Extraordinary Things are Done Every Day by Ordinary People

You’ve Been Given Everything You Need to be Extraordinary, It’s Up to You to Use it

This past Sunday was Pentecost. This is the Christian commemoration of the coming of the Holy Spirit, celebrated the seventh Sunday after Easter. The coming of the Holy Spirit happened suddenly and came in a strong wind and fire, Acts 2:1-21.

The people who were together when this extraordinary thing happened, were just ordinary people. These followers of Jesus were feeling lost and alone after Jesus left. They no longer had their leader. How would they go on?

This small group of ordinary people are the beginning of our Christian faith. They are the core of the Church today.

These ordinary people did extraordinary things.

They didn’t think they had what it took to do the mission before them, but they did. Most of us feel this sense of inadequacy when we look ahead to our own missions.

It is amazing what long-range effect the little things we do, both good and bad can have. We rarely know what long term affect we will have and how those things will affect the future. Seemingly irrelevant things can make a huge impact.

In the book, The Butterfly Effect, Andy Andrews tells how the decisions you make and the way you treat others impact the world. This short book is a powerful story about a decision one man made over a hundred years ago, and the ripple effect it has on us individually, and in the world, today.

God will not ask you to do anything more than He knows you can.

Just like Jesus’ followers, we’ve been given the things needed to accomplish our mission. –

  • Power – Nothing is impossible with God. We’ve been given the strength needed to do the things we are supposed to. The power has been promised to us. It is available…not delivered. It is up to us to access it and use it.
  • Purpose – Just like the disciples were given their purpose on Pentecost, we’ve been given a purpose. Like power, this doesn’t work without our participation. We need to open our ourselves to God’s vision and do something. Without a vision the people parish, Proverbs 29:18.
  • Presence – The Holy Spirit is God’s presence in our lives. This is us inviting God in, to be an active part of our everyday lives. Once again, we have a responsibility, if we aren’t open to It and accepting of It, we won’t get It.

It is up to you every day to use your gifts and abilities doing ordinary things, letting God turn them into something extraordinary.

Obedience is the Key to all Doors

God Does Extraordinary Things Through Ordinary People

As I write this, Christmas is just a few days away. I love Christmas! It’s a wonderful time of the year. A time when people’s niceness seems to bubble to the surface more than any other.

The anticipation and surprises when opening presents is one of my favorite parts. I’ve had the whole “proper” present opening discussion many times with a variety of people. I don’t want to know what it is, until I open it. Some people I know, who will remain nameless, have been known to go buy presents for themselves, wrap them, put them under the tree and then open them on Christmas morning.

Enjoy whichever method works best for you.

Prior to the first Christmas, Mary was visited by Gabriel and made aware of the gift she would be given to share with the world. You want to talk about a big surprise. This was the biggest one ever. Even though she didn’t know how or why she was chosen…she accepted it and was obedient.  

At the time when God chose Mary to receive this amazing gift, she was no one special. She wasn’t rich or famous, she was just an ordinary young girl that accepted God’s gift and was obedient with it.

Obedience is what God wants from us.

C.S. Lewis wrote, “Obedience is the key that opens every door.” God does extraordinary things through ordinary people. The Scripture is full of ordinary people called by God to do something special for him. These people are just like you and me, just common, ordinary people.

“Moses was living on the back side of the desert, a total failure as the prince of Egypt, and God called him to deliver a nation.
When Goliath was taunting the Israelites, everyone discounted David, a teenage shepherd boy. But God didn’t! And David defeated the giant and became the king of a nation.
How about Nehemiah? He was living in Persia in complete obscurity serving as a cupbearer and God called him to rebuild the walls around Jerusalem.
Mary was a teenage girl living in Nazareth when God called her to be the mother of the Messiah.
And Simon Peter would have lived and died an ordinary fisherman except that Jesus called him to establish the church.
Do you see the pattern here? God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things. He uses improbable men and women who have nothing of their own to offer, but their faithfulness and willingness to say, “Yes.” 

Dr. Jack Graham, November 14, 2016

God has called you to do something wonderful and extraordinary.

Use your key of obedience to unlock your doors to extraordinary!

Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things

Rev. Paulin started his message with a story from a church where he used to pastor. During the children’s time there was a small boy struggling to get free from his parents to go up front with the rest of the children. After children’s time was over and the kids had returned to their seats, he managed to get free and ran to the front of the church and sat down on the steps. Of course the embarrassed father came to get him but Rev. Paulin held the father off and went and set beside him. Rev. Paulin was preparing to read the morning’s scripture so he read it to the boy. After he was finished the boy went with his Dad back to his seat.

We all need to be this determined to hear God’s message and take action!

Isaiah has a vision in Chapter 6, Verses 1-8. He saw God surrounded by heavenly creatures. Upon seeing this “Vison of God”, Isaiah was convinced he was going die. He felt dirty and unworthy to be in God’s presence. One of the creatures took a hot coal from the alter and touched it to Isaiah’s lips and his sin was taken away. The Lord asked who can I send and Isaiah said, “Here I am. Send Me!” Now not only did Isaiah have a “Vision of God” he had God’s vision and was told to “Go and tell this to the people…”.

In Luke 5:1-11, when people began to crowd around Jesus beside the lake of Galilee, He got in a boat and went a ways off shore to speak to them. When He had finished speaking, He told Simon “take the boat to deep water and put down your nets. Simon told Jesus that they had been fishing all night and hadn’t caught anything. But because Jesus told them to, they did. They caught so many fish that the nets began to tear. Their partners came and helped them and they filled both boats. After this happened Simon said, “Go away from me, Lord. I am a sinful man!” Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid. From now on you will fish for people.” When they got back to shore, “the men left everything and followed Jesus. They realized they were seeing a “Vision of God”.

When we are in God’s presence we become very aware of our shortcomings. But, in both of the scriptures God is calling ordinary men to serve in His name. We often feel inadequate to do God’s work, but that is what we are all called to do. He doesn’t just tap us on the shoulder and send us out alone. He goes with us. When God’s presence takes over, anything is possible. This doesn’t mean we’re perfect, it means we’re impowered.

Rev. Paulin included the Prayer of St. Ignatius and I think it is a fitting request for all of us.

A Vison of God” allows ordinary people to do extraordinary things. It’s up to you to do extraordinary.