Wednesday, October 3, 2012
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The occasion was a silver anniversary buffet for our 25th class reunion from college. Of course I was much younger than any of those mid-life folks that I graduated with. What happened to them? But anyway, the location was our alma mater, Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. That was a great training place; it was founded and named after the outstanding evangelist of the 19th century, D. L. Moody.
Now, we met for breakfast in one of several private dining rooms off of the main dining room; they kind of reserve these for special occasions. And as you might expect, each one is named after a person who prominently figured in the founding of the school or the leadership of the school. But we were in the Kimball Room. So, I surveyed our group of distinguished alumni and I said, "Who was Kimball? We're in his room. Who was Kimball?" No one knew. But none of us would have been there if it hadn't been for him. Who knows, maybe you're a Kimble.
I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "Extraordinary Ordinary."
Our word for today from the Word of God - Acts 4:13. Peter and John are in big trouble. They have been preaching about Jesus in the temple, they have attracted quite a crowd, and as a result the Sanhedrin calls them before them for a private hearing. They are not pleased with the preaching of Peter and John. However, it says, "When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus." The Jewish leaders were astonished that such ordinary men could be living such extraordinary lives.
Now back to the question we began with, "Who was Edward Kimball?" Well, he was a Sunday School teacher in Boston many years ago, teaching this small, little class of teenage boys. One of those boys in particular was biblically illiterate. He was out-of-step with everybody else in the class; he couldn't find anything in his Bible; didn't know anything in the Bible.
One day Edward Kimball felt led by the Lord to go where this lost young man worked at a shoe store. He felt led to go there and speak to him about accepting Christ, and the young man did. That shoe salesman prayed to give his heart to Jesus in the back room of that shoe store. Now, hardly anyone has ever heard of Edward Kimball the Sunday School teacher, but everyone in the Christian world has heard of D. L. Moody. Because it was Dwight Moody, that powerful evangelist, the founder of a place that has trained thousands of people for Christian work, that gave his heart to Christ that day. There never would have been a D. L. Moody if it hadn't been for the faithfulness of one of God's ordinary people.
Is that an encouragement to you? I hope so. Maybe you consider yourself very ordinary, but God loves to do extraordinary things through ordinary people. That's what Acts 4:13 is all about. But they weren't ordinary anymore, because they had been with Jesus. Daily contact with Jesus leads to a total control by Jesus, and it leads to power being released in your life through which you can really make a difference.
You say, "Oh, I'm just a Sunday School teacher. I'm just a helper. I'm just a choir member. I'm just an untrained, simple person who loves Jesus." You're not a "just a..." Stop it! Don't keep saying you're "just a..." You're not that if you open yourself up to letting the Holy Spirit make your ordinary extraordinary. Did Edward Kimball know how extraordinary that little conversation would turn out to be? No, we never do. We do these little things for Jesus that turn out to be big things.
You can count on the Lord to take an ordinary person, doing ordinary things, and if you obey Him, He will make ordinary extraordinary.