Use-less to Use-ful
A pair of work gloves
1 Corinthians 15:9-10. “For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them-yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.
The other day I had some work to do around the house so I went to the store and bought some work gloves. You know what? I’m going to take them back to the store and get a refund. I don't know why they call them work gloves – they’re useless! They didn’t do any work. I asked them nicely to rake the leaves. They just laid there. I asked again, later, if they would please sweep the deck out back-nothing. They did just what they’re doing now-just lying there. I tell you they are useless! Maybe if YOU ask them nicely to do something they’ll get busy. What do you think? Want to try? (allow a couple of kids to try) I give up! What do you think we need to do to get these gloves to do any work? (wait for answers) What?! Put my hands inside the gloves?! (put gloves on)
You know, this is amazing! It’s like these gloves have become a whole new- thing! Why, once I put my hands in the work gloves, they can do all sorts of things. They’re not use-less anymore. They’re use-full now. I’ll bet they can hammer nails, rake leaves, and hoe in the garden. They can probably open doors and lift and carry all kinds of heavy objects. (Pause then get a little serious) We know, of course, it isn't the gloves that would be doing the work. It is my hands inside the gloves that would be doing the work, isn’t it? Yes.
You know, that is the same way it is with being a Christian. Before Jesus entered his heart the apostle Paul wasn’t doing God’s work, was he? No way! He persecuted the church and even arrested and sometimes killed Christians. But by His grace God changed Paul and filled his heart like my hands fill these gloves. Then God used Paul to do so many good works. And when we let God fill our hearts, He can use us to do all kinds of good works, too. We go from being use-less (point to gloves) to (put on gloves) use-full for God.
Let’s pray: Heavenly Father, we don’t want to be use-less. We ask you today that, by your grace, you will fill our hearts with your love so we can be use-full for you. Amen.