Series: Grow Strong
Sermon: Growing What
Speaker: Jessyka Albert
Writer: J. Murdock
Refresh: Begin today in prayer. Ask God for understanding through the Holy Spirit.
Read: Jeremiah 1:9-10 (Message) As you read through these two short verses in Jeremiah, note any insights or questions that arise.
Reflect: There is something about scheduling appointments that give people a sense of boldness. If you have a doctor’s appointment, if you arrive at the clinic on time, there is a feeling of entitlement that leads people to think that nothing should get in the way of the doctor seeing them exclusively and promptly. In the same way, when we book a plane ticket, that seat we have chosen belongs to us and we should be guaranteed to sit there on the date and time the reservation allows us to. A reservation brings peace of mind; it can also cause those holding a reservation to become incredibly territorial about their definitive information. This appointment is mine.
The good people of Gallup have created a system for visualizing the principles of leadership you excel in. StrengthsQuest offers users a test which determines the order in which your strengths rank and directs you to focus on the top five areas in order to develop them further. But, with each area of strength, there is a “shadow side” that leaders should be aware of that lurks in wings of your assets. For me, my number one strength is strategy. I excel at seeing the framework of a theory, identifying numerous outcomes, and positing a concise course of action based upon the mitigating factors present in any given situation. But, hiding in the periphery of my strength is the reality that my strategies are often cold, calculated, and unemotional and therefore often neglect to take into consideration the human element of the problem. My shadow side allows me to become the militant passenger on the plane that would rather take a punch to the nose and be dragged off in restraints before relinquishing my carefully crafted strategy which led me to take this flight in the first place. I have the ability to sit and silently judge the young family who manages to see the doctor before me because their daughter’s fever is spiking because somehow I was able to be better at foreseeing my need to consult a physician than they were because I rightfully have this time set aside and they simply walked in looking for a break.
Jeremiah sits before God who tells him in no uncertain terms that he has an appointment from the Lord. He is to take the throne and rule over nations and kingdoms. He has been given the power and clearance to pluck up and break down those who sin. He has been ordained as a ambassador to speak out against those who practice judgment by seeking out, destroying, and overthrowing the powers that be with diplomatic immunity. He is confirmed to give a sermon to plant a new vision that is centered on hope and renewal as he preaches today. God forbid anyone try and take an appointment away from those whom He has called to serve. It’s one thing to have resentment at someone unfairly taking what is rightfully yours in the monotony of daily life. It’s another reality all together to know that your outrage at worldly injustice comes with an anointed righteous indignation! Watch out people of Benjamin! Jeremiah has got a lane and he’s in gear.
Recalibrate: When have you experienced indignation in the face of personal attack? How did you feel about the encroachment?
Respond: Ask for God to reveal to you His intentions for your life and to consecrate His mission in your mind.
Research: God reminds Jeremiah that he is to follow God wherever He sends him and to speak to everyone He directs him to approach. Chart how following God has taken you—or someone else—into unexpected situations and note the results.
Live Wonder (ages 0–3): At some point, the world gets very small for your kiddo and in their mind’s eye begins to revolve around them. Cases of the “gimme-gimmes” and the possessiveness will take over as every little thing becomes, “MINE!” Patience will win out in the end if you are willing to instruct your child in how to share with others well as God did with us at Creation. Jesus offers us a place in His Kingdom if only we would be willing to share it with Him and others. As you work through the clingy stages of life, share Jesus with them as they make Him part of their possessions in hopes that they will share their most precious things with their community when the time comes.
Live Adventure (ages 4–11): It’s hard to hear the word, “no” when we ask for the things we really want. What are some things you always want to have with you? Why are they so special? Jesus knows that you are special to Him and wants you to be with Him always? How do you feel about having Jesus with you all the time? Why do you feel that way?
Live Purpose (ages 12–16): Someday, someone is going to come to you with an expectation they require you to meet. Right now your focus is on coming home on time, answering your phone when your parents call, maintaining a respectable GPA, and keeping your room clean. But you’re more than a list of chores. What is you think you’re made to do? What is your purpose in this world? What is you feel Jesus calling you to do?