Friday, May 22, 2015

Not So Great?

Encouragement for your daily walk with God

I read about a new church opening in San Diego, a rather large city compared to where I live in Julian, California [population less than 3,000]. The newspaper article gave the date and times of the first services, then added, “our special guest will be…” The special guest was a popular celebrity. Often, churches will do that sort of thing to draw a large crowd. It is a very common approach. 

When I look at the list of the twelve apostles, celebrity seems to be missing. None of them were famous, in fact, at least one of the names was infamous. In those days, I doubt anyone would come to the opening of anything if this man’s name was proffered. His name was Matthew. He was a despised revenuer, hired by Rome to extract taxes from the locals. In the mind of his countrymen, he was a traitor.

Tax collectors in his day were capable of accumulating an enormous wealth because the Roman tax system allowed them to keep anything they collected in excess of what was owed to Rome. That led to bribes, extortion, and other abuses. Those local tax collectors could levy taxes on anything they wanted to, such as, roads, animals, mail, merchandise - well, you get the picture.

Dear Christ follower, if you think God can't use you because of your past sin or because you are not famous, put that out of your mind immediately. God used Matthew and millions like Him, and He can use you too! Follow Paul’s admonition to live “soberly, righteously, and godly in this present age” [Titus 2:12], then allow God to bless your ministry as He sees fit. 

God can use you despite your sinful past.

Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; 3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; 4 Simon the Cananite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him.   [Matt. 10:2-4].

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