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Jeremiah 1:5-8

 5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, 
And before you were born I consecrated you; 
I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.” 
6 Then I said, “Alas, Lord GOD! 
Behold, I do not know how to speak, 
Because I am a youth.” 
7 But the LORD said to me, 
“Do not say, ‘I am a youth,’ 
Because everywhere I send you, you shall go, 
And all that I command you, you shall speak. 
8 “Do not be afraid of them, 
For I am with you to deliver you,” declares the LORD.

I was reading the commissioning of Jeremiah this morning. While I was doing that, I was reminded of Isaiah’s commissioning and noticed the differences in their respective initial reactions. Isaiah was “woe is me, I am a man of unclean lips living with people of unclean lips”, which is “I’m too filthy that you should send me” reaction. While Jeremiah’s was “I’m too young. I won’t know what to say”, which is “I’m not good enough”. Both are crisis of self worth – “I’m not good enough”.

In both cases, God cleansed them – interestingly their lips – presumably as they were called to be prophets. But each, in different ways, was given one promise: “I will be with you”.

And hence, they went.

There were a number of prophets commissioned in the Old Testament including Isaiah, Jeremiah, Moses, Gideon, Samuel, Ezekiel, Jonah, etc. But there seem to be some common objections (note: I would do a Jonah if I was called – he basically legged it. Read it here).

“Who am I that I should go?”

“What shall I say to them?”

“What if they do not listen?”

“I am slow of speech.”

“Send someone else.”

“I’m not good enough”

“I’m too young and inexperienced”

In various ways, God’s response to each of these objections is: “I will be with you.”  Excuses are not in His realm – only possibilities.

And the promise that He will be with us. And that, I know.

For those, like myself who have decided to be a Christian and take Jesus as Lord, there is a marked change in status. One thing I have noticed is this call to renewal.

At one stage, I thought at the point of conversion, everything changes. Well, some things do like your status as a child of God and your confirmation to a place in heaven. But there is a call to renewal.

These are two Biblical references that I have been dwelling, pondering and meditating upon. The Bible verses I quote are all from the NASB version.

1 Peter 1:14-16

 14As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance,

 15but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior;

 16because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.”

Romans 12:2

 2And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

Additionally there are these calls to be renewed.

Ephesians 4:21-24

 21if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus,

 22that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit,

 23and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind,

 24and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

2 Corinthians 4:16

 16Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day

Colossians 3:9-10

9Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices,

 10and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him

The underlines are my emphasis. The call to renewal is very strong. There is no indication that there is any “magic” involved and there seems to be a process that is there. This, of course, does not mean that we are in this process of renewal alone as God has promised His helper to guide us on this lifelong journey.

But there is a clear call to renewal from:

              former lusts which were committed in ignorance (1 Peter)

              conforming to the world (Romans)

              old self which was being corrupted through the lusts of deceit (Ephesians)

              old self with its evil practices (Colossians)

And there is a clear call to renewal to:

              Holiness in all our behaviour (1 Peter)

              Transformation to know God’s will (Romans)

              Likeness to God in righteousness and truth (Ephesians)

              Daily renewal (2 Corinthians)

              True knowledge according to the image of God (Colossians)

 

So yes, I journey. Like I’ve said many times before, this journey is not the easiest by any means but it is by far the best decision I have made.

I started blogging in January 2006. On April 13th 2006, I had a really simple blog post about Easter. When I say really simple, I mean really, really simple. Take a look at the post here.

There are two interesting things about this post. Firstly, as simple as it was, it has become one of the top posts on Lemniscates are Forever over time. The second thing is even more interesting. Let me share with you the stats for this particular post:

April 2006: 900+

April 2007: 471

The Whole of 2008: 8

Feb/March 2009 (to date): 991

Isn’t that interesting? When I first blogged it, there was a spike. I had no idea there was such a high degree of interest in Easter. I have no way of knowing who these visitors were. The second year, during the Easter period, there was another resurgence of interest and I saw this post getting 471 hits. OK, it was a year later, so not bad. Still interested in Easter but presumably 12 months later, this particular post was already old and there were more choices so my hits would come down.

Then the whole of 2008, no interest.  At all. Well, not during the Easter period. Interestingly the whole year saw 8 hits on this post, all in November leading up to Christmas.

But look at 2009. A sudden resurgence! Easter is not upon us yet and to date, there has been 991 clicks to this post. 204 in Feb and 787 (so far) in April.

Is there a correlation between the crisis state of the world and the interest in Easter?

After all, Easter is a message of Hope.

Since it seems to be of such interest, I’ll blog about what Easter means to me personally in a separate post rather than make this one too lengthy.

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1 Peter 1:3 (NASB)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead