START WITH WHAT YOU HAVE
God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. Do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he appeals to God against Israel? Romans 11:2
If there are two believers on my street but a hundred who hate Christ, I can paint with a broad brush and say, “No one believes!” But what about the two? If I pastor a church of a thousand and only twenty are serious disciples, do I lament “My church is dead!” What about the twenty?
This is Paul’s argument. The number of Jews that embraced Christ were so few compared to the nation of Israel that it was easy to paint with a broad brush and say, “The nation is lost.” But what about the remnant? Paul uses Elijah as an example to reassure us that God IS a promise-keeping God. He made a covenant to Israel and drew them close. Though the majority rejected His love and spurned His covenant, there was still a remnant who believed. God always has a remnant. In Elijah’s day, there were 7,000.
I have to be willing to work with what I have. If I am the parent of five children and only one walks with God, I certainly pray for the four but I rejoice in the one! I invest everything I’ve got in that one child! If I teach a Sunday school class of thirty and only three really catch the heart of the message, I praise God for the potential they represent.
The cup ‘half empty’ cannot overwhelm me. That is how Satan discourages. He has me focus on the proportions and uses the scales tipped in his favor to convince me of ineffectiveness. But I must remember today ~ the way is narrow. Only a few find it. And of the few that find it, the way again is narrow because few are willing to pick up their cross against the lure of Babylon. The irony is, if I were a pastor in China, I’d find a higher percentage of converts and disciples. The Gospel explodes in persecution and grows weak in prosperity.
The point of today’s devotional is this ~ Satan is a liar. God is not on the losing side. God always has a remnant. That remnant is a wondrous thing – worthy of my joy. I assess my ‘remnant’ today, thank God, and give them everything I have to see them ‘burn and shine’ like John the Baptist. The world has been turned upside down by remnants!
I turn my ears away from the accuser who loves to look at numbers and discount Jesus. Jesus used twelve, not thousands. I choose to focus today on the potential of a few. Thank you for them. Amen