Scripture: Jeremiah 18-20, Psalm 93, John 17

Jeremiah 20:9 But when I say, “I will forget the Lord and no longer speak in his name,” then your message is like a fire burning deep within me.  I try my best to hold it in, but can no longer keep it back.


Jeremiah complains to the Lord that his calling is too difficult.  His message is harsh, the people refuse to listen or respond, and they hate him and persecute him.  It all seems pointless.  Then this verse (20:9).

He decides to quit, but he can’t.  God’s message is like a fire burning in his bones, deep within.  Try as he might, he can’t hold it in.

The apostle Paul felt this same way about the gospel.  “For when I preach the gospel, I cannot boast, since I am compelled to preach. Woe to me if I do not preach the gospel!”  (1 Corinthians 9:16)  Peter and John said the same thing: “As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”  (Acts 4:20)

Jeremiah, Paul, Peter and John all had unique callings as prophets and apostles.  But I believe that I (and every other Christian) are called to make disciples, to share the good news.  Why don’t I feel like this?  Why doesn’t God’s message burn like a fire in me that I can’t hold back?  Why don’t I feel compelled to preach the gospel, that I can’t help speaking about Jesus?  Is there something deficient in my experience or discipleship that I usually don’t feel this burning compulsion?

Today, I’m praying for this fire in my soul, and in the souls of all believers in Jesus.

Prayer: Lord, light a fresh fire in me, and in every believer.  Capture our hearts with Your amazing good news, and let it burn like a fire in us that cannot be held back.  Make us burning carriers of your message of life.