16. God uses anyone

God can use anyone. We have spoken about it in the previous devotions, but truly the Lord can use anyone He pleases. We have touched on the fact that He uses ordinary people. He used people like Moses, Gideon, David etc who were nobodies in the eyes of the world. There are various examples of ordinary people that He used, for example Mary. She was just an ordinary girl engaged to an ordinary man, Joseph. But the Lord used her in a mighty way to change the course of history forever. Jesus' own disciples that He chose were ordinary men. Peter, James, John and Andrew, to name but a few, were fisherman. In those days if you weren't called by a Rabbi to follow him and learn more about God, you had to return to your occupation that you were taught by your family. Now the fact that Peter and the others were still fishermen showed that no Rabbi considered them good enough to follow them. They were not the best, the cream of the crop, but Jesus saw the potential in them and called them to follow Him.  Jesus' own brother was also an ordinary man, namely James. But the Lord used him in a mighty way to be the leader of the young church once it started.  I can go on and on. The examples are endless. The examples all around you today are also endless. The Lord wants to use us. That is how He works. We are His Hands and Feet here on earth. Don't ever think you are not good enough, because you are. The Lord sees the potential in you and He smiles. He is excited to use you.

Let's continue with this theme and quickly have a look at some of Jesus' ancestors.  I think most of us would have considered it a great honor to be part of Jesus' ancestors. So I want to highlight a few of them to illustrate once again that the Lord truly uses anyone. The first one is Judah, who was one of Jesus' ancestors. He had a daughter in law whose name was Tamar. She was married to one of his sons and when he died she married the second son in line. He also died and Judah promised that she could marry his third son once he is old enough. That was the tradition in those days. The widow will marry the next brother in line and have a child with him. But this never happened; because Judah didn't want his third son to marry her, he was scared that he would die too. Tamar soon realized it and wanted to get what was rightfully hers. She disguised herself as a prostitute and upon hearing that Judah was on his way to the town she presented herself to him. He was enticed by the offer and without realizing that it was his own daughter in law, he slept with her. She became pregnant and had twin sons. One of them, Perez later became one of Jesus' ancestors. So basically one of Jesus' ancestors was born out of wedlock, in an act of prostitution.

Another one of His ancestors was Rahab. She was a prostitute from Jericho. Now you all know the story of how the Israelites sent out spies to spy out the new country, the Promised Land, that they wanted to enter and conquer. Now these spies arrived at Jericho and were helped by the prostitute, Rahab. And when the Israelites attacked Jericho, she and her family were saved and she became one of Jesus' ancestors.

Ruth was also one of Jesus' ancestors. She was a Moabite woman who married a Jewish man. He subsequently died and she became a widow, but she stayed and helped her mother in law. They went back to Israel and there whilst collecting food for her mother in law and herself to eat, she met her future husband Boaz, who in turn was an ancestor of Jesus.

Solomon was also an ancestor of Jesus and his mother was Bathsheba. She was originally married to Uriah, but David saw Bathsheba whilst her husband was at war. David desired her and had an affair with her. She subsequently fell pregnant, much to David's dismay, and to cover up the affair David arranged for her husband to be killed in battle. Once he died, David married Bathseba, but the baby born out of wedlock died shortly after birth. David and Bathsheba were both devastated, but shortly thereafter she fell pregnant again and Solomon was born.

The kings following Solomon, who reigned over Judah, were all part of Jesus' ancestral line. Some were good, but most were bad and allowed pagan religions to reign over the hearts of the people. Some like Ahaz and Manasseh were very evil. Ahaz even sacrificed his own sons, whilst Manasseh practiced sorcery, divination, consulted mediums and psychics. He also sacrificed his own son and murdered several innocent people in Jerusalem. Another king Hezekiah, was not evil, but he became proud of his achievements and bragged about everything he had to the Babylonians. The Lord predicted through Isaiah that everything he showed to them will be carried away by the Babylonians themselves, which did indeed happen later on.

The list can go on and on. In short the following people formed part of Jesus' ancestral line: a deceiver (Jacob), a dreamer (Joseph), prostitutes, a foreign widower, an adulterer, murderers, Satanists (Mannaseh), proud kings etcetera etcetera.   

What I am trying to say is that no matter who you are, the Lord can and wants to use you. Whether you are an ordinary person or someone who have committed some atrocious sin, it doesn't matter. The Lord has a place for you and is waiting for you to act. Don't look at yourself and consider yourself not worthy, because you are worthy. You can do more than you think you can. The Lord can be trusted with your life. He knows what is best for you.

Lord Jesus, please help us to look up to You and not to our fallible bodies. You are the One we should please and no one else. You are our everything. Amen


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