Have you ever thought what kind of people God uses? In today’s society, we see multi-millionaire preachers, clean cut, good looking people saying, “Follow Jesus today”. Under the same breath, we see those same people being exposed for sexual immorality, embezzlement and false preaching. The thousand dollar suited, well groomed, private jet preacher asking for your money rarely ever looks like the people Jesus used while here on earth.
Just to give you an idea, here is a list of some people God used prior to Jesus’ life:
- Abraham – a doubting, liar who slept with another woman
- Moses – an angry, impatient murderer who had a stammering speech problem
- David – A man who started off good, but had an affair with another man’s wife then had the man killed.
- Jonah – A racist
- Rahab – A prostitute (who happens to be in the genealogy of Christ)
- Jacob – A conniving, deceptive angry man
So now let’s take a look at what we know about the disciples of Jesus Christ:
- Matthew – A tax collector (the scum of his day) who robbed from his own people
- Peter – A short tempered, impulsive fisherman
- John and James – Argumentative, angry and highly tempered problem children whose mother asked Jesus for a favor that made them look better than others.
- Thomas – “I only believe what I can see” individual
- Judas Iscariot – A betrayer
- Simon – A criminal
Now ask yourself this question, “Can God use someone like me?” The answer should be a simple one, “DUH!” So why do we think God can’t use us? Why do we doubt like Thomas, get an attitude problem like James and John and become impulsive like Peter? You might be surprised at the answer but before I continue, let me share with you one more story:
“A young boy was once given the opportunity of a lifetime, to study with the greatest minds of his day. He was allowed into the best schools free-of-charge. He was given exclusive access to the best teachers of the world. This young boy became a young man and because his grades were so phenomenal, the head of the top university personally taught this young man.
He was considered the best of the best. There was no student better than him. One day, this young man heard that the government was going after a small group of people that appeared trying to create a revolt. He knew they had to be stopped.
He managed to ban together a group of other highly intellectual people who convinced themselves that killing these people would be the best scenario. He formed this small army and with the permission of the head of the university and the government officials was able to hunt down and kill this group of small people.”
This story is not fictional. It is actually true. This was the beginning of Paul’s ministry to the Gentiles. He was the top of his class, was taught a rabbi who is still considered one of the greatest rabbis that ever lived. He hunted down and killed many followers of Christ. In fact, Paul was there when Stephen (the 1st known martyr) was stoned to death. The Scripture states that Paul was approving of the stoning. Today, we would call Paul and extremist or terrorist. So let’s revisit the question at hand – can God use me?
Before you think you are better than those mentioned in Scripture, we need to be reminded of whence we came. For most, if not all of us, we were people who hated Christianity. We hated the preaching, teaching and asking for money. We were semi-content with living immoral, unethical lives in a dark and dying world. We cared about no one but ourselves. We probably felt that Christians were crazy, radical extremists who didn’t deserve to live. We may have never killed anyone or stolen anything, but we probably had major attitude problems and hateful thoughts. In essence, we are just like the disciples.
Prior to becoming a Christian, we hated God. We hated His purposes and we hated Christ. Now that we are Christians, we rejoice in what we once hated. However, now we are the crazy, extremist Christ followers. So how do we overcome this view from the world? We don’t. No matter what we do or how we do it, non-believers will always think we are crazy extremists. Does that mean we shouldn’t find ways to mend differences? As Scripture says, “They will know you are My followers by your love for each other.”
Love is the binding agent that shows the world how much God loves them. As we show the unconditional love that God shows us to others, we become living examples of God’s love. Scripture also says, “Pray for your enemies.” This means not only praying for the terrorists, but also for our neighbors who don’t like us because we are Christians. No matter what church we belong to, if we believe that Jesus is the only way to heaven, then we are brothers and sisters. Just because one believes in the gift of tongues and the other does not, doesn’t mean we have the right to call each other names.
All we need to do is love each other. I always tell people who don’t like what I have to say, “If you can’t get along with me now, then how are we going to get along in eternity?” We have to focus on the Kingdom and not ourselves. When we don’t show love to each other we show the world it is about us rather than God. So, let’s love one another and especially show love to those who hate us. In doing this we will show the world God is real and loves them. He wants to use you, so let Him.
God bless and encourage someone today.