ORDINARY PEOPLE! EXTRAORDINARY LIVES!
When Jesus called out to the fishermen, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men,” he was about to transform each of them from someone who worked only for himself and a daily catch to someone who was part of a larger team, thinking about eternity—Laurie Beth Jones1
ORDINARY: NORMAL, COMMONPLACE, usual, average and familiar. In God’s team; it is not class, degrees, wisdom, eloquence or nobility. They may not be the well-known personalities in town. They may not have attended the best of schools or meet your high standards. They are ordinary young men and women who don’t look it, but God have chosen them.
I have been in the corporate world long enough to know that corporate success is about hiring the best candidate ― the most qualified. The rule is: show us what new thing you will bring on board and we will hire you. However, on God‘s team, qualification, experience, technical know-how and competence does not matter. God takes unqualified people and qualifies them for an assignment. John Piper said, a minister of the gospel wrote that “when it comes to being a candidate for grace, your background has nothing to do with God’s choice“
Many of the people God worked through and is working through are not the obvious choices of society. Why? So that no human will have cause to glory in God’s presence: It’s simple: He shares His glory with no man/woman. You want to be on God‘s team? Come just as you are.
ROLL CALL: ORDINARY LIVES TURNED EXTRAORDINARY
Jacob — thief and liar, Joseph— raised in prison, Gideon — coward, Samson —womanizer, Moses — murderer, David — shepherd, adulterer and murderer, Solomon— seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines, Jabez —“rejected cornerstone”, Barak — coward, Jephthah — son of a harlot (Judges 11:1), Ruth— Moabite (doesn’t qualify to be included in Jesus’ genealogy, but God picked her), Rahab — prostitute, Samaritan woman —divorced 4 times (when Jesus met her she was with her 5th husband), Peter — fisherman and a coward, Paul— murderer and persecutor. These are a few of the “squad” God chose to be in His team. What is the reason? “That no flesh should glory in his presence.” Somebody hit the nail right on the head when he said “greater portion of the Bible was written by murderers.” This is what he meant:
(i) Moses (wrote Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy). He was a murderer.
(ii) David (wrote Psalms). He was a murderer.
(iii) Paul (wrote 14 of the 27 books in the New Testament). He was a murderer.
God did not hide any of the shortcomings of His people because He wants us to know that its ordinary men and women He uses and works through. A friend describes the Bible as brutally frank because God shielded and hid nobody’s shortcomings and sins. Clearly from the Bible, every single person that became useful to God had a past. But God doesn’t consider our past when He wants a vessel to use. In fact, your sordid past qualifies you to be used by God if you will let Him.
Note though that these names of average, common and ordinary men and women have been written in scriptures so we learn from them. After God picks you up, you don’t have to continue in your averageness and ordinariness. You have to aspire for excellence and victory in every area of your life. Yes, you may have issues you are dealing with. But with grace you can conquer. Work on those issues. Everyone has issues but we have to work at them so they don’t destroy us. Others have been victorious through hard times and we can also be victorious....
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