prophet, Jeremiah was told to speak of approaching doom; "From the north disaster will be poured out on all who live in the land" (Jeremiah 1:14). God was going to discipline the nation for their many years of sinful rebellion and Jeremiah was sent to warn and explain why.

Jeremiah had his share of fear about sharing God's message; "Ah, Sovereign Lord, I do not know how to speak; I am only a child" (Jeremiah 1:6). His words certainly match some of ours today. But Jeremiah was obedient and placed his trust in God's promise; "Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you" (Jeremiah 1:8).

After many years of proclaiming God's message, Jeremiah's life had become nearly unbearable. Nobody believed his message and, instead of repenting, the people mocked and ridiculed; "The Word of the Lord has brought me insult and reproach all day long" (Jeremiah 20:8). Jeremiah had every reason to walk away from his calling, but something wonderful had taken root in his heart.

Jeremiah 20:9
"If I say, 'I will not mention Him or speak any more in His name,' His Word is in my heart like a fire, a fire shut up in my bones. I am weary of holding it in; indeed, I cannot."

For many years, Jeremiah had pressed close to God, seeking His direction and desiring to do His will. Jeremiah knew the presence of God and could not conceive of life apart from His Lord. Despite great hardship, he could no longer imagine his life void of ministering and proclaiming God's Truth!

His Word is never a burden too heavy to carry. But we will continue to struggle until we draw close and fill our lives with His presence. When we can see nothing but His majesty and glory, His Word will no longer be contained. Only then will we truly shine. Only then will we be compelled to minister.

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