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I Belong Because God Can Use Me

Sermon Notes

Verses: Luke 2:1-20, John 4:39-41, 1 Cor. 1:26-31

Introduction:

God has a way of using people that others would normally overlook. The fact that God chose shepherds to announce Jesus’ arrival was a foreshadowing of how God would continue to operate with other outsiders, misfits, and questionable characters. And if God can use these dodgy people, then He can certainly use you.

Consider:

Everyone who has ever followed Jesus was flawed.

God likes using people that other people don’t like to show people what God is like.

Supporting Ideas:

  1. God avoided many of the mainstream methods for communicating Jesus’ arrival. God did not speak to:
    • Caesar Augustus (Very powerful)
    • Quirinius (Somewhat powerful)
    • The Pharisees (Religiously significant)
    • The Sadducees (Politically savvy)
    • The High Priest (Very influential)
  2. God chose shepherds (Luke 2:8-20)
    • Living out in the field (meaning these were paid under-shepherds)
    • These are most likely the flock that was owned and overseen by the temple priest.
    • But the people raising these animals for the ceremony were not allowed to participate in the ceremony. (Shepherds could work for the temple but were not allowed to enter the place of worship).
  3. God continued this practice (John 4:39-41)
    • You (who are imperfect) and Jesus (who is perfect) make the perfect team.

God doesn’t need your

  • Perfect character
  • Flawless theology
  • Amazing talent
  • Far-reaching connections
  • But he does need your surrender.

Application:

Come to the altar and take a shard of glass. Carry it with you to remind you:

  • I am broken but useable
  • I can reflect on God’s light.
  • My part is connected to a larger work.

Discussion Questions

TALK IT OUT: 

  1. Pastor Rusty shared that “everyone who has ever followed Jesus was flawed.” What does this statement mean to you?  
  1. Consider that God did not use the mainstream methods of Jesus’ day to communicate His arrival. He did not speak to Caesar Augustus, who was very powerful, or to Quirinius, who was somewhat powerful; he did not speak to the Pharisees, who were religiously significant, or to the Sadducees, who were politically savvy, or even to the High Priest who was very influential. Why do you think God bypassed those who were powerful and influential when His Son came to earth?  
  1. Instead of going through the expected channels, God announced Jesus’ arrival to poor shepherds who lived in the fields with their flocks. Pastor Rusty points out that the sheep being watched were probably flocks owned and overseen by the high priest. However, the shepherds raising the sheep for the temple weren’t allowed to participate in the temple ceremonies. The shepherds worked for the temple but were unable to worship in the temple. What point do you think God was making when He chose these shepherds to be the first to learn of His Son’s arrival?  
  1. In John 4:39-41 Jesus demonstrated that the imperfect of us are loved by God. In fact, Pastor Rusty says, “You (who are imperfect) and Jesus (who is perfect) make the perfect team.” What are the spiritual implications of Pastor Rusty’s statement?   
  1. Pastor Rusty makes the powerful point that God doesn’t need our: 1) Perfect character, 2) Flawless theology, 3) Amazing talent, or even our 4) Far reaching connections to use us. Why should these facts encourage all of us?  

LIVE IT OUT 

  • Reflect on a time when God took your brokenness and used it to accomplish something you could not have accomplished through your strength. Thank Him for that.  
  • What areas of current brokenness might God use for His glory this week?  
  • Pastor Rusty observes that your part in God’s work is connected to a larger work. Ask God to help you see the broken areas of your life, which He might use to accomplish things that are much bigger than you.  
  • Consciously commit the broken areas of your life to God and ask Him to use them in ways you cannot currently imagine to further His kingdom.  

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