Monday, June 03, 2013

Jesus calls ordinary people to serve him in extraordinary ways

 Mark 3:13-19

Jesus calls out twelve ordinary guys to be his Apostles. They were a diverse group that seemed to only have one thing in common. They were outsiders.

The Bible is filled with unlikely heroes. Rahab was a prostitute who saved the Israelite spies because God had a greater purpose for her. Ruth was a refugee who came to Israel seeking welfare or work. God had a greater purpose for her as well. She became the grandmother of King David and ancestress of Jesus. The Apostles were ordinary people living ordinary lives but Jesus' call gave them a purpose bigger than themselves.

The church is a magnet for outsiders. God uses unlikely people to do his will. He uses preachers that lack a formal education such as William Carey (the father of modern missions) and D.L. Moody, (founder of Chicago's Moody Bible Institute, Moody Church and Moody Radio). He uses convicted felons such as Chuck Colson (founder of Prison Fellowship) Ricky Bueno (ex-gang member and founder of FrontLine Street Intervention). He uses the disabled such as Joni Eareckson Tada (founder of Joni and Friends).

God creates community out of diversity. Racial, economic and social sameness is not always genuine community. The Bible shows the early church struggling with racial inclusion. The Apostles confronted economic diversity. (Acts 6:1-4). Paul urged a slave owner to welcome home his recently converted runaway slave as a brother (Philemon). The church is a place where everyone can fit in. In fact, you can judge a church’s effectiveness by its diversity and how many outsiders feel like they belong.

We must will invest our life in something, or risk throwing it away on nothing. Membership in the Kingdom of heaven means service. Jesus calls us to extraordinary action. He said, "Follow me, and I will make you fish for people." (Matthew 4:19)

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