Bring What you Have, and Let Him Multiply

You’d think the chance to audition for one of the biggest Christian bands in the world would be super exciting. But when 17-year-old Jen Ledger got the chance to play with Skillet, she just felt terrified.

‘I honestly couldn’t think of anything worse,’ she told Alex when they caught up recently. ‘It was so intimidating to me.’

Ledger had left her home in the UK to attend Living Light School of Worship in Wisconsin, following in the footsteps of her older brothers. ‘It’s a really awesome, intense year, but it’s where I actually understood the Gospel for the first time in my life and got serious about wanting to live for Jesus.’

But being a girl in a guys’ world got to her. She was surrounded by musicians, all keen to show off, and dogged by the certainty she was no good as a drummer, she’d switched to playing bass. ‘I was sure I couldn’t play. I would get sick playing at Church for 200 people on a Sunday morning.’

Skillet members attended Ledger’s Church, and she’d made friends with the guitarist’s sister. When former drummer Lori Peters left the band, they remembered her and asked her to try out. And somehow, she nailed her audition, playing better than she ever had before.

Then the panic set in. ‘I’m just here because I feel like God told me to be here,’ she told them. ‘But I don’t really like the drums, and I don’t think I’m very good at them, and truthfully I never practice, and I actually quit them. I don’t think I’ll ever play again.’

‘The band got back to me a couple of days later, and said we really appreciated your honesty. And they liked my heart for Jesus. And they said they wanted to go with me as their drummer. To me it was so clear that God had lined it up that I just stepped into being in Skillet.’

The things I thought made me unusable have been the very things God has used to connect to people

Ledger had just turned 18. She’d struggled to play to 200 people, and her first show with Skillet was at Winter Jam, to an audience of more than 16 thousand. On the day of the show, she didn’t know what a soundcheck was, and struggled to play with the click track keeping the band in time. ‘I could tell that they were nervous then obviously. So they all prayed for me before we went on stage.’

And when she sat down at the drums, everything fell into place. ‘A peace came over me,’ she said. ‘I just knew God was with me. I knew He had put me there. And it’s been the same peace that’s just carried on with me for 12 years straight.’

In that time, she’s shared stages with some of the best drummers in the world, played on multiple platinum selling albums, and if you’ve been listening to 180 lately, you’ll have heard some of her solo tracks. Last year, she played Winter Jam again, but this time as frontwoman of her own band.

She sees her story as an example of how God can turn weakness in to strength. She felt under-confident because her drumming wasn’t technically complex. But her straight-ahead playing and the passion she brings to it set her apart. ‘The things I thought made me unusable have been the very things God has used to connect to people.’

‘We just can’t understand how He’s going to work sometimes. If you feel like He’s calling you to step out in things that feel too big, too scary, too impossible for you, maybe they are impossible for you. And He just wants to show you that He’ll be the strength. He’ll be everything you need.’

‘What you think is weakness, what you think is not enough, is plenty in His hands. It’s like the loaves and the fish. Just bring what you have, and let Him multiply.’

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Listen to Ledger’s EP now below or on Vision180 radio. 

Rejection: 3

‘She perceives that her merchandise is good.’ Proverbs 31:18

The mistakes you have made may be big, bad, and frequent. But they haven’t changed God’s mind about you. ‘I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. I will build you up again, and you… will be rebuilt.’ (Jeremiah 31:3–4 NIV) Yes, God will correct you when you need it. But His correction is not rejection—it’s proof of His love. ‘The Lord disciplines the one He loves.’ (Hebrews 12:6 NIV)

God’s purpose in discipline is to develop you to your highest potential. So don’t let anyone put you down. Be your authentic self when you’re with others. Focus on what you have to give, rather than on how others perceive you. Don’t act stuck-up, show off, or suck up to others in an attempt to level the playing field. You’re already equal—even if you don’t have a similar education, experience, money, social standing or background.

Since when did such things ever make anybody superior to another—especially in the eyes of your heavenly Father? If your goal in life is to please everyone and have them speak well of you, your self-worth will always be at their mercy.

Solomon describes the qualities of an honourable woman. Here’s one of them: ‘She perceives that her merchandise is good.’ This woman wasn’t prideful, she was just confident in who God had made her to be and the assignment He had given her to fulfil. Her confidence came from within, not from without. Solomon ends the chapter in these words: ‘Honour her for all that her hands have done, and let her works bring her praise.’ (Proverbs 31:31 NIV)

SoulFood: Gen 10–12, Matt 16:13–28, Ps 36, Pr 5:21–23

word4today an adaptation of The Word For Today is authored by Bob and Debby Gass and published under licence from UCB International Copyright © 2021

Today’s Readings

Genesis 10–12 ()

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10:1 These are the generations of the sons of Noah, Shem, Ham, and Japheth. Sons were born to them after the flood.

The sons of Japheth: Gomer, Magog, Madai, Javan, Tubal, Meshech, and Tiras. The sons of Gomer: Ashkenaz, Riphath, and Togarmah. The sons of Javan: Elishah, Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim. From these the coastland peoples spread in their lands, each with his own language, by their clans, in their nations.

The sons of Ham: Cush, Egypt, Put, and Canaan. The sons of Cush: Seba, Havilah, Sabtah, Raamah, and Sabteca. The sons of Raamah: Sheba and Dedan. Cush fathered Nimrod; he was the first on earth to be a mighty man. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD. Therefore it is said, “Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before the LORD.” 10 The beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. 11 From that land he went into Assyria and built Nineveh, Rehoboth-Ir, Calah, and 12 Resen between Nineveh and Calah; that is the great city. 13 Egypt fathered Ludim, Anamim, Lehabim, Naphtuhim, 14 Pathrusim, Casluhim (from whom the Philistines came), and Caphtorim.

15 Canaan fathered Sidon his firstborn and Heth, 16 and the Jebusites, the Amorites, the Girgashites, 17 the Hivites, the Arkites, the Sinites, 18 the Arvadites, the Zemarites, and the Hamathites. Afterward the clans of the Canaanites dispersed. 19 And the territory of the Canaanites extended from Sidon in the direction of Gerar as far as Gaza, and in the direction of Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, as far as Lasha. 20 These are the sons of Ham, by their clans, their languages, their lands, and their nations.

21 To Shem also, the father of all the children of Eber, the elder brother of Japheth, children were born. 22 The sons of Shem: Elam, Asshur, Arpachshad, Lud, and Aram. 23 The sons of Aram: Uz, Hul, Gether, and Mash. 24 Arpachshad fathered Shelah; and Shelah fathered Eber. 25 To Eber were born two sons: the name of the one was Peleg, for in his days the earth was divided, and his brother’s name was Joktan. 26 Joktan fathered Almodad, Sheleph, Hazarmaveth, Jerah, 27 Hadoram, Uzal, Diklah, 28 Obal, Abimael, Sheba, 29 Ophir, Havilah, and Jobab; all these were the sons of Joktan. 30 The territory in which they lived extended from Mesha in the direction of Sephar to the hill country of the east. 31 These are the sons of Shem, by their clans, their languages, their lands, and their nations.

32 These are the clans of the sons of Noah, according to their genealogies, in their nations, and from these the nations spread abroad on the earth after the flood.

11:1 Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. And as people migrated from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth.” And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of man had built. And the LORD said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.” So the LORD dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. Therefore its name was called Babel, because there the LORD confused the language of all the earth. And from there the LORD dispersed them over the face of all the earth.

10 These are the generations of Shem. When Shem was 100 years old, he fathered Arpachshad two years after the flood. 11 And Shem lived after he fathered Arpachshad 500 years and had other sons and daughters.

12 When Arpachshad had lived 35 years, he fathered Shelah. 13 And Arpachshad lived after he fathered Shelah 403 years and had other sons and daughters.

14 When Shelah had lived 30 years, he fathered Eber. 15 And Shelah lived after he fathered Eber 403 years and had other sons and daughters.

16 When Eber had lived 34 years, he fathered Peleg. 17 And Eber lived after he fathered Peleg 430 years and had other sons and daughters.

18 When Peleg had lived 30 years, he fathered Reu. 19 And Peleg lived after he fathered Reu 209 years and had other sons and daughters.

20 When Reu had lived 32 years, he fathered Serug. 21 And Reu lived after he fathered Serug 207 years and had other sons and daughters.

22 When Serug had lived 30 years, he fathered Nahor. 23 And Serug lived after he fathered Nahor 200 years and had other sons and daughters.

24 When Nahor had lived 29 years, he fathered Terah. 25 And Nahor lived after he fathered Terah 119 years and had other sons and daughters.

26 When Terah had lived 70 years, he fathered Abram, Nahor, and Haran.

27 Now these are the generations of Terah. Terah fathered Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran fathered Lot. 28 Haran died in the presence of his father Terah in the land of his kindred, in Ur of the Chaldeans. 29 And Abram and Nahor took wives. The name of Abram’s wife was Sarai, and the name of Nahor’s wife, Milcah, the daughter of Haran the father of Milcah and Iscah. 30 Now Sarai was barren; she had no child.

31 Terah took Abram his son and Lot the son of Haran, his grandson, and Sarai his daughter-in-law, his son Abram’s wife, and they went forth together from Ur of the Chaldeans to go into the land of Canaan, but when they came to Haran, they settled there. 32 The days of Terah were 205 years, and Terah died in Haran.

12:1 Now the LORD said to Abram, “Go from your country and your kindred and your father’s house to the land that I will show you. And I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

So Abram went, as the LORD had told him, and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran. And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people that they had acquired in Haran, and they set out to go to the land of Canaan. When they came to the land of Canaan, Abram passed through the land to the place at Shechem, to the oak of Moreh. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him. From there he moved to the hill country on the east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. And there he built an altar to the LORD and called upon the name of the LORD. And Abram journeyed on, still going toward the Negeb.

10 Now there was a famine in the land. So Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land. 11 When he was about to enter Egypt, he said to Sarai his wife, “I know that you are a woman beautiful in appearance, 12 and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me, but they will let you live. 13 Say you are my sister, that it may go well with me because of you, and that my life may be spared for your sake.” 14 When Abram entered Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. 15 And when the princes of Pharaoh saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house. 16 And for her sake he dealt well with Abram; and he had sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male servants, female servants, female donkeys, and camels.

17 But the LORD afflicted Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife. 18 So Pharaoh called Abram and said, “What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? 19 Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her for my wife? Now then, here is your wife; take her, and go.” 20 And Pharaoh gave men orders concerning him, and they sent him away with his wife and all that he had.

Matthew 16:13–28 ()

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13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” 20 Then he strictly charged the disciples to tell no one that he was the Christ.

21 From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised. 22 And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him, saying, “Far be it from you, Lord! This shall never happen to you.” 23 But he turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a hindrance to me. For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”

24 Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 25 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. 26 For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul? 27 For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done. 28 Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

Psalm 36 ()

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To the choirmaster. Of David, the servant of the LORD.

36:1   Transgression speaks to the wicked
    deep in his heart;
  there is no fear of God
    before his eyes.
  For he flatters himself in his own eyes
    that his iniquity cannot be found out and hated.
  The words of his mouth are trouble and deceit;
    he has ceased to act wisely and do good.
  He plots trouble while on his bed;
    he sets himself in a way that is not good;
    he does not reject evil.
  Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens,
    your faithfulness to the clouds.
  Your righteousness is like the mountains of God;
    your judgments are like the great deep;
    man and beast you save, O LORD.
  How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
    The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
  They feast on the abundance of your house,
    and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
  For with you is the fountain of life;
    in your light do we see light.
10   Oh, continue your steadfast love to those who know you,
    and your righteousness to the upright of heart!
11   Let not the foot of arrogance come upon me,
    nor the hand of the wicked drive me away.
12   There the evildoers lie fallen;
    they are thrust down, unable to rise.

Proverbs 5:21–23 ()

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21   For a man’s ways are before the eyes of the LORD,
    and he ponders all his paths.
22   The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him,
    and he is held fast in the cords of his sin.
23   He dies for lack of discipline,
    and because of his great folly he is led astray.

Sat 20 February, 2021


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