“And you, Bethlehem, land of Judah, are by no means least among the leaders of Judah; for out of you shall come forth a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.” Matthew 2: 6
As you are reading this day’s devotion, perhaps you are saying to yourself, “Who am I to be used by God? I am just a ----- (you fill in the blank with your most humbling description.) In fact, I come from ---- (insert name of seemingly insignificant town or area). Why would God ever use me? How could God ever use me?” Do you know that was the thinking of several of God’s mightiest servants?
Moses: “Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the sons of Israel out of Egypt?” (Exodus 3: 11) Please, Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither recently or in time past… for I am slow of speech and slow of tongue.” (Exodus 4: 10)
Gideon: “O Lord, how shall I deliver Israel? My family is the least in Manasseh, and I am the youngest of my father’s house.” (Judges 6: 15)
Jeremiah: “Alas, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, because I am a youth.” (Jeremiah 1: 6)
Consider God’s criteria, as He chose David to be king: “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature… for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16: 7)
The apostle Paul puts this all into perspective: “For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong… so that no man may boast before God… Let him who boasts, boast In the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1: 26,27,29,31)
The gospels of Matthew and Luke remind us also that God chose two unassuming people, Joseph and Mary, in an unassuming place, Bethlehem of Judea, to begin God’s magnificent work of redeeming human kind from their sin. Don’t all these scriptural examples tear down our excuses of how God can’t use us, how we don’t have the right abilities to be used by Him, or that we are in a place that is not very important to Him?
“Gracious Lord, at some time this season I am going to sing, “O Little Town of Bethlehem”. I will sing it, probably as I usually do, with humility and awe and wonder. But, Lord, this year make it remind me that You want to use me, with the gifts, talents, resources and abilities that You have so generously given me. As I prepare for Christmas, prepare me to be used by You, for Your honor and Your glory.”