Calling All Zeroes

As Barack Obama selects his cabinet, he?s choosing people who are wise and experienced and highly qualified.

It would be quite a feather in one?s cap to be selected for the cabinet, something you could boast about.? But there will be no boasting among those whom God selected.

“The wonder is not that God chooses some and not others (Abel not Cain; Isaac, not Ishmael; Jacob, not Esau). The wonder is that God chooses any. Certainly God does not choose an elite. Israel is a chosen people, but not a choice people. God’s elect have no ground for pride. On the contrary, God chooses not the wise, the mighty, or the noble, but the foolish, the weak, the despised (Paul says, indeed, the ‘zeroes’). No-one may boast before him.”? –Edmund Clowney

Why does God choose the zeroes?? So he will get more glory.? The weaker we are, the better for his wisdom and power to shine.? The Extreme Home Makeover team amazes us more when they renovate a dump than if they added some nice touches to a mansion.? We love “Hoosiers” and “Remember the Titans”? because a coach makes a team of misfits into something great.? That way He gets more glory than if he coached superstars.

If God chose you, it wasn?t because of your superior qualities.? It was because you, like me, were a zero, and so pathetic he knew he?d get much glory by transforming us.? Isn’t our God amazing?

photo by Gaetan Lee

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I’m a pastor at Saving Grace Church in Indiana, PA. I’m married to Kristi, have 5 kids, and a growing number of grandkids. I’ve written a lot of worship songs. I also like to paint.


  1. says

    Hey there Mark!
    I’m thankful that God uses us zeros! It truly is amazing that God chooses anyone, as that great quote from Clowney that you referenced, “The wonder is that God chooses any.” especially us weak and powerless sinners, How truly amazing that is! Let Him increase that I may decrease, I’m a loooong way off there!
    Thanks for yet another encouraging start to the day!
    Ron Reffett

  2. Francis says

    Hello Mark, I think this is the first time posting but long time subscriber. I found this morning’s post interesting. It seems that God rescues us only when we have reached the absolute bottom. It brings to mind a passage from Watchman Nee’s The Normal Christian Life where he describes a man who is drowning but can only be saved by someone when they are on the verge of complete desperation, when the self has given up. It is only then, when we are completely broken and are willing to surrender to God can He be really glorified.

  3. says

    Hey Ron,

    Amen – let him increase and us decrease. Thanks for your encouraging comments.

    Hi Francis,

    Thanks for commenting. What you described was my experience – I was on the verge of complete desperation when I called out to Jesus. From God’s perspective, I was not only desperate, but completely dead in my sins (Eph 2) and God reached down and gave me life, faith and repentance. You are absolutely right – only when we are willing to surrender to God can he be really glorified.

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