Jeremy Stopford photo
Retired Pastor Jeremy & Thuvia Stopford

“THE PURPOSE OF MY LIFE IS … ” (Jeremiah 1)

Preached September 15, 2013 by Rev. Jeremy Stopford, Retired Pastor

TODAY’S SPECIAL: “Memory Test, (so stupid it’s funny!)“

Three elderly men are at the doctor’s office for a memory test. The doctor asks the first man, “What is three times three?” “Two hundred and eighteen,” comes the reply. The doctor rolls his eyes, looks up at the ceiling, and says to the second man, “It’s your turn. What is three times three?” “Friday,” replies the second man. The doctor shakes his head sadly, then asks the third man, “Okay, your turn. What is three times three?” “Nine,” says the third man. “That’s great!” says the doctor. “How did you get that answer?” “Simple,” he says, “just subtract 218 from Friday.”


God has a call for each of us. Perhaps it is not an audible call. Perhaps it is better a call to the heart and mind. What is His call? It is the call of the PURPOSE of our lives. Let me ask each of you a question: if you were to fill in the blank, what would you write: “The purpose of my life is…”. Perhaps if we look at Jeremiah’s call, and related Scriptures, we will be able to better fill in that blank!



A. A wise focus – under Josiah’s leadership (vs. 1-3)

Jeremiah observed a godly King Josiah. He saw godly leadership firsthand. King Josiah, as it were, was a spiritual “mentor” to Jeremiah – because Jeremiah certainly saw the difference in the subsequent ungodly kings. I am thankful for the many mentors God has provided in my life, in particular Pastor Herman Underwood at First Baptist, Canton back in 1971. He took me into his home with his wife and 5 kids, and showed me firsthand not only how to walk with the Lord, but how to minister. Almost 30 years later, I co-officiated the funeral of Clarence Jones. Amazingly, in the BIG picture of things, Pastor Jones was Pastor Underwood’s mentor – some 30 years before I came into Pastor Underwood’s picture. If it weren’t for Pastor Jones’ mentoring, who knows where I would be!

But God also raised up godly laymen for me – Carlos Atkyns, for example. He went Home to be with the Lord just a short time after I came to Beaver Meadow. I wish I had spent more time with him – that was a hard lesson to learn too late. But he sure knew what it was to minister, and to care for his community.

Who are your mentors? To whom do you mentor today?

B. An amazing knowledge – under God’s love (vs. 4-5)

These are amazing verses! God showed His eternal love for Jeremiah, and He has done that for us as well. We all should be familiar with such classic passages as Psalm 139, Romans 8, and 1 John 4:19 (“we love Him because He first loved us.”

THE POINT: God has placed people in leadership to equip us to be the people He has designed us to be – for His eternal purpose.

“The purpose of my life is…” governed by the choices I make in who/Who are my advisors.


A. Jeremiah’s humility is mis-guided fear (vs. 6-8). Illus.: Doesn’t Jeremiah sound a LOT like Moses in Exodus 3 and 4? Because Moses – like Jeremiah initially – doubted God’s ability and call through him, he missed out and Aaron became God’s vessel through whom God would speak.

B. Jeremiah’s power is through God’s Word (vs. 9-10) See Jer. 15:16; Romans 10:8-15. Isn’t it amazing – it shouldn’t surprise us, should it? – that the person God uses the most is a person who has an intimacy with God’s Word.

THE POINT: God has given us His Word as His daily, moment by moment, direction in every area of my life.

“The purpose of my life is…”, if it is to have a spiritual purpose, must be in direct agreement with God’s Word.

#3 JEREMIAH’S BOASTING (vs. 11-18)

God is giving Jeremiah challenges/tests on His eyesight (vs. 11-14)

God is positioning Jeremiah that his boasting will be only in the Lord, and

so boasting will cause him to stand firm for God (vs. 17-18); Jer. 9:23-24

THE POINT: God has given us new hearts that hunger for His heart, His will, His glory.

“The purpose of my life is…” can only be answered in an honorable way if my boasting is only in the Lord!


So how did you do?

“The purpose of my life is…” governed by my advisors, guided by God’s Word, and answered as it is directed only to God’s glory.

If we CAN’T fill in the blank, are we guilty of living AN AIMLESS LIFE?