We are Dispensable

You and I are both dispensable.

God has given each of us particular gifts, callings, and tasks to perform. But none of us is indispensable to God’s work or the ultimate accomplishment of his purposes.

Here are some humbling and encouraging words from Francis Schaeffer in a sermon titled “Only Jesus”:

Our conscious practice should be that Jesus Christ is the only Person who is indispensable. By this, I mean that other people can take our place. God does use individuals. You and I are not two interchangeable building blocks. The individual person has importance to God. But we are dispensable in the sense that as we come to the end of our work for God in this life, because of either death or failure, there will be someone to carry on, because Jesus Himself is the center of the work.

Schaeffer shows how whenever one servant — through death or failure — finishes his work another servant picks it up. Cain kills Abel, but God raises up Seth. Abraham is followed by Isaac, who is followed by Jacob, who is followed by Joseph. Moses is followed by Joshua, Eli by Samuel, and Saul by David. The list could go on and on. Schaeffer concludes:

None stood at the center, but at the center was a Person greater than any other, a Person who gave meaning to each man’s noncenteredness. Similarly, Christ must be the center of the perspective of every Christian—not only in his doctrine but in his day-by-day outlook.

We are loved by God. We are redeemed by God. We are called into his service. But we are not the center. Only Jesus is.