Ordinary People

My day seemed to be filled with good and bad. It was a day of nice weather, before a coming storm, so that was good. However, I found myself in front of my computer all day working on a project, and didn’t get outside, so that was bad. But, I was able to put in a full day of work without being overly fatigued, so that was good.

BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY… Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and signs among the people.…” Acts 6:8 HCSB  Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah to them. The crowds paid attention with one mind to what Philip said, as they heard and saw the signs he was performing.” Acts 8:5,6 HCSB

As the church is growing and the apostle’s load and responsibility is increasing, we see they have the church choose seven men, full of faith and the Holy Spirit to handle the daily administration of the needs of widows and orphans and those in need.

But right after the list of those chosen we seen one of the men chosen, Stephen, going around and performing signs and wonders and refuting with great wisdom those who opposed the gospel. Perhaps they didn’t have a written job description and he was confused about being chosen to serve as an “administrator” and not an apostle or evangelist.

Stephen powerful and confrontational preaching causes trouble and he becomes the first martyr. When he is killed a persecution lead by Saul of Tarsus breaks out against the church. We then read of another of the “seven”, Philip. Philip in like fashion proclaims Christ as Messiah and is used in signs and wonders and casting out demons.

There is no indication that the apostles were threatened because the Holy Spirit was using these others men. They didn’t demand they return to the “food line” and take care of business. These men were full of the Holy Spirit to do whatever the Lord called them to do.

They were ordinary people, doing extraordinary deeds through the name of Jesus and the power of the Holy Spirit. But after all, that is what the apostles were. They were fishermen, tax collectors, political zealots, and a mix of other backgrounds that we aren’t told. But they were called by Jesus, they followed Him and the fishermen, became “fishers of men.”

When Peter and the apostles proclaimed Christ to the religious leaders we find this commentary,  “When they observed the boldness of Peter and John and realized that they were uneducated and untrained men, they were amazed and recognized that they had been with Jesus.” (Acts 4:13 HCSB) Did they just recognize them as being just “with” Jesus or did their authority and power remind them “of” Jesus. I believe it was the later. When we are with Jesus and He is working in us, it makes all the difference. The common become uncommon, the ordinary, extra-ordinary and the ignoble, noble.

Paul would point out to the Corinthians, “Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. (1 Cor. 1:26 NIV)

Paul goes on and explains, “But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him.” (1 Cor. 1:27-29 NIV)

The Lord delights in surprising individuals and the world, by those He chooses and uses. No one is unqualified, no one is over qualified. Spiritual work is accomplished through the Holy Spirit. We can all be among those “ordinary people” the Lord uses to change the world.