Many of us have probably looked at ourselves and wondered how God could possibly work with “someone like me” when we look at our slip ups, sins and mess ups. Check out the new AUDIO sermon “When you really MESS UP” to help you, if you feel this way at times.
I just wanted in this blog to add a couple more examples to the ones I have in the sermon, on how our Father has such a powerful and beautiful way of taking even our SINS, our serious life issues and failures, and if we commit it all to him, will work even all those out for good.
Romans 8:28 does say, after all, “ALL things work together for good, for those who love God and are the called according to his purpose.”
I believe “ALL” means “all”. Everything. Even our worst, horrible SINS. The lineage of the Messiah came through, after all, the prior adulterous couple we know as David and Bathsheba – where David murdered Bathsheba’s husband in an attempted cover up for getting her pregnant! But God chose them to produce the Messianic line to Jesus Christ in Bethlehem! That’s astonishing to me. But that’s our loving Father for us!
Father in heaven, God Most High, has a plan for every single human being ever conceived. I believe, somehow, even for those sacrificed in abortion. He has a plan for you. No matter what you’ve been and no matter what you’ve done, as long as you deeply repent and turn back to him – you will be amazed at his lovingkindness to you and ways he can still use you for His Kingdom’s sake. So DON’T give up on God! Or on yourself.
Here are some other examples:
** The first person who ever saw the risen Messiah was a woman named Mary of Magdala who had SEVEN demons cast out of her sometime before all that. She was the “crazy woman” in town. Women in that day could not be witnesses in court, as they were deemed “unreliable”. But this was the first person GOD chose to see the risen Son of God. So don’t decide for God that you are unusable because your past is simply too weird, and you had evil personified going on – as Mary Magdalene did. Mary witnessed anyway. John 20:17-23. And God gave her that honor and role anyway.
** the first person in Samaria to “see” that Yeshua (Jesus) was the promised Messiah was also a “bad” woman, who had had FIVE failed marriages and was once again shacking up. God selected HER to spread the good news that the Messiah had come. He stayed there a couple days and many believed on him based on this “bad woman’s” heartfelt testimony and witness. The story is in John 4. So if your marriage failed, and the present one is atrocious – don’t give up on God being able to still have a plan for you.
** Two super strong examples are of God still showing grace even to the 2 most wicked kings ever. God did not just cast them aside.
Ahab. And King Manasseh. In Ahab’s case, after God had declared Ahab would die a vicious death soon for killing the innocent Naboth, whose vineyard Ahab coveted – but God reversed himself when Ahab humbled himself. See 1 Kings 21, especially verses 25-29.
In King Manasseh’s case, he is called the worst king ever. Please read his story in 2 Chronicles 33, and his repentance in verses 10-17. God sent him to Babylon – dragged by meat hooks it seems – but when Manasseh repented, God restored him to his throne, though probably as a vassal king. Believe me, you’ve never been down as low as Manasseh, and God still heard from heaven and delivered him. So don’t give up on God or yourself. He is perfectly aware of you and what you’re doing and what your concerns are.
** Paul, who wrote half or more of the New Testament, was initially a very mean, cruel, death-dealing persecutor of the Way he eventually embraced. (Acts 22:4 “I persecuted this Way to the death…”).
Look at Paul’s own testimony of what he did and how God was still able to use him.
1 Timothy 1:12-16 “And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry, 13 although I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and an insolent man; but I obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. 14 And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant, with faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. 15 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. 16 However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.”
Let’s humble ourselves as Paul did, admitting we are sinners, maybe even “chief sinner” as Paul said. Let God use your redeemed past to also be a pattern of hope for others who will come and see how you surrendered to God, and how he was able to use you too.
1 Corinthians 15:9-10 “For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.”
YOU can also look back someday and say, when you see what God can and will do through Christ in you – if you surrender to Christ fully – “by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain…”
Acts 9:1-2 “Then Saul, still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord, went to the high priest 2 and asked letters from him to the synagogues of Damascus, so that if he found any who were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.”
In the sermon about really “messing up” I just gave, a big key is for us to truly turn to God now, abide in Christ and stick to him like glue! John 15:4-5. If we do, we are promised that God in us will bear much fruit. The fruit comes from the vine or tree (Christ) as we’re staying firmly attached. We don’t glue fruit on to the tree by our efforts. Fruit is the natural consequence of being part of the Vine, which produces fruit through the branches (us) in due season. We DISPLAY the fruit that the Vine (Christ) produces in us.
Philippians 1:11 – “be filled with the fruits of righteousness which are by Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.”
But back to the point of this blog: don’t give up on yourself no matter what you’ve been, or what you’ve done, so far. Yes, repent! Of course. And going forward, trust in God, don’t give up on your amazing Father in heaven or in Christ, in whom we belong now.
Failed marriage(s)? Failed childrearing, and kids who won't talk to you? Have you been “disgraced” by society? Turn back to God and watch what He does.
And hear the new Audio sermon – “When we really, really mess up!” for further encouragement.