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For the one whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for God gives the Spirit without limit. John 3:34

I was watching one of those television shows about the rich and famous the other day. I don’t usually do that but I was channel hopping and something caught my eye. It is amazing to me how that side of society lives. That side of life in which you don’t have to count pocket change to see if you have enough money for a cheap cup of gas station coffee. That side of life where you don’t have to decide how you can take your kids to McDonalds and pay the electric bill the same week.

It’s easy to get caught up in the trap of wishing for more. We want more money, more land, more toys, more from our relationships, our church, our children, our government.

M.O.R.E. MOnly Reason to Exist!

So much of our world is built around the idea that what we own is what we are; that what we’ve accomplished is our legacy; that the only way to push through life is by our own strength.

If King Solomon were here, he’d tell you different. He had all the wives he wanted, he had the financial resources to acquire anything he wanted and so he did. He bought, he built, he conquered. And when it was all over, he looked at what he possessed and saw that in reality he had nothing of any value.

On the other extreme was Jesus. Jesus and his disciples often used stones as pillows, ate raw grain from fields due to hunger, were ridiculed and looked down upon by society (especially the church) and were homeless! Yet, Jesus spoke of life and fulfillment. Even on the cross he looked out in his pain and said “it is finished.”

Forget, for a moment, all the theological implications of that statement. Focus instead on what Jesus was saying in his heart. “I’m done. The work that I came for is complete. I have accomplished everything I intended to accomplish.”

So what did Jesus accomplish? He didn’t acquire great wealth. While he was very popular among those he touched, the group was relatively small and made up of prostitutes, farmers, the sick, the lame and the destitute. Not extremely impressive, not so that is unless you consider that his lifestyle and his teachings changed the world. Regardless of what liberal theologians, scientists and professors tell you, much of the world is the way it is because of the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

So what was it the drove him to greatness? What power was it that kept him going when all seemed hopeless? It was God’s Spirit working in him and through him.

Now, here’s the good news. The same Spirit that empowered Jesus to make a difference in his world is the same Spirit each of us are filled with when we accept Jesus Christ as the Lord and Master of our lives. And we don’t get just a little piece of the ‘Holy Spirit Pie’! John tells us that God’s servants, those that live under the forgiveness of Christ’s sacrifice, are filled to overflowing with that power.

So, still think you are too weak to accomplish much for God? Think you past, or your present are too insignificant to make a difference? Guess again. God’s Spirit is given to each of us with no limits!

PRAYER: Father, forgive me for the times I feel too insignificant to accomplish great things for your Kingdom. Help me to live in the power you have given me for your glory. Amen.

So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority. Colossians 2:10 (NLT)

Have you ever had a huge project to do and lamented over getting it done? A home I used to own had a yard built into a hill. I hired an excavator to level part of the yard and then spend hours hauling rocks from farmer’s fields to built a rock wall complete with waterfall and pool. I added a few lights and had my own little backyard paradise. It took many hours and I had many sore muscles from the project. But when it was done the feeling of accomplishment was tremendous.

Paul says we are complete in Jesus; a finished project. Ephesians 2:10 tells us, “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”

I like that! I have to admit it’s hard for me to think of myself as a masterpiece. At best I’m a bruised apple. Okay on the outside for awhile, but my true character may come bursting through at any minute.

Do you feel that way too sometimes? Are you constantly reminded of your shortcomings by other people or the voices of your heart?

We’re wrong you know. Our view of ourselves isn’t anything like the view Jesus has of us. I’m a masterpiece, flaws and all…and so are you. I know, I know. I’ve seen the buttons and the T-shirts that say ‘Please be patient with me, God isn’t finished with me.’ I understand the implication. We are growing and as children we stumble and fall, just like when we were toddlers. But the finished product was completed on the cross and that’s really all that matters.

Scripture seems to teach that God IS finished with me. Sure, I have some maturing to do, but I am his masterpiece and I feel pretty good about that. So should you. So, when you sin, when you stumble for the umpteenth time, remember this. God IS finished with you and YOU are his masterpiece. There is nothing you need to add. There is no religious activity you need to complete, no schooling you need to take. Jesus Christ knows you inside and out. He knows your struggles, your fears, and your rebellious actions. He knows the secret you’ve been trying to hide for years. He knows all this, and you know what he says about you?

“Look, there, right there in your mirror. THAT is my masterpiece!”

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, I get tired of the struggle. I get fatigued trying to measure up. Help me to remember that it isn’t about my striving. It’s not about what others may think of me. It’s not about me at all. I AM your masterpiece and by the power of your Holy Spirit I resolve to live worthy of your love. Amen.

Bethlehem Ephrath, you are one of the smallest towns in the nation of Judah. But the Lord will choose one of your people to rule the nation—someone whose family goes back to ancient times. Micah 5:2 (CEV)

It was one small stone, flung from the sling of a teenager that dropped the giant and saved the nation.

It was a handful of barley and a few drops of oil that fed the prophet, the woman and her son for weeks.

It was a few small loaves and fish that fed over 5,000 men women and children.

It was a small, insignificant nation made up of men who’d never fought before, that routed the Promised Land.

It was a tiny village in Judah that produced the one who would save the world of their sins and bring them into a renewed relationship with the Father God of the universe.

It was a small band of uneducated, arrogant, self-seeking men that turned the world upside down with their teaching.

God has never sought the large and spectacular to accomplish the great and impressive acts. God has always used insignificant people in impossible situation to accomplish spectacular things. Our heavenly father doesn’t need Shock and Awe to accomplish his desires. God’s power is shown best in brokenness and humility. He does his best work with willing hearts and humble attitudes.

Why is it then that we are surprised when famous people come from small towns, or great athletes come from obscure schools?

Why is it that we dream of having a large church so we can accomplish great things for the Kingdom when Jesus changed the world with 12 broken and Spirit-filled men?

Why is it we dream of the great things we could do for others if we had a big bank account when most people really need what we can give them without cost: compassion, grace, forgiveness and love?

From humble beginnings the Father raises up mighty warriors. You have what it takes to make a difference in your world today. You may be able to change someone’s world, even for just a few minutes, with a kind word, a smile or a heartfelt prayer.

Don’t wait for God to do a great things in your life before you do great things for others through ‘small’ acts of Christ-likeness. Don’t let your past or our perceived weaknesses and shortcomings keep you from being a blessing. Your Father specializes in making insignificance grow into significance. All he needs is your heart.

PRAYER: Father God, there are times when I look at the task before me and feel too insignificant to accomplish all I want to do for you. Then I realize the problem. It’s what I want to do for you, not what you want to do through me. Make me a vessel you can use to give living water to those in need. Amen.

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February 2023
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