Friday, March 19, 2010

Wanted: Ordinary People

What would you do if Jesus came to your church and said, “I’m looking for a few ordinary people.” Wait a minute! Why would Jesus waste time and energy on ordinary people? He deserves the highest and best! He is the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace. If Jesus came to my church, quite honestly I don’t know if I would be able to move or speak.

Yet Jesus called ordinary men to be in His circle of friends, men He would spend time with, teach and pray with. Four fishermen, a tax collector, a doctor, and a teacher were among Christ’s early followers. And the more they walked with Him, the more exceptional they became. Before He ascended into Heaven He said to the apostles, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age,” (Matt. 28:18-29).

His faithful followers accepted His Great Commission and the early church grew by the thousands. On the day of Pentecost as many as three thousand were added to the number of believers, people of different nations and languages.

Soon after that the early church had some growing pains and one of them was among the Grecian Jews. They complained to the apostles that their widows were being overlooked in the distribution of food. Maybe it was because of a language barrier caused on the day of Pentecost. The apostles didn’t think it was wise to sacrifice the time they spent preaching the message so they appointed seven men to administer justice, welfare and charity to the widows. This might be considered an ordinary job, but the men were extraordinary, Greek speaking men.

One of them, Stephen, was a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit. Although he was an eloquent preacher, he was not above waiting tables. Later he explained the history of the Jews and the gospel message before the Sanhedrin and was stoned to death for it. While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them,” (Acts 7:59). I don’t know if I could do that. Oh, I could administer food and welfare, but die? I love God enough to live for Him but I often wonder if I love Him enough to die for Him. To be willing to die for someone is not ordinary.

The more I walk with God and experience His great love for me, the more I understand how He wants to grow my faith. It takes my surrendering more of me and my desires so they will be the same as Christ’s. By depending on God instead of my ordinariness, I allow Him to work His extraordinariness in me. So if Jesus came to my church and asked for a few ordinary people, I would volunteer—after I fell on my knees and worshipped Him.

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