Making Worthless Things Valuable

John MacArthurby John MacArthur

“The names of the twelve apostles are these: The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; and James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax-gatherer; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Him” (Matt. 10:2-4).

In God’s hands you can be a precious and effective instrument.

The story is told of a great concert violinist who wanted to prove a point, so he rented a music hall and announced that he would play a concert on a $20,000 violin. On concert night the music hall was filled to capacity with music lovers anxious to hear such an expensive instrument played. The violinist stepped onto the stage, gave an exquisite performance, and received a thunderous standing ovation. When the applause subsided, he suddenly threw the violin to the ground, stomped it to pieces, and walked off the stage. The audience gasped, then sat in stunned silence.

Within seconds the stage manager approached the microphone and said, “Ladies and gentlemen, to put you at ease, the violin that was just destroyed was a $20 violin. The master will now return to play the remainder of his concert on the $20,000 instrument.” At the conclusion of his concert he received another standing ovation. Few people could tell the difference between the two violins. His point was obvious: it isn’t the violin that makes the music; it’s the violinist.

The disciples were like $20 violins that Jesus transformed into priceless instruments for His glory. I trust you’ve been encouraged to see how God used them despite their weakness, and I pray you’ve been challenged by their strengths. You may not be dynamic like Peter or zealous like James and Simon, but you can be faithful like Andrew and courageous like Thaddaeus. Remember, God will take the raw material of your life and expose you to the experiences and teachings that will shape you into the servant He wants you to be.

Trust Him to complete what He has begun in you, and commit each day to the goal of becoming a more qualified and effective disciple.

by John MacArthur

Don’t Be Chicken!

George Whittenby George Whitten

Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.

While walking through the forest one day, a farmer found a young eagle who had apparently fallen out of his nest. He took it home and put it in his barnyard with his chickens and there it stayed for years. It wasn’t long before the little eagle learned to eat and behave like the chickens.

One day a naturalist passed by the farm and saw the eagle confined in the barnyard with the chickens. When he inquired about this strange sight, the farmer told the man his story. “Unfortunately,” said the farmer, “the poor little guy just never learned to fly.” “Still,” the naturalist sighed, “he has the heart of an eagle and can surely be taught. Will you allow me to work with him?” The farmer agreed, but with much disbelief.

The naturalist picked up the eagle and lifted him toward the sky and said, “You belong to the sky and not to the earth. Stretch forth your wings and fly.” The eagle, however, was confused. He did not know who he was, and seeing the chickens eating their food, he jumped down to be with them again. The naturalist took the bird to the roof of the house and urged him again, saying, “You are an eagle. Stretch forth your wings and fly.” But the eagle was afraid and jumped down once again to be with his chicken friends. Finally the naturalist took the eagle out of the barnyard to a high mountain. There he held the king of the birds high above him and encouraged him again, saying, “You are an eagle. You belong to the sky. Stretch forth your wings and fly!” The eagle looked around, back towards the barnyard and then up to the sky. Slowly, he stretched his wings, and with a triumphant cry, he soared away into the heavens.

Somewhere along the line, we like this poor young eagle, were put in a lowly barn with the chickens of the world around us. We learned to live and eat from the ground and grew up believing that there was not much more to do than sit and cluck all day.

But the reality is that we are eagles! We were created to fly and even soar! God has great purpose for our lives! If we would only realize who we are in Him!

Let’s remember who we are today! We are the head and not the tail! We are members of a royal priesthood! We have great things to do for the Kingdom!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love

by George Whitten