Daily Archives: April 12, 2013

Lev.16, Ps.19, Prov.30, 1 Tim 1

Why would God choose ME?

For many years, I struggled with feelings that nobody really understood me or the things that I was going through. After all, as a young boy and well into young adulthood, my exposure to and understanding of God was squeezed into less than 50 minutes of the 168 hours in my week. And even during that short time with God, I never really knew Him to be so loving with a deep desire for ME. To me, God was real, but I never felt that He cared about who I was and that I mattered… that He placed me here in this world to fulfill a definite purpose, and that He loved me regardless of what I could do. After all… He is God… what could I possibly do for Him? Looking back, I was never popular, I had crooked teeth, I had funny ears, I didn’t do well in school, and I was never athletic. Consequently, I was an easy target… children can be so cruel!

I believe now that God was conditioning me even then for my life moving forward. I believe that as a result of my life growing up, I was able to develop a better understanding of the fragility of the human heart and offer compassion to those where are hurting. The more I began to see just how much pain so many people were and are in, I started to ask some very strong questions… with so much religion surrounding us, why are so many people hurting? In time, I began to realize that perhaps, the answer could be found in my definition of who God was and what MY role was in this life that I’ve been given… believing that life is more about a relationship and less about religion.

Throughout the Bible, God is rather deliberate in His selection of people to fulfill specific roles here on earth… 1 Tim 1:12-20 spoke of how God seems to enjoy surprising people by lifting up the humble and putting them into His service, particularly those who are despised in their own eyes or in the eyes of the society. God often chooses the most unlikely people… look at Paul. I suspect that the apostles were surprised that God chose one who had been a legalistic Pharisee and persecutor of God’s church to be an apostle to carry His message to the rest of the world. So, too, I’m sure that the Pharisees were surprised that the Messiah would turn out to be a poor carpenter’s son from a rather Hellenistic province of Israel.

Paul was put into the ministry because God counted him faithful. This is not to say that each individual Christian needs a special calling to minister, as we’re all called to minister. But Paul was referring to the particular ministry God called him to… specifically to be an apostle in charge of revealing the gospel. But Paul, originally called Saul, wasn’t always one of the most influential early Christian missionaries and leaders of the first generation of Christians. Actually, God did put him into the ministry because he was faithful. But Paul was on his way to Damascus to persecute the Christians there when God called him… what was faithful about that? It was not then when God put Paul into the ministry. That was his conversion experience. Paul being put into that ministry occurred many years later at Antioch when the Holy Spirit in Acts 13:2 said “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” By that point Paul had demonstrated a persistent faithfulness. So God is pleased by this type of faithfulness and He seeks to use those who demonstrate it consistently!

The sad reality is the stronger I feel led to do God’s work, the stronger I feel that many of those around me despise me. The enemy is constantly looking to tear us down, trying to convince us that we could never be used by God like Paul was. It is during these times that God is getting ready to deliver a mighty blow to get our attention because He knows us intimately and His love has no limits… after all, He knew who we were and what we would become from before we were born! As an engineer with a passion for astronomy, I once needed to see all things through actual data… if I didn’t see it, I had a very difficult time believing it. God believed in me enough to seek me out… I said “yes…” to a video called “The Star of Bethlehem.” It was during this viewing that I saw the constellations in the sky at the time of Christ’s birth match exactly the constellations in the sky at the time of Christ’s death on the cross, and it broke me! From that moment on, God had my heart… forever! This God, who wait the better part of 45 years for me to move closer to Him, cared enough about me to hook me just how I needed it, and I am His always. We don’t have a God of fire and anger, but of intense and deliberate love!

Lord, Jesus… I pray that I continue to die to myself and be filled with You so I am not affected by the things of this world. Lord, continue to call me by speaking directly to my heart… let me serve You so when I stand before You on that day, You are pleased with my obedience to You. I pray also that I stay focused on the things I must do to serve You always, and that You will provide for my needs and not my wants (Proverbs 30:-9, Psalm 19:14, ). Amen!

Greg (gstefanelli)

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Filed under 1 Timothy, 66 Books, Acts, Proverbs, Psalms