Have you ever noticed how quick our culture is to apply labels?
Labels that identify us by race, age, ability, character traits,
…and our past.
So often it seems that our future is determined by what’s behind us…
Poor choices of our own or someone else’s.
Illness and death of loved ones.
Broken promises and broken hearts.
Whatever pain and brokenness you and I have gone through in our past, it affects us deeply, but it doesn’t have to define us. And it doesn’t mean God can’t or won’t use us in His work.
In fact, He has a history of using broken individuals, even those with a shady past, in the work of His Kingdom. Allow me to share some examples.
Rahab was a prostitute who hid Joshua’s two spies in Jericho before the fall of Jericho. When the walls of Jericho fell and Joshua’s army went in, they spared Rahab and her family just as the spies promised her they would do. Rahab went on to be King David’s great-great-grandmother. (Joshua 2, 6:22-25, Matthew 1:5-6)
David we know for being anointed by God as king and for bringing Goliath down with a sling and a stone. (1 Samuel 16, 17) Later, he sinned against God when he had an affair with Bathsheba and then ordered her husband, Uriah, to be killed in battle. (2 Samuel 11) David repented, received the Lord’s forgiveness, and the line of David continued on…with Jesus being a descendent of David.
Peter, Jesus’ disciple, denied knowing Him, not once but three times. And yet, Peter was the foundation of the Christian church. (Acts)
Paul, formerly known as Saul, persecuted the early church. He approved of Stephen’s death by stoning and imprisoned believers. (Acts 8:1-3) But God had plans for Saul.
But the Lord said, “Go, for Saul is my chosen instrument to take my message to the Gentiles and to kings, as well as to the people of Israel.” Acts 9:15 NLT
My friends, why do we accept the labels society applies to us? More importantly, why do we apply them to ourselves, so sure that God doesn’t have a place for us?
God, who sent His very own Son to die for us, does have a place for us. He has a plan for each and every one of us, and can bring good out of anything we go through.
We know that in everything God works for the good of those who love him. They are the people he called, because that was his plan. Romans 8:28 NCV
Thank you for joining me here today. If you are reading Do You Know Who I Am? by Angela Thomas with us, we are in Chapter 11 this week “Do You Know I Am Broken?...He Is My Redeemer.”