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Apr 22 Devotion: Burdened With Purpose

Lamentations 1:12 “Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow, which is done unto me, wherewith the LORD hath afflicted me in the day of his fierce anger.”

Here the Prophet Jeremiah laments (as s the namesake of this book) for the nation of Israel and their desolation. For over 30 years Jeremiah preached repentance to Israel, but they did not hear. God fulfilled his Word, which was preached by Jeremiah, and when Israel did not cease their wicked ways the LORD utterly destroyed Israel.

Nevertheless, I want to look at Jeremiah’s reaction to Israel’s judgment. Here is a man of God that desired the repentance of Israel more than any other man. He poured his soul into preaching the truth and imploring them to turn from their carnal lifestyles. He cared so much for the people, his own nation, that it broke his heart when the LORD brought judgment upon them. As Jeremiah said, “Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by?” Jeremiah was astonished that every person that walked by didn’t weep at the destruction of Israel. He couldn’t comprehend how everyone passerby didn’t see the great tragedy in God’s Chosen People rejecting the same God that had made them into a great nation.

In all likelihood, the vast majority of those that died in Israel’s judgment opened their eyes in Hell. Jeremiah cared so deeply and fervently for those people that he endured beatings, jailing, ridicule, and other harsh adversity; he even carried on when he was at his lowest because of the fire God had shut up in his bones. Do we care that much about the souls of our fellow man? Are we grieved that tens of thousands die every day around the globe and find themselves in Hell suffering the punishment for their own sins?

Jeremiah’s burden was so strong for the people of Israel because:

1) He Received a Message—Jeremiah received the Word of the Lord and it lit a fire in his bones. We each receive the message of the Gospel when we are born again. The message of God’s love, Jesus’s payment of our sin debt, and his victorious resurrection and return to Heaven should always burn hot in the marrow of our bones. This message is so monumentally important that God himself wrote it before the foundation of the world. In his omniscience, he chose to use people to win other people, but we won’t have a burden if we let the fire get doused. It’s still up to me and you to reach Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and the uttermost parts of the Earth.

2) He Realized the Urgency—Jeremiah knew that one day God would keep his word, without repentance there would be judgment. It ended up taking decades, but Jeremiah knew each day could be the last chance God gave to repent. The same is true with us, as it is written, “The wages of sin is death” and “It is appointed unto men once to die and then the judgment.” Do we realize that each and every soul around us will face God in judgment? Do we care if a stranger will spend eternity in the Lake of Fire? Because each moment we forget the urgency of spreading the gospel Hell’s borders still enlarge.

3) He Recognized the Need—Jeremiah looked at others and saw what they needed. He knew they wouldn’t find it outside of God. He had seen the light and saw that other’s eyes were still dimmed. When we look at lost people we should pity the look in their eyes; the same hopelessness, emptiness, pain, sorrow, and misery that we all knew before being saved. Jeremiah saw himself in the shoes of everyone he preached to. We should see our former selves when we look at others. We have the remedy and who am I that a King would bleed and die for? Do we see the need in people’s eyes? If we do then our burden cannot wain and our drive to win them will grow.

Jeremiah fulfilled his duty. He did what God told him to do. His burden was stronger than most Christians today and because of his drive to do the work of the Lord the whole nation heard what thus saith the Lord. We should burden ourselves that we will reach those around us. That in order to die and go to Hell, they will have to fight us tooth and nail each step of the way. Our burden for lost souls should be so strong that we wrestle in prayer, devote each day, and invest our lives into reaching the lost. With that mentality and purpose, we can win the world for Jesus. So I ask you what Jeremiah asked, “Is it nothing to you?”

Your Fellowservant,

Jordan Foster


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