1 Corinthians 1:26-29 – Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. (NIV 1984)
My Musings – Not many were wise, influential, or of noble birth. Many were considered fools, weak and lowly. Yet God chose shepherd boys, fishermen, tax collectors, harlots and the least of their clan for some of His greatest tasks. His Son’s birth was less than noble, His profession was “blue collar” at first, then an itinerant preacher with no home or place to lay His head. He was so influential that they crucified Him, because they could not accept His wisdom.
We tend to think of the wise, influential and noble as the movers and the shakers. But God can use even the foolish, weak and lowly. Billy Graham perhaps led more people to the Lord than anyone else in all of history. We admire him for this, as we should. Yet just as important was the man who led Billy Graham to the Lord. One “man” influenced twelve “no accounts,” whose small hands moved the wheels of the world turning it upside down. The eyes of the great were on Rome. The eyes of the Greatest were on His Son and the ones He chose to carry out His task when He was gone.
“This quest may be attempted by the weak with as much hope as the strong. Yet such is oft the course of deeds that move the wheels of the world: small hands do them because they must, while the eyes of the great are elsewhere.” (The Council of Elrond, from The Lord of the Rings).
My Advice – Do not think because you are not the wisest person, or the most influential person or a person of noble birth that you cannot be used by God for wise, influential and noble tasks. It may seem little to you and little to others. But if it came from God it means a great deal. It may seem little more than the gentle puff caused by a butterfly’s wings here and now, but it just might be this “butterfly effect” that figuratively “moves the wheels of the world.” God may not call all of us to do great things, but He will call us to do essential things, that He Himself prepared in advance for us (just for us) to do. We are not called to be famous (although we might be), but we are called to be faithful. “Small hands do them because they must.”
2 John 8 – Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. (NIV 1978)
My Musings – This is not talking about salvation. We did not work for it we received it as a gift. Thus, we cannot lose it. But since salvation, we have been doing good works that are building rewards for us in Heaven. These we can lose.
My Advice – Live a life that builds rewards, not one that loses them.
1 Peter 2:20-21 – If you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps. (NIV 1978)
My Musings – We have been called to do good and as a result we are likely to suffer for it. We need to endure the suffering in the same way that Christ did.
My Advice – Follow the example of Christ. This does not mean you have to seek suffering, but that you endure it when it comes. Also, do not avoid doing good merely to avoid suffering.
James 4:17 – Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins. (NIV 1978)
My Musings – It is not enough to avoid doing things we should not do. We must also not leave undone the things we know we should do.
My Advice – You will not always be called to solve all the ills around you. But where you know that God is calling you to action and it is within your power to take action (and it will be because God always equips the called) make sure you follow through. It may not be easy, but it will be rewarding.
James 2:14, 17 – What good is it my brothers if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds?…faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by actions is dead. (NIV 1978)
My Musings – Good actions or good deeds cannot result in salvation. But salvation, which is by grace, should produce good actions and good deeds.
My Advice – Do your best to make your faith alive by doing what is right, good and decent.
Hebrews 13:20,21 – May the God of peace…equip you with everything good for doing His will. (NIV 1978)
My Musings – God will not call us to something that He has not equipped us to do.
My Advice – God has richly equipped you. Make sure you also use your talents to do His work.
Titus 3:14 – Our people must learn to devote themselves to doing what is good, in order that they may provide for daily necessities and not live unproductive lives. (NIV 1978)
My Musings – God did not save us to sit around and merely wait for His Son’s return. We must live productive lives.
My Advice – Live a productive life that not only provides for your daily needs, but allows you time to do good things. Remember, you are not defined by what you do for a living. You are defined by how you live your life (and of course by your relationship to Christ).