weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: that no flesh should glory in his presence" (I Cor. 1:27-29).  These are the "things" which Charles Fox called, "God's five-ranked army of decreasing human weakness." Concerning this army, many of us can qualify to enter if we are

FOOLISH enough to depend on Him for wisdom; 
WEAK enough to be empowered with His strength; 
BASE enough to have no honor, but God's honor;
DESPISED enough to be kept in the dust at His feet; 
NOTHING enough for God to be everything.

This is a heartening portion for God's people.  We are most all among "the poor" who have the gospel preached to them.  Paul says, "Not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called." God takes the ignoble, the negligible, and the nonentities, "things too insignificant even for contempt." Let us then be careful that we despise not our poverty, our stupidity, our insignificance, or even our homeliness.  So far from being handicaps, they are all in the direct line of God's choice.  Let us, then, seize hold of the opportunity by "yielding our nothingness to God's concealed omnipotence."

The Bible abounds with God's mightiest acts arising from the most trifling causes.  God's insignificants--lice, locusts, flies--cause the mighty of Egypt to wail. Think of the little maid that brings life and healing to Naaman, a leader of the Syrian host.  A lad armed with but a sling and a stone brings salvation to his people.  A cloud no larger than a man's hand causes an abundance of rain to descend. Jericho's walls were blown down by shouts of faith and rams' horns.  God incarnate comes as a little Babe, therein lodging and concealing the infinite wisdom and power of God.  Five loaves and two fishes feed a multitude.  Gideon's three hundred, armed with trumpets and lamps and pitchers, overcame 135,000.  All of this and much more--that no flesh should glory in his presence."

Pitchers for the lamps of God--
Hark, the cry goes forth abroad!
Not the beauty of the make,
But ah, the readiness to break,
Marks the vessels of the Lord
Meet to bear the lighted Word!

Martin Luther was one of those broken vessels who was "meet to bear the lighted Word." He learned that the irresistible might of God lurked in the hidden "word of the Cross." By his fearless proclamation of the truth, he confounded the vainglorious religion of Rome, and set aflame a current of life, and light, and liberty, which has worried every Pope until this day.  But let us listen to that insignificant monk as he ex-plains the victory of God: "Next to my just cause, it was my mean reputation and mean aspect which gave the Pope his deadly blow; for the Pope thought--'Tis but one poor friar: what can he do against me?"

In closing this chapter let me appeal to every minister, missionary, Sunday school teacher and witness for Christ--and who should not be a witness?--that we sink ourselves afresh into the unplumbed power of the Cross to take the nonentities, the nothings, and the nobodies, and yet make them, even in this infidel and unbelieving age, a mighty host for God.

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is designed for education, evangelization and edification. 
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