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God Wants You

Bob Gibson, star pitcher for the St. Louis Cardinals (1959–75), once spoke about the rough and rugged life of a famous athlete. After telling of many unpleasant experiences with the fans, he said, “I don’t like crowds—and fans, except for a very few, are all fair weather.” I suppose every famous person knows how fickle the crowd can be. Jesus did. Therefore, when he began his work, he did not commit it to the masses who came and went but rather to the 12 men who would be his disciples.

A study of these 12 apostles is most interesting. They were simple, unlearned men who heard and answered Jesus’ call to discipleship. Two things stand out about this group:

One is their diversity of character. They were of every temperament, background, talent, ambition, and political persuasion. This is seen most graphically in Matthew and Simon. Matthew, a tax collector working for Rome, was a traitor to his people. Simon was a Zealot—a band of fiery and violent nationalists. Yet their love for Christ overruled their personal prejudices and they became friends.

The second is their weaknesses. They all had their faults. They were cowardly, jealous, ambitious, doubting, and unstable. In fact they seem to have more faults than virtues. If we’d been on the investigating committee to pick apostles, I doubt if we’d have approved of any one of these 12 men. Yet Jesus took them as they were, with all their faults, and made them into what he wanted them to become.

Here is the wonder of Christ. He sees the possibilities of others and draws the best out of them. He unifies people. In his presence differences fade. And then he empowers them to be his helpers. A study of the 12 apostles should be an encouragement to all of us. If Christ wanted and could use them, he certainly wants and can use you and me.

“Let no man,” said Martin Luther, “lose the faith that God willeth to do a great work through him.”

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Paul W. Powell - www.PaulPowellLibrary.com

Today's Devotional

War and Peace

Peace is not the natural state of humanity. War is as old as civilization. This is a characteristic peculiar to human beings. Murder within the species on an individual or collective level is a phenomenon known only to us. The reason for this is the fact that people are sinners. The human heart is filled with greed, hate, jealousy, and self-interest.

I believe that many of those who protest and demonstrate against war have not sufficiently considered this fact. They believe that you can solve anything by goodwill and reason. But to believe that you can solve anything by goodwill and right reason and to believe that humanity has come of age is absolute errant nonsense. Humanity is morally and spiritually as it has always been. 

Have you ever seen a graph plotting the moral progress of humanity? No. The reason is that there is none. Humanity has progressed intellectually and scientifically but not morally. As long as a person is as he is, there can be no hope for permanent peace. 

War is a monstrous evil, but it is inevitable as long as humanity remains as it is. The hope for peace does not lie in goodwill or in right reason. It lies in a transformed human nature. Jesus Christ alone can change people in this way. “If a man be in Christ he is a new creation,” the Bible says. Let people give their highest loyalty and deepest allegiance to Jesus Christ, and the world will be a bit nearer to peace.

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