It’s Not About Calling the Qualified, or Even Qualifying the Called… it’s about revealing Christ.
Devotional Thought of the Day: (feel free to discuss – would really like to discuss this one!)
9 Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NLT)
“With little effort we could find among our family, friends, and acquaintances—not to mention the crowds of the world—so many worthier persons that Christ could have called. Yes, persons who are simpler and wiser, more influential and important, more grateful and generous. In thinking along these lines, I feel embarrassed. But I also realize that human logic cannot possibly explain the world of grace. God usually seeks out deficient instruments so that the work can more clearly be seen to be his. It is with trembling that Saint Paul recalls his vocation: “And last of all, as by one born out of due time, he was seen also by me. For I am the least of the Apostles, and am not worthy to be called an Apostle, because I persecuted the Church of God.”15 Thus writes Saul of Tarsus, whose personality and drive fill history with awe. As I said before, we have merited nothing. Before God called us, there was nothing more than personal wretchedness. Let us realize that the lights shining in our soul (faith), the love wherewith we love (charity), and the desire sustaining us (hope) are all free gifts from God. Were we not to grow in humility, we would soon lose sight of the reason for our having been chosen by God: personal sanctity. If we are humble, we can understand all the marvel of our divine vocation. The hand of Christ has snatched us from a wheat field; the sower squeezes the handful of wheat in his wounded palm. The blood of Christ bathes the seed, soaking it. Then the Lord tosses the wheat to the winds, so that in dying it becomes life and in sinking into the ground it multiplies itself.” (1)
It’s Monday morning, after an incredible church service, a great Sunday School class, and then 4 plus hours in a hospital room with my dad, who is struggling with a number of verious serious health concerns and hates the weakness he finds himself in now. I am sitting down at my computer, in a moment will begin the studies for everything I have to teach this week – from a very indepth Bible Study for those preaching this week (tonight), to the end of the first chapter of Philippians (Wed), to the 10th Chapter of Hebrews (Thursday morning) to preaching and teaching Sunday. IN my weakness, I wonder why me, why isn’t there someone stronger, more charismatic, more caring, more eloquent, more spiritual, less sinful.
And I know that if I were to post such a thing – I would undoubtedly here the phrase above, as people try to encourage me, with a trite phrase that simply pounds me into the ground a little deeper. You see, what I hear when I hear the phrase, “God doesn’t call you because you are qualified…because you are absolutely not qualifed – what WERE YOU THINKING! But that’s okay, somehow God will make you barely adequate!” (Somehow I think I am not the only one who hears it that way!
That trite “Christian-ese” is so wrong. Simply because it leaves the focus on us, on our ability, on our qualifications, and on our success or failures.
Paul thought the issue didn’t revolve around us – it is simply about grace – about His power not just qualifying us, but compensating, healing, overwhelming us. It is about knowing how trustworthy He is, and knowing the Father has entrusted us into Christ’s care, and sent the Holy Spirit to work through us – in all of His power.
I love how St Josemaria explains it! Just the the apostles, God works in and through us in such a way that people have to admit that it is more than our natural abilities. In our God given vocations, as husbands and wives, parents, children, employees, managers (See Eph 5:21-6:9), we see God at work, as we love and serve and yes submit our desires to what is best for those with whom we live. And in that sumbission, in that “dying to self” we find that Christ brings His light, His glory, His healing, into every relationship, into every place we go.
That is living in Christ, that is living the life of one who is revitalized/quickened and renewed in their baptism.
Such we see our lives, despite our sin, despite our shortcomings, despite our weaknesses, being reflections of Him into this world of darkness, into this valley where sin and death had cast their shadow on all.
We walk there, knowing this simple truth, which we hear over and over in our Liturgy.
The Lord is with You!
So go in His peace!
(1) Escriva, Josemaria (2010-11-02). Christ is Passing By (Kindle Locations 425-438). Scepter Publishers. Kindle Edition.
- We Don’t Lecture about Christ, We proclaim His Love and Crucifixion (justifiedandsinner.com)
- Hear His Voice, Know He Knows You, and Follow Him! (justifiedandsinner.com)
- Grateful to be used… (justifiedandsinner.com)
- The Church’s Only Business, it’s only ministry…. (justifiedandsinner.com)
Posted on April 22, 2013, in Devotions and tagged Apostle, atonement, Christ, God, grace, Holy Spirit, Jesus, power out of weakness, reconciliation, The Lord is with you. Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.