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Kickball and Forgiveness

I want you to see in your mind’s eye for the next moment that kid in your third grade class who seemed to always get picked last on the basketball/baseball/kickball team; you can picture that kid right now can’t you?  Remember the look on his face when he was the only kid left to be picked and the captain would say, “I guess we’ll pick you since there is no one left.”  Maybe that kid was you. When you did get picked, there was always some snarky comment from the team captain like, “Go to right field,” or “If you get the ball, throw it to me right away and by all means, don’t shoot it.”    From all us captains who were mean to you, we just want to say, “Sorry.”  Sorry we treated you like you were a third rate person with nothing to contribute.  Sorry we treated you like you did not have any feelings.  To you specifically, Steve, that boy in my class who always seemed to get picked last, I am so sorry we treated you so badly.  As I look at my life, there were plenty of people who also treated me like that; I am sure everyone at one time or other has felt just like that last kid picked.

Whether you were the captain or the last kid picked, there is a God in heaven who loves you so much and has a plan for you.  Throughout the Bible, God chooses to use those people in our society who seemed to always get picked last.  Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 1 that ”…God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong.”  It is just like God to choose what the world thinks is “weak” or “foolish” to do His great work.  Take Abraham for example.  In the book of Genesis, we find that God chooses this guy named Abraham, be the father of a new nation.  It will be from this new nation, this new group of people that the Savior of the world will come.  Abraham was nothing more spectacular than other guys of his time.  He grew up in a family of pagan worshippers; he married his half-sister Sarah only to have no children.  God comes to Abraham when he was 75 years old when he and Sarah was way beyond having any kids.  But God had a plan.  God told Abram, this child-less, a man with no heir apparent and told him something spectacular.  God said in Genesis 12, “I will make of you a great nation,” (Israel).  God later told him in Genesis 15, “Look toward heaven, and number the stars, if you are able to number them…so shall your offspring be.”  The most amazing thing Abram did at the age of 75-Abram believed God.

How about you right now?  If you have a personal relationship with Jesus through faith, this happened because God chose you!  John wrote in John 15, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go bear fruit.”  You were not chosen like the last one on the team in elementary school.  But God of the Universe chose you as if you were the first to be chosen.  That is an awesome thought, isn’t it?

So here is the question to consider:  right where you are at in your life, are you ready to be used mightily for God?  You may be old like Abram, or you may have a stuttering problem like Moses, or you may be hiding from the enemy like Gideon, you may be exhausted from hearing from the society that you are “worthless” like the woman at the well.  Are you ready to be used mightily for God when He calls you?  Are you ready to be that person Paul was talking about when he wrote, “God uses the foolish to shame the wise, God chose the weak to shame the strong?”  I am.  I wish I could go back to the third grade and pick that boy first that always got picked last.  I want to say, “Steve, I pick you first.”  And watch his jaw drop, just like my jaw drops everytime I think about the fact that God chose me; despite who I am.

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