Never Too Young – Jeremiah 1:7-8 Devotional

But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you, you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the Lord.”
-Jeremiah 1:7-8 (ESV)

In this chapter, God calls Jeremiah to be a prophet.

Before he was even born, God had this purpose in mind for Jeremiah.

Jeremiah’s response was an excuse. He basically said, “I don’t know what to say. I’m too young.”

Yet, God told Jeremiah not to use that excuse. God promised to go with him and to give him the words to say.

 

Have you ever felt too young or inexperienced to do something?

In general, preparation and experience are good. But when it comes to following God, faith matters so much more.

God had a plan for Jeremiah from the beginning. No matter how unqualified Jeremiah felt at that moment, God was calling him right then.

It can be tempting to think that God doesn’t really have a purpose for us until we graduate and land the perfect job or have the best family. But, that’s just not true.

God may have different plans for your life at age 30 than at 19, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have a purpose until age x.

In 1 Timothy 4:12 (ESV), Paul tells the young preacher Timothy, “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.”

Right now, we can be a Christlike example to others and faithfully serve God while we’re young.

God wanted to use Jeremiah right where He was and He’ll use us right where we are to accomplish His purposes.

Monday Motivation: Seeking Wisdom

“Give me an understanding heart so that I can govern your people well and know the difference between right and wrong. For who by himself is able to govern this great people of yours?”
-1 Kings 3:9 (NLT)

Imagine that you were exploring the attic of your home. Underneath the dust and cobwebs, you see a chest in the corner. You open it up to find a golden lamp-like object. You quickly realize that it may contain a genie and start rubbing the lamp. Sure enough, the genie pops out and offers to grant you three wishes.

Obviously, this scenario is fictional, reserved for fantasy stories and movies, but I think it raises an important question. If you could wish for three things and change or add anything to your life, what would you choose? Money? Fame? Love?

While genies may not come out of bottles in the real world, Solomon really did have a similar experience. In a dream, God told Solomon to ask for what he wanted and God would give it to him.

At this point in time, his father David had just passed away and Solomon had assumed the role of king. He asked God to give him wisdom and discernment, so he would be able to rule God’s people.

God was pleased with Solomon’s answer. He gave Solomon a wise heart, so much so that no one who has or will ever live can be compared to him. God also gave him abundant riches and fame.

In our time, we may not hear God verbally asking us what we want in a dream, but I do believe He cares about our desires and is a loving Father.

That doesn’t mean that God will send money falling from the sky, but He does reward the faithful. We must also remember that God is not a genie. We should never serve God just for the sake of getting something in return – that’s not what a relationship is about. But, I believe that if we ask God for wisdom, He will give it to us.

James 1:5-8 (NLT) says, “If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking. But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Their loyalty is divided between God and the world, and they are unstable in everything they do.”

The more we seek after God, the more our hearts become tuned to His ways. The desires of our heart become godly desires when we delight in the Lord (Psalm 37:4).

So don’t be afraid to ask God for anything you lack. If you need financial resources, pray. If you need food, pray. If you need strength, pray.

God doesn’t always answer in the way we expect, but He never fails to provide for His children. God is always faithful and His blessings are incredible.

Questions for Today:

1.) If you could wish for one thing, what would it be?

2.) What character trait or quality would you like to have?

Our goal is to have a new devotional every Monday on Resound.

For daily devotions like this, please feel free to check out my blog, Olden Day Revival.

Taking the First Step… Having Faith to Walk on Water

“Walking on Water”, the latest single from NEEDTOBREATHE, is now playing on Resound Radio.

Here’s a link to their lyric video as well.

The South Carolina natives are known for songs like “Something Beautiful” and “Brother”.

Frontman Bear Rinehart explains that “Walking on the Water” was written with their good friend and fellow musician, Matt Maher.

The inspiration for this song came from Matthew 14. The disciples were out at sea, far from land, in the middle of heavy waves and wind. Suddenly, they see a figure walking toward them on the water.

They think it’s a ghost. The figure starts telling them not to be afraid because he’s Jesus. Then Peter, known for his outspokenness, says, “Lord, if it’s really you, tell me to come to you, walking on the water,” (14:28).

I can just imagine Peter’s surprise when Jesus tells him to come. Despite being outspoken, I think Peter was just as scared as the other disciples. He probably wasn’t expecting an answer to his bold dare. But nevertheless, he stepped out of the boat and started walking on the water towards Jesus.

Matt Maher says,
“I think in the life of faith, there’s a propensity to sometimes look at things from a glass half empty standpoint. I mean, when you look at the story of Peter walking on water with Jesus, most of us tend to focus on the fact that he sank. Very seldom do we stop and think that a human being actually kept his eyes on God and walked on water.”

I know for sure that I have been guilty of that. If you think about it, how many of us would have the courage to leave the boat? The other disciples didn’t.

Bear Rinehart adds,
“There always seems to be a lot made of his doubt once he realized what was happening, but we feel like the faith and trust it took for him to try it in the first place is worth talking about too.”

When Peter kept his focus on Jesus, he was able to walk on water. The same God who made a way for Peter is the God we serve today.

To Matt Maher, Peter walking on the water “shows the possibilities of what happens when we keep our eyes fixed on love… what we thought was impossible is actually quite possible with the love of God.”

I really love what Bear Rinehart says as well,
We don’t even have to do it right, we just have to take the first step.”

Peter wasn’t perfect, but he was willing to take the first step.

What first steps can you take toward your own future? What classes or activities can you get involved in that will teach you valuable life skills? What job opportunities or mission trips are available? What relationships can you start building right now?

It can be scary when God calls us to the unknown, but all He asks is that we trust Him. It’s okay to make mistakes. There are going to be times we’re uncertain about the future. But, if we’re willing to take the first step, God will see us through.

As NEEDTOBREATHE sings,
There’s no turning back
Nothing in the past
My eyes on You again
Can’t see nothing at all
But Your outstretched arms
Help me believe it
Though I falter
You got me walking on water

God’s Reckless Love Reaches to the Lost Sheep

Cory Asbury has been a part of Bethel Music Collective since May 2015.

He also serves as the worship pastor of Radiant Church in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Asbury’s third solo album, Reckless Love, just released yesterday!

You can hear his song Reckless Love on Resound Radio. In the meantime, here’s a YouTube link.

Asbury’s inspiration for this song came from Luke 15, in which Jesus told the parable of the lost sheep.

He says, “Jesus demonstrates the recklessness of his love in going after that one lost sheep. He knew he had to leave the 99 to find that one, but it was supremely important to him to find that one and he would do anything that he could to get a hold of that one heart.”

I’m a commuter student and everyday on my way to Cedarville, I pass by a sheep farm. Sheep are my favorite animals in the whole world, so it’s really hard to keep my eyes on the road.

Often, the sheep are all leaning over a hay rail, eating or they’re cuddling together by the barn. These sheep are so cute, but most of all, they look secure and satisfied.

When I first heard the story of The Lost Sheep, I thought that the shepherd was somehow endangering the other 99 when he left them in pursuit of the lost sheep. But that’s not true. There weren’t fences in Bible times, but the 99 sheep were right where they were supposed to be. So when the shepherd went after the runaway sheep, he knew that the others would still be safe.

Jesus is our Good Shepherd. The 99 sheep represent Christians that are in the fold of God. Jesus’ going after the one doesn’t leave the 99 in danger. He knows the 99 are safe and recklessly pursues the one that is lost.

Cory Asbury says that at one time, he was the Lost Sheep.
“And for me, that’s the story of my life. He came after me when I was broken, when I was lost. A young kid with regret as deep as the ocean. He found me; he took me by the hand and put a new song in my mouth. That song is about the wildness of his love; the recklessness of his love.”

God is willing to do whatever it takes to pursue us with his reckless love.

As Asbury sings,
There’s no shadow you won’t light up
Mountain you won’t climb up
Coming after me
There’s no wall you won’t kick down
Lie you won’t tear down
Coming after me

What does God’s reckless love look like in your own life?
Do you have any favorite lines from “Reckless Love?”

Please let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
Thanks so much for reading!

New Music | Unfinished by Mandisa

“Unfinished” by Mandisa

By RaeAnn Jent

Mandisa started her music career on season 5 of American Idol. Some of her most popular songs are Stronger and Overcomer. The album Overcomer released in late 2013 and Mandisa admits that she disappeared from the music scene for a few years. In a YouTube video, Mandisa explains that Overcomer was inspired by a close friend who was battling cancer, who sadly passed away shortly after the album was released.

After her friend Keisha passed away, Mandisa began to question and doubt God’s goodness. She went into the deepest depression of her life and stayed there for many years.

As God helped Mandisa out of that dark pit, she was reminded of Philippians 1:6 (NLT) which says,

“And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”

Mandisa explains “that Scripture in Philippians 1:6 has become a lifeline for me when I start to get so worried and anxious about everything I’ve done wrong.”

Instead of living in shame and regret, we can trust that God is working in our lives.

Mandisa finishes the video with these awesome words,

“It’s not how many times you fall down; it’s how many times you get back up”

“You’re not a failure, you’re not a mistake, you’re just unfinished.”

I’m so excited that Mandisa has been working on new music. Her press release team announced Saturday that Mandisa’s new album Out of the Dark will be available on May 19th!

Unfinished is such a great reminder that God’s not done with us yet. We often make the same mistakes and live in regret time and time again. Yet, no matter how much we fail, He’s still working on us.

In Hebrews 13:5, God has promised to never leave or forsake us. He has amazing plans for your life and wants to walk alongside you and help you to fulfill the dreams He’s given you. God never abandons us to try to figure out life on our own. He gives us room to mess up, but offers us second chances time and time again.

When we call out to God, He’s there. In our best moments, He’s there. In our struggles, He’s there.

You may have doubts, insecurities, or shame, but don’t let it define you. In God’s eyes, you are a masterpiece- beautiful, valuable, and unfinished.

You can hear Mandisa’s new song “Unfinished” on Resound Radio.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ejycllx5iwA