Wednesday, 12 March 2008

An ordinary man

At CU tonight I had two revelations (one slightly more noteworthy than the other!):

1. On the way in, there were some children playing football with a rolled up piece of paper. On passing them, one of the children said 'wait a minute and let the man through'. Man! Very odd... I don't know what I think of myself as but I certainly don't feel old enough to be called a man!

2. Peter Drayspoke at CU on Acts 18:24-28. Here are some of the things he said, and some of my thoughts.

Ordinariness isn't something that is celebrated in our culture. Our culture celebrates individuality and the great - to be ordinary is almost the worst sentence. As we look at a book like Acts, we see people who are bold, articulate and people who seem extraordinary.

However, in this passage we see two ordinary people - Priscilla and Aquila - being used by God. Apollos was a man who is obviously extraordinary in the way that he is gifted. Yet he didn't fully understand the truth of the gospel. Priscilla and Aquila used the gifts given to them (their Christian education etc.) and, through genuinely sharing their lives, lovingly instructing Apollos in the truth, getting other Christians involved and endorsing Apollos' ministry they were used by God in the life of Apollos. Apollos went on to do really great things for the gospel, and it started off with Priscilla and Aquila using what they had from God to serve God and advance the kingdom.

It was a very useful talk for me to hear. After finishing as CU president, it feels like after several years of being very involved in CU and church I have got to a stage in life where I'm not really very involved in any teams or in any form of leadership in a Christian context. I fear that pride had probably got the better of me a little, and I had began to think that I was better than ordinary. But over these last few weeks with a bit more time to think, I have realised that I am very ordinary, at best. But tonight I was reminded that we are all given gifts, and whether we are ordinary or not, we should use the gifts that God has given us to serve others and build others up, and that God can use them to glorify his name. He used Priscilla and Aquila in the life of Apollos. They saw a way that they could serve God, and in a very ordinary way they used the gifts that they had to do just that. Without them, Apollos may have gone on preaching an incomplete gospel. But because of how God worked through them in his life, he went on to achieve great things for the kingdom. God can use our efforts however ordinary we are.

Praise God that, in his grace, he wants to use an ordinary man like me!

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