Gulf Ridge Park Baptist Church
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I have heard that question before. When someone is looking back at what they were and how they lived, I guess it’s a fair question for one to ask: “Could God use ‘even’ me?” I personally love to get that question, it makes me smile outwardly and inwardly because I know my life was one of those which was nothing resembling what a Christian man should be. I can now look back over three decades at the astounding grace of God for me and it brings joy to my heart.
I have come to realize that God specializes in taking the broken, the downcast, the ‘chief’ of sinners and saves them with amazing power and then sets their feet on a path of love, joy in His service. That’s who our God is. Let me remind you of a few examples in the bible, but not the usual ones that come to mind.
In John 4, Jesus stops at a well to speak to a Samaritan woman who had ‘five’ husbands. After a few minutes with Jesus, we see her running to her village inviting everyone to: ‘Come see a Man’ who told me all about me. Well that’s the impact Jesus has on us, just a few minutes with Him and you will know that He knows all about you, and yet STILL He loves you.
Luke 19, Jesus is passing through Jericho. There’s a man there who longs to get a look at Jesus, but because of his short stature he has to climb a tree to see Him. When Jesus comes to the tree, He stops, looks up and says ‘Zacchaeus, come down to Me, today I’m staying at your house’. After the meal, this man who had misused his authority and generally made life miserable for others, stands up and says: “Lord, I give half of my goods to the poor; and if I have taken anything from anyone by false accusation, I restore fourfold.” Did Jesus reprimand him for his past sins? No, He said: “Today salvation has come to this house…”
One more of my favorites. In Mark 5:1 a man coming out of a cave meets Jesus. Jesus is immediately rebuking evil spirits, when He asked ‘it’s’ name ‘they’ said: ‘We are Legion, for we are many’. Jesus commands them to leave the man, which they did. Now, when Jesus is about to leave the country, know what the man asks? ‘Can I go with You Jesus’. In this instance the Lord said no, don’t come with Me, but go for Me…go back to your town and tell them the great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you.
Lastly Luke 8:2 speaks of Mary Magdalene of whom Jesus cast out seven demons. What is this previous demon possessed woman doing now? It says in verse 3, “they (she) provided for Him…”
When you are tempted to think that you are not ‘worthy’ to come to Jesus, much lest be in His service, I want you to remember these who came out of a less than ‘Christian’ home experience and found that God still had a place for them in His Kingdom and service. Then rejoice and be thankful because if Jesus saved and called them, you must know that He will call you and use you for His glory as well.
Be encouraged in the Lord!