What to remember when you think God would never pick you

Too often we focus our attention on all the reasons we couldn’t possibly be used by God.

But what would it look like for Jesus to acknowledge our greatest failures, and yet still choose to embrace us? How would it feel for Jesus to look our unworthiness straight in the face and say, “You’re right, you are not worthy… but I chose you anyway.”

That’s exactly what Jesus did during the Last Supper. While surrounded by the 12 far from perfect men He had chosen to carry on His ministry, “ [Jesus] took a cup… he gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you’” (Matthew 26:27).

Knowing everything the disciples had done in the past, and everything they would do to let Him down in the future, Jesus offered Himself to them — all of them — no matter how great their shortcomings. And He wants to use us in spite of our shortcomings as well.

12 Examples of How God Can Work Through Anyone

1. Matthew

He was a work in progress. Regarded by many as “scum” due to his dishonest past, he was called by Jesus—not after he had turned from his dishonest ways, but while he was still engaged in them (Matthew 9:9).

2-3. James and John

Nicknamed “Sons of Thunder,” they were quick to judge, aggressive, and often showed untamed anger like that of a storm (Mark 3:17, Luke 9:54).

4. James (son of Alphaeus)

He was often overshadowed by others, yet was hand-picked by the King of kings.

5. Peter

He often questioned what Jesus was doing. In the end, he would deny ever knowing Jesus—even cursing when he did it (John 13:6-8, Matthew 26:73-74)!

6. Thomas

He struggled to have faith in what he couldn’t touch and feel for himself, needing physical proof Jesus had risen from the dead (John 20:24-29).

7. Phillip

He was tested by Jesus and failed. Limited by his earthly knowledge, he doubted what Jesus was capable of doing (John 6:5-7).

8. Andrew

He never got a lot of recognition or was given very visible leadership roles, yet was chosen by Jesus—first (Mark 1:16-17).

9. Bartholomew (also thought by many to be called Nathanael)

He was extremely skeptical of Jesus the first time he heard about Him (John 1:46).

10. Thaddeus also called Judas (not Iscariot)

So inconspicuous we know very little about him. A ‘nobody’ to historians, but somebody in the eyes of Jesus.

11. Simon the Zealot

He was a radical Jewish nationalist who participated in organized crime against the Romans. He was a biblical terrorist chosen by Jesus and was later changed by Jesus (Luke 6:15).

12. Judas

Known for betraying Jesus, Judas was still welcomed to sit at the table during the Last Supper even though Jesus knew he would hand Him over to be killed that very night (Matthew 26:24-26).

Jesus could have had the pick of the litter, but instead, He chose these ordinary men. Yet it was because of these men that what started as just a handful of followers of Jesus soon stretched to thousands and the church spanned across the world!

Like the disciples, Jesus is offering Himself to us no matter our story or our temperament, regardless of what we have done in the past, or how we will let Him down in the future.

Even at our worst, when we feel unworthy, we are still undeniably chosen by Jesus.

On our best day we may feel unworthy of being used by Jesus, but even at our worst, we are still undeniably chosen by Him!

Since you are chosen and loved by God, ask yourself these questions:

  • Jesus wants to work through you. The only question is, will you allow Him?
  • What are you willing to partner with God to do — both inside and outside the church?

April 8, 2019

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