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Archive for Saturday, March 26, 2005

Faith forum

March 26, 2005

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Why does God often use flawed people to carry his message?

God's love and forgiveness empower us to serve him

The Rev. Don Miller, senior pastor, Immanuel Lutheran Church and University Student Center, 2104 Bob Billings Parkway:

My initial response is to say "Because that is what was left for him to work with."

Once Adam and Eve had fallen into sin, everything and everyone was separated from God and contaminated by sin. In Romans 3:23, Paul writes, "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."

The good news is that God continued to love us and put a plan in place for us to be brought back into a living relationship with him through a "Messiah" or "Savior," ultimately fulfilled in Jesus. God promised that already to Adam and Eve. If God had not chosen to provide for us, the alternative was complete and total separation from him forever: "The wages (results) of sin is death (separation from God)," Paul writes in Romans 6:23.

God implemented the plan for salvation and forgiveness for everyone by guiding and directing history, through "flawed," sinful people, to bring us that Messiah or Savior. That is what Holy Week and the Easter (Resurrection) celebration is all about.

To try to explain why God did something a certain way is to seemingly thrust ourselves into God's realm and try to explain the unexplainable, since we are not God.

The real significance is to know that God is willing to work through us, having received his love and forgiveness, and to empower us to serve him and live for him.

This is summed up in the "Great Commission" of Jesus, "Go and make disciples (followers) of all nations ... for I am with you always, even to the end of time." (Matthew 28:19a, 20b)

-- Send e-mail to the Rev. Don Miller at pastordon@ilcusc.org.




Proclaiming God's message gives our lives meaning

The Rev. Darrel Proffitt, lead pastor,

St. Margaret's Episcopal Church, 5700 W. Sixth St.:

God's desire is for us to come to know him and to make him known to all who suffer from despair and meaninglessness. To experience God's presence, love and forgiveness is to begin to live a life of purpose and meaning. When purpose and meaning are discovered, God calls that person to proclaim his message: God loves us.

The Bible reminds us that with God all things are possible. Time after time, God called unlikely people to accomplish his will and carry his message. The Bible contains story after story of such people. Despite all their flaws, God called them to great accomplishments. Each of these "broken vessels" understood something in common: It is God's power, not our own, that accomplishes great things. When such people proclaim God's message and achieve great things, the message is loud and clear: Our God is an awesome God.

God continues to call people to proclaim his message, despite the flaws people have. In fact, God won't use us unless we recognize that without him there is no life, no goodness within us. When we accept God's love and forgiveness, through Jesus Christ, then we begin to understand that the "power in us is greater than that which is in the world."

We begin to proclaim both with our lips and in our lives that God's message is one of hope. God uses flawed people and always has. But the flaws are never too big to be overcome and forgiven. Then we begin to understand what Paul meant when he wrote, "Glory to God, whose power working in us can do infinitely more than we could ask or imagine" (Ephesians 3:20).

There is no greater news than that.

-- Send e-mail to the Rev. Darrel Proffitt at stmargaret@sbcglobal.net.

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