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Speak Good Words

Speak Good Words

12 August 2011

Reading: Jeremiah 13-15; John 15

Scripture:

This is how the Lord responds: “If you return to me, I will restore you so you can continue to serve me. If you speak good words rather than worthless ones, you will be my spokesman. You must influence them; do not let them influence you!” (Jeremiah 15:19 NLT)

Jeremiah began his prophetic ministry in Judah in 627 BC during the reign of mostly good king Josiah. The northern kingdom of Israel would fall five years later in 622 BC. The first defeat of Jerusalem in 605 BC saw Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and many others of that generation exiled to Babylon. Finally in 586 BC, Jerusalem and Judah fell to the Babylonians, and the Temple was destroyed.

Jeremiah faithfully spoke for God during unsettled and trying times. For forty years, Jeremiah was considered a traitor by the political leaders, an heretic by the religious leaders, and a “prophet of doom” by the economic leaders of Judah. He often felt totally alone, isolated, and hated by everyone in the country.

It’s very easy to be influenced by the popular values, attitudes, and opinions. It’s very hard to go against the flow, to say the difficult and unpopular things—to say things no one wants to hear! But sometimes God calls a person to stand alone and speak out. Remember, God requires those who speak for him to be faithful and true, not popular and successful!

I prefer to speak words of encouragement and comfort to people. I want to be a blessing to others. God’s word to me from Jeremiah today is that that if I am to be useful and effective for him, I must not only be willing to speak words of encouragement and comfort, I must be willing to speak honestly about sin and its consequences. God is still looking for those who will speak worthy words of truth.

Prayer:

Father, I admire Jeremiah for his willingness to stand alone. I don’t envy him in that role, but I want to be a man who speaks good and honest words, not worthless ones. Help me to be sensitive to your Spirit and obedient to your voice. I want to be a spokesman for you. Amen.

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