Ordinary People


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Matthew 25:40, "Inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to Me"
Colossians 3:23, "Whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men"

During Jesus' life on earth, He chose to identify with poor, destitute and ordinary people. He lived as one who had no place to call home (Matthew 8:20). Jesus’ ministry was marked by compassion for the needy and He never let the vast crowds discourage Him from helping individuals. In Matthew 20:29-34, we read that He stopped and healed two blind men who called for His help, ignoring the crowd that tried to keep the two quiet. In Luke 8 we read that a multitude pressed about Jesus, yet He took time to minister to one man and one woman in need. Jesus often interrupted His schedule to minister to people He met along the way.

On another occasion, He rebuked His disciples for keeping little children away from Him (Luke 18:15-17). Author Henri Nouwen mirrored this sense of service. For a decade of his life, he ministered at a home for the serious disabled, taking two hours every morning to bathe, shave, dress, and feed a profoundly retarded man. You may think that serving a man incapable of responding may seem inefficient to us. However, when we look at the example Jesus set, we must learn that our love and service are never a waste of time in the eyes of our Lord.

Ordinary individuals do God's work on this earth. Oh, we may say to God, "I'm nothing. I have no gifts and I often fail miserably … do you really want to use me?" If that is the question you have … the answer is found in God's precious Word. One example is found in the book of Exodus when God used the hesitant and inarticulate Moses to lead Israel from their bondage in Egypt to freedom. God used men of the herds and flocks, as well as fishermen and farmers to accomplish His work and record His Words. Just think; a simple carpenter and a peasant girl raised God's Son, Jesus.

My friend that's still the way God works today. Although we have so called "mega-methods, mass media, and super-churches today", its ordinary people who lead ordinary lives (like you and me) who does God's extraordinary work. A grandmother prays faithfully for her grandchildren and talks to each one about trusting Christ. A clerical worker witnesses to those individuals in his office. A neighbor takes a meal to her unbelieving friend when their baby is hospitalized and assures them of her prayers. So, when we ask the question, "Does God really want to use me?" the answer is quite clear. God chooses "the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty" (1 Corinthians 1:27). God has been using ordinary people like you and me for thousands of years. Why would He stop now?

Further thoughts:

We serve the Lord when we serve a needy person. Jesus made this quite clear when He said that any kindness shown to the hungry, the thirsty, the homeless, the sick, the destitute, and the imprisoned will be judged as having been done directly to Him. We usually tend to limit our own service to Christ by thinking that ministers and missionaries are the best able people to do it. However, whenever we extend help in the name of Jesus through acts of caring, Jesus Himself is there even though we cannot see Him. Moreover, someday when we stand before Him, He will recall our deeds of love performed in His name and say, "Well done!" So, let's keep on serving Him by serving others, because He wants ordinary people like you and me to do His extraordinary work.

(1) Are you one of those ordinary people that God wants to use? If so …
(2) Make yourself available to serve up God's love to someone today?