Ordinarily Extraordinary

Acts 4:13 “When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.”

So Peter and John were ordinary. These are the men who have done miracles and seen miracles, but they are ordinary. These are the men Jesus chose as His intimate friends. They were privy to His transfiguration, they were at the last supper, they were in the locked room in which Jesus appeared after His death. Yet they were ordinary. They were not rich or well-educated. They were not being talked about nor would they appear in the tabloids of the day. They were even called “unschooled.” In other words Peter and John had not gone to the seminaries of the day. They were ordinary, everyday folk you see at the Wal-Mart. Yet they were doing some extraordinary things. They were healing people. Peter and John were courageous. They were standing in front of the Sanhedrin, the high council of Jewish leaders. This council had authority to send them to jail, or even report them to Roman authorities who may try to execute them as they had Jesus. These men were bold. The council had just asked Peter and John “by what power or what name did you do this?” The “this” was healing a crippled man. Peter told them straight up that Jesus whom you crucified is the name by which we did this.  Interestingly the Bible tells us that Peter was “filled with the Holy Spirit” when he spoke.

Are you like me ordinary? Are you wondering how God could use you to do anything extraordinary?  Do you think I haven’t been to seminary, I haven’t been perfect, I am nothing, but ordinary. Oh sweet friends, do not buy this lie from Satan. Peter the bold witness, the healer of the crippled man, he denied Jesus three times. Peter a weak, frail, ordinary man who betrayed the Jesus he loved, was filled with the Holy Spirit and was doing extraordinary things in the face of great peril. Let us never buy the lie Satan tells us that we are not good enough, not special enough, not smart enough to be anything more than ordinary. The truth is that through the Holy Spirit, we are extraordinary. Why? The Holy Spirit is God indwelling us! When we are filled with Him we are no ordinary people. We are the temple of God. He has some extraordinary business for us ordinary people to do. Not because we are qualified or we are smart or we are beautiful or we are rich. No, because of Christ in us.

The problem is that we often think extraordinary means huge things, not simple things. Sometimes the extraordinary things are just the extra kindness you show the woman struggling to carry her groceries to the car. Maybe you let a car in the jammed full line of traffic. Perhaps you smile and thank the lady cleaning the bathrooms in the airport. It can manifest itself in the way you forgive an offense rather than holding a grudge. When your natural reaction is yelling the extraordinary thing is keeping your cool. Extraordinary patience, compassion, self-control can only come from the Spirit of God in your life. Holding tight to Him, you can live an ordinarily extraordinary life.

So my ordinary friends, what extraordinary things are you going to do today?

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