Instruments in His Hands

by Greg Laurie on Sep 30, 2022
We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.
—2 Corinthians 4:7

In 2013, someone paid nearly one million US dollars for a Fender Stratocaster guitar. That’s a lot of money to spend on a Fender Strat. Why would someone pay so much for a guitar?

Well, Bob Dylan played that guitar at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival. Dylan was known earlier for playing an acoustic guitar and the harmonica, but at that festival, he walked out onstage with the Fender Stratocaster, plugged it in, and played “Like a Rolling Stone,” a song that the Rolling Stone magazine later declared the greatest rock song ever written (at least for a while).

All the folk purists became angry because they thought that what Dylan did at the festival was an abomination. So the 1965 Newport Folk Festival became a historic event, and that’s why the guitar that Dylan played there sold for almost one million US dollars.

Then there was the Fender Stratocaster that Jimi Hendrix played—and burned—at the Monterey Pop Festival. It sold in 2008 for roughly 337,000 US dollars. Why would a guitar be burned? Hendrix had just finished playing “Wild Thing” when he took off the guitar, placed it on the stage, poured lighter fluid on it, and set it on fire. Part of that dismembered guitar ended up in someone’s hands, and that person later sold it.

The value of the Fender Stratocasters wasn’t in the guitars themselves; it was in who played them. In the same way, Jesus did not call His disciples because they were great. They were great because Jesus called them. It isn’t the instrument; it’s the One who holds the instrument.

God can take you, despite your flaws and shortcomings, and use you for His glory. And to their eternal credit, the disciples whom Jesus called (later known as the apostles) left everything to follow Jesus. When He was crucified, they were devastated. But when He rose from the dead, their lives were never the same again.

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