Jeremiah 23: Isn’t my Message like fire?
The prophet is still thinking about the “peace and prosperity” preachers who feed their congregations a diet of “cake and ice cream” sermons. People enjoy these pleasant sermons, but what they’re hearing lacks God’s authority. Jeremiah calls such preaching “silly” and compares it to “straw” and not messages with real substance to them. The Almighty reminds Jeremiah that when the message he preaches comes from the Lord that his words are like fire and “like a sledgehammer busting a rock.” Two things come to mind here. First, the Lord’s displeased with preachers who focus on preaching entertaining, “what they want to hear” kinds of sermons. Second, there’s a great need for sermons with the fire of God’s Word in them. The first kind of sermon may get the preacher some compliments, but the second kind changes lives even as a sledgehammer changes a rock. I thank God for preachers who have ministered God’s Word to me by bringing sermons that were God-inspired and God-empowered. As a preacher myself, I don’t want to waste my ministry preaching “that’s nice, ho-hum” sermons. Life is too short and opportunities are too few as it is. Lord, let your fire ignite me, my sermons, and my listeners.
Take Away: There’s a great need for sermons with the fire of the word of the Lord in them.