Thursday, 12 March 2015
The God who surprises
In 1879, a child was born to a poor Jewish merchant. In early life the boy suffered a haunting sense of inferiority because of the anti-Semitic feeling he encountered. Shy and introspective, the boy was so slow in learning that his parents had him examined by specialists to see if he was normal. In 1895, he failed his entrance examination to the Polytechnic in Zurich, Switzerland, though a year later he tried again and succeeded. Later, he received a doctorate from the University of Zurich, yet obtained only an obscure job as a patent examiner in the Berne patent office. Who was he? The man who formulated the theory of relativity, Albert Einstein, one of the greatest geniuses who ever lived!
Often, those whom we underestimate and consider average end up doing surprising things. The same thing is true in the kingdom of Christ. The Lord frequently uses people who wouldn't appear to be an obvious first choice. We see that people rejected Jesus, and yet he became the Saviour of the world. In reference to Jesus, Luke 20:17 says, ‘The stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone.’
Martin Luther King, Jr wrote: ‘You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You don’t have to know Plato and Aristotle. You don’t have to know Einstein’s theory of relativity. You don’t have to know the second theory of thermodynamics in physics. You only need a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love.’
Think about how many leaders in the Bible would have been disqualified from leading if they had been judged through the eyes of people. Moses murdered a man (Exodus 2:12) and he complained to God that he wasn't a public speaker (Exodus 4:10), yet the Lord used him to deliver 600,000 men, plus an untold number of women and children, from Egypt. David was a teenager when he was chosen as king, and he committed adultery with Bathsheba and had her husband murdered (2 Samuel 11:15), yet he was considered a man after God’s own heart. When he was just a teenager, Jeremiah was called by God to preach to the kings of many nations (Jeremiah 1:5), and the apostle Paul persecuted the church (Philippians 3:6) and admitted that he was not a public speaker (1 Corinthians 2:1-5), yet he ended up a zealous witness for Jesus Christ and wrote two thirds of the New Testament.
God is a God of surprises and we shouldn't be surprised that there are endless possibilities for our lives! He knows each one of us, and he also knows about what we may consider to be our limitations, but he can use us despite them if we respond in trust to His call.
I read this morning the following alarming statistics: "Only six per cent of British adults read or listen to the Bible, while 55 per...