Saturday, January 05, 2008

Sunday Devotions: Ordinary People with Extraordinary Messages

Our church members were studying Acts 12 this week in their daily devotions.
Podcast version here

Don’t you just love the honest reactions in this story from Acts 12? Christians are praying for Peter to be released from prison, and then when he turns up at the front door, no one believes it. Instead of thanking God for a miracle, everyone is quick to presume that it must be Peter’s ghost. I just love these first Christians – I can really identify with them.

I can imagine that just before Peter arrives, the people are very serious and highly focused with their prayers. “Lord, keep Peter safe and bring him back to us.” “O Lord, free Peter from the satanic authorities that have bound him.” “Lord, bring justice to us by letting Peter return among us.” I’ve been to those kind of prayer meetings myself. All the right words being spoken, but no real heart behind the petitions.

Acts 12:15 "You're out of your mind," they told her. When she kept insisting that it was so, they said, "It must be his angel."

When Rhoda persists that Peter is back, they call her crazy and then tell her that she’s seen a ghost. They just don’t believe what she is saying, but why? Is it because she is just a servant? Is Rhoda a young person? Does her opinion count so little amongst the others?

It seems to me that God is doing His usual thing: He selects the weakest and the least to present the good news. Rhoda’s lowly position as house servant is exalted by God; she becomes His messenger, His herald of good tidings.

The world continues to think that Christians like Rhoda are crazy, unimportant, and insignificant. And yet God continues to use the lowliest amongst us to effectively get His message across. We may live in a society of mega-churches and famous church-speakers, but the real work of the Gospel still takes place in the everyday homes and workplaces of ordinary people. The Rhodas of this world may seem to be of little importance, but in the eternal scheme of things, it’s the ordinary Rhodas in the church that bring in more people to Christ’s Kingdom.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, use us in ordinary ways to present Your extraordinary message to other people. In the insignificant tasks and daily routines of our lives, grant us opportunities to serve You and to share the Gospel. In Your Holy Name we pray. Amen.

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