I Corinthians 12: “Those who seem to be the least are much more necessary. For the apostle Paul to be used by God he has to remember that “in him dwelleth no good thing”.
The Touch of the Masters Hand
Twas battered and scarred, and the auctioneer
thought it scarcely worth his while to waste much time on the old violin,
but held it up with a smile; “What am I bidden, good folks,” he cried,
“Who’ll start the bidding for me?” “A dollar, a dollar”; then two!” “Only
two? Two dollars, and who’ll make it three? Three dollars, once; three
dollars twice; going for three..” But no, from the room, far back, a
gray-haired man came forward and picked up the bow; Then, wiping the dust
from the old violin, and tightening the loose strings, he played a melody
pure and sweet as caroling angel sings.
The music ceased, and the auctioneer, with a voice that was quiet and low,
said; “What am I bid for the old violin?” And he held it up with the bow.
A thousand dollars, and who’ll make it two? Two thousand! And who’ll make
it three? Three thousand, once, three thousand, twice, and going and
gone,” said he. The people cheered, but some of them cried, “We do not
quite understand what changed its worth.” Swift came the reply: “The touch
of a master’s hand.”
And many a man with life out of tune, and battered and scarred with sin,
Is auctioned cheap to the thoughtless crowd, much like the old violin, A
“mess of pottage,” a glass of wine; a game – and he travels on. “He is
going” once, and “going twice, He’s going and almost gone.” But the Master
comes, and the foolish crowd never can quite understand the worth of a soul
and the change that’s wrought by the touch of the Master’s hand.
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To be used by God, the first qualification is to see that without Him I can do nothing, that my righteousness is filthy rags, a mere pile of manure, that my thoughts are not his thoughts and my ways are not his ways. Then God is ready to glorify himself through my yielded self. I am but a clay vessel that the treasure within might be seen as the awesome beauty that it is.
I remember a story of a man who went to a lecture by a successful businessman. It was the worst lecture that he had ever heard and he was getting more and more excited. His friend poked him and whispered, “this is a terrible lecture, why are you so excited?” He replied, “If that man can succeed then surely so can I!” We want to have people look at us and at God using us and exclaim, ” Well, if God can forgive, cleanse and use them, then there must be hope for me!” It is not my abilities that God needs for his glory, it is my availability!
In sports, it is the cream that rises to the top. In the kingdom it is the weak that rise to the top. Really there should be everyone rising to the top and being used mightily by God. However, it is the few that are willing to see themselves as the least. Both in salvation and then in being used by God, narrow is the gate because people want to be saved by grace then perfected by their efforts. Do you see the fact that you are weak and needy? Great! Everyone is but only those that see it and are desperate for blessing will receive.
In addition to being aware of our leastness, I need to accept and act in my infinite power, worth and wisdom in Christ Jesus.