Reading: Jeremiah 1:1-19

"Young men, you are strong and the Word of God abides in you; you have overcome the wicked one" (1 Jn 2:14)
Bartholomeus Ziegenbalg (1682-1719) of Germany, the first missionary to translate the Bible into the Tamil language, was born today. Right early in his life as a 16 year old, he committed his life to Christ, served God faithfully in obedience to Him and died at only 37 years of age. Through his pioneering efforts the Tamil Bible became the first Bible to be translated and printed in South Asia. When God called Jeremiah, he replied, "Ah, Lord God! behold, I cannot speak, for I am a youth" (Jer 1:6). But God corrected him, "Do not say, I am a youth." He gave the following seven reasons why Jeremiah should not hesitate to accept His commission—

(1) I have CHOSEN you!
"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; and I ordained you a prophet to the nations" (v5)

(2) I am SENDING you!
"You shall go to all to whom I send you" (v7)

(3) I am ACCOMPANYING you!
"Do not be afraid of their faces; I am with you to deliver you" (v8)

(4) I am TEACHING you!
"The Lord said to me: Behold, I have put My words in your mouth"(v9)

(5) I am AUTHORIZING you!
"See I have this day set you over the nations... to root out and to pull down, to destroy and to throw down, to build and to plant" (v10)

(6) I am GUIDING you!
"The Word of the Lord came to me, saying, Jeremiah... I am ready to perform My Word" (vv11-16)

"Behold, I have made you this day a fortified city and an iron pillar, and bronze walls against the whole land" (vv17-19)

We'll come in the sunshine of youth's happy morning,
Our lives to His service we'll cheerfully give;
And pray for His Spirit to guide and direct us,
That we to His glory and honour may live!
(Fanny J. Crosby, 1823-1915)

R. Stanley