A Man With Fire In His Bones
* The Call (Jeremiah 1)
* The Problem (Jeremiah 2-4)
* The Heart that is incurable (Jeremiah 17)
* The Heart that knows God (Jeremiah 24)
*The Heart that seeks God (Jeremiah 29)
* The Heart that is new (Jeremiah 31)
* One Heart and one purpose (Jeremiah 32)
“When your words came, I ate (devoured) them; they were my joy and my heart’s delight, for I bear your name, Lord God Almighty” (Jer 15:16). “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’” (Jer 20:19).
“Jeremiah was God’s crybaby, but not in a derogatory sense. He was a man in tears most of the time. God chose this man who had a mother’s heart, a trembling voice, and tear–filled eyes to deliver a harsh message of judgment. The message he gave broke his own heart. Many would select a hard–boiled person to give a hard–boiled message. Not many would choose a tearful man to give a harsh message. But God choose that kind of man -- a man with a tender, compassionate heart.” “This remarkable man Jeremiah had a woman’s heart. He was sensitive, sincere and sympathetic. He was as tender as a mother. Yet he gave the strongest and harshest message in the Bible: he announced the destruction of Jerusalem, and he pronounced judgment, counseling the people to surrender to Nebuchadnezzar. His message did nothing but get him into all kinds of trouble.” (J. Vernon McGee, Thru the Bible.)
- (The Call) Notice the four verbs that are the basic ingredients of a call (Jer 1:4-5). What are your thoughts and feelings about the reality that God knew you, formed you, set you apart and has a plan for your life before you were born or even conceived? Do you sense or understand God’s call on your life (Isa 6:8)? How would you articulate it?
- (The Message [and The Problem]) What is the problem of the people (Jer 2:5, 8, 11, 13, 19-20, 23-25, 27, 30, 32-35; 3:4-5; 4:18, 23)? What is Jeremiah’s message to them (Jer 2:30, 32-35; 4:18, 22)?
- (The Man) What kind of man was Jeremiah (Jer 4:19; 8:21-9:1; 13:17; 14:17; Lam 1:16; 3:48-51) (Jer 11:19; 12:6; 15:10, 16, 18; 17:16; 18:18; 20:7-9, 14-18)? How did God help [rebuke, encourage] him (Jer 12:1, 5; 15:19-20)?
- (The Heart that is incurable) What must we know about our heart (Jer 17:5-10; Gen 6:5; Isa 64:6)?
- (The Heart that knows God) How does one acquire a heart that comes to know God (Jer 24:7; Isa 40:6-8; 55:8-11)?
- (The Heart that seeks God) To seek God in your present [difficult] situation: (1) What must you know or acknowledge (Jer 29:4)? What must you do (Jer 29:7)? What must you believe (Jer 29:10-14) and accept (Jer 29:15-19)?
- (The Heart that is new) What does a “new” heart know with certainty (Jer 31:3)? How does your heart become new (Jer 31:31, 33)? What is the evidence of a new heart (Jer 31:32, 34)?
- (One Heart and one purpose) How would you know whether or not you have “singleness of heart and action” [“one heart and one purpose”] (Jer 31:39; Dt 6:4-5; Mt 22:37; Mk 12:30; Jn 21:15-17)?