Scripture: Acts 4:1-22
Observation: Peter and John were arrested by local religious leaders for sharing the message of Jesus and for previously healing a crippled man outside the temple. When they were questioned about their actions, they boldly proclaimed that they did everything through the power of their Lord, Christ Jesus. Although they had no formal training like the religious leaders questioning them, they spoke with boldness and true conviction.
Application: I wish I had my life together. (Don’t we all?) This past weekend, I got up early on Saturday morning craving pancakes, a process that included realizing the cottage cheese I was planning on using had gone bad (I totally forgot I opened it two weeks ago #pregnancybrainfail), spilling batter all over my oven, AND then discovering that ants had gotten into the syrup I poured over top of my sub-par pancakes. Fork in hand, I was * this close * to eating them anyways, but finally decided I didn’t want to risk getting some random ant disease and refrained. I also proceeded to spill coffee on the counter and trip over shoes while leaving my dog out. This was all before 8 a.m. LORD HELP ME.
If I’m honest, I spend most of my life feeling like I’m completely unqualified for what I’m called to do (much like Moses). I went to college, but that “formal training” sure as heck didn’t qualify me to learn how to run a household, fill out a W-4, pay taxes, deal with difficult people, or know how to handle a crisis. Most of the time, I just feel like an ordinary person floating through life, figuring it out on the go. Can you relate?
That’s why Acts 4 gives me a lot of hope.
It’s a story about two ordinary people. Peter and John weren’t formerly “qualified” in any way, yet their commitment to Jesus gave them all the qualifications they needed.
“The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures.” (verse 13)
Do you ever let your “lack of special training” hold you back? I have. In fact, it almost held me back from writing this very blog…because really, who am I to write and commentate on the Word of God? I didn’t go to Bible college. I’m not a theologian. I don’t have any special training. I didn’t even grow up in church youth group, studying the Bible. I’ve only been following Jesus for a few years. Everything I know, I’ve learned from reading the Bible, listening to thousands of messages, reading through my husband’s old textbooks from bible college, and asking God to be his vessel. I’m just an ordinary woman with no special training who can barely make pancakes on a Saturday morning but felt Jesus nudging my heart to write – so I did.
Peter was an ordinary guy – an unknown fisherman who became the leader of the early Christian church. John was an ordinary guy – another nameless fisherman who became one Jesus’s closest companions. They were simply ordinary men with extraordinary faith and an extraordinary commitment to Jesus.
So let’s learn from them. Let’s be extraordinary vessels for Jesus. We don’t need to rush off to enroll in Bible college or spend all of our time in church. We simply need to be filled with the boldness of the Holy Spirit, courageous enough to stop and listen to a friend, show compassion to someone who needs it, stand up for the Gospel in everyday conversation, and move one step closer to God every day.
God will take our ordinary and make us extraordinary through our faith in him.
Prayer: God, thank you for Peter and John, the way they lived their everyday, ordinary lives with extraordinary faith and trust in you. I pray you’ll help me bury any doubts about my own shortcomings and instead be your vessel. Amen.