In his Friday Evening devotional for Sept. 25, Tom Barnard writes, “On Oct. 15, 2002, the Associated Press carried a lighthearted story about Billy Graham. It reported that the Dallas Cowboys, honoring the distinguished life and ministry of Dr. Graham, presented him with a Cowboy jersey with the name Graham on the back and the number 1 in large print on the front and back. Graham responded to the gift in a way that demonstrated his unique sense of humor.

“‘It has my name on the back and I’m No. 1. I may show up at the next game and see where they put me.’

“The evangelist had about as much chance at getting into the game as those unlearned disciples had in taking seriously their calling by the Master. Who would have thought that those 11 (without Judas Iscariot, who had left the room) had the gifts and graces to change their world for Jesus? Yet they did. Jesus called them, and they followed. The Church of Jesus Christ was born!

“In his first epistle to the church, Peter wrote words that reflected the high expectations of Jesus when He shared His vision with His men in the upper room. “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light” (1 Pet. 2:9).

“Who were those chosen people? Bishops? Priests? Prophets? The cream of the crop? Hardly. They were ordinary people, called to do extraordinary tasks. Were they any more gifted than you or I? No. The secret was not in what they were but in what Jesus saw in them!

“I believe there’s a jersey somewhere with your name on it. It may not say, No. 1 on the front and back, but it’s your size. You have been chosen. The Lord Himself has called you. He wants you to show up at the next game. How about doing just that? You might be surprised to see where in the game He puts you. You may be a starter!”

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