Monday, April 1, 2013

What? God Uses PEOPLE?

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If you are a person remotely acquainted with the Bible, you have probably heard the name Paul. When you hear someone speak of the apostle, what is the first word that comes to your mind? Perhaps it's convert, preacher, or missionary? Let me tell you the first word that comes to my mind after a deeper study of the book of Acts. Human. I have been doing a character study on this fascinating man for a couple of months now, and I have to tell you. This guy was every bit as human as you or me! Does that surprise you? It did me.

All my life I have heard of these Bible heroes: Abraham, David, Gideon, Moses, Noah, the disciples, Samson, Solomon, and of course, Paul. I guess I have just always imagined them as being emotionless, God-controlled beings. Like Sims, for instance. But guess what? They were not at all like that! They were humans.  They had emotions.

Paul, for example, felt fear. He had a big personality! He had a short temper but he also was very compassionate. There are even times in the Bible where he comes across a little sarcastic, which may be why I love him so much!

So what makes us so different from the characters mentioned in the Bible? I think a big part of it is faith. How many of us would be able to share the gospel openly, knowing nobody around us believes...knowing that these people are trying to have you imprisoned, most of them plotting to kill you? Quite honestly, it's a terrifying thought. I'm so disgusted with myself because I know that if I were in that situation, being silent would certainly be the easy way out! I have enough trouble sharing my beliefs with people that mock me verbally. The thought of having people want me dead because of my faith? Wow...it's seriously a tough thought to handle!

Paul, formerly known as Saul, was once a man against Christ. He thought Christians were full of it. He wanted them dead and cleared out. That is, until he had his own experience with God. His life was changed and he had a complete turn around. Instead of having the Christians killed, he started preaching their beliefs to others! I'm sure many people were surprised and shocked by his radical change. I imagine that it was frightening for Paul. He probably had many allies and friends from his old life that also disagreed with Christianity, and I'm just guessing here, but I bet he had to leave several of them behind. Reading about Paul's compassion, I think that it probably hurt to leave them behind, but he had to.

These amazing, God fearing heroes of the Bible were all human. They had the same feelings, emotions, struggles, and fears that we have now. I just want you to know that anything is possible through God! He may not reveal His awesome plans for our lives quite as dramatically as He revealed His plans for some of these men. But God does have something wonderful in store for you! Just keep your faith strong, read His word, and trust in Him. He can and will use you, if you will allow it!

9 lovely notes:

Robin said...

Beautiful. :)

Amy said...

Paul is one of my favorites....because i relate so much with him. I'm sarcastic, short tempered, and bold in what i say...so often i find myself thinking "oh my gosh i love paul!"
I will always struggle with my fear though...wow...it's crazy to admit that outloud right?!
Agreed lady! God will most definitely use us if only we allow Him too!
GREAT post!

Natalie said...

Such wonderful encouragement =)

Rosala said...

Well said, Jessica! Lets be courageous like Paul!

Jennifer said...

I really, really love this post. So many great thoughts! You're becoming a fantastic writer! I'm so proud! :')

Lacey said...

Hi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Whoa, sorry for my excitement. haha. I've missed your blog! :)

I love this, girl! It's such an amazing thought to know these people in the Bible are REAL, which is a funny thought. It really challenges me to live like they did, because we have the same potential.

Thanks for sharing :) I hope you are well!

Susannah said...

It's so great that God uses normal, and even sinful, people. (I mean, we ALL are sinful!) He is such gracious God! :-)

Veronica Joyce said...

such an inspiring post. this is something that i have to be reminded of more often. i'm glad i checked out your blog today.

♥,
Vee

Jeanine (Wayfaring Girl) said...

Oh I love this! How you described Paul makes me absolutely want to do a character study on him now. and I know what you mean, so often I have looked at these giants of the faith as kinda 2 dimensional and their-humanness not so much evident...but one just has to see what is written right before our eyes to draw that out...just takes seeing a 'little deeper'...Love it! Thank you for sharing this!
Jeanine