God uses things that are small, weak and broken. I’ve said that many times so you may have heard it in a sermon, lesson or read it here. Every person in the Bible that does anything for God was flawed in some way, perhaps fatally so. Abraham believed God and God counted it to him as righteousness; but he still lied, twice, about Sara not being his wife. David was a man after God’s own heart but committed not only adultery but murder in an attempt to cover up the previous violation. Noah got drunk and naked, Lot was comfortable surrounded by sin, Samson was a pompous jerk and so forth.
In the New Testament look at the people with whom Jesus associated. His disciples were not religious scholars but several fishermen and a tax collector. He sat at table with all sorts of societal misfits; sinners, tax collectors and women of bad reputation. He did not call people who had their act together but rather people that society might overlook, if they were lucky, but more likely scorn and hold to public ridicule. From the Samaritan woman at the well to the one called Legion who dwelt among the tombs Jesus often sought out the individuals society avoided. He praised the widow who gave her two mites and spent more time with lepers and the physically handicapped than in the temple meeting with religious leaders of his day.
Consider who received salvation. The rich young ruler who came to Jesus went away troubled because of his great possessions. He put his faith in those things rather than in Jesus. When a Pharisee when into the synagogue to pray he was thankful but in a very self-congratulatory way; he was thankful he was better than other people. But a tax collector also praying would not even look up toward heaven, beat his chest and said “have mercy on me a sinner.” Jesus tells us that man left justified. Peter and James both wrote that God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.
Here is the thing: we are all broken. Every single person has sinned, perhaps recently or in the past. No Christian is perfectly conformed to the image of Christ. Some have struggles that are visible and obvious, others struggle in a very private way that does not show on the outside. Those that admit they need help, God helps. The rich young ruler claimed to have kept all the commandments from his youth. Was he lying or actually deceived into believing that was true? There is none so blind as the one that will not see. The Pharisees were critical of Jesus and his disciples but they either would not or could not see their own faults. God uses things that are small, weak and broken when we take an honest look at ourselves and assess our situation. When we admit that we are weak and he is strong he works in us and through us. The arrogant, the boastful, the proud; God resists and opposes. Don’t try to hide your faults from God. He sees them, knows you, and loves you anyway. Don’t compare yourself to perfect people you know because they are not. God sees their faults and flaws whether they themselves do or not.
Jesus was broken so that you and I could be put back together. Our identity is hid in Christ. That is where the weak are made strong and the vilest sinner washed clean.
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