The Brightest and Best

The Brightest and Best

I Corinthians 1:26-31 (MSG) Take a good look, friends, at who you were when you got called into this life. I don’t see many of “the brightest and the best” among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families. Isn’t it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these “nobodies” to expose the hollow pretensions of the “somebodies”? That makes it quite clear that none of you can get by with blowing your own horn before God. Everything that we have—right thinking and right living, a clean slate and a fresh start—comes from God by way of Jesus Christ. That’s why we have the saying, “If you’re going to blow a horn, blow a trumpet for God.”

To fully understand and comprehend these verses, perhaps a character summary of some well-known Bible figures might help. First, the disciples who followed Jesus for three solid years. None of them were students of rabbinical schools. All just men trying to earn a living who Jesus called. Peter had a tendency to live with a foot in his mouth. James and John were bad-tempered and ambitious self-seekers. Matthew was a tax collector. Thomas was negative, didn’t believe anyone or anything and lived with a cup half empty. How about some other Bible characters: Noah was a drunk, Abraham too old, Isaac a daydreamer, Jacob a liar, Leah called ugly, Joseph was abused, Moses had a speech impediment, Gideon a coward, Samson promiscuous, Rahab a known prostitute, Jeremiah just a kid, David an adulterer and murderer, Elijah suicidal, Jonah ran from God, Job bankrupt, Peter denied Jesus multiple times, woman at the well was divorced and living with another man, Zacchaeus was short, Paul murdered Christians, and let’s not forget Lazarus who was dead. I wonder in reading these descriptions if one can’t find themselves in the character flaws of God’s Elite?

God has chosen you. He created and called you for a purpose that cannot be stopped by your mistakes. You character flaws do not inhibit God’s Potential in you unless you choose to remain true to them. In fact, maybe just maybe, these are the weaknesses that will magnify our need for a Savior and challenge us to make Him Lord. When we come to the end of self, it is the Lord who is sought after. The end of self is usually marked by insufficiency and impossibility. It is in the moment of desperation, disappointment and devastation that most people turn their hearts to the Lord.

2 Corinthians 5:17-20 (MSG) Because of this decision we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don’t look at him that way anymore. Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you.

I don’t see many of “the brightest and the best” among you, not many influential, not many from high-society families. Isn’t it obvious that God deliberately chose men and women that the culture overlooks and exploits and abuses, chose these “nobodies” to expose the hollow pretensions of the “somebodies”?

Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! You have the potential to be a new creation. This has to me that there was something wrong with the original design. There was a sin problem that causes character flaws that only a new life in Christ can reveal its potential. Romans 8:28 says, “That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good.” People say that Jesus takes our mess to make a message or test to be our testimony. Stop beating yourself up over your inability to live a sinless, perfect life. Stop allowing the excuse to keep you from becoming God’s “brightest and best”. God planned good things for you from the beginning. (Psalm 139:16; Jeremiah 29:11) You must build confidence in the fact that He who began this good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ”. (Philippians 1:27) You simply must surrender the life you have now for the new life promised to those who give their heart to Jesus.

2 Corinthians 4:6-7 (MSG)  It started when God said, “Light up the darkness!” and our lives filled up with light as we saw and understood God in the face of Christ, all bright and beautiful. If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That’s to prevent anyone from confusing God’s incomparable power with us. As it is, there’s not much chance of that.

Everyone has a past. All have sinned and fallen short of God’s Glory. There is none righteous – no not one. Not everyone has a hopeful future, this is only claimed in the saving grace of Jesus who gives us access to the Father. Those who make Him the Lord of their life now have a place in the Kingdom. The supernatural potential of our life is released in our surrender and submission to Jesus Christ. It doesn’t make any sense that His Power is manifested in weakness but it is. I will not give glory to the enemy by recounting the sins of my past. I will share with you that the abundance of God’s Grace given to me is ridiculous. Over the years, I have surrendered more and more of my heart to the Lord. I have every reason to believe that I am useless to God for His Purpose or His Glory. But it is simply not true – in exchange for my life – Christ lives in me. He is the Light that makes me the “brightest and best”. He is the One who will expose your true worth to you to – Jesus thinks you’re to die for friend! Shocking – for me anyway.

It is with this new perspective that as believers the impossibilities become possible through faith driven by hope. Hope not in ourselves or others but in a Risen King and soon coming Lord who is gathering His People to rule and reign. I am merely a vessel to hold His Bright Light and draw others to Him. Thankfully His Blood filters the lenses of what seems irrevocable broken and forever stained to make it shine bright in the darkness and draw others to Him. This is how He will work through you if you only submit to Him. Jesus wants to make each of us His Brightest and Best!

John 8:12 (MSG) Jesus once again addressed them: “I am the world’s Light. No one who follows me stumbles around in the darkness. I provide plenty of light to live in.”

Matthew 5:14-16 (MSG) Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.

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