United Church of God

Letter From Jim Tuck - August 10, 2019

Letter From Jim Tuck

August 10, 2019

Dear brethren,                                                                                                                                  

My wife and I are away this Sabbath visiting the Sacramento and Reno congregations.  It is nice to see old friends we have known many years is this part of the region. I served as pastor in the San Francisco Bay area for nearly fifteen years, and we interacted with the Sacramento brethren quite often. We will have the opportunity to spend time with Joe and Jackie Horchak, who serve the Sacramento and Reno churches.  We always enjoy spending time with the pastors and their wives.

On our way up we stayed in a hotel and tuned into television before we retired for the night.  We have basic cable at our home in Maricopa, and don't have channels like HGTV.  Joan enjoys watching HGTV because it generally has programs about restoring and selling houses like, "Flip This House."  She watches it for decorating ideas and sometimes uses them in our home. 

My thoughts turned to "what is the spiritual application?"  In viewing the show I began to think about how we can be of more use to God. 

Our primary desire in life should be to be used of God in some way.  How can we become useful to God?

On the show "Flip This House" an investor finds a house that needs to be fixed up, and they flip it, fix it and sell it for a profit.  They take a beat up house with 'good bones' or a solid structure and they dress it up and sell it.  They take a home that lacks curb appeal and has interior layout problems and is often dilapidated and undesirable, and they add interest to the exterior and transform the inside to increase the value of the property.  In some cases the home they buy is in such bad condition it is no longer a livable space.

What does this have to do with us spiritually?  When God calls us we are the weak of this world. (I Cor. 1:26-27)  God didn't call us so we should remain that way. He called us to transform us from someone who wasn't useful to Him to someone who IS of great used to Him.

He is the Master Builder who calls us to recreate us, and to rebuild something of value to Him.  This is what God did with ancient Israel.  He took a slave people and turned them into a great nation.  The book of Ezekiel gives the analogy of Israel being an unwanted baby girl God found cast aside by the world.  Her navel was not cut.  She was unwashed and not swaddled, meaning she was unloved by anyone.  God took her and loved her, and He formed and fashioned her into a highly desired beautiful women.  (Ezek. 16:1-14)

This is what God is doing with each of us He has called now.  God takes the weak and lowly things of this world, and He loves us and forms and fashions us into something of value to Him. 

However, God needs our cooperation to do this.  This is why we need to ask ourselves, "How can I be more useful to God?"

When we were called, we were like a broken down house with little potential. Then a Great Investor sees us, takes us, and decides to transform us.  God does what He alone can do in us, but what should we be doing? 

We need to work on our interior beautification by striving to have God's Holy Righteous Character.  The more we can display the fruits of the Holy Spirit, the better we can be used of God as a light to have impact on others. (Gal. 5:22-23)

The Apostle Paul was inspired to write the Corinthians, who were from the "arm-pit" of world, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new." (II Cor. 5:17)

One major thing which helps God work a new creation within us is our full cooperation and total involvement in the process of changing. We must surrender to the will of God to facilitate our transformation into His new creations. (Rom. 12:1-2)

God is a brilliant Artist, and we must remember, He only creates masterpieces of tremendous value.  We are God's handiwork, and He very much desires to see the completion of the work of His hands.  (Eph. 2:10, Job 14:15)

There is no Prophetic Times this week.  Please have a nice and uplifting Sabbath!  

Your servant and brother in Christ,

Jim Tuck