Above all else#2. “His word is in my heart like a fire!”

Above all else#2. “His word is in my heart like a fire!”

I heard the story of a Scottish preacher who was concerned about the lack of attendance at worship services. He noticed that the local theatre had long queues of people waiting to see a famous Shakespearean actor perform. He decided to meet the actor and to ask him how he attracts such large audiences night after night. When meeting him and asking his question, the actor said, “Maybe the reason is that I make artificial things look real, but you make real things look artificial.”

Jeremiah the prophet was beaten, put in stocks, mocked and ridiculed; and all this for preaching the very Word of God, to the people of God.

Most of us would have given up or faded away into obscurity. Isolation and persecution can erode the toughest of resolves, and unless endured by faith, can be soul-destroying.

But Jeremiah did what all great men and women of God do—he took his concerns directly to God. He poured out his complaints to the One who had put the messages in his mouth; the messages that brought all the persecutions upon his head.

In Jeremiah 20 we see Jeremiah grappling with the negative effects of his prophetic message. However, as crushing as their persecutions were, it was the Word of God that prevailed within him.

Listen to him considering the option of silence, and then stating the futility of even considering it:
But if I say, “I will not mention his word
or speak anymore in his name,”
his word is in my heart like a fire,
a fire shut up in my bones.
I am weary of holding it in;
indeed, I cannot.”

Above all else, the Word of God burned in Jeremiah’s heart because Jeremiah’s spirit kept the flame alive. His intense love for God and His people made him an ideal vessel from which God could pour forth his messages of love and wrath.

I assure you, people sitting in pews was the last thing on Jeremiah’s mind.

John Staiger


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