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October 14, 2013, 10:44 AM

Inadequate


Good Day Reader!  Its been a while since I've sat down and threw some of my thoughts at you.  For some, this is a good thing, for the rest: thank you for being patient as my wandering mind has been occupied with building remodels and retreat sermon building.  

Today I want to talk about my feelings of inadequacy.  THAT sounds like fun, doesnt it?!  It isnt fun, but I know we'll get somewhere here in a second or two, so stick with me.  

The profession I am in is one where I am called to share God's Word with people, interpreting it and crafting sermons into digestible and (hopefully) interesting segments.  Who am I to undertake such a great task?  Who am I to think that my interpretation and calling to interpret is greater than yours?  It isnt.  Ever.  Period.  Totally.  For Realz.  (insert whatever definitive you like here: ________).  This understanding of my limited understanding makes me feel inadequate and unworthy to be the mouthpiece of God.  Why Me?  Couldnt he have found someone with a voice that is broader, stronger (both figuratively and literally), and doesnt have that weird breathy tone that mine does?  

Yes, yes he could.  

BUT (there's always a but with these things) there is something that needs to be remembered about the character of God:  He LOVES me.  Period.  Totally.  For Realz.  

This past weekend I got to speak and present to an amazing group of teenagers and adults at a retreat with the focus: Reckless Abandon.  I was asked to bring 4 messages that would be a spark for those in attendance to live a life recklessly for God.  Sounds easy, there are many, many examples of folks in the Bible who laid it all on the line.  

I thought about all the typical stories and characters one in my position could use to be relevant and successful in getting a message across.  Instead of one of the "easy" ones grabbing a hold of my imagination, I had a story work its way into my mind and grab a hold of me so tightly that there was no denying it.  So, instead of preaching about heroes who built arks, became kings of Egypt, walked on water, or spent their life spreading the gospel, I spent four sermons talking to teenagers and adults about a prostitute.  

Yes...You heard that correctly, a prostitute.  Grab your Bible and turn to Joshua 2.  Keep your finger there and get to Matt 1:5; Hebrews 11:31; and James 3:25 too.  Rahab.  This woman moves from a wildly successful prostitute in Jericho to Great-Great Grandma of David.   She had a house built into the wall, in view of the gates and entry into the city, a place of importance and much influence.  The King of Jericho also knew exactly where to find her, which alludes to a higher end of clientele.  This woman was good at what she did.  I guarantee she was confident, and had no feelings of inadequacy when it came to her place in the order of things in Jericho.  

And then two spies show up.  Men from Israel, the nation that has been a plague on the countryside of Canaan.  Taking every town, wiping out kings, and claiming the land wherever they set foot.  Jericho knew what was up, and knew what was coming.  The spies get into town and for some reason (we wont got into the why or what of it) they end up at Rahab's residence/business/house.  And because of a story that she has heard about something God did 40 years ago, she immediately changed allegiance, stepped out on faith with a God she did not know, made the choice to believe, and lived through the destruction of Jericho.  

But thats not the point of this blog.  God shows up, big time.  Jericho falls.  Rahab is spared along with her family.  God's people hold their end of the bargain and she is brought out alive.  Imagine with me the walk back to Israel's camp after Jericho is taken.  The army is ecstatic having witnessed (again) God's power.  They have the plunder of the town and blood on their swords.  The mood is jubilant as they are welcomed back.  

And at the back of the line, walking quietly, eyes down is Rahab.  She is covered in the dust of the town she knew.  She is in shock after witnessing God's power. Where did she sleep that night?  What did she eat?  Did anyone offer her water?  I can only imagine the whispers she heard as people realized there was a group of people pulled from the wreckage of Jericho.  "What are they doing alive?"  "Did we forget to cut their throats?"  

This woman was not Jewish.  She was a prostitute, and the last of her city to be alive.  You want to talk about feeling inadequate?  She did not belong.  She did not have a clue about Jewish culture, tradition, dietary restrictions, laws, commands, or the any of the story.  

And God loved her.  

God showed himself reckless as he opened his arms and surrounded this woman, her past, her future. Everything was wrapped up in his embrace.  His love outshone her inadequacy, and she found herself in the spotlight of grace.  How do I know this?  Read Matthew 1:5.  This woman finds herself included into the nation of Israel, the tribe of Judah, and into the most important genealogy EVER.  Read Hebrews 11.  This woman is listed right next to ABRAHAM as an example of faith.  

If you ever feel inadequate, non-existent, out of place, or just downright down, look no further than a prostitute who found herself surrounded by the arms of God.   

While I feel inadequate to tell the story of God, I know that there is one thing that makes that feeling of inadequacy shrink into the background.  God loves me.  


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