Three Murderers

sad manHave you ever wondered how God could possibly use you? If God could use three murderers, then he can use each of us.

Maybe you’re the mother of young children and your days revolve around them and their needs. Maybe you work all day at your paying job. Perhaps you’re retired and feel a little used up. It could be you are somewhere else along this continuum, and wonder how could God possibly use me?

When we look in the Bible, we see God used all kinds of people in all stages of life. From every tribe and nation. Young. Old. Middle-aged. Married. Single. Widowed. Greek. Jew. Free. Slave.

God even used three murderers in a mighty way.

Don’t believe me? Well, what about Moses, David, and Paul?

Murderer number one.

As Pharoah’s daughter’s adopted son, Moses was a prince living in Pharoah’s palace. He had every privilege imaginable. Acts 7:22 tells us Moses was taught all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was powerful in both speech and action.

After witnessing an Egyptian taskmaster beat a Hebrew slave, Moses went into a rage and killed the Egyptian. When he realized his actions were witnessed, Moses fled Egypt.

Moses ran away and lived in the desert tending his father-in-law’s sheep. There he stayed for forty years until God called to him from a burning bush. God sent Moses back to Egypt. In doing so, God used a murderer to lead his chosen people out of bondage. God used a murderer to lead his people to the Promised Land of Canaan.

Murderer number two.

As Israel’s King, what David commanded be done was done. It did not matter whether what David commanded was just or not. Such was the case when David learned Uriah’s wife, Bathsheba, was pregnant with David’s child.

When Uriah’s loyalty prevented him from doing what David hoped Uriah would do in David’s scheme to hide his sin, David sent word to his generals. Put Uriah at the front of the battle. Then pull back so that he is killed.

The baby died, but God wasn’t finished with David. David and Bathsheba’s next child, Solomon, was one of Jesus Christ’s ancestors.

Murderer number three.

As a pharisee of Pharisees, Paul fervently sought out Christians to persecute and kill. He felt in doing so, he was honoring God and defending the Jewish faith.

But Paul was wrong. Christ met Paul on the road to Damascus in a blinding light. He asked Paul why he was persecuting him. Paul ended up writing thirteen (and possibly fourteen if you feel he wrote the book of Hebrews) books of the New Testament. Paul turned his zeal from persecuting Christians, into a zeal to preach Christ and him glorified.

Moses. David. Paul. Their past did not define them. God saw beyond their past to what he could accomplish through them.

Our past does not define us. When we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior, we are brought into a relationship with him. Our sins our forgiven. Though they were like scarlet, they are now whiter than snow. We are defined as a beloved child of God. Christ looks beyond our past sin to what he can accomplish through us.

Yep. God used three murderers in a mighty way according to his purpose. And since God used these three murderers to fulfill his plans, don’t you think he can use us too, regardless of where we are at this moment in time? All it takes is a surrendered heart and saying yes to God.

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For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. Ephesians 2:10 NLT

You can find my June Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.


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Don’t Negate the Benefit

The other morning I read an article which said pistachio nuts can help lower triglyceride levels. Yay. I enjoy eating pistachio nuts, so this is good news.

Not too long after reading the article, I thought, now I can eat more pistachio ice cream. Yum. Maybe not. That would probably negate the benefit gained from eating pistachio nuts, don’t you think? It’s a nice thought, though.

As I considered this, I thought about how sometimes we take the good God permits, twist it to our liking, and negate the benefit we could gain from it. In 1 Corinthians 6:12 and 10:23 Paul talked about food and drink. He said everything was permissible for him, but not everything was beneficial or constructive.

He went on to say everything was permissible for him, but he would not be mastered by anything. Although Paul was talking about food and drink in these instances, he said whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. Do not cause anyone to stumble. Seek the good of many instead of our own good.

Moderation. Restraint. Anything we overindulge in can negate the benefit.

Like me thinking about eating pistachio ice cream to lower my triglycerides. Or me buying one more writing journal, when I already have a shelf full I haven’t written in yet.

Overindulgence can become an addiction regardless of what we overindulge in. It doesn’t have to be food. What about overindulging in social media or television? While neither of these are necessarily wrong, too much can be. Given the past few years we experienced, I’d say many of us have weighed in heavy on the too much end of the scale with these two.

Those who have read this blog for any length of time know I post gluten-free recipes. I don’t eat gluten-free to follow a trend. I eliminate gluten from my diet because I am allergic to wheat. It literally makes me ill. The pain gluten causes me is not worth indulging in anything that contains it.

Yeah. I miss eating a lot of things I used to take for granted I could eat, but there are so many more gluten-free foods available now than there used to be. It isn’t quite as painful.

Like the teen aged fast-food worker said when I explained why I needed my meal without the bun, if he had to be gluten-free, he would tell God, “Take me, now. Because life wouldn’t be worth living anymore.” I believe he had southern biscuits and sausage gravy on his mind when he said that. I laughed, knowing it’s kinda how I felt hearing my initial gluten allergy diagnosis.

I doubt Paul had gluten on his mind when he said everything is permissible for him, but not everything is beneficial. However, whenever we face a choice, perhaps like Paul, we can say even though Christ may not have said no, that doesn’t mean it’s beneficial for us. Why negate the benefit of what he gives us?

Pistachio ice cream is permissible, but if I eat it to excess, and claim it is healthy because it has pistachios in it, I’m twisting something good to suit my desires. I’ve allowed it to get a grip on me I can’t easily stop when I want to.

Moderation. Restraint. In all things.

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

 I can do anything I want to if Christ has not said no, but some of these things aren’t good for me. Even if I am allowed to do them, I’ll refuse to if I think they might get such a grip on me that I can’t easily stop when I want to. 1 Corinthians 6:12 (TLB)

You can find my September Inspire a Fire post here. Please stop by and read it.

I wish you well.


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Sunday Scriptures — Share the Gospel of Who Jesus Is

by Sandy Kirby Quandt

At the time of Jesus’ birth the Pharisees; Jewish religious leaders of the day, had specific rules for staying “clean”. Never enter the home of a Gentile, never dine with sinners, perform no work on the Sabbath, wash your hands seven times before eating …

Well. I definitely would not have been clean according to the Pharisees’ rules. I’m a Gentile. Being a sinner myself, I’ve dined with sinners. I’ve had to work on Sundays. And although I always wash my hands before eating, I’m not obsessive about it.

It pleases me to know Jesus, King of kings and Lord of lords, Christ, Messiah, Savior, Redeemer did not follow the Pharisees’ rules, either.

Jesus went out of his way to go into Gentile territory and involve himself in the lives of Gentiles and share the Gospel of who he is. He once praised a Roman centurion for having more faith than anyone in Israel. That included the religious leaders.

Jesus spent time talking with a Samaritan woman, even though the thought of the day was Jews did not associate with Samaritans. Not only was this person a Samaritan, she was a woman. The horror! (The Pharisees should have checked into Jesus’ genealogy for the number of women who were not Jews, yet their names are still recorded in the Bible.)

Before the Risen Christ returned to his Father in heaven, Jesus told his disciples to go into ALL the world and share the gospel to EVERYONE in Judea, Samaria, and the ends of the earth. No one was to be rejected or eliminated from the Good News of salvation through Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. No one.

Before the apostle Paul; that Pharisee of the Pharisees, saw the light – literally – he thanked God daily he was not a Gentile, slave, or woman. Yet, after his conversion, Paul became the disciple who shared the Gospel to the Gentile world. The man who once was grateful not to be a Gentile, slave or woman declared There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

We are all one in Christ. We are not separated into boxes or labels of people. We are simply people Christ died to save. Christ died for EVERYONE. It is by his grace we are saved through our faith in the power of his blood and resurrection.

Since someone was willing to share the Gospel with us at some point in our lives, shouldn’t we do the same, no matter who they are, what they look like, or where they live?

Leave a comment below to share your thoughts on the subject. If you think others would appreciate reading this, please share it through the social media buttons.

In Christ, there is no difference between Jew and Greek, slave and free person, male and female. You are all the same in Christ Jesus.Galatians 3:28 (NCV)

Happy New Year, everybody! May 2017 be your best year, yet.

I wish you well.


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