“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” - 1 John 1:9 (NIV).
One thing that tends to characterize many people God has used is they tend to have a past. Abraham the father of nations slept with his maid in an act of desperateness (Genesis 16). Moses the liberator of Israeli was once a run away murderer ( Exodus 2:14). Jacob slept with his daughter in law, Tamar, taking her for a prostitute, an act once her pregnancy became known, he wished her burnt to death before he realized he was the culprit (Gen 38: 12- 27).
The Apostle Peter denied the Lord three times (Luke 22:54-62). Before he converted, the Apostle Paul relished in the persecution of the church.
Although all these, and countless others saints had a past, quite not so romantic, yet the Lord used them mightily to further His work. This is an important point to grasp. Quite often we find those who looking back at their past may feel not up to the task of being useful because of that dark past. Guilt has overtaken them and they feel chained down.
Sometimes there are also those who pause and compare themselves to some towering figure in their surroundings. Standing in their shadows they feel hum strung, for they cannot match up to the saintly figure before them. Worse, still, there are situations where those who knows of one’s past are quick and eager to bring it up, as a stumbling block.
Looking at the past of many of those God has used it should be an encouragement to all, that any can play a meaningful role in the Lord’s kingdom. In fact those who come with a tainted past very often rise above all, as was of Paul.For the scripture are quite emphatic, “There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus…” (Romans 8:1)
Guilt over some past and feeling inadequate is one of the tricks of Satan to paralyze believers in their individual callings. It is one of Satan's specialty to taunt those who have been forgiven in Christ as if there are not. But every believer, who has confessed his past to the Lord is forgiven and ready to be of much use, regardless.
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of Abraham, maker of heaven and earth, I thank you that through your son Jesus Christ you have forgiven me and can use me as you will to further your kingdom without alluding to my past!
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“Who dares despise the day of small things, since the seven eyes of the Lord that range throughout the earth will rejoice when they see the chosen capstone in the hand of Zerubbabel” ( Zechariah 4:10).
The public life of King David is well known. However, there is an early aspect of his life quite hidden though we can get glimpse of it. The first time we get to know David he is a stay home kid while his big brothers are on to bigger stuff, like fighting with King Saul. “Jesse’s three oldest sons had followed Saul to the war: The firstborn was Eliab; the second, Abinadab; and the third, Shammah. David was the youngest. The three oldest followed Saul, but David went back and forth from Saul to tend his father’s sheep at Bethlehem” ( I Samuel 27:13-14).
Left home alone perhaps it was a time for David to bond with the old man Jesse. Maybe he sometimes felt idle and ignored. But there was something maturing in his life for the life ahead. For in the meantime as he would later point to King Saul once an opportunity availed itself, God was ironing out his CV. When he offered to take on Goliath and Saul hesitated, he quickly shot back: “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The Lord who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine” (vv 35-37).
That’s the point. What had apparent been idle moments God was preparing David for the battles ahead? He would not only emerge out of the shadow as a great warrior but also a shepherd of his people ever relying on God.
Equally so, for all of us, there are moments that might appear idle and we feel frustrated as we see the days go by. Yet, in His gentle ways, God is preparing us for great days ahead.
Prayer today: Lord Father God, maker of heaven and earth, for those periods in life of apparent inactivity and maybe trials, help me appreciate them as the maturing me, for in due time and season all will bear fruit, this I pray in Jesus’ name!