By Justin Randolph
Pastor, Zion Hill Baptist Church, Sevierville, TN. Extract from the Baptist and Reflector: Sunday School Lesson-Bible Studies For Life. Focal Passage: Jeremiah 1:4-10

What makes a person valuable? Is it how they look or, perhaps what they wear? Is it found in their education or abilities? Is it tied to physical acumen, language, or culture? Of course, the answer is found in none of the above. Instead, God has placed a high value and significance on life itself. In other words, if you have breath, you are valuable. Your value is not determined by what others think of you, or what you think about yourself. Your value is defined in the creative act of God in forming you and allowing you to have the gift of life.

In these verses in Jeremiah, we see the calling of the prophet Jeremiah. He was not called based on lineage or personal merit, but on God’s divine election. Therefore, these verses give us insight into God’s design for all humanity. A careful study of them will lead us to conclude that life has value and meaning for three very distinctive reasons.  

First, life has meaning because the Lord God has constructed it. In verse 5, the Lord reveals to Jeremiah two important facts. He chose him and he formed him. The word “chose” indicates God’s personal knowledge and involvement in the creative process. The Hebrew word “formed” indicates God’s direct influence in making us who we are including our gifts, natural abilities, and personalities. God has a plan and purpose for every person formed and He has equipped them with the ability to perform it.

Second, life has meaning because the Lord God commissions us. In verses 5 and 10, the Scripture uses the word “appointed” to describe the authority given to Jeremiah. God had given him the purpose for his life along with the ability to perform it. Thankfully Jeremiah chose to follow God and accept the assignment rather than turn it down and deny the purpose for which God created him. So many people miss the fact that fulfillment in life boils down to finding one’s purpose and following through on it. Not everyone will have an assignment like Jeremiah’s that has authority over kings and nations. Nonetheless, we all fit into God’s kingdom purpose for His creation. May we seek to know and own our purpose in God’s plan.

Finally, life has meaning because the Lord God has compassion on us. In verses 6-7, Jeremiah makes excuses as to why he does not desire nor feel able to complete the task God has given him. But, the Lord’s response is telling. He declares to Jeremiah His lack of concern at his inabilities because God will fill him with both the message and the means to deliver it.

God does not need us to complete His mission for this world, but He desires to use us. God is motivated by His love for us. His love and compassion for us lead Him to action. He created us, redeemed us, and gives our lives meaning and purpose through our involvement in His redemptive plan for humanity.

Will you join Him? Will you find your purpose in Him? Will you respect the divine gift of life in others? May the God who designed us also use us to fulfill His purpose for us unto His honor and glory. Amen.

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