Monday, June 6, 2016

God’s Sovereignty in Human Affairs .................. Parables 441

October 4, 1994

A pastor struggled with feeling insignificant. He thought his work was futile and had no practical value. He even wondered if God remembered who he was. Despondent, he asked his congregation for a sabbatical.

During his holiday, he walked past a phone booth. The phone began ringing and since no one was around, he answered it. An operator came on the line saying it was a person-to-person call for Pastor... and said his name. Startled the pastor said, “This is me; speaking.”

The caller began talking. She had once seen him on a television program and wanted to get his advice. She Googled the phone number and was not sure she had written it correctly. She was glad he was there to take her call. Could he please help her?

After a few minutes of counseling, the woman was greatly encouraged. She made an appointment to visit his office and the amazed pastor hung up the phone. He then realized no matter how he felt, God not only remembered who he was, but could use him whenever He needed him, no matter where he went!

I heard this incredible story from a person who heard it from the pastor. Some might think it an extraordinary coincidence but the pastor did not receive it that way. He believed God used those odd circumstances to assure him that he was significant; he did have value in God’s plans.

Perhaps divine providence does include unusual events like wrong numbers that turn out to be right ones; however God provided a more definite demonstration of our value to Him, one that our fluctuating feelings or circumstances cannot change.

“You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:6-8).

God says Christ died for us when we were powerless. We had no value to Him because in our sinful condition, we cannot do His will and our actions are simply counterproductive to His plan. However, when Jesus died for us, God could forgive every sin. Not only that, He works in those who believe to make us like Christ, powerful and useful, able to do our part to build His kingdom.

Further, Romans 8 says no one can condemn us because Christ died for our sins. More than that, He was raised to life and is at the right hand of God interceding for us. When we make mistakes, we are forgiven.

The Bible says nothing, including negative feelings about ourselves, critical attitudes from others, whatever we do or do not do, and certainly whatever anyone else does or does not do, can ever separate us from His love. We can cast all our cares on Him because He cares for us.

The worth of a commodity is determined by how much someone is willing to pay for it, practical value or not. Some items like old coins, sports cards, and comic books have little practical value but those who want such things will pay thousands of dollars for them.

Our worth could be measured by its practical value but a more stable measurement is the price Someone was willing to pay for us. When Jesus died, He established forever that we are people of great value to God.

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