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 Please Use Me, Blessed Jesus

   The idea of being used has an enormously negative connotation. That is because when humans use other humans, it victimizes them. When people use other people, it is a destructive thing, because a human user is by nature selfish, negligent, and cruel. A human user is utterly self-serving.

   However, when Jesus uses us, it is an honor and blessing beyond description. When Jesus uses us, it is with the greatest love, the deepest care, and the utmost kindness. When Jesus uses us, it is to bless, comfort, and help others whom He loves. And, at the same time, to bless us.

   Would a chef in a high class restaurant use old, wilted lettuce in his salad? Would he use wormy flour to bake his rolls? Why, of course not! A chef uses the freshest vegetables, fruits, and the best quality meats, in order to ensure that praise is given to the establishment for its achievements. And every tiny ingredient is important, down to a simple pinch of spice.

   When Jesus uses us, it is because we are valuable in His eyes, and a significant ingredient He can use for His glory. He sees things as small as smiles we give to others, as meaningful gifts, as treasures, and uses them to cheer and encourage. Oh, how I want to be one of the elements He uses in His divine mission to touch and bless others!

   I am a beloved daughter of God, and He knows me better than I know myself. God knows what I am capable of giving, whether it be big or small. To Him, the size of the gift is not what matters. It is the one given cheerfully that is the most precious to Him. How I praise Him for being my Heavenly Father! How I praise Him for loving me in spite of everything!

    * The Lord knoweth them that are his. 2 Titus 2:19b

   Yet so often I feel like a useless failure. I sometimes feel that I am too old, have too little energy, or have made too many mistakes, to be of any use to God any more. Well I know where those thoughts come from! They are directly from the enemy, whose evil goal is to debilitate me with thoughts that weaken me, and prevent me from the very things that Jesus wants me to be doing. Namely - keeping my eyes on Him, and continuing to do my best to be useful for Him.

   Are my eyes fixed on Jesus, when my heart is filled with bitter disappointment in my own failures? They can't be. When my sins are forgiven, does Christ want me to use my time grieving over them? Absolutely not. Would I feel sad, if a child of mine continued to weep over a disobedience I had forgiven? Yes, I would feel very sad. Well, God wants me to forgive myself, so that my emotions and time can be freed up to do something positive for Him. He can't use me when I am flat on the ground in grief over my own forgiven wrongs ! In writing, this looks so absurd! But somehow, I have done it. It is very hard for me to forgive myself.

   I truly know that when God forgives me, that is the end of that, in His eyes. But Satan wants me to keep dwelling on how wrong and wicked I have been in my life. He knows about my every insecurity. He wants me to believe that my trials are punishments by God, for wrongs I have done in the past. But God does not work that way. The trials He has allowed, were certainly deserved by me, because I am human, and a sinner. However He does not use them to punish me! Oh, far from it! He permits sorrows in order to teach me - to guide me - to assist me in my walk with Him. It's like painting an old, faded house, so it will look new and beautiful again. Through teaching me, God takes my old self, brightens it with new understanding, and enriches my character. This way I may be a part of His perfect design, and be able to be useful to Him.

   I don't remember where I got such an idea of new trials being God's punishment for old sins. But many times in my life, the enemy has used that destructive and useless thought to undermine any good I could have been doing. I have fallen for his lies countless times, and spent unnecessary tears of sorrow for my past sins, after they were forgiven! Even decades later, the thought comes unbidden, "well, remember when I did this particular sin, thirty years ago? I certainly deserve this heartache, for that sin." And I know that this thought does not come from my loving Heavenly Father, because that sin has long been forgiven. It is a direct temptation from the devil.

   The evil one's favorite strategy is to notice our vulnerable places, and tempt us there. The enemy is well aware of everyone's weak spots. He has paid close attention to the things that cause me to trip and fall; and to become ineffective and useless. He puts a lot of effort into it. He lets no opportunity go unnoticed, when he could be tempting me to topple again, using every way he knows, to slide into my mind through that feeble area. He is a poisonous serpent slipping in wherever he can, with soul murder on his mind.

   Satan knows how much I long to be used by my loving Heavenly Father, for His glory. That is a terrible threat to the evil one, because he knows that God can use me to bless someone else, or lead them to Him, thus taking them away from the devil.

   My Heavenly Father knows my frail places, and it is He who shows me when it is the enemy who is tempting me to feel useless. It is He Who, when I ask Him to, casts the demon away from me.

   May Christ protect me from thoughts of hopelessness, and feelings of uselessness. May He help me to live life as He would have me live. May He help me avoid the mistakes and sins of my past, so that I will never repeat them. And may He make me a vessel He can use, and bless others with. This I pray, in Christ Jesus' name, Amen.

    * If a man therefore purge himself from these, (dishonours) he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work. 2 Titus 2:21

2005 Rosemary Gwaltney

Savior, like a Shepherd lead us, much we need Thy tender care;
In Thy pleasant pastures feed us, for our use Thy folds prepare:
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus, Thou hast bought us, Thine we are;
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus, Thou hast bought us, Thine we are.

Thou hast promised to receive us, poor and sinful though we be;
Thou hast mercy to relieve us, grace to cleanse and power to free:
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus, early let us turn to Thee;
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus, early let us turn to Thee.

Early let us seek Thy favor, early let us do Thy will;
Blessed Lord and only Savior, with Thy love our bosoms fill:
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus, Thou hast loved us, love us still;
Blessed Jesus, blessed Jesus, Thou hast loved us, love us still.

Dorothy A. Thrupp 1836

2005 Rosemary Gwaltney