I came down to Dallas this weekend with Chad to attend a Dallas Cowboy game. Now before you start bashing my Cowboys, keep in mind you cut me I bleed blue and silver. I love my Cowboys and I love my Sooners. Both of whom lost this weekend, so I’m experiencing “football depression.” I’m not sure that’s an illness or if there is medication for it. But, if it is an illness, and there is medication, I might take advantage of it. Just being honest.
There was, however, a highlight of the trip. Chad suggested we attend @mattchandler74 church called @thevillagechurchtx in Flower Mound, Tx. It seemed like a good idea, so we went to his church this morning. They had a service called a “Celebration Service.” Matt didn’t preach a message per se. There was a time of prayer/dedication of several new babies in the church. Followed by a good time of worship. Then there was 4 people who were baptized. That was followed by a video of several families/singles from The Village Church that had been led by God to serve overseas. The video gave us an update of how they were doing and how we could pray for them. After the service was over, there was a number of families/singles out in the lobby talking about what area(s) God was leading them to serve as missionaries.
As the service progressed, the same theme seemed to be repeated in my mind. I’ll start with what struck me during the baptisms:
There was 4 different people baptized. Matt had each of them share their story of salvation with the church. 4 different ages. 4 different upbringings. 4 different life experiences. 4 different cultures. 4 different times of salvation. Out of these 4 different people, not a single one was perfect. Not a single one had earned their salvation. Not a single one was honored for what they had done, but rather for what God had done and still was doing in their life.
What struck me with the missionary videos was related to the baptisms. As each person(s) told us via video how God was working in their lives and their ministry, I realized that they too came from different cultures, different upbringings, different parents, etc. Not a single one mentioned how great they were at being missionaries. Not a single one mentioned what they could offer God. They all humbly mentioned how they were thrilled to be able to serve God in this manner.
So … what was my takeaway from all of that? I’m glad you asked!
First of all, I’m so glad that God NEVER gave up on me. Yesterday it has been 5 years since I accepted Christ as my Saviour. It still overwhelms me that God kept giving me chance after chance after chance. I still don’t understand why He never gave up on me, but I’m so thankful He didn’t. Second of all, there is no certain “type” that God uses. There is not a certain “type” that God saves. He speaks to all the same message of truth and salvation. Think of those he used in the Bible:
~ Noah was a drunk
~ Abraham was too old
~ Isaac was a daydreamer
~ Jacob was a liar
~ Joseph was abused
~ Moses had a stuttering problem and was a murderer
~ Gideon was afraid
~ Samson had long hair and was a womanizer
~ Rahab was a prostitute
~ Jeremiah and Timothy were too young
~ David was an adulterer and a murderer
~ Elijah was suicidal
~ Jonah ran from God
~ Naomi was a widow
~ Job went bankrupt
~ John the Baptist ate bugs
~ Peter denied Christ
~ The disciples fell asleep while praying
~ Martha worried about everything
~ The Samaritan woman was divorced (more than once)
~ Zacchaeus was too small
~ Paul was too religious
~ Lazarus was dead!
If you’re waiting until you’re “perfect” to accept Christ as your saviour, you’ll never make it. God accepts you JUST AS YOU ARE … God accepts you WHERE YOU ARE … God saves you AS YOU ARE … changes come AFTER salvation as God begins to mold you into His image.
If you’re waiting until you’ve achieved a certain “level of Christianity” to serve God as a missionary; church worker; Overseas Lay Worker; work witness; etc. you will never serve God … period. He wants us to serve Him Today … Now … when He directs us. Our growth comes as we serve Him. We grow because we serve.
Yes … I am a sinner … AND God loves me … no “buts” here … Before time began, God loved me so much that He developed a plan for His son Jesus Christ. That plan involved unmerited love for me that overwhelms me and makes me thankful.
God did the same for you … If you have never accepted Him as your Saviour, He loves you and will save you AS YOU ARE and WHERE YOU ARE …
If you are wanting to serve God in some capacity, know He loves you and wants to USE YOU NOW and will draw you closer to Him as you serve Him.
The last thing that struck me is God used today’s service to speak to me and who knows how many of the 1,000+ that attended the service. Matt didn’t even preach a single message. But the message from the time of prayer, worship, testimonies, etc. was very CLEAR … God wants to save the unsaved AND God wants to use us if we’re willing.
Turn to Him today for salvation and/or to serve Him in some capacity…