When I was in Hebrew class at Florida Christian College we had to adopt a Hebrew name. The name I chose was the name of my favorite prophet – Yir-meh-yaw-hoo. OK, you are thinking that you have never heard of that prophet before, right? That is the way you pronounce the name of Jeremiah in the Hebrew.
Jeremiah was known as the weeping prophet. But before you hold that against Jeremiah, realize that he lived during one of the worst time periods of Hebrew history. As he preached, it seemed that no one was listening. And it was during his ministry, that the city of Jerusalem and the temple of God were destroyed. Out of this terrible event, Jeremiah wrote the book of Lamentations – a lament about the destruction of the city and temple.
Now Jeremiah had his tough times. And at one point he even wondered if he could go on preaching. All he felt like he was sharing was “violence and destruction”. It got to the point where he was even thinking, “I will not remember Him Or speak anymore in His name”. But even then, listen to the words of the great prophet: “Then in my heart it becomes like a burning fire Shut up in my bones; And I am weary of holding it in, And I cannot endure it” (Jeremiah 20:8-9).
What does all that have to do with me? I have a passion to share New Testament Christianity! I have a passion to teach the “ol’ Jerusalem Gospel”! It is like a fire that keeps burning in my bones to preach the “one Lord, one faith, one baptism” of the Scriptures. I am weary of holding it in!
My prayer is that this love which I have for the restoration of New Testament Christianity will spread! My prayer is that we can use the Bible only to make Christians only – the way they did in the New Testament, with the preaching of the Apostle’s message. May we as Christians (not just evangelists) have the desire and passion to contend and share the faith once delivered! May it be a fire that keeps burning in our bones! May we share our faith so that we can honor the simplicity of the Great Commission: “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned” (Mark 16:15-16).
Today I was invited to share the message with a men’s group at the Leroy Christian Church on March 6. I consider it an honor to break open God’s Word and sharing the message on the Uniqueness of the Churches of Christ/Christian Churches with the churches just west of here! Pray that I can be bold as I share. You don’t have to worry about the passion – I certainly have that!