"…to the praise of the glory of His grace…" Ephesians 1:6

The One Hope Blog is a must read

Below is a great article from our one Hope Blog. You should check it out often.

One Hope Ministry Josephs

When a business sets out to hire new employees, they are always going to look for the best of the best. They want those who have the highest pedigree, the ones with the best grades from the best schools, or people who have the most expertise in their field. Basically, they want those individuals who have spectacular backgrounds and great past records (grades and resumes); those who come from good stock. And not only do businesses do this, but a lot of times churches create whole philosophies of ministry catered towards the most influential and affluent in our society, those who have the means, resources, and connections to give back to churches in profound ways.

And I can understand why they do it (“if you’re going to do ministry, you might as well be financially stable” is their thinking), and those in the upper echelon of society need to be reached and need to hear the gospel and see it lived out by followers of Christ. But it is an interesting contrast to see how God raises people up and the ones He chooses to accomplish His redemptive purposes throughout history.

Scattered throughout the Bible are people who, while not dumb or unintelligent, would not be considered anyone’s most logical choices to start a movement or to change the world. Whether it be the motley crew of characters that were Jesus’ disciples, a former hit man and murderer in the apostle Paul, or the greatest king in the Old Testament, David, who was the runt of the litter in his family and was replacing the most handsome man in Israel who was head and shoulders above the rest, literally (1 Samuel 9:2), they are not an outwardly impressive lot.

Yet, that is the God of the Bible. He does things that are unpredictable and chooses to accomplish amazing things through the most unlikely of people.

For instance, a story that has gripped me lately, is the story of Joseph in the book of Genesis. Now if you even have a vague idea of the Bible you will probably remember the story of Joseph. He was sold into slavery by his brothers, assumed dead by his father, accused of hitting on his boss’s wife, thrown into jail, interpreted some dreams, got out of jail and interpreted some more dreams (the king’s this time), was appointed number two man in charge in all of Egypt, saved his family from famine, tells his brothers “you meant it for evil, but God meant it for good,” and they all lived happily ever after.

It is a great story, but because we know the ending it may lose its punch and we may lose sight of how unlikely it was for Joseph to be the man he became. I would say the odds were stacked against him from the very beginning based on how dysfunctional his family was. Just read the laundry list of sins that happened in his immediate family: polygamy (Jacob, his father, married two sisters; yeah, that was dumb), his sister was raped, his brothers get revenge by committing mass murder on a whole town, his big bro Judah sleeps with a prostitute who turned out to be his own daughter-in-law. I mean, if the kid’s moral compass was a little off, it would be understandable. But God takes this young man with a messed up family background and chooses him to bring about salvation in a most remarkable way.

That story, and all the others like it in the Bible, give me hope. Because if you find yourself in inner-city ministry, you will meet a lot Josephs. Kids who come from dysfunctional families and messed up backgrounds, that most people would write off in a heartbeat. Boys and girls who would never be thought of as promising future leaders, let alone young people that God might radically change through the power of the gospel, and use to break the cycles of sin and addiction that have ravaged their families for generations. Young men and women who God might raise up to bring about revival and salvation in our city? It is crazy to think that and it doesn’t seem even remotely possible.

But it didn’t seem possible that a shepherd boy with a colorful coat, who was hated by his brothers and sold into slavery should ever bring about salvation for a whole nation either. I guess that’s what happens when you come across the God of the Bible. You are confronted with a sovereign God who uses the most unlikely of people to bring Him glory. And maybe, just maybe, these unlikely people that God will use in mighty ways, are our One Hope Academy students. At least that is our hope and our prayer.

Written by: Jared Tabor, Associate Pastor at Springs of Grace Bible Church