The Gospel Is for Users

Kristen Wetherell | November 17, 2016

Most people know when they are being used. It’s obvious. A friend likes the perks of being around you because you can afford to pay. A family member emotionally manipulates you to get his way. A coworker sticks close because you do better work.

We dislike being used. It feels slimy. We can see through another’s attempt to keep us near, right to the heart of their agenda. But God’s ability to look on a person’s heart far surpasses ours. He can discern that what we often want isn’t him, but what he gives us.

The good news? The gospel is for users like you and me. But first, a story.

Israel Used God

In 1 Samuel 4, the Philistines confronted Israel in battle, so the Israelites used the ark of the covenant as protection. We know their motive was foul because “the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, were there with the ark of the covenant of God” (4:4), and this duo was the opposite of God-fearing: “Now the sons of Eli were worthless men. They did not know the Lord” (2:12). As priests, they dealt dishonestly with sacrifices, stealing portions for themselves, and acted immorally with female servants…

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