Ordinary People Extraordinary Lives

Religion_March_2013

If you were starting a global organization that is going to change the world, who would you recruit

Society defines us in the light of what we have or have not been able to achieve, academically, professionally, socially, financially. The result is that we define ourselves in the same ways. The challenge is that even when it comes to God, we think that the limitations of our lives rules out experiencing God in powerful and miraculous ways. We disqualify ourselves from expecting Him to show up because our faith is neither crystal clear nor rock solid.

In order to be really fearless I would need to be someone influential. Many of us if we could sum up what it would take for us to be truly fearless, we would need to be someone else.

PLEASE READ JOHN 21:1-14

What made these men ordinary?

  1. At least seven of Jesus’ disciples were fishermen: They were business owners and some were even business partners. The fact that their work was ordinary did not mean that they were poor. They owned some assets namely their boats and their nets.

ii.        Despite the fact that they had experienced Jesus changing water into wine, healing the man at the pool and fed the five thousand, walked on water and healed the man born blind. He had even raised Lazarus. Nonetheless, the disciples were utterly disheartened by the events of Jesus’ death.  These guys had obeyed the call to follow Jesus and extend his work of announcing and proclaiming the kingdom.

iii.        But so far as we can tell, thoughts of the resurrection never entered their heads. They had backed a failure, and all they wanted to do was to forget all about the fiasco. [In any case after some time bills were mounting up and presumably their wives and children needed not manifestos but provision]

Jesus knew that his followers would be muddled and ambiguous; He knew the disciples had faith but not enough to stand firm in the face of Jesus crucifixion. it was his intention that even though they had failed to heed the summons while he was alive, he would return to them again afterwards and incorporate them in his plans.

God works with ordinary people in ordinary places.

In this passage and the other times Jesus appeared to his disciples, Jesus walked and talked with them; he blessed and broke the bread. In John 20:20he showed the disciples his hands and feet and in this passage he lit a charcoal fire, cooked breakfast and distributed bread and fish to the disciples.

i.        These disciples once so dispirited became new men. Their lives and outlook transformed,

    ii.        Peter who had quailed before a servants’ taunts at the trial of Jesus now dared to take on the whole Sanhedrin with his gospel of the resurrection Acts 4:8-12. Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: “Rulers and elders of the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a man who was lame and are being asked how he was healed, 10 then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11 Jesus is“‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’[a]12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

iii.        You could imprison them, but their followers were just as confident and as fearless. You could command these Christians to be silent, but it did no good.

This resurrection appearance of Jesus sets the pattern for the way in which he will be known from now on.

Even though our faith is neither crystal clear nor rock solid, even though our obedience is not 100%, his plan is to break in upon us at ordinary moments.

So much of our faith is commonplace/mundane that we rule out the possibility that God will choose to work through us and to demonstrate his personal presence and power in our lives.

Again and again, he will come to surprise, comfort and commission his puzzled and anxious followers through the opening of the scriptures and the breaking of bread.

God works with ordinary people in ordinary places.

The resurrection appearance guarantees that God is committed to work with us within our ordinary faith and despite our personal limitations.

Why do we find it so hard to expect God to show up in our lives? Religion expects that God will show up among people who are not ordinary in places that are not ordinary.

For many of us life is so mundane: We get up to go work, check our face book status, gobble down breakfast, get stuck in traffic, listen to some talk radio on the way,  get to the office, switch on the computer, go into meetings and then switch off at 5 pm. After battling the traffic, we get home in time for the news, slump on the couch and before you know it the alarm goes off and the drill starts again. And you wonder where is God in this? How is God going to work through me? Many of us are in the grind because of mortgage payments. In our thinking, like life needs to stop and a moment needs to be created and then you will move to the next level.

Others of us we have pigeonholed who God works through because of a limitation in our lives. What are some of the things that limit us?

God works with ordinary people in ordinary places.

For some of us our family background is a millstone around our neck. We have relatives with all sorts of issues. For others, we struggle with feelings of inadequacy because we never attained a certain qualification in our education. Maybe you are jobless. And you wonder, how can I do anything significant for myself, much less for God? I have nothing for him to bless. For someone else you are not well or someone in the family is unwell and it is taking up all your thinking and resources. Maybe your marriage is on the rocks [or it is just so ordinary] or you are in too many relationships or you are in no relationship. Perhaps you have lost money, investments have gone south or you even have debt collectors after you. Or you made some wrong turns along the way. Perhaps you are too young, or too old; maybe you think you have passed your use by date.

Like the disciples we are marking time, confused, perhaps frustrated because we expect that God works in religious moments with religious people.

I wrestled with why this passage was put here. After the death of Jesus, the Scripture could have moved on to Pentecost where the Spirit comes.  The point of this passage is to show us that he works in our ordinary lives and circumstances. Jesus lit a charcoal fire, cooked breakfast and distributed bread and fish to the disciples.

God works with ordinary people in ordinary places.

The point is to reassure us of his presence and power in the minutiae of our lives. We don’t live in the encore of our lives. We live in the rehearsals.  Jesus lit a charcoal fire, cooked breakfast and distributed bread and fish to the disciples. The word became flesh and set up among us his dwelling. Jesus is alive! Means I get to experience the personal presence and glory of God right where I live and work.

As long as we feel that God only works in religious people in religious moments, like the disciples it limits and restricts us. God’s realm of operation is in your education, in your marriage, in your profession as well as in your spirituality.

  1. Anticipate that Jesus will show up: have a sense of expectation. Peter was not expecting Jesus to show up and many of us live our lives without expectation that God will show up at work, and at home.
  2. Understand that God is interested in what you do. We don’t need Christ to show up at Church. We need miracles at our place of work because that is the place people can get saved because we are meeting and exceeding our targets. Your desk is your pulpit.
  3. Ask God to show up. Some of you have fished before and caught nothing. You have done this thing before and it didn’t work.

God works with ordinary people in ordinary places.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L7hYgfljm2s

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7 Responses to “Ordinary People Extraordinary Lives”

  1. Encouraging message. Jesus meets us in the sidewalks and sideshows of our lives. It is in the mundane moments that He calls us to be faithful. It is in our mediocre lives that his victory is manifested.

    ‘But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.’ (2 Cor 12:9)

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  2. Husband to a Loving Wonderful Wife Says:

    Great sermon. There is nothing special about me to men and that is what makes me special to God.

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  3. Chite Kumwenda Says:

    God be with u.

    Best Regards,

    Chite Kumwenda

    Sent from my Galaxy Note.

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  4. Kevin Saruni Says:

    You just nailed it, one of my very personal encounters with God was not in the church but in my workplace, my studies, at home, am sorry to say I rarely encountered the heavenly touch in the church. Not unless its a confirmation of something. Sometime God is too personal that I wish I can avoid him. Thanks pastor you just made my week. I WILL NOT DO RELIGION

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  5. I needed to hear this! I was really down as I came to church on Easter Sunday, but I left church with a spring in my step. God has indeed shown up in my ordinary life and spaces this week.

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  6. james wangondu Says:

    I don’t do religion but all the small deeds i do in ordinary life touching ordinary people ‘s life and nobody notices counts.

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  7. […] Ordinary People Extraordinary Lives. […]

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