Today we continue our series entitled, “Grace and Truth” by continuing to look at The Law given under Moses vs. the Grace provided by Jesus. Our main scriptures are John 1:14 & 17. Let’s look at them again.
(John 1:14 New International Version)
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
(John 1:17 New International Version)
For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.
Yesterday I shared Jeremiah 1:5 with you. Let’s go back to that again today, with a special emphasis on God’s grace.
The Lord said to Jeremiah, “Before I made you in your mother’s womb, I knew you. Before you were born, I chose you for a special work. I chose you to be a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah responded, “But, Lord God, I don’t know how to speak. I am only a boy.” The Lord then responded to him, “Don’t say, ‘I am only a boy. You must go everywhere I send you and say everything I tell you to say. Don’t be afraid of anyone. I am with you, and I will protect you.” (see Jer 1:5-8 ERV).
So what does this mean to you today? I could spend days on this passage. But I will limits my thoughts to two major points today.
1. The initial response to the enormity of God’s assignment is often inadequacy.
a) When Jeremiah was a young man and God revealed to him that he was called to be a prophet, Jeremiah’s response was, “But, Lord God, I don’t know how to speak. I am only a boy.” Jeremiah was looking at his human position and perceived ability. While God was looking at His own endless power. Jeremiah was focused on himself and whether or not he considered himself up to the task. While God knew He was not asking Jeremiah to do it on his own. Herein lies the major difference between living by works, or human effort, and living by faith in God’s grace.
b) God calls us to do things we cannot do. He does this so our reliance will be on Him. But if we don’t understand God’s grace and we don’t put the emphasis on God and His power, it is easy to do what Jeremiah did and question our ability to perform. Jeremiah is not the only person who did this. Abraham thought he was too old. David thought he was too young. Moses thought he was not eloquent enough. Gideon thought God picked the wrong man. And I could go on. The point is that the enormity of God’s call often causes us to feel inadequate and if we are relying on human ability, then we are right. We could NEVER do what God has called us to do without Him. But that’s the point. We don’t have to! God is with us every step of the way.
c) God calls us to do things that exceed human power, ability, and strength. Jeremiah’s call was to a supernatural assignment. No human can discern the future and prophesy of the things to come unless the Lord reveals them to him/her. There was no way Jeremiah could do this in his own power, but God never expected him to. If Jeremiah provided the willingness, God already had the words. If Jeremiah opened his mouth, God would fill it. See, God is not relying on your ability. He is only looking for your availability and faith.
d) It’s okay to initially feel inadequate for your divine assignment. Actually, if you don’t, then you probably did not grasp the enormity of it. When you eventually do, you may feel inadequate in your own strength, but that does not matter because you won’t be the one doing it. It will be the Lord, working through you, He will give you the words and He will perform the work (John 14:10 & 12).
2. God is looking for you to rest in His power, ability, and strength.
a) God told Jeremiah that He would send him where he needed to go, provide the words to say when he got there, and protect him along the way. Jeremiah was afraid because he was thinking about his own abilities. God did not want Jeremiah focused on human strength at all. God was looking for Jeremiah to rest in His power, His grace and His dedication to an assignment He called Jeremiah to before the world began. What is true for Jeremiah is true for you!
b) Everything related to Jeremiah’s divine assignment was finished before Jeremiah ever got started. God had already mapped it out. God made provisions for everything Jeremiah would need before the young man even started his ministry. Guess what? God did the same for you. This is why He is looking for you to REST in His Finished Work!
c) God did you ONE BETTER than He did Jeremiah. Jeremiah was called in the Old Testament. Under the Old Covenant, the Spirit of God did NOT live inside of man. Humanity lost God’s indwelling presence when Adam sinned in the Garden of Eden. And mankind would not regain access to the Holy Spirit until Jesus’ redemptive work on the cross. So, in the Old Testament, the Spirit of God would come UPON men/women. But He would not dwell IN them. If you are Born-Again you are under the New Covenant. The moment you accepted Jesus as Lord and you repented from sin, you were filled with God’s presence in the form of the Holy Spirit. When you consider the enormity of your call and you get thoughts of inadequacy, the Holy Spirit HIMSELF, living on the INSIDE of you, will remind you that you are not the one who has to do it. God’s call is not contingent upon your performance. It is God Himself who lives in you. He will give you the words and He will perform the work (John 14:10 & 12). Your job is to exercise faith in God’s grace. Your job is to believe and receive what He already planned. Your job is to launch out to attempt what is clearly beyond your ability to perform, and to trust in God every step of the way, believing that where you end, He begins. Where you can’t He can and He will. This is the life of faith. This is how you enter into God’s rest where the finished work of Jesus, in your life, is concerned. And this is how we are supposed to live!
Declaration of Faith:
Father, I thank You for teaching me about Your amazing grace. You called me to do things I cannot do with my power, ability or strength. You never expected ME to do it. You never required ME to have what is required to get it done. But You did already prepare it for me. Everything I need to accomplish Your assignment is already prepared. You are now preparing me for what You prepared. This preparation process does not require more TRYING. It actually requires more DYING! My job is to die to self to the point where I even die to my limits. I yield to You. I embrace Your grace. I give myself over to You to be used of You for Your glory. I will complete my divine assignment before I die. I will leave a mark in this world that will outlive me. But it won’t be me doing it. It will be You Father, living in me, giving me the words and performing the work. This is why I choose to REST in Your finished work! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!