Therefore thus says the LORD: "If you return, I will restore you, and you shall stand before me. If you utter what is precious, and not what is worthless, you shall be as my mouth. They shall turn to you, but you shall not turn to them." -Jeremiah 15.19 (ESV)
Intro: To become useful as a Christian we can look at Jeremiah. He was a prophet of God who had spoken in a way that disqualified him from being eligible to speak for God. We as Christians can learn about being restored to become useful for God.
Return and be restored
· Jeremiah was called to repent so that his position as God’s prophet could be restored
· His message was one of repentance; the message to him was “repent”
· God calls us to repent so that He can restore us
· It’s simple: turn from our sin and allow Him to change us from the inside out
· “For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, ‘In repentance and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.’” (Isaiah 30.15)
Speak what is precious
· “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” (Ephesians 4.29 ESV)
· speak only what is worth saying, not worthless words, and He will use us as His spokesmen
· You know those dirty jokes that go around? Don't participate in them
· You know how some of us tend to be sarcastic? Time to stop
· It's difficult. I've had a lot of work to do on that at work
Turn, don’t be turned
· “Repent therefore, and turn again, that your sins may be blotted out, 20that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord” (Acts. 3.19-20 ESV)
· “Jesus said to him, ‘No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.’” (Luke 9.62 ESV)
· Let the people turn to you (God's message), DO NOT turn to them!
· Jesus said that He is the only Way to the Father. All other ways are false
· Do not allow yourself to compromise for the sake of making people happy
· Stand up for the truth
Closing: To be useful for God we need to repent and be restored. We need to avoid unrighteous speech and speak what is precious. Furthermore, to be useful to God we must stand our ground in terms of our faith and the message of the Gospel.
C2C: Unbeliever: your restoration comes through salvation and repentance before the Sovereign God of all creation. Believe in Christ for your salvation and repent of your sins to find salvation in Him and become useful for God for the first time in your life.
Backslider: your restoration comes in light of 1 John 1.9, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (ESV)- Repent and become useful to God again.
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