December 13, 2014

Surprised and Amazed

Luke 2:16-18

All who heard it were amazed at what the shepherds said to them.
—Luke 2:18


God surprises us when he chooses ordinary people to perform important tasks. He seems to go out of his way to select unlikely candidates to do the most amazing things.

When God was looking for a king of Israel, he chose David, a young shepherd who seemed so insignificant that his own father didn’t bother to invite him to the meeting. God chose Paul, a persecutor of Christians, to bring the good news of salvation to Gentiles (non-Jewish people). God used shepherds to announce Jesus’ birth to his people. Even though these shepherds were unlikely candidates to proclaim the King’s birth, they were effective. The people who heard them were moved by their message.

God may ask us to do things that make us uncomfortable. We may not feel qualified to lead a prayer, share our faith, or serve on a committee. We may fear we lack the skills to visit someone who is sick, or to help tutor at a local school. We can be reluctant to serve because we don’t think we are able.

But God does not wait for us to feel capable or qualified. He often does not call the qualified, but qualifies the called! When he calls us, God asks us to be part of something that will succeed. If he can use shepherds to proclaim Christ’s birth, he can use you and me to continue Christ’s work.

Father, I admit that I am often reluctant to serve you, because I feel incapable of completing the great plans you have. Help me to realize that in serving you I am participating in a plan that will not fail. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — Bill Sytsma

Bill Sytsma is a graduate of Calvin Theological Seminary (M.Div) and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary (D.Min). He is the author of the book Follow the Leader and is serving as the pastor of New Life Christian Reformed Church in Highland, Indiana. He and his wife, Staci, have hosted support groups for families built through adoption. He and Staci are the proud parents of three active boys: Luke, Isaac, and Nico.

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