In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah came this Word from the LORD, saying, Thus saith the LORD; Stand in the court of the LORD's house, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the LORD's house, all the Words that I command thee to speak unto them; diminish not a Word (Jer. 26:1-2).
The role the Pastor plays as he leads his congregation is of utmost importance to the Lord. If the Pastor goes astray it can cause many others to lose faith and damage their relationship with God. We must remember, however, that the plan of God is much greater than we could ever imagine and it cannot be derailed by human action. Our relationship with Christ is personal; it is between the individual and God. Our pastors are there to guide us, but we should never allow them to dictate or control our relationship with the Lord, no matter what their intentions. The only one deserving of our faith and worship is the Lord. We are chosen of God, not of the preacher or the church. Ye have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in My name, He may give it you (John 15:16).
Judah had many false pastors in their history, but Jeremiah certainly was not one. As a matter of fact, at this time, he was the God-called shepherd to the entire nation. Jeremiah exemplified many of the qualities that should be found in a pastor. The most important quality he displayed was his total obedience to the commandments given to him by God. But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith (Rom. 16:26).
Jeremiah did occasionally have doubts. He doubted that he was the right man for the job, and he regularly doubted that his service to God was helping anyone. However, even in the midst of his doubts he was 100% obedient to the Lord's commands. Even when He didn't understand "why" the directions, were given, it was enough for him that it was the Lord's will. The obedience of Jeremiah ensured that the right words were spoken to the right people at the right place.
Jeremiah serves as living proof that confidence is not the first quality that the Lord is seeking when He appoints a shepherd for His people. God does not need for us to know what we are doing; He wants us to be willing to listen to Him. This is what he requires from those that serve Him in a pastoral position, but it is also what He requires of each and every one of us as individuals. Even when we have not been called into a position of leadership, we must always remember that we are still His representatives here on earth.
And we are His witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey Him (Acts 5:32).
Thought for Today:
Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out (Acts 3:19).
By Jeremiah, who was falsely accused by the priests and the false prophets (Jer. 26:8-9). Our Lord was also threatened and falsely accused by the religious rulers of His day. And they began to accuse Him, saying, We found this Fellow perverting (misleading) the nation, and forbidding to give tribute (pay taxes) to Caesar, saying that He Himself is Christ a King (Luke 23:2; also John 8:48,59).
26:14 meet = right; 27:19 the sea = the bronze laver at which the priests cleansed their hands and feet before entering the Temple; residue = remainder.
I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.
Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.
I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.