One of the most amazing things we discover is that God builds His Kingdom with flawed, broken people just like us. We can progress from dust to disciples in one fell swoop, fuelled by God’s goodness and grace.

We might imagine God is seeking out the successful or well known, but it’s the small, the lowly and despised who are warmly invited to come near to His throne.

He seeks out the broken, lonely, lost, rejected, and hurting souls, all who need their lives to change and have a desperate desire for a Saviour. Jesus came for all who can see no way ahead and are at the end of their tether, so He can become their closest confidant and friend.

Those deemed unworthy by the world are the very ones who God chooses to declare His love and redemptive power to others. And all of us who feel ill-equipped, less than and not enough are perfectly placed to receive His amazing, transforming love.

God makes us into disciples who are strong and belong

Even if we feel like we don’t belong and have no significant position or place, we soon discover that we are invited in to receive God’s grace. Potential disciples who are damaged through their own wrongdoing are given mercy, forgiveness and hope to start again.

When we bear heavy burdens of sorrow and pain, we are those who Jesus comes closest to in our darkest hour. God will not break a bruised reed or snuff out a faltering candlewick, but nurture it back to strength and vibrancy again. Then He makes us into strong disciples who can lift others as well.

“He will not break the bruised reed, nor quench the dimly burning flame. He will encourage the fainthearted, those tempted to despair. He will see full justice given to all who have been wronged.” – Isaiah 42:3 Living Bible (TLB)

A prayer marvelling over how our lowly state is transformed by grace

Lord Jesus,

Can it really be true that you can take us
in our beaten, lowly, worm-like state,
where the world easily bruises and crushes
the life out of our souls, and then produce

a will of iron, a strong constitution
of faith from our fragile, scarred
and weakened hearts, making us so
much more than the sum of our parts?

Can it really be true that those who barely
dare to lift their heads above the fray
can become bold messengers of your grace,
speaking firm and brave, as they share

a testimony of all you have done for them,
all you are more than willing to do for others,
who listen and trust in their faith-filled words?

Oh let it be, my Lord! Let your light shine out
laser-bright in our brokenness as it strobes
this earth. Let our hearts not quake but be

willing to believe you can work through
wounded people like us, making yourself
evident to those who read or hear our
heralding of your wondrous grace and love.
© joylenton

“Do not be afraid, you worm Jacob. . . . I will make you into a threshing sledge, new and sharp, with many teeth. You will thresh the mountains and crush them, and reduce the hills to chaff.” – Isaiah 41:14-15 NIV

What it means for us to be disciples now

As disciples today we are more than fans or followers. Because we are God’s warriors, His prayerful men and women of faith, who take on the concerns of the day. Some days that task will feel crushingly hard, overwhelming and unbearable, and it is if we’re trying to achieve it all by ourselves.

But we are well equipped for prayer (and anything else for that matter) when we seek Holy Spirit’s help, and work together to bolster one another’s faith, reminding each other of God’s sustaining power and His glorious gift of grace.

Yes, even you, my wounded, wary or worried friend. You have your own unique and valuable part to play in God’s Kingdom purposes. You’re accepted. You belong. You are the Beloved of God.

Because disciples come in all shapes and sizes, a rich diversity of backgrounds and cultures. What unites us is greater than what divides us. Our faith in Jesus is the glue that cements us together and makes us brothers and sisters who learn to love and serve one another well.

We’re all differently wired, gifted and equipped so that no-one is left out. Isn’t that an encouraging thought? xo ❤ PS: This post is an edited, updated, amended version of one I posted in 2018.