• W. Austin Gardner

Considering the Call to Ministry




Jeremiah 1:4 Then the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. 6 Then said I, Ah, Lord God! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. 7 But the Lord said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. 8 Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord. 9 Then the Lord put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the Lord said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth. 10 See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.

  1. Jeremiah’s call was a drastic change Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

  2. Jeremiah was born into a family of priests and now God is calling him to be a prophet

  3. Being a priest promised a predictable life, secure income, and respect from the people

  4. Mostly they worked in private in the sanctuary

  5. Born a priest they didn’t have to prove their call

  6. Being a prophet was all the opposite.

  7. Never knew what God was going to tell you to do

  8. Being the prophet meant you were always calling the people to do right

  9. People were angry with the prophet because he was stirring things up

  10. Being called to the ministry is a drastic change today especially for a missionary

  11. Leaving family and friends to do what God wants you to do:

  12. Considered to be odd or different

  13. Having to prove your calling

  14. Stepping out and saying you have a special call or place in life

  15. Being watched, living in a glass house

  1. Jeremiah had been distinctly chosen Jeremiah 1:4 Then the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

  2. Jeremiah was fearful so God made it clear that his calling was no accident or coincidence

  3. God knew Jeremiah before he was made

  4. He was sanctified or set apart before he was born

  5. God appointed him to be his prophet

  6. God knows you before you are born

  7. He is all-knowing

  8. He has plans for our lives so don’t mess up Jeremiah 1:17 Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command thee: be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them.

  9. A good reason to not believe in abortion here Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

  10. God formed Jeremiah in the belly just like He did the rest of us I formed thee Psalm 139:13 For thou hast possessed my reins: Thou hast covered me in my mother’s womb. 14 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: Marvellous are thy works; And that my soul knoweth right well. 15 My substance was not hid from thee, When I was made in secret, And curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. 16 Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; And in thy book all my members were written, Which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them.

  11. John the Baptist left in the womb of his mother when Jesus in the womb came in Luke 1:41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost:

  12. Either we believe in evolution or that God made man

  13. If we believe in evolution then we are truly only evolved animals and might makes right

  14. Should abortion be a way to control sexual reproduction?

  15. Shouldn’t our people learn purity rather than take a life that might inconvenience them?

  16. God knew him before he was born I knew thee

  17. Apparently, God saw him as a person to know not a mass of tissue

  18. Apparently, God recognized him before he came out of the womb and breathed air

  19. God had a plan for his life I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet

  20. Before he comes out of the womb, he is set aside by God for His service

  21. God formed him to be a prophet

  22. If God is that involved in making you then you should accept how He made you

  23. Teach your children that they are specially made

  24. We are to be grateful, not hateful about the way we are made

  25. I need to accept the way He made me including deficiencies trusting that He has a purpose for my life

  26. Accept that God knows you from beginning to end Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. 29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

  27. You are distinctly His to be used as He chooses

  28. Who should determine what you do with your life and all that you have and are

  29. Are you bought with a price? Romans 12:1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

  1. Jeremiah faced a difficult calling Jeremiah 1:10 See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.

  2. Jeremiah was apprehensive

  3. He felt inadequate to speak for God Jeremiah 1:6 Then said I, Ah, Lord God! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. 7 But the Lord said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.

  4. He was intimidated by the people he had to speak to Jeremiah 1:8 Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord.

  5. He was leaving the intimacy of a priest to face down kingdoms and nations Jeremiah 1:10 See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms,

  6. He was being called to do very uncomfortable things Jeremiah 1:10 See, I have this day set thee over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out, and to pull down, and to destroy, and to throw down, to build, and to plant.

  7. He would instigate and be a catalyst

  8. He would make people very uncomfortable

  9. His message and ministry would make him feel alone and hated

  10. All ministry is uncomfortable unless you just go with the status quo

  11. Are you confronting people about their relationship with God?

  12. Do you challenge people to examine their service and ministry with God?

  13. Living a nonconforming life will always be uncomfortable but it is our reasonable sacrifice

  14. God gave Jeremiah Divine comfort for his ministry

  15. It was God directing His life Jeremiah 1:5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.

  16. It was God that would give him the words to say Jeremiah 1:6 Then said I, Ah, Lord God! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. 7 But the Lord said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. 8 Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the Lord. 9 Then the Lord put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the Lord said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.

  17. God promised to be with him and to protect him Jeremiah 1:19 And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith the Lord, to deliver thee.

  18. You will never do ministry alone unless you rebel and live in sin

  19. All the promises of God are yours II Corinthians 1:20 For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.

  20. God promised Jeremiah definite completion of His prophecies

  21. The sign of an almond tree Jeremiah 1:11 Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Jeremiah, what seest thou? And I said, I see a rod of an almond tree. 12 Then said the Lord unto me, Thou hast well seen: for I will hasten my word to perform it.

  22. He shows him the almond tree which for a Jew was a symbol that meant to wake and watch for what was coming

  23. God said He would perform His Word

  24. The sign of the north-facing seething pot Jeremiah 1:13 And the word of the Lord came unto me the second time, saying, What seest thou? And I said, I see a seething pot; and the face thereof is toward the north. 14 Then the Lord said unto me, Out of the north an evil shall break forth upon all the inhabitants of the land. 15 For, lo, I will call all the families of the kingdoms of the north, saith the Lord; and they shall come, and they shall set every one his throne at the entering of the gates of Jerusalem, and against all the walls thereof round about, and against all the cities of Judah.

  25. God would bring judgment from the north overall

  26. Their sin would bring suffering to all the people

  27. The judgments would come because of their sin Jeremiah 1:16 And I will utter my judgments against them touching all their wickedness, who have forsaken me, and have burned incense unto other gods, and worshipped the works of their own hands.

  28. They had turned from God to false gods

  29. They had worshiped those gods

  30. They had made idols to worship

  31. Jeremiah was to boldly preach, convinced that God would do the work Jeremiah 1:17 Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command thee: be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them. 18 For, behold, I have made thee this day a defenced city, and an iron pillar, and brasen walls against the whole land, against the kings of Judah, against the princes thereof, against the priests thereof, and against the people of the land.

  32. There would be opposition but God would bless Jeremiah 1:19 And they shall fight against thee; but they shall not prevail against thee; for I am with thee, saith the Lord, to deliver thee.

  33. Jeremiah would have the victory

  34. God would be with him and rescue him

  • Look at God’s work in your life

  • We are to take up a cross, die to ourselves, go out and serve Him and that is a drastic change for anyone

  • People will always be uncomfortable with the person that totally sells out to God

  • You can know that you are special to God and He is at work in your life

  • Will you at least stand for the life of the unborn after hearing this passage?

  • Serving God is always difficult and we feel inadequate and intimidated

  • You have great promises of God if you will just choose to believe them

  • God will do a work

  • His Word works and you can go forward in confidence

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