KEY SCRIPTURE: Jeremiah 29:11-13
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” declares the LORD, “and will bring you back from captivity.”
…Written to the people of Israel living in captivity
– without hope for a better life, without dreams, just making it day by day.
Who me? a Disciple? So you think you’re not good enough for God?
Noah – “a religious fanatic” – one man, one family who rescued the world
Moses – “a murderer, fleeing punishment ” became a deliverer for his people
Rahab – a Gentile prostitute – became one of Jesus’ ancestors in His bloodline
Abraham – “an idol worshipper” born inIraq, left his home and all the security he had not knowing where God would lead him
Ruth –a Gentile idol worshipper who left her family and home to befriend an old Jewish woman…Ruth became the grandmother of King David;
David – “an adulterer, a murderer, and a terrible, overly indulgent father, and King of Israel” – the runt of the litter…became “a man after God’s own heart”
Mary the mother of Jesus, John the Baptist, the little boy with the fishes, the disciples of Jesus, the Roman centurion, Paul, Lydia, Timothy, Luther, Calvin, and Wesley, many of the founding fathers of America, and more recently, Mother Theresa and Billy Graham – in and of themselves, they would not have ever “qualified” as disciples – but in their own ways, as directed by God, they have each been an important part of the plan that God has to bring people to the saving grace of Jesus Christ.
From before creation, God knew you by name and had a plan, hopes and dreams for you. The moment you were conceived, God programmed the very DNA that makes you unique from everyone else who has ever been conceived. God takes every moment of your life, every choice you make – the good, the bad, and the ugly – and if you’ll let Him –
– He will work them into His plan for you to be His disciple.
*Start where you are now, grow by taking small steps day by day.
*Develop a growing relationship with Jesus through daily worship, prayer and study.
*Use/Develop the gifts He has given you (teaching/the sciences/business/the arts).
*Surround yourself and meet regularly with other disciples (John Wesley’s small groups!).
*Make the most of technology to learn and grow in Him and spread His Word.
*Bloom where you’re planted – no clergy collar required!
You are a gift from God, gifted by God, to be a gift to our world!