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You did not choose me. I chose you and sent you out to produce fruit, the kind of fruit that will last. Then my Father will give you whatever you ask for in my name. John 15:16 (CEV)

The man led us down to the shed where we could hear the excited barking of puppies. I could see the look of anticipation and excitement in my son’s eyes. We’d been looking for a Cocker Spaniel for months and the price on this one seemed right.

As we entered the shed the pups called home, we were met by five excited, jumping little puppies. “Price on all of them is the same,” the kindly old gentleman said.

While I was looking at the five that met us, my son’s attention was drawn to a smaller, quiet puppy in the corner.

“What’s up with the little one in the corner?” My son asked. I could see by the look in his eyes that his heart had made its decision. My son had always had a soft spot in his heart for the down-and-outers of the world.

“Oh him? He’s the runt. Lucky to be alive actually. Came down here one morning and he had managed to climb the fence and fall in the stock tank on the other side. I figured he was a goner, but he seems fine now.”

While I would have chosen any of the other five, you have probably already guessed which one we went home with that day. The pup became my son’s closest friend until it died a few years later of cancer.

There are times in each of our lives when we may feel like the ‘runt’ in our circles. It seems like everyone else we know seems to get the whole Christian life, get the jobs they want, have the families we long for, and the list goes on.

The heart is a cruel liar. It constantly reminds us of our weaknesses. It continually points out the successes of others and compares them to our failures. It reminds us of our faults on a daily basis.

When your heart rears up and points at all the ‘uglies’ of your life, remember this: You were Chosen by the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the Creator of the universe. Not only did he choose you as a friend, he made you His Child!

And if that isn’t enough, he did all this knowing you would fail, rebel, stray, stumble and fall. That’s because he didn’t choose you on the basis of anything you could offer. He chose you simply because he loves you.

Just as my son chose that puppy based on compassion, he chose you. Rejoice!

PRAYER: Father God…Daddy. Thank you for choosing me even though I have nothing of real significance to offer you. Help to live as a son of the Most High God. Amen.

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.

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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