God has had some outstanding messengers to deliver his messages to man.
Back in the Old Testament he had his prophets … men and women beyond bribe or threats. They delivered his dispatches in powerful, sometimes strange, but always clear ways. The New Testament had some spectacular oracles as well. Listen to Peter preach his first sermon with stunning results. (Acts 2) And Paul both wrote and verbalized God’s words with powerful effects still being felt today.
In later years we heard from Luther, Finney, Jonathan Edwards, the Wesley brothers and D.L. Moody. And more recently we’ve had Billy Sunday, Billy Graham, Luis Palau and Rick Warren.
God has had little shortage of great and powerful men and women through whom to speak.
But I’m partial to those we would assume had no right to represent righteousness – with no credentials worth noting. They are people whose message originates in a mess.
I’m talking about flawed people who have entire seasons of their lives best left covered. They are walking history lessons of ‘how not to live life.’ They don’t deserve to speak for God about holy things because their past messes speak so stridently.
Yet God keeps seeking them out and giving them platforms from which to share. Like the former demoniac in Mark 5. We would easily rule him out of any ministry, including greeters at the church door! Yet he is entrusted to share the Gospel of God’s redeeming grace to ten sizable towns in his day.
Then there was the woman of ill repute in Matthew 26:6-13 who poured expensive perfume on his head as he was eating. Her checkered past did not stop her testimony from being given up to this very day.
Even the most prominent evangelists mentioned above, Peter and Paul, came up with less than stellar background checks. Peter was a cursing wimp, initially afraid to even admit that he knew Jesus. And Paul? He was the early Christian’s equivalent of ISIS as he hunted down those who loved Jesus.
And so it is, that the message isn’t diluted by anyone’s past failures and dismal track record. Noah got drunk. Abraham lied about his wife. Jacob was a master deceiver. Rahab was a prostitute. Gideon was fearful. Samson had a serious problem with lust and anger. David was an adulterer and murderer. Elijah struggled with depression. Jonah ran from God. Get the picture?
Why does God use messed up, flawed people to spread his message? Because that’s all He has to work with!
All the perfect people are in heaven!
“But we have this precious treasure [the good news about salvation]
in [unworthy] earthen vessels [of human frailty], so that the grandeur
and surpassing greatness of the power will be [shown to be] from God
[His sufficiency] and not from ourselves.”
II Corinthians 4:7 Amplified Bible
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