Updated: Jul 13
Welcome friends to another week. This message was not what I had planned to write about this coming week. While visiting https://www.pinterest.com, I came across a post that made me stop to think about myself. Many of us will fit one or two of these descriptions. Either we think we are the worst person on Earth or don't do anything wrong. I was in the second category for a long time; I thought I could do nothing wrong. In the old days, we used to say, "So you think your poop doesn't stink." Mine did. Or we find ourselves saying this: "I'm the worst person in the world. Jesus cannot save me". I was wrong to think the God of the universe could not save me from his wrath, or that my sins were so bad, he couldn't forgive me, or I was perfect and did not need him.
People tend to dwell on the wrong things of life instead of what’s good. The world teaches us to think this way, which starts while we are young. Many times, people think Jesus can’t save them or he is a myth. So, they don’t accept Christ as their Lord and Savior. Others think the Bible is fiction and can't be trusted. Or they think they do not sin or like me. I thought my sins were not so bad. I cannot throw stones at anyone else. I also thought I was not worth saving and Christ could not save me. That said, I’d like to illustrate how good God is and how his forgiveness makes all of us clean; by discussing biblical people who committed many sins. God forgave them, then used them in mighty ways.
Jacob and Rebekah lied and cheated. Rebekah (mom) loved Jacob more than Esau. As time passed, both twins grew up. Rebekah helped Jacob cheat his brother Esau out of his birthright by making his hands hairy like his brother. Jacob (old and blind) could not tell which son gave him the meat. Rebekah’s love for one son a caused her to lie, cheat and steal as well. Therefore, Jacob and Rebekah were cheaters and a liars. Genesis 27: 19-30
Abraham was very old; however, God used him. By biblical standards, 50 is old. The Levites retired at age 50 from regular service in the Temple. They no longer were required to work (Numbers 8:25.). Our age does not matter to God. When a person becomes older or elderly does not preclude them from being used by God. He can and does! For example, Abraham was God's friend who left all he had to follow God. He was a man of faith as well. Isaac was born when Abraham was very old. Abraham trusted God so much that he knew God would not allow Isaac to die when tested. However, Abraham had moments when his faith and trust in God waned. (He wanted to do things himself.) Usually, when we try to do things ourselves, we mess up every time. God still used him in a mighty way-Abraham was obedient to God, no matter the costs. He did not allow age to become an excuse.
Gideon was insecure. His trial was battling 135,00 Midianites with only 300 men. He was scared of failing. That said, Gideon asked God several times to show signs that he and his men would be successful. Judges 6:30-40. God told Gideon he was with him in Judges 6:16. Gideon was successful.
God chose David since he was a man after his own heart. David had an affair with Bathsheba, though he knew she was married. He still slept with her, and Bathsheba became pregnant. David arranged to have her husband (Uriah) killed on the battlefield. One could say he put the hit on her husband. After her husband's death, David married her. 2 Samuel 11. God did not take away the promise that from David that the savior of the world would come from David's line. Acts 13:21-23
Jonah ran away from God and his responsibilities. God told him to go to Nineveh (A city in present-day Iraq) to preach to the people because of their wickedness. Instead of doing what God asked, he paid the fare and found a boat going to Tarshish (a city in modern-day Spain). Jonah 1:1-3 The Lord gave him another chance after the whale swallowed him. God allowed Jonah to live.
Sarah (Sarai) became impatient and trusted her abilities and not in God's promise. She could not conceive. Instead of waiting for God, she gave Abram her maid Hagar. However, Sarah became angry when Hagar became pregnant. Sarah handled the situation herself. As a result, Sarah hated Hagar for the mess she caused. Sarah became conceived Isaac when she was about 99 years old in God's time. There is nothing God cannot do. Genesis 16:1-4; 8; 15-17, 25:12
God called him to release his people from slavery when he grew up. Exodus Chapters 3 and 4. Moses was afraid the Israelites would not listen to him; however, God fixed that by changing the staff into a snake and then returning it to the staff. Moses told God, in Exodus 4:10, he was slow in speech and tongue. God addressed his concern by telling him Aaron would speak for him. However, God supplied Moses with the words and also taught him. Exodus 4:13-15.
Zaccheus, a short man, lived in Jericho. However, he wanted to see Jesus; therefore, he climbed into a tree. Jesus knew Zaccheus watched from the tree and called him down. Jesus then became his guest. All those watching this scene unfold began talking among themselves. How could Jesus stay with a sinner? (They did not realize none of them were perfect. Everyone sins.) Zaccheus was a nobleman who gave half of his possessions to the poor and restored any item he stole from anyone back to the person. As a result, Jesus told Zaccheus that salvation came to his home. Luke 19:1-9. Zaccheus's heart was tender, forgiving, and not greedy.
Saul later renamed Paul, killed anyone proclaiming Christ. As he traveled to Damascus, a bright light shone from the sky. The Lord asked him why he persecuted him. Afterward, God blinded him for three days. (Acts 9:1-17) Paul became a mighty apostle for Christ who helped bring many to Christ. (An apostle is one who personally spoke to and saw Jesus.) Paul refers to himself as one born out of time as he saw Jesus later. 1 Corinthians 15:8
Thomas (one of the disciples) did not have faith so he doubted everything. He was nicknamed Doubting Thomas. Like many of us, he had to have everything planned down to the most minute details. He did not take chances on anything, nor did he believe anything he could not see, which was the reason Jesus told Thomas to touch his in the side. John 20:27.
Peter had a temper, and he was a liar. Jesus told Peter he would deny him three times. (He did.) Peter claimed not to know Jesus. Matthew 26:58, 69, 73, 75. In addition, Peter cut off the guard's ear as he arrested Christ in his anger. John 18:26 Peter later wrote First and 2nd Peter.
Martha worried too much. While others relaxed, she was doing "things." Like many women today, her home must have been spotless, she cleaned to perfection. She did not miss a spot. Had she kept a calendar, it would be filled with chores or activities. Martha worried about everything. However, in Luke 10:38-42, we see Jesus visiting the house. Martha was busy cleaning while her sister Mary sat at Jesus's feet, listening to him. Jesus, noticing, asked her why her chores bothered her so. Finally, Mary chose not to worry about trivial things of life but chose what was most important, listening to Jesus. Many of us are like Martha. We worry about things that do not matter. Jesus cares about everything we do. He wants us to cast our cares. 1 Peter 5:7
These individuals are not any different from us today. They struggled with the same issues, yet Jesus used each one for his kingdom. My friends, most times we read the Bible and think, the people in the Bible are different from us today. They lived in a different time; however, they struggled with the same issues. Jesus forgave them and, in some instances, used some of them for the gospel like Paul. Peter wrote 2 Books of the Bible. The point is God can use anyone. In each instance, the person's heart said more than words. Our heart is what matters with Christ; it is not our appearance or wealth. We do not come to him as perfect human beings. All of us have our faults and sins. Jesus died on the cross for all of us, past, present, and future. He knew their actions as he knows ours. Nothing surprises him. Please consider Jesus; time is getting short. I hope you have a blessed week. Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. Please visit YouTube (Dorothy Burrell) for more content. Have a blessed week.