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Word-based ministry (Jeremiah 1)

Reading Jeremiah, chapter one, about his call to be a prophet. Noticing...

  • The word of the Lord "comes". (1:1, 4, 11, 13) It is not thought up, dreamed up, arrived at... but rather is delivered by revelation from God and is to be delivered in that form. God says, they are "my words" which he will put in Jeremiah's mouth. (1:9)
  • God "watches over" his word, in order to see it fulfilled. (1:11) Whether judgment or promise, God assures that it will come to pass. We often think of God watching over his people with care, but he also watches over his word and its proclamation with great care.
  • The ministry of the Word involves both tearing down (cf 2 Cor 10:4-6) and building up (1:10). There will be both negative and positive aspects, warnings and promises, and truths both convicting and comforting.
  • The one who delivers God's word will himself be delivered. (1:8) The minister of the word is not be be dismayed by opposition but should "dress himself for work" (1:17). Deliverance means that the word and its minister will ultimately prevail (1:19)
This agrees with the New Testament, as well. The Lord Jesus said, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." (John 8:31-32). Later, the apostles committed themselves to a Word-based ministry: "...we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word." (Acts 6:4) The apostle Paul also said, "...devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching." (1 Timothy 4:13)

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