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How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?
–Romans 10:14

People are important to God. Do you believe that? One of the unfortunate byproducts of our belief system is what I call “worm theology”–“Oh, we are nothing but worms in the sight of God.” Now, there’s a measure of truth to that. It is true that apart from Christ, the best we can do is like a filthy rag to God. But we are still important to God. The fact that God was willing to send His Son to die on a cross for you means you matter to God.

Our importance to God is seen not only in our salvation, but also in the fact that God uses people like you and me to accomplish His purpose. Now don’t misunderstand. It’s not that God needs us. Jesus said, “If you don’t praise Me, I can make the rocks cry out and praise Me.” It’s not that God needs us, but God has chosen to use us to accomplish His purpose on earth. In Romans 10:14, Paul asked, “How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher?” That word “preacher” simply means anyone who shares the gospel. Paul was saying, “How will people come to know Christ unless you share the gospel with them?” God uses people to accomplish His purpose.

I once heard Chuck Swindoll put it this way: Could you say, “I became a Christian apart from the influence of any other person. There was no pastor, no parent, no friend, no youth director–nobody played a part in my salvation. One day I just woke up and said, ‘You know what? I think I’d like to be a Christian’”? Almost every Christian can point to at least one person who played a role in their salvation. That’s one reason I can say with confidence that people are important to God. God uses us to achieve His purpose.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “There is properly no history, only biography.” And that’s true. History is not only His story, but it’s also God’s story of how He uses people to accomplish His will. When you look through the Bible, you find the biographies of men and women God used in a significant way. Some of the biographies in the Bible are used to teach a negative truth, such as Adam and Eve, David and Bathsheba, or Lot. But some of the biographies are given to teach us a positive truth.

This week, we are going to look at two men Paul singled out as heroes of the faith. And we are going to discover what character qualities they possess that caused God to select them, among others, to use to achieve His purpose.

Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Heroes” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2007.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, “History,” Essays, 1841.

Scripture quotations are taken from the New American Standard Bible®, copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by the Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.


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