When Nobodies Become Somebodies - Daily Devotion April 27, 2016


This past month at my church, I've been preaching on what it means to lead a Resurrection life--to live life as Jesus desires for us to lead it: filled with hope, purpose, meaning and joy.   All of this sounds good, but how do we make this happen in a practical sense?  This week we're going to spend some time thinking about just that. 

"There is no way that God could ever use me." 

"If you really knew me, you wouldn't be asking me to serve."  

"I'm nothing special."  

"If I ever show up to church, you better check the ceiling--it's sure to fall in on me."  

"I'm not a very good Christian, whey are you asking me to help out."  

These are just a few of the things I've heard over the years when I have approached people about attending worship, serving in mission and ministry or stepping into leadership in the Church.  The fact of the matter is, most of us feel unworthy to do things for God.  

When many of us were young, we heard stories in Sunday school about how God chose ordinary people to accomplish his extraordinary will in the world.  But even though we heard stories about people like Abraham, Gideon, David, Esther, Peter and John we seldom internalize God's obvious preference for underdogs.  

Peter was one of those ordinary people who God used in extraordinary ways.  His story is one of death and resurrection.  Peter died to his old self after he denied Jesus three times, and was raised to new life on the shores of the sea of Galilee when the risen Christ restored him to leadership and ministry.  

Peter later wrote to the early Christian believers in the first century:  

"As you come to him, the living Stone--rejected by human beings but chosen by God and precious to him--you also, like living stones are being built into a spiritual house..."  (1 Peter 2:4-5)

God takes ordinary people, broken people, messed up people with flaws, bruises, scars and wounds, and anoints them into service, and brings them together with other ordinary, broken and messed up people to build something amazing--the Church.  

As the late E. Stanley Jones wrote, "Whenever Christ touches life, that life takes on significance.  The nobodies become somebodies."  The living stones that Peter talked about are what God uses to build his kingdom.  These stones are often misshapen and don't seem to fit anywhere.  They are often rejected as nobodies.   

But they are perfect fits in God's construction jobs.  

Unfortunately far too few of us truly get this.  We still think of ourselves as incomplete, even though the truth of who we are is right in front of us.  

The poet Rumi wrote, "One of the marvels of the world is the sight of a soul sitting in prison with the key in his hand."    

What Jesus-followers need to begin to both internalize and affirm is the notion that because of their decision to follow Jesus, they are transformed by the power of his resurrection.  The Resurrection makes all things new, including us.  We are no longer what we were, we have begun to be what we will become when all things are made right at last through Jesus.  

May you embrace the power of the resurrection in your brokenness and frailty today.  May you trust that if you step fully into your new life in Christ, that he will fill in the broken places and empty spaces with his own Holy Spirit.  And may the grace and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you now and always.  Amen. 

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