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Broken Vessel

I was listening to Tullian Tchividjian speak about the disciples that Jesus chose. He mentioned that Jesus didn’t choose religious or wealthy men. He chose men who had nothing to bring to the table. He also said that God doesn’t need perfect vessels to carry out His will, He needs broken ones. There’s a lot in just those few statements that speaks to me. I think that the 12 men whom He chose to give His life changing message to says a lot about who God is and what He sees in people.

When Jesus chose the disciples, He pretty much walked up to them and said, “Come follow me.” They didn’t ask Him who He was. They didn’t say, “Let me finish doing this task.” They didn’t ask to go say goodbye to family and friends. They dropped what they were doing, left family and friends to follow Jesus. They were chosen because their attitudes were the type that was willing to do whatever God asked without worrying about everything else that typically stops us from doing His will.

These men were not perfect either. Peter had a big mouth. Thomas was a skeptic. Judas was self righteous. Matthew was a tax collector who had cheated people. The list goes on. God does not choose people to carry out His will based on what they offer. He chooses people based on their inabilities. If we could do everything He asked on our own, where would faith come in? If we were confident enough to say what He tells us to say, we would think we were doing it in our own strength. If we had the credentials and expertise, pride would swell up in us. Instead, He finds broken and chipped vessels to put together to do His will so He can get the glory.

Have you limited yourself in what you feel God has called you to do because you don’t have the skills or ability? Have you thought God wanted you to do something that was over your head but turned Him down because you couldn’t do that on your own? You don’t have to have a degree in Public Speaking to share what God has done for you. You don’t have to have a Masters in Anthropology to help the needy. You don’t have to have a Doctorate in Theology to discuss with others what you found in God’s Word. You simply have to be a vessel that’s been broken and ready to use by Him for His purpose and His glory. He will give you all you need to be successful in your calling.

Photo by Marta Esteban Fernando on Unsplash

Throwback Thursday is a new feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other writing ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.

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God Given Tasks

Recently I was flown to another city for work. When I arrived, they took me and several others who had flown in into a room. We were given the task of solving a problem for the business. As they were describing what they were expecting from us, they said, “To get your ticket home, you must complete these objectives. We don’t care how long you work, how many breaks you take or how long your lunches are. Just make sure you complete these tasks by the end of the week.” We posted the problem on a wall, then we posted our objectives right beside it and got to work.

I believe that God has tasks for each of us to do. We don’t usually get a PowerPoint presentation from Him with clearly defined goals though. He does, however, expect us to do the things He’s called us to do. Since each one of us are uni, that means there are tasks that we are uniquely qualified for. There are certain tasks that only you can do. It’s important for each of us to be sensitive to God’s Spirit so we can know what He wants us to do. When you feel a certain impression to do something for someone, that’s usually Him. It may feel uncomfortable at first, but the more we obey, the more He gives us to do.

Here are some verses on doing tasks God gives us.

1. We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work.

John 9:4 NLT

2. Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 MSG

3. Whatever you do [whatever your task may be], work from the soul [that is, put in your very best effort], as [something done] for the Lord and not for men.

COLOSSIANS 3:23 AMP

4. Anyone who is joined to Christ is a new being; the old is gone, the new has come. All this is done by God, who through Christ changed us from enemies into his friends and gave us the task of making others his friends also.

2 Corinthians 5:17-18 GNT

5. Give your complete attention to these matters. Throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see your progress.

1 Timothy 4:15 NLT

Photo by Daniel Chekalov on Unsplash

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Qualification Through Disqualification

Throwback Thursday is a new feature I’m using to help build some margin into my schedule to pursue other writing ventures. Each Thursday I’ll be bringing you a previously written devotional that still speaks encouragement to us from God’s Word.

My son loves to watch “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” on my iPad. I think he loves Daniel Tiger so much because he sings songs that are easy for him to learn. My son started singing one of those songs recently when I was hanging a shelf in my room. He wanted to help, but the shelf was too heavy and too high for him so I asked him to sit on the bed and watch. He sang, “Everyone is big enough, big enough to do something.” I couldn’t help but laugh and said, “You’re right.” I handed him the screws to hold and had him pass me my level. He was big enough to help with that.

So many times in our lives we feel inadequate and under qualified. We take ourselves out of situations God has placed us in because we think we aren’t the right person for the job. We underestimate the value that we bring and we use that as an excuse to not do what God has called us to. Esther felt the same way. She was just a girl who won a beauty contest and became the king’s wife. She had no authority, no royal blood in her and was an orphan. She was the least qualified to stand before the king and get justice for her people.

Like anyone else in that situation, she made excuses as to why she couldn’t do God’s will. Her uncle, Mordecai, was unwilling to accept her excuses and sent her word that said, “Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?” (Esther 4:14) He understood that when God calls us to do something, He qualifies us to do it. He puts us right where He needs us in order to do what needs to be done. It’s not up to us to use how we got into that position as a disqualifier. It’s up to us to recognize why God has us where He does.

Each of us are qualified to do something for God. There are none of us who are perfect. None who are sinless. None who haven’t made huge mistakes we regret. God, in His mercy, doesn’t allow our past to keep us from doing His will. Instead, He embraces it and uses it to qualify us to carry out His will. What we think disqualifies us, God uses to qualify. What we think should keep us from helping Him is the very thing He wants to use. He uses the broken and scarred to help heal those with fresh wounds.

Don’t ever fall for the lie that you cannot be used by God because of something you’ve done. If you have been forgiven by God, then you are just the person God is looking for. You don’t have to sit on the sidelines and watch. You can hold out your hands and let God use them to accomplish what He can only do through you. Who knows, perhaps you went through what you went through for such a time as this? He can use your scars to prove He heals open wounds. He can use your brokenness to show how He mends the broken-hearted. He can use you, no matter what.

Photo by Cristian Newman on Unsplash

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Qualified Through Disqualification

My son loves to watch “Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood” on my iPad. I think he loves Daniel Tiger so much because he sings songs that are easy for him to learn. My son started singing one of those songs recently when I was hanging a shelf in my room. He wanted to help, but the shelf was too heavy and too high for him so I asked him to sit on the bed and watch. He sang, “Everyone is big enough, big enough to do something.” I couldn’t help but laugh and said, “You’re right.” I handed him the screws to hold and had him pass me my level. He was big enough to help with that.

So many times in our lives we feel inadequate and under qualified. We take ourselves out of situations God has placed us in because we think we aren’t the right person for the job. We underestimate the value that we bring and we use that as an excuse to not do what God has called us to. Esther felt the same way. She was just a girl who won a beauty contest and became the king’s wife. She had no authority, no royal blood in her and was an orphan. She was the least qualified to stand before the king and get justice for her people.

Like anyone else in that situation, she made excuses as to why she couldn’t do God’s will. Her uncle, Mordecai, was unwilling to accept her excuses and sent her word that said, “Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?” He understood that when God calls us to do something, He qualifies us to do it. He puts us right where He needs us in order to do what needs to be done. It’s not up to us to use how we got into that position as a disqualifier.  It’s up to us to recognize why God has us where He does.

Each of us are qualified to do something for God. There are none of us who are perfect. None who are sinless. None who haven’t made huge mistakes we regret. God, in His mercy, doesn’t allow our past to keep us from doing His will. Instead, He embraces it and uses it to qualify us to carry out His will. What we think disqualifies us, God uses to qualify. What we think should keep us from helping Him is the very thing He wants to use. He uses the broken and scarred to help heal those with fresh wounds.

Don’t ever fall for the lie that you cannot be used by God because of something you’ve done. If you have been forgiven by God, then you are just the person God is looking for. You don’t have to sit on the sidelines and watch like I tried to do with my son. You can hold out your hands and let God use them to accomplish what He can only do through you. Who knows, perhaps you went through what you went through for such a time as this? He can use your scars to prove He heals open wounds. He can use your brokenness to show how He mends the broken-hearted. He can use you, no matter what. 

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You Are Equipped To Do…

Ever since I was a kid, I have loved the story of David and Goliath. It wasn’t long after David arrived to the battlefront that Goliath started yelling and scaring the Israelites. When he heard the taunts and the curses against God, David felt a stirring inside to do something about it. He started asking questions about what would be done for the man who killed him. It wasn’t long before he was standing in front of the king saying, “Don’t worry about this Philistine. I’ll go fight him!” After Saul was convinced, he tried to equip David for the job.

He gave him the king’s armor because it was the best. He knew that his country’s fate was now in the hands of a shepherd. If David failed, they would be killed and his people would be servants of the Philistines. Of course, the armor didn’t fit and David didn’t want it. Instead he went out and found five smooth stones out them in his bag, grabbed his sling and headed to the battlefield. Instead of letting someone else equip him for what God called him to do, he let God use what had already been placed in his hands.

So many times, we feel called to do something. We see a need and we also see everyone else around us just looking at it. People are so afraid they’ll fail if they try to meet it, that they never try. God then puts it in your heart to meet that need. He wants you to be the one to risk failure. He wants you to be the one to step out in faith and act in obedience. He put you in the right place at the right time so that you could be the answer to someone’s prayer. The problem is that either you don’t feel you’re properly equipped or trained to do it. You have a choice to make at that point. Do you join the others who merely look at the problem or do you believe that God will equip you to do it?

The writer of Hebrews wrote in chapter 13:21, “May He (God) equip you with all you need for doing His will.” It’s God who will use the skills He has already given you to accomplish what He has called you to do. You may need to pick up some stones to help you, but the tool to accomplish it is already in your hands. When God gives you a burden to do something for Him, He will equip you to do it. You just have to open your eyes to see how. David remembered that he had already killed a lion and a bear. He drew faith from those previous experiences that He could also kill a giant.

God will also use the Bible to build your faith and to help you accomplish what He called you to do. I I Timothy 3:17 says, “God uses it (scripture) to prepare and equip His people to do every good work.” If you’re facing the unknown in ministry then spend lots of time reading God’s Word. He will use that to prepare you. Reading it will build your faith as well. When David stepped onto the battlefield that day, he was equipped to do what God had called him to do and he was confident because he knew what God had done for His people in the past. He drew strength from God’s promises and you can to. Whatever God has put in your heart to do, He has equipped you to do it. Step out in faith today and trust Him to be true to his Word.

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