Jeremiah taught in Jer. 1-6 that you must drink from rivers of living water to empower prayer and fasting for shepherds after God's heart to disciple biblical illiterate people in every city and nation.
Jer. 7-13 explained how to equip shepherds after God's heart to disciple nations. Deal justly with poor, repent of sin, appreciate God's word and ways, call upon a wise and powerful God, trust Him for protection from persecution, care for nations in complex situations and be humble to praise and honor Him.
Deal Justly with the Poor and Embrace Truth
Jeremiah told Judah to reform their ways and actions to not trust in deceptive words. He asked them to deal justly with the alien, fatherless, widow; not shed innocent blood; not to follow other gods; not allow God's name become a den of robbers and not trust in the temple. By serving the Queen of Heaven, they harmed themselves to their own shame. By following the inclinations of their evil hearts, they went backward and refused correction. When truth perished and vanished from their lips, God rejected and abandoned this generation. Joy and gladness left and the land became desolate (Jer. 7:1-34). Deal justly with the poor and embrace truth to see progress in your city.
Repent of Sin and Know God's Word
Jerusalem relied on deceit, refused to repent of their wickedness and pursued their own course like a horse charging into battle. God's people did not know the requirements of the Lord. The scribes handled God's word falsely. All were greedy for gain. Prophets and priests practiced deceit and dressed peoples' wounds superficially. They called for peace and healing but only terror came. God mourned when enemies crushed His people. No healing was available for the wound of His people (Jer. 8:1-22). Repent of sin and know God's word as the first step to heal wounds.
Appreciate God's Ways
Instead of triumph in God's truth, His people sinned and trusted deception. No one was instructed by God to know what ruined the land. People forsook the Law and followed the stubbornness of their hearts to worship Baal. Let not the wise, strong and rich boast of their wisdom, strength and riches. Instead, let him boast that he understood and knew God since He delighted in kindness, justice and righteousness on earth (Jer. 9:1-26). Appreciate God's ways instead of trusting the deception of man's wisdom, strength and riches.
Call Upon a Wise and Powerful God
Do not learn or fear a nations' worthless ways, customs and idols. No nation or kingdom could endure the wrath of a wise, powerful, eternal God and King. False gods perished as they did not create the heavens and earth. God made the earth, founded the world by wisdom and stretched out the heavens by understanding. He sent lightning and brought wind from His storehouses. Peoples' idols were worthless and they had no knowledge. They felt hopeless to cure their wounds and sickness in their homes and families. Senseless shepherds who did not talk with God caused His flock to scatter. A man did not own his life and could not direct his steps. Jeremiah prayed for God's wrath to be poured on nations that did not call on Him since they destroyed His people (Jer. 10:1-25). Call upon a wise and powerful God to heal your wounds and discover His purpose.
Trust God for Protection from Persecution
God told Judah through Jeremiah to obey His covenant given to those He brought out of Egypt as His people. Throughout history, God warned them to obey Him. Instead, they followed their stubborn, evil hearts and experienced the curses of disobedience and disaster. When evil people plotted to destroy Jeremiah if he continued prophesying against them, he committed his cause to God. God promised to kill his enemies (Jer. 11:1-23). Trust God for protection from persecution while discipling nations in His word.
Care for Nations in Complex Situations
Jeremiah asked why the wicked bore fruit when God was far from their hearts. Even though their grass withered, people thought God would not see it. If someone stumbled in safe country, how could they manage in the thickets by the Jordan? Their brothers betrayed them pretending to speak well. God allowed them to be devoured by their enemies like a speckled bird of prey. Many shepherds ruined His vineyard and turned His pleasant field into a desolate wasteland. The whole land laid waste because no one cared. People wore themselves out and gained nothing. God showed compassion to His people and brought them back to their land. Any nation that learned about God was established among His people. He destroyed those who did not listen to Him (Jer. 12:1-17). Care for nations (niches) living in complex situations so they can fellowship with God's people.
Be Humble and Glorify God
God told Jeremiah to wear and hide a belt so it would be useless. It represented how He ruined Judah's pride in serving other gods. God planned to bound the house of Israel and Judah as His people for renown, praise and honor. Instead of their wineskins being filled with wine, He filled kings, priests, prophets and everyone with drunkenness so they would not be reconciled with one another. Their pride and not giving glory to God brought darkness, captivity and exile. Trusting false gods scattered and prevented them from doing good (Jer. 13:1-27). Be humble and glorify God so you can praise and honor Him.
Consider the following checklist in equipping shepherds to disciple the nations:
1. Deal justly with the poor to see progress in your city
2. Repent of sin and know God's word as the first step to heal wounds
3. Appreciate God's ways instead of trusting the deception of man's wisdom, strength and riches
4. Call upon a wise and powerful God to heal your wounds and discover His purpose
5. Trust God for protection from persecution while discipling nations in His word
6. Care for nations in complex situations so they can fellowship with God's people
7. Be humble and glorify God so you can praise and honor Him
Which one will you begin to apply now?