At the end of yesterday’s blog post I wrote about excuses. And remember I mentioned Mark Hall’s quote about Christians having big BUTS. Well after much contemplating I have decided to explore a few of the biggest BUTS Christians seem to hold onto:
BUT you don’t know my past
This one gets me often because we don’t have to look far into Scripture to see that God takes the messiest lives and transforms them into the most beautiful servants for his work.
She was a Prostitute
But not just any prostitute , she was a prostitute with 7 demons.
We don’t know much about her past or her family. just what she was and what she had. Thankfully Jesus is in the business of reception. He healed her and forgave her and she became one of the faithful women who went with Jesus.
She was indebted to Him for all that he had done. he had transformed who she was. She was at the crucifixion, the burial and the Resurrection.
She took a anointed Jesus’ feet with her tears and her hair. She seemed to have an understanding of what was going to happen. This woman. Her name was Mary Magdalene.
one of my favorite Hymns is “In the Garden”. It has always resonated deep within my soul. I had no idea the story behind it, but I knew I felt just as the person speaking in the song. Two years ago I was sitting in the tabernacle of the camp we hang out at every summer and the worship leader shared the back story. I was BLOWN away. It is the account of Mary Magdalene. It is a picture of her deep personal relationship with Jesus. The type of relationship I want to have with my Savior.
Let’s also not forget Rehab the prostitue that help the spies defeat Jericho.
He was a Thief
They couldn’t go anywhere. they were stuck there in agony. Their last moments on this earth…at least for one of them. All seemed hopeless. There was no chance to have a godly influence…or was there? The thief that hung next to Jesus on the cross had nope of life, at least on this earth. He saw his need, he saw the redeemer and he asked for forgiveness. And in the blink of an eye the most hopeless of situations gave the greatest hope of all….ETERNITY in Heaven. And that man is an immense influence. How you might ask? well He’s the Bible! His brief story mingled with anguish inspires hope in me. A mom in the 21st century that it is NEVER too late for hope…EVER!
They were murderers
He grew up in pharaoh’s palace in Egypt but by blood he was an Israelite so his blood boiled when he saw an Egyptian task master beating his fellow Isrealite He killed him, and then he RAN away from his problems and HID in another country. But you cannot hide from God and God came a calling in the form of a burning bush. And God had a job for Moses. It involved going before Pharaoh and saying O baby let my people go….Um never mind. (raise your hands if ya sang that song at teen retreats and Youth events). Anyway God was going to send him right back to where he had run from, Mooses said BUT BUT BUT my speech, I am not eloquent. (Wow din’t I JUST write about all these things). God said go He went and was used by God to save the Israelites from their enemies.
Fast forward to the New Testament and the book of Acts. Saul hated Christians and he hated Jesus. He was passionate about this and was perhaps one of those who threw stones to kill Stephen. And yet God is in the business of redeeming the most unlikely to be one of his Children. It’s a miracle that these people are reached.
BUT it’s not really because God has been doing it for thousands of years. AND he still does it today.
I know a guy
Actually I know a whole bunch of guys and gals with amazing redemption stories like those mentioned above.
There are two guys who spent most of the 70’s strung out on LSD amongst other things. The now suffer from schizophrenia, but they sing the praises of Jesus
I knew a girl whose father was murdered by an axe murderer while serving Jesus in another country. When she returned to the states she moved to the worst part of her city and worked with the kids there. I helped her. It was hard, but amazing . It was in that ministry I had the privilege of leading my first person to Christ. and a fire was lit.
There is this cool kid that has autism, and as folate he is struggling which means that I as his mom am struggling. Mostly because I don’t know how to make it better. BUT his heart, despite people being mean to him, he still wants his friends to come to AWANA and church. His heart is golden and precious and God uses hum and all the others because of one reason alone…..
THEY LET HIM.
Your past is made beautiful when Jesus redeems you, You just have to let Him!