Michelle Thompson • Early Childhood Director
Have you ever heard someone say, “Once I get myself together I will become a Christian,” or, “God wouldn’t want me yet, but I am trying to get better”? This week I would like us to look at a few people who were surprised by what God saw in them. We will never “make ourselves good enough” by trying harder. The secret is to see ourselves as God sees us: extremely valuable and full of potential–and let Him change us.
Genesis 37:1-4; 26-28; 50:14-21
Joseph was the youngest brother in a family of many sons. That meant that, in his time, he was rather unimportant. Yes, his father loved him dearly, but he would never hold an important station in life. He tended sheep and worked for his brothers–that is just the way it was. But in God’s eyes, Joseph was about to change the world–literally. God saw value in Joseph and although he was treated harshly by his brothers (and some of the Egyptians we didn’t read about), we are told over and over that the Lord was with Joseph. When the world saw a lowly boy, God saw enough potential to save his entire family and the world around him!
Remember that God sees your potential even when you don’t.
Here, once again, we meet a young man who knows he is from a weak clan and that he is the least in that family. But God saw his potential and He chose Gideon to do a mighty work for Him. I love this story! Gideon is so afraid of the Midianites that he is hiding below ground, threshing a little wheat when–bam!–an angel is standing there and says, “Hello, mighty warrior.” I can picture Gideon looking behind him to see who the angel is speaking to, only to realize that he is speaking to him. Isn’t that great?! Has God called you to do something that you think is a stretch for you? I know He has for me, but He knows our capabilities and calls us accordingly, not by our self-esteem level.
Pray and ask God to lead you to walk according to His view of you and not your own.
Do you see a trend here? David was so lowly regarded by his father, that Jesse didn’t even call him in from the fields when he and his sons went to meet with Samuel. But the passage clearly tells us that God doesn’t judge us like people do. He looks at our heart on the inside, not at our publicly-visible exterior. David went on to defeat a giant, become king and was called a man after God’s own heart.
Spend time evaluating whether you are spending as much, or more, time on your inner self than on your outward appearance.
Many of us learned the song as children: “Zacchaeus was a wee little man, a wee little man was he…” But we can learn a few big things from his short story (pun intended) in the book of Luke. We know that Zach was not popular among his countrymen–after all, he worked as a tax collector for Rome. Maybe it was curiosity, maybe greed, or maybe a desire to meet someone who loved the unlovable, but whatever the reason, Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus! When he realized the crowds were so large, he ran ahead and climbed a tree to get a better look. And that is when the unthinkable happened: Jesus walked right under Zacchaeus’ tree, took His eyes off the crowd, looked deep into his soul, and called Zacchaeus by name! Jesus knew him! And Jesus knew what he could be! When Zach was told that Jesus was coming to his house, he reacted with “great excitement and joy” (insert a “Woo-Hoo!!” here). The people grumbled and judged, but Zacchaeus opened his heart to what Jesus saw in him and he was forever changed!
Instead of a greedy tax collector, Jesus saw a man who could be generous and caring. What do you think He sees when He looks at you? (Eph. 5:1)
Friday: Peter and John
They were simple fishermen. Jesus, however, in His wisdom saw much, much more. They had no formal higher education, but these men had the honor of traveling with Jesus during His earthly ministry. They saw and heard things that we can only imagine! They were loved, taught and occasionally reprimanded by our Savior, and it changed them forever. So much so, that after Jesus’ resurrection, these men were well-taught, well-spoken and unexplainably bold. Spending time with Jesus had completely changed them. He saw them for who they could be, invested in them, and the world was amazed at the change.
Have you let Jesus have this kind of impact on you?