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Faithfulness: At What Cost?

I’m glad we are reading the prophetic books of the Old Testament together. As Doug Dunton reminded us on Sunday, these prophets were called by God to be living examples of the hard truths they needed to proclaim. In ways that seem strange and bizarre to us (and surely to them as well!), God made these men embody the reality of their message.

On the fourth of July, I read these words in Jeremiah:

And when Jeremiah had finished speaking all that the LORD had commanded him to speak to all the people, then the priests and the prophets and all the people laid hold of him, saying, ‘You shall die! Why have you prophesied in the name of the LORD...?’ (Jer. 26:8-9a)

I wrote in my journal, “May I remember always that I stand in fellowship with the prophets—it is not my job to please people or to be liked, but to faithfully speak all that the Lord has commanded me to speak to all the people.”

How tempting it is to measure our success by the opinions and evaluations of others. But in the end, we must say, “Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise.” God and God alone must be first in our hearts. To be faithful to him we must necessarily, at times, incur the displeasure of the world. And sometimes that displeasure will even come from within the church. Did you notice that it was the priests and the prophets who led the people in their opposition to Jeremiah?

Is there any part of God’s Word that you are unwilling to speak? Are you in any way ashamed of the gospel? Or, is there anyone to whom you would be unwilling to speak the living Word of God?

One of the ways Dennis Swanson was a “burning and shining lamp” to us was his courageous, yet winsome, boldness in sharing the Word of God. As we were challenged in his memorial service, let us seek to honor the godly legacy of our dear brother by imitating his faithful witness for Jesus.

Jeremiah reminds us of the cost of faithfulness: we must speak all that the Lord has commanded us to speak to all the people.

May we be found faithful!

Pastor David Sunday