Wednesday, September 9, 2015
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Well, with a whole lot of people who want to be President of the United States in an upcoming election, I was looking back at something that happened years ago. Actually it was the 1996 election, and a very interesting issue arose. It was called character. At least the Republicans tried to make that the issue of the campaign - the President's character. They thought they had enough troubling questions about the Democratic leadership that character questions could help turn the tide in the race. Well, to the surprise of many commentators, it was not an issue that many Americans consider decisive. In fact, during the campaign, here is what a front page article in a major news paper had to say about the "Character Counts Campaign". They said, "The message voters are sending back is that they don't care." Interesting! I think that's true many times when there's a fall in church leadership, or when there's a problem with a presidential or congressional candidate, or a governor candidate. Voters kind of go, "It's the performance that gets our vote, not character." Well, not everyone votes that way.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "What God Looks For In A Person He Can Use."
Actually, the character vote is the one that ultimately is the one that really counts. Do you have God's vote? Do you have His full blessing, His smile, all the wonderful rewards that go with having God's approval for the way you're living? Well, here's what God bases His vote on when it comes to you and me.
King David talks about it in 2 Samuel 22:25. One characteristic: "The Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to my cleanness in His sight." See, human supporters want to know you're just doing a good job. If you're delivering, you're performing, that's fine. Character? We're not so concerned about. God's approval is based much more on your character than your performance, than your talent.
David said the good things that God has done in his life were based on one thing; his personal cleanness. David's words remind me of what Paul says qualifies a person to be an instrument of God. He said in 2 Timothy 2, "If a man cleanses himself, he will then be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, (I love these words.) useful to the Master." What an epitaph for your life - useful to the Master.
Now, who does God reward? Who does God use? It's obvious. It's the person who's clean. This is good news really, because God's work in and through your life isn't based on how intelligent you are, how many degrees you have, how good looking you are, how educated, how charismatic your personality is, how impressive your resume is, who you know. Those are things only some people have. But God puts this within the reach of all of us, within your reach. He's looking for someone who's keeping himself or herself clean. That's something anyone can be.
Right now the Lord is surveying the earth. The Bible says, "The eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth." He's looking for people He can bless, people He can trust, someone He can use. It could be you if you would root out the sin that's holding you back and make your choices based on one thing, "What's the clean thing to do?"
In college, the fellow next door to me always wanted to be like Billy Graham. His method was to take Billy Graham's sermon, analyze it, and he even had down how many words the evangelist averaged a minute. And then he tried to copy his style as closely as he could. Now, what my friend was missing was this, God was using Billy Graham, not because of how he preaches, but because of how he lives.
If you want to copy a great spiritual leader, don't copy what he or she does. Copy their integrity, their purity, their uncompromising biblical principles, their walk with God. When God casts His vote for you, it's not about your performance. It's about your character. Be a candidate for the awesome blessing of Almighty God.