Can God still use me?

From 2 Corinthians: 21-Day Bible Study

Our past doesn’t disqualify us from our future. If we’re not careful, we’ll talk ourselves out of our potential. A healthy understanding of who we are in Jesus is essential in enabling who we will become.

The problem is we know every single little rotten thing we’ve ever done and can reasonably make excuses for why we can’t do something good.  

Our history does not identify our identity and it absolutely does not define our destiny!

Our history does not identify our identity and it absolutely does not define our destiny!

Paul wrote to us compassionately in 2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”

Paul knew Jesus has a strong track record of using imperfect people for His work. Jesus intentionally called the weak, broken, and messy people just like Paul — and just like us.

When Jesus died on the cross, He made a way for us to be reconciled with God. This is a one-way street. Salvation, through Jesus, cannot be earned, and it cannot be lost. By confessing Jesus is Lord, our eternal future changes in an instant. All of our sins are forgiven. Psalm 103:12 declares, “As far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions [sins] from us.”

So, why is it so hard to get past our past? Maybe, we need to watch out for ANTs — Automatic, Negative Thoughts. Automatic, negative thoughts can interrupt our day and interfere with our doing. We move forward by doing three things: learning to recognize negative thoughts quickly, deciding to stop the thought immediately, and replacing the thought with truth from the Bible (Philippians 4:8, Ephesians 4:23).

Reflect:

  • What negative thought from your past causes you to have ANTs? Ask Jesus to help you stomp those thoughts.

  • What is one way you can begin to change that thought today? A great place to start could be writing down 2 Corinthians 5:17, replacing the word “anyone” with your name, and posting it where you can see it every day as a reminder of who you are in Christ.

February 12, 2014

Devotionals From This Study

to Discover More

Session 1

How to build your defense

We all face situations where we don’t get the credit for something we think we deserve. Whether it is a school project, a job presentatio...

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Session 2

When nothing seems as black and white as we’d like

From defending your thesis on a college exam to choosing candidates during an election year, we all know the uncomfortable tug of having ...

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Session 3

It’s not all about me

We hear the words “it’s not all about you” a lot these days. Sometimes it’s a genuine reminder toward selflessness. Sometimes it’s pushba...

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Session 4

The reason you might be seeing things differently

Do you remember going to birthday parties as a child and playing “Pin the Tail on the Donkey”? With a picture of a tailless donkey placed...

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Session 5

If your life was a letter, what would it say?

2 Corinthians is actually a letter written by the apostle Paul to the Christians living in Corinth. When Paul wrote 2 Corinthians, letter...

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Session 6

Ever feel like a broken record?

Many of us have felt the frustration of inviting a friend to church and seeing no response. Loving Jesus changes us in such a way that we...

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Session 7

Before jumping ship, note the life raft

Life is a series of ups and downs. A season of joy and peace can quickly be followed by a season of hardship and depression. We breeze th...

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Session 8

Doing nothing is not an option

Struggles with anxiety, panic attacks, and situational depression can last for years and grow with persistent problems or come for no app...

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Session 9

How to live forever

Nothing lasts forever. Keep a car long enough, it will only be good for its parts. Keep a job long enough, we eventually will retire. Kee...

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Session 10

Can God still use me?

Our past doesn’t disqualify us from our future. If we’re not careful, we’ll talk ourselves out of our potential. A healthy understanding ...

Read Devotional

Session 11

Play by the rules? No thanks.

Have you ever been playing a game with a friend that likes to pick and choose the rules? There may be rules that end up taking too much t...

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Session 12

How to tell your real friends from your fake friends

Friendship has lost its depth of meaning in the age of social media. We feel connected to people because it’s so easy to interact with th...

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Session 13

Which kind of sorrow are you feeling?

A switchblade and a scalpel have a lot in common. From their compact size to their razor-sharp edge, they’re surprisingly similar. But de...

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Session 14

More is never enough

One of the most challenging things in life is our relationship with money. We don’t have enough. We want more. We waste what we have. We ...

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Session 15

What’s the difference between a tithe and an offering?

Talking about money is uncomfortable. Why is that? We all need it, use it, and want more of it. How we use money is important, not only t...

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Session 16

Giving to receive?

Jesus never had trouble attracting a crowd. Even when people did not agree with Him, they were still interested in the backward way He su...

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Session 17

You already have the best weapon

David, a small boy, faced the giant Goliath to defend his people. King Saul offered his own armor to David, but it was very heavy for him...

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Session 18

Why you should keep cool in the face of criticism

Great leaders are fairly rare while critics are never in short supply. However, through the lens of time, do we ever remember the critics...

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Session 19

What influences you?

One of the most important choices we make is what we allow to influence us. Our major influences are whatever or whoever we spend the mos...

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Session 20

Find strength in the most unexpected place

Weak and strong are opposites, right? By definition, when we are weak, we are not strong. At any given time, we can feel weak in hundreds...

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Session 21

God equips his people

Have you ever felt unequipped with words in a tough conversation?   Maybe you were having a normal conversation with your boss when sudd...

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