24(Jer 01,04-12) Dont Despise Your Youth
You must not only come to know the Lord in your youth, but you must begin to serve the Lord in your youth as well. Tonight we are going to look at a “youth” who was called to serve the Lord. Let’s begin looking at his story.
Ah, Lord God! (vv. 4-8)
How old was Jeremiah when God called him? John Tullock says that Jeremiah’s reply of “I am a youth,” probably means he was still in his teens. What do you think of that? Jeremiah was teenager!
Look at what the Lord told Jeremiah in verse 7. He said, “Do not say, ‘I am a youth’.” In verse 8 he said, “Do not be afraid.” With similar words, the apostle Paul said in 1 Timothy 4:12, “Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” Do not let the fact that you’re young hinder you from following the Lord.
In Jeremiah’s case he was using his youth as an excuse not to go where God was calling. But the Lord told Jeremiah he was going to go where he commanded, and that he was not going to be afraid. At this point God had not yet told Jeremiah what his mission was.
Now, if the Lord came to you and told you to go speak in his name to people he hadn’t even named yet, and that you were not going to be afraid, how would you react? You might say, “There’s no way I’m going to do that!” Well the Lord knew Jeremiah needed some assurance, so let’s look at what he said to him.
Words of assurance (vv. 9-12)
If you were in Jeremiah’s sandals at this moment, wouldn’t you need a little assurance? You would probably need some big assurance that you could do what God was asking. The Lord knew that Jeremiah was having trouble following him, so he gave him some words and signs of assurance that he would be with him.
Back in verse 6, one of Jeremiah’s cries was “I cannot speak!” Youth, what did some of you say when I asked you if you would give your testimonies? You said, “I’m no good at speaking,” didn’t you? Verse 9 shows us what will happen if we follow the Lord. God reached out and touched Jeremiah’s mouth, and gave him the gift of speech. God’s exact words were, “Behold, I have put My words in your mouth.” Does this story sound like another we have heard?
In Exodus 4:10, (Ex. 4:12). We don’t have to worry about how our speech will sound if we obey the Lord. Everything will work out for God’s glory.
In 1 Corinthians 2:1-5 Paul said… We see that telling people about God is scary, but the Lord will be with us and give us the words to say when we obey him.
Now that the Lord said he would give Jeremiah the words to say, he hit him with the bad news. In verse 9 we see to whom Jeremiah was to go speak. He was to speak to the nations and kingdoms. Can you imagine a teenager going to kings and pronouncing God’s judgment upon them? Well Jeremiah did just that! If I were you I wouldn’t want Jeremiah to put me to shame. What God asks of us is nothing compared to what he asked Jeremiah to do. All the Lord asks of us is that we tell ordinary people about Jesus Christ.
Time of Reflection
Youth, remember that just as the teenager Jeremiah was called to proclaim the words of the Lord, you are too. Don’t be afraid to stand up for Jesus Christ because you think you are too young. You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. I want to challenge you to serve the Lord while you are still young. Right now you are developing habits that you will carry with you the rest of your lives. Telling people about Jesus is a good habit to form while you’re young.
We heard Ecclesiastes 12:1 which says, “Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, before the difficult days come, and the years draw near when you say, ‘I have no pleasure in them’.” Don’t wait too late to accept the Lord. If you don’t have Jesus Christ in your heart, then you are going to be in for a hard life when you get older. Who are you going to turn to when you are lonely and hurting, if you don’t have Jesus? Think about that.