My friend Jim Newsom recently wrote: “God chooses people that others reject...accepting the rejected is not the weakness of the gospel; it is its strength.” Jim should know, he killed his best friend in a drug deal gone bad. Shortly later, he came to Christ at his friend’s wake, turned himself in, and spent eight years in a Florida prison for second degree murder. While in prison, he planted a church which is still going today. Jim has led hundreds of people to Christ and continues to reach convicts with the saving message of Jesus. When God called Jim, he didn't seem to be the right guy for the job. Today, let's look at two people in the Bible who didn’t appear to be good candidates for the jobs that God had called them to do.
But Moses said, “No, Lord, don't send me…I am a poor speaker, slow and hesitant.” The Lord said to him, “Who gives man his mouth? …It is I, the Lord. Now, go! I will help you to speak, and I will tell you what to say.” But Moses answered, “No, Lord, please send someone else.” Exodus 4:10-13
And now, the words of a man once known as Saul:
For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it. Gal. 1:13
When God called Moses to tell the Egyptian Pharoah to release the Israelites and take them to the Promised Land, Moses was an unlikely candidate. We read his response in today's first passage: “No, Lord, don't send me. I am a poor speaker, slow and hesitant...please send someone else.” In our second passage, Paul writes about his lifestyle at the time when God called him: “For you have heard of my previous way of life in Judaism, how intensely I persecuted the church of God and tried to destroy it.” Paul was a well-known enemy of Christianity. Our dear friend Bradley Stuart, who also seemed to be an unlikely candidate because of his Cerebral Palsy, has preached the gospel and taught on six continents. Bradley often says, “God isn't looking for your ability—He's looking for your availability.” Perhaps God is calling you today to reach out to other unlikely candidates. That's what God does; He takes flawed people, redeems them, and then uses them to change the lives of other flawed people—people like you and me.
If you're willing to be available, God can use you to bring the hope-filled message of Jesus to someone who needs it today...and that's very Good News!