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      Nurturing people in the image of God since 1868.                                                                          POB 397/520 Dry Creek Rd./Smithville, TN

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DRINKING FROM A CHIPPED CUP!

April Johnson related the following in the may, 2000 Reader's Digest (p 185)- "Driving down the road one day, I saw this slogan on the back of a well-known trucking company's vehicle: 'We Go That Extra Mile.' Then I noticed another phrase scrawled in the dirt just below it, 'Because We Missed the Last Exit.' " The Bible still calls us to get off our high horse and remember that "all have sinned and come short of the glory of God" (Romans 3:23). All of us have occasionally "missed it."

It is this reality which makes God's desire and willingness to use each of us such a marvelous thing. And make no mistake about it, God does desire to use each of us. In the words of 2 Timothy 2:21, "If anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work." God is willing to use anyone who is willing to be used! Some Christians struggle to believe God is willing to use them. They reason that if they were more wise or spiritual or talented God might use them. They remember imperfections and failings and sins in the past. The devil, must be very pleased when we fail to be active for God for fear He won't use imperfect people.

Greta K. Nagel spoke a powerful truth when she said, "Usefulness is not impaired by imperfection. You can drink from a chipped cup." You don't believe it? God used a lot of chipped cups in the Bible. Jeff Hood made the following list: Abraham was old; Jacob was a liar; David had an affair and committed adultery; Miriam was a gossip; Peter was prejudiced; the apostle John was self-righteous; Paul was a sworn enemy; Moses was  a murderer; Naomi was a bitter widow; Thomas was a doubter; Noah got drunk; Jeremiah was depressed; Elijah was burned out; Martha was a worrywart; Samson had long hair; John the Baptist dressed funny;  Solomon was a major polygamist. We could add that Rahab was a harlot, Timothy was often sick, and Matthew was a tax collector! Almost all of the people God used in the Bible had at least one chip in their cup!

God wants to use your life. The question is not will God use a chipped cup. The question is will you give God your cup and allow Him to use it, chipped or not?

Dan Gulley
Smithville church of Christ