"Pilgrim and Sojourner." - 1 Peter 2:11
| The Man God Uses by Samuel L. Brengle|
A while ago I was talking with a Christian merchant who expressed a great and important truth. He said:
"People are crying to God to use them, but He cannot. They are not given up to Him. They are not humble and teachable and holy. There are plenty of people who come to me and want work in my store, but I cannot use them. They are not fit for my work. When I must have someone, I have to go and advertise, and sometimes spend days in trying to find a man who will fit into the place I want him for, and then I have to try him and prove him to know whether he will suit me or not."
The fact is, God is using everybody that He can, and using them to the full extent of their fitness for His service. So instead of praying so much to be used, people should search themselves to know whether they are usable.
God cannot use anybody and everybody who comes along any more than the merchant could. It is only those who are "sanctified, and meet for the Masters use, and prepared unto every good work" (2 Tim. 2:21) that He can bless with great usefulness.
God wants men and women, and He is hunting for them everywhere, but like the merchant, He has to pass by hundreds before He finds the right individuals. The Bible says: "The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward Him" (2 Chr. 16:9).
Oh, how God wants to use you! But before you ask Him again to do so, see to it that your heart is "perfect toward Him." Then you may depend upon it that God will show Himself strong in your behalf. Glory to His dear, dear name!
When God searches for a man to work in His vineyard He does not ask, "Has he great natural abilities? Is he thoroughly educated? Is he a fine singer? Is he eloquent in prayer? Can he talk much?"
But rather, He asks, "Is his heart perfect toward Me? Is he holy? Does he love much? Is he willing to walk by faith, and not by sight? Does he love Me so much and has he such childlike confidence in My love for him that he can trust Me to use him when he doesnt see any sign that I am using him? Will he be weary and faint when I correct him and try to fit him for greater usefulness? Or will he, like Job, cry out, Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him? (Job 13:15). Does he search My Word, and meditate therein day and night, in order to do according to all that is written therein? (Josh. 1:8).
"Does he wait on Me for My counsel and seek in everything to be led by My Spirit? Or is he stubborn and self-willed, like the horse and the mule, which have to be held in with bit and bridle (Psa. 32:9), so that I cannot guide him with Mine eye? (Psa. 32:8). Is he a man pleaser and a timeserver, or is he willing to wait for his reward, and does he seek solely for the honor that cometh from God only? (John 5:44). Does he preach the word and is he instant in season, out of season? (2 Tim. 4:2). Is he meek and lowly in heart and humble?"
When God finds such a man, He will use him. God and that man will have such a friendly understanding with each other, and such mutual sympathy and love and confidence that they will at once become "workers together" (2 Cor. 6:1).
Paul was such a man, and the more they whipped him and stoned him and tried to rid the earth of him, the more God used him. At last they shut him up in prison, but Paul declared with unshaken faith, "I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound" (2 Tim. 2:9), and so he spoke Gods Word. Neither devils nor men could put shackles on it, but it pierced right through the prison walls, and flew across oceans and continents and down through the long centuries, bearing the glorious tidings of the blessed Gospel, overthrowing thrones and kingdoms and powers of evil, and everywhere bringing light and comfort and salvation to dark, troubled, sinful hearts. Though more than eighteen hundred years have passed since they cut off Pauls head and thought they had finished him off forever, yet his usefulness increases and his mighty words and works are today bearing such fruit to the good of men and the glory of God as passes the comprehension of an archangel.
Oh, how surprised Paul will be when he receives his final reward at the general judgment day, and enters into possession of all the treasures he has laid up in Heaven and the everlasting inheritance prepared for him!
Poor, troubled soul, cheer up! Be of good courage! You think you are useless, but you do not know. Trust God!
Paul saw dark days. He wrote to Timothy one day and said, "This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me" (2 Tim. 1:15). Study his life in the Acts and the Epistles, and see what conflicts and discouragements he had, and take courage!
Jesus said, "He that believeth on Me, as the Scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive
)" (John 7:38-39).
See to it that you are a believer. See to it that you are "filled with the Spirit," and Jesus will see to it that out of your life shall flow rivers of holy influence and power to bless the world, and you, too, will be surprised at the reckoning day, to behold the vastness of your reward as compared with the littleness of your sacrifices and your work.
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
| 2011/11/30 20:15||Profile|
| Re: The Man God Uses by Samuel L. Brengle|
This is a good word, Greg. I came across an article today which is along a similar line of thinking.
"Long ago when God's people were rebuilding the temple, the prophet Zechariah asked this question,
"For who has despised the day of small things? (Zechariah 4: 10.)
After all these years there are still many who despise the day of small things. This week I received a little circular that described the Little Things that saved the lives of those who survived the attack on the World Trade Center and the destruction of the Twin Towers:
"As you might know, the head of one Company got in late that day because his son started kindergarten.
Another fellow was alive because it was his turn to bring doughnuts.
One woman was late because her alarm clock didn't go off in time.
One was late because of the being stuck on the New Jersey Turnpike because of an auto accident.
One of them missed his bus.
One spilled food on her clothes and had to take time to change.
Ones car wouldnt start.
One went back to answer the telephone.
One had a child that dawdled and didn't get ready as soon as he should have.
One couldn't get a taxi.
One man put on a new pair of shoes that morning, took the various means to get to work but before he got there, he developed a blister on his foot. He stopped at a drugstore to buy a Band-Aid. That is why he is alive today.
These are the kind of "LITTLE THINGS" that annoy us so much. But I am sure that everyone of these people who are alive today because of these "Little Things" will not be nearly as frustrated in the future when things like these happen to them again.
In Our World of Big Things, Little Doesnt Count Much
We live in a world of big things. Our cities are getting bigger, our buildings are taller and bigger, business is bigger, budgets are bigger and we will have to admit that our problems are also bigger. In this world of bigness, there is an attitude that one person doesnt count for very much, whether it is for good or whether it is for bad. So today people are tempted to do evil. They will say, Well what will it matter if I do a little evil? Nobody will know about it, and it wont count for much, for Im just one person. Then on the other hand, in the church, many times people will say, Well, Im just a little person, and I cant do very much for good, so I wont do anything. Our lesson is designed to emphasize the importance of little things. God judges and reckons people on individual character and work. So I want you to know that even though you are just one person, and though you may not have great talents, what you can do as an individual is important in the sight of God.
THE IMPORTANCE OF LITTLE THINGS ILLUSTRATED
Little Horseshoe Nail
Let me give you an illustration of the importance of little things as was stated by one of our greatest statesmen, scientist and philosophers in the early days of our country. Benjamin Franklin, in his Poor Richards Almanac, pointed out the importance of little things. He said:
For the want of a nail, the shoe was lost,
For the want of a shoe, the horse was lost,
For the want of a horse, the rider was lost,
For the want of a rider, the battle was lost,
For the want of a battle, the kingdom was lost
All for the want of a horseshoe nail.
I believe that points up the importance of little things. A little horseshoe nail theoretically could cause a kingdom to be lost.
Because Of Little Things We Do Nothing!
Someone has said, Between the great things that we cannot do, and the little things that we will not do, the danger is that we shall do nothing. I believe that well sums up the situation. Sometimes we want to do great big things, and yet, we dont have the power and ability to do those things, but then we look at the small things that we can do, and we look down on them with contempt and say, Well I wont do those things, they are beneath my dignity. We then end up doing nothing.
Little Drops Of WaterSmall Fire
Lets look at the importance of small things in several different areas. A small drop of water is not very much, but enough of them can fill a mighty ocean or a raging sea. Julia Fletcher Carney said, Little drops of water, little grains of sand make the mighty ocean and the pleasant land; so the mighty minutes, humble though they be, make the mighty ages of eternity. A small match is not very large is it? But think what a small match can do for a man that is freezing to death. It could start a fire that would save his life. A small fire is not very much, but according to legend, it was a cow that kicked over Mrs. OLearys lantern and caused the great Chicago fire.
Galileo and the Swinging Chandelier
Small things are important, either for good or for bad. Consider the scientific realm. Back in the middle ages, there was a deacon or sexton, as they were called then, who left a chandelier oscillating from side to side. It was a small thing that Galileo just happened to step into that cathedral at that exact time; he was an observant man, and looked up and saw that chandelier swinging back and forth, and it suggested to him the idea of a pendulum. And when you think today how important a pendulum has been in measuring time and distance, then you see the importance of small things.
The Spectacle Maker and the Telescope
I have read where a spectacle makers sons left their fathers eyeglasses laying over the top of a book with some letters in them. It just happened that they turned the concaved surfaces on top of each other. When the little boys looked, they noticed that the characters beneath those glasses were magnified, and it was pointed out to their father! The scientists heard about this and it wasnt long until Galileo had come up with a telescope that magnified three times. Of course from that small beginning, today we have gigantic telescopes that reach out into space itself. Small beginning, but it was an important thing.
The Clapping Lid and Steam Power
Also someone noticed that a pot on the stove where the lid on the kettle was clapping from the steam that was escaping suggested the idea of steam power. We know that in the early days of our country they used steam power, and it was a powerful means to move the gigantic locomotives, but it was all suggested by a small beginning, just a little old pot sitting on the stove with the lid clapping, but it suggested the idea that there was power in steam.
A Tear in the Eye and Moses
A tear is not very big is it? But perhaps it was a tear in the eye of the daughter of Pharaoh that saved Moses when he was in the Nile River. Anyway, we know that she was moved with compassion upon Moses, she saved him, and he was reared in all the learning and wisdom of the Egyptians; but when he came to years he realized that he was a Jew, and he identified with Gods people, and God used him to be the great deliverer of his people. Yes, little things are important.
WHAT OTHERS HAVE SAID ABOUT LITTLE THINGS
Let me give you just a few statements of what others have thought about little things. Some writer has said,
Its the little things we do and say that mean so much as we go on our way, what joy or sadness often springs from just those simple little things.
Sir Thomas Buxton said, There are no little things with God.
Charles M. Crow said, We seek here to play a duet with God, we bring our small weak talents and they are glorified and multiplied and made useful by, the Master himself. It is not what we can do, but what God can do through us.
The Little Spider Is Strong through Perseverance
The Spider Takes Hold with Her Hands
Finally Solomon says, The spider taketh hold with her hands, and is in kings palaces. It doesnt make any difference whether were rich or poor, a spider will be found in just about every house. You might go into a palace or a mansion, but somewhere there will be a spider that has spun her web and found her way into the kings house. What is the lesson we gain from the wise little spider? It is that we can have strength not only by preparation, not only by taking refuge in a strong house, not only by having unity, but that there is also strength through constancy or perseverance.
Strength by Determined Effort
The spider takes hold with her hands, and she doesnt give up until she has accomplished what she has set out to do. How many times do we have failures in the church because people start and they dont finish? Paul says that he put all things behind him, and he stretched and reached forth unto that goal of the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:12-13.) Jesus said that if we put our hands to the plow and look back, were not fit for the kingdom of God. (Luke 9: 62.) Jesus said that if a man starts to build and doesnt count the cost, he is foolish. (Luke 14: 28-30.)
Persevere To the End
We need to learn the lesson of the lowly spider, that we can accomplish great things for God by persevering to the very end, by not giving up, by being faithful unto death. The writer of the book of Revelation says, Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. (Revelation 2: 10.) Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:58, Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labor is not in vain in the Lord. Paul says in Galatians 6: 9, And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
Remember, there are no small people in the church. Every member is important to God and each other. Think about the lessons we have learned from little things. Yes, small things are important. Someone has said,
Shamgar had an ox goad,
Rahab had a string,
Gideon had a trumpet,
David had a sling,
Samson had a jawbone,
Moses had a rod,
Dorcas had a needle,
All were used for God.
Are you using the small things that God has given you? Remember, friends that our Lord said, He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much; and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much. (Luke 16: 10.) Do not despise the day of small things!"
| 2011/11/30 22:15||Profile|
| Re: The Man God Uses by Samuel L. Brengle|
hi, lets look at who God used...he needed a man to lead his army so he found a FEARFUL and FAITHLESS man hiding from fear and called him His mighty man of valor.He wanted to use a man and anoint him king over all the land so He sent the prophet to jesse and all of his sons were paraded before him to anoint but the FORGOTTEN, the least likely, who smelled like sheep and was just a boy. He needed someone to defeat the giant and his brothers and His choice was the FORGOTTEN boy against this giant the boy looked and was FEEBLE. abram was chosen and in difficulty his word was FALSE. Jesus needed an apostle to gather the men and He chose the PHONY in peter.He needed a man to travel and preach ro the gentile and He chose the FAMOUS:for killing and percecuting followers of Jesus.He uses normal , weak vessels like you and i.the greatest abilility is availability.jimp
| 2011/11/30 22:20||Profile|
| Re: |
Good examples in the original article to illustrate 'usability'. I think some things are a bit easier to understand for people like the merchant that already hired people to work for him. I also had a time where i was on the interviewing side of the conversation while talking about the possibility of working together and was amazed to hear the reasons that people brought up as 'evidence' that they would fit the position. The majority was self centered and basically expressed between the lines what they wanted to do, while even disregarding key points mentioned as 'required' in the job ad.
The real test however comes after starting to work together, by looking closely at how they understand and execute orders. Some cannot do anything as requested, others cut corners by trying to "use different methods" or "do better" than requested, and most of the times end up missing the target of the project. Few really respect the original intention and stay as close as possible to the given specifications. These are the only 'usable' ones in the end.
There are positions where "self" and creativity is required, however the relationship to Jesus is not one of these.
Of course 'through grace by faith' and a resulting family relationship are not identical with a job qualification.
Except in one thing: The will of the company owner and the will of the Father in heaven stand alone uncontested, and cannot be ignored.
Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Matthew 12:50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.
That's a question for brothers and sisters of Jesus then: What is the will of the Father ?
| 2011/11/30 22:35||Profile|
| Re: The Man God Uses by Samuel L. Brengle|
Encouraged and blessed. God is so kind to us. May he continue to use us in his harvest.
| 2011/11/30 23:30||Profile|
| Re: |
The last article I posted, related to the statement in Jeremiah which instructs us, not to, "despise the day of small things".
Just wanted to share a bit about how this truth relates to something I experienced just today. For a while now, I've felt that there's been a rift between my father in law and I. It's come out whenever we're together, as there's been a tension, a lack of ease between us. This has stemmed from disagreements we've had in the past and somehow despite the fact that much prayer has gone into seeing things restored, the rift has continued to remain, at least in part.
A few months ago, I felt led to email my father in law and to apologize for attitudes I've had in the past, which have contributed towards this sense of alienation that I believe both of us have felt from one another. As well, going out for coffee was suggested. He emailed me back at that time and said that he too, would like to see things made right between us.
However, since that initial email, things have been put off. On my end, this has been due to apprehension, the discomfort that comes when you try to broach a difficult and uncomfortable subject, and the uncertainty of what will come about, if you do.
But as well, although God had enabled me to take a first step towards reconciliation with my father in law, through writing the email to him, part of me felt like this was 'enough', and that there was nothing more that was really necessary for me to do.
The above mentioned lack-of-carrying-things-through-fully though, was I believe, also a representation of what Jeremiah was talking about when he said not to despise the day of small things. That's because in my mind, I had relegated the full repair of this relationship as a 'small thing'.
When my father in law called me up to see if I wanted to go out for coffee today though, I had a sense that God was at work and wanted to do something in both my heart and my father in law's heart, in order to restore the unity which God so fervently desires, both within families, and within the body of Christ as a whole.
Now I won't say that anything amazing happened in the physical; the Earth didn't shake, and the birds didn't break out in song, during a time we shared together over a coffee, and a few burgers. But, by God's empowering ability, there were gracious words spoken, there was a peaceableness about the whole time we shared together. In fact, while months before, I had anticipated such a moment as a time when I would air some grievances about ways in which I felt I had been mistreated, instead I found myself simply enjoying my father in law's company (as I had in time's past, before our rift began), and thinking that if we ended up not speaking at all about our differences on this day, it wouldn't be such a bad thing.
Again, by God's enabling power there seemed to be a 'sweetness' between us, not felt for a long time, and I was enjoying it so much, I didn't want to see it ruined somehow by seeing old differences come to the forefront again, and take on new shapes and flavours.
But thank God, when we did speak of the things that separated us, God granted the ability to talk them over in such as way, that instead of separating us further, they brought us closer together.
This experience has been a reminder to me of how very important it is, to do as it says in Hebrews, to "Follow peace with all men". I am praying that God will continue to give his grace in other relationships I have, that are in need of tending, and repairing.
| 2011/12/1 0:01||Profile|
| Re: The Man God Uses by Samuel L. Brengle|
Fantastic post Greg! I pray that everyone that surfs in and those that are regulars here will read this post and examine themselves to see if they are fit for service.
I know many of the proclaimed Prophets need to read this post too. enough said there;}
I know the last 7 months in my life have been a time of testing for me.
The only time I have had to myself is early in the morning and late in the evening and I give that time to the Lord, by prayer and the reading of his word.
I feel closer to him now than I ever did before.
Will God us me in his service? I don't know. But, I am willing and my heart and ears are open and if he does then I will.
Yet if he doesn't, I am not content to stay where I am now. I will by the spirit of God, move even closer Jesus and be much more like Christ in my pursuit.
God Bless you Greg for this post, It has touched my heart.
| 2011/12/1 0:18||Profile|
| Re: |
Hi Jimp, thats a good word brother. He uses the weak things of this world to confound the wise. His ways rarely make sense to us. Why choose Jonah, why choose a reluctant prophet whoese heart was not for those he was called to? Obviously in the revival that took place in Ninevah, God got all the glory.
After a mighty miracle that astonished all, and would do so today, I love Peter's reply when they tried to elevate the man ( something that always has its base in pride and blindness to the reality that it is God alone who deserves all the glory)...........
And seeing this, Peter answered the people, Men, Israelites, why do you marvel at this? Or why do you stare at us, as though we had made this man to walk by our own power or holiness?
Peter, that weak vessel, was used mightily by the Lord because he understood and had learned his lesson well from his denial of the Lord. The Lord uses the broken and the contrite, the weak and the lowly. I thank Him that He even uses me sometimes, and if He can use me, He can use any of His children.......... brother Frank
| 2011/12/1 7:25|
| Re: |
hi, this is too important to already be off.
| 2011/12/1 10:43||Profile|
| Re: |
"hi, this is too important to already be off."
It seems lately that if you blink, its gone :) .... bro Frank
| 2011/12/1 11:19|