Where are you from? How you answer that question gives people an insight into your past. It might explain your accent or your cultural heritage or point to your favorite foods. It could also evoke some preconceived notions about you—notions that can only be overcome through a personal relationship.
When we hear the word “Bethlehem,” we think of the birthplace of Jesus, for that is the context of our history. But when the prophet Micah identified Bethlehem as the place from which the Savior would come, the Hebrews would have connected it to the birthplace of King David.
David was the youngest and smallest of Jesse’s boys!
To look at him, one would have assumed that he was more equipped to tend sheep than to lead a nation. But God had told Samuel when he went to look for a king, not to look on the “outward” appearance, for God was looking at his heart! When a man’s heart is right with God, and his life is yielded unto His use, it doesn’t matter one whit about his size or ability or his pedigree. God can take the weakest among us and make us strong enough for Him to use!
As we look at some of the men God used to introduce His plan for our redemption, we can see these truths:
- Who we are is not nearly as important as who God is creating us to be.
- Where we are from is not nearly as important as where God sends us.
- What we have done in the past is not nearly as important as what He wants to do in us and through us in the future.
- Hearing the accolades of praise from men is not nearly as important as hearing those words from our Lord – “Well done, thou good and faithful servant!”
- Obedience to God is never the most popular decision to make; it brings conviction upon those who aren’t willing to make that choice.
- The greatest ability God is looking for in those He chooses to use in His kingdom’s work is available – leave the rest up to Him.
ONE SOLITARY LIFE
Dr. James Allan Francis
Here is a man who was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in another village. He worked in a carpenter shop until He was thirty. Then for three years, He was an itinerant preacher.
He never owned a home. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family. He never went to college. He never put His foot inside a big city. He never traveled two hundred miles from the place He was born. He never did one of the things that usually accompany greatness. He had no credentials but Himself…
While still a young man, the tide of popular opinion turned against him. His friends ran away. One of them denied Him. He was turned over to His enemies. He went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed upon a cross between two thieves. While He was dying His executioners gambled for the only piece of property He had on earth – His coat. When He was dead, He was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend.
Nineteen long centuries have come and gone, and today He is a centerpiece of the human race and leader of the column of progress.
I am far within the mark when I say that all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that were ever built; all the parliaments that ever sat and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as has that one solitary life.