Our message at church this morning was "woah". To be honest, I feel this way on most weeks. But, I really loved this particular Sunday and it hit home for me in many areas. The pastor, Josh Cossey, titled the sermon "I See An Almond Tree" and preached from Jeremiah 1:1-12. Here are the key takeaways:
1) You're Not Too Young OR Too Old To Hear God's Voice.
2) God says "I Know You".
3) Stop Making Excuses.
4) Don't Be Afraid- Because You'll Have Plenty of Reasons To Be.
Being young (or old) should never stop us from being ready to follow God's calling in our lives. Many of the characters in the Bible were young when God called them to follow Him. His disciples, James and John were teenagers, King David was a teen, the Mother of Jesus was even a youngster herself. Do you think that mattered to God? No Way. In contrast, Abraham and Sarah were old when God finally fulfilled His promise to them and gave them a son, Issac. They were well past child-bearing years, but God didn't care. One thing that's common for God to do throughout scripture is to shock people! Like seriously, he chose the most unlikely people to fulfill his promises. This showcased his strength and goodness all the more!
When God told Jeremiah "I know you", He was really saying "I knew you before you were born, I created you, I know every situation you will face in life before it happens". With God, every person has a "God purpose". He knows every person because he created them, even this little baby growing in my womb who has not yet been born. He's a boy and God has a calling on his life! This makes me happy and hopeful!
Stop making excuses. If you know me well, you know this is my biggest pet peeve. I loathe excuses. I cannot handle it. Apparently, God doesn't like them either. When Jeremiah tried to tell Hod " I'm not ready, I can't do it, I can't speak well, I'm too young", God cut him off He said "Go where I send you. Do what I command you." How can you say no to God when he speaks to you in that way? Wow! There are so many opportunities in life where we can say "YES" and take a step in faith or we can shy away and give God excuses. Stop it. Stop it NOW. God has equipped you, He has called you and He will help you.
Don't be afraid. The truth is, there are plenty of reasons to be afraid. There are plenty of things that will happen to us in life that are just plain scary. But, when God is for us, who can stand against us? Spoiler alert- No one.
You're An Almond Tree. God gave Jeremiah a vision of an almond tree. Sounds odd, right? Wait until you hear what an almond tree symbolizes. An almond tree is known as the "waking tree". It blooms earlier than the other trees. It's a symbol of Go'd early execution of His promise. The point of the story? Although Jeremiah was young, God equipped him to handle the task at hand. He will equip you too. You need only to trust Him, listen to His voice and step out in faith.
I hope this story inspires you as much as it did me! Be an almond tree.