DISCIPLING THE “ORDINARY”. Lesson 6 for February 8, 2014.
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Lesson 6 for February 8, 2014
“For you see your calling, brethren, that not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God has chosen the foolish things of the world to put to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to put to shame the things which are mighty”
(1 Corinthians 1:26-27)
Jesus could have chosen His birthplace. Nevertheless, He did not choose to be born in a wealthy or influential home.
“And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn”
His socioeconomic status:
“and to offer a sacrifice according to what is said in the law of the Lord, “A pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons” (Luke 2:24)
“And if she is not able to bring a lamb, then she may bring two turtledoves or two young pigeons…” (Leviticus 12:8 f.p.)
“And Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.”” (John 1:46)
The “neighborhood” where he grew up:
“The world’s Redeemer was the son of poor parents, and when in His infancy He was presented in the temple, His mother could bring only the offering appointed for the poor,—a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons. He was the most precious gift of heaven to our world, a gift above all computation, yet it could be acknowledged only by the smallest offering. Our Saviour, during all His sojourn on earth, shared the lot of the poor and lowly. Self-denial and sacrifice characterized His life”
E.G.W. (Counsels on Stewardship, cp. 33, pg. 160)
Jesus particularly worked among the “ordinary” people. He cared for their needs.
“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13)
Peter was an “ordinary” person. He was a fisherman that made a living with the fruits of his labor.
He realized he was unworthy, so he knelt down at the feet of Jesus and followed Him (Luke 5:1-11)
He let the Holy Spirit lead him (Matthew 16:13-17)
He sincerely repented when he sinned (Matthew 26:75)
Peter was transformed from an “ordinary” man to a great preacher. He was used by God to spread the Gospel among Jews and Gentiles all over the world.
God can transform you as he transformed Peter.
Does God value people?
“Since you were precious in My sight, you have been honored, and I have loved you” (Isaiah 43:4 f.p.)
“It is through the cross alone that we can estimate the worth of the human soul. Such is the value of men for whom Christ died that the Father is satisfied with the infinite price which He pays for the salvation of man in yielding up His own Son to die for their redemption. What wisdom, mercy, and love in its fullness are here manifested! The worth of man is known only by going to Calvary. In the mystery of the cross of Christ we can place an estimate upon man”
E.G.W. (Lift Him Up, August 16)
“There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28)
It is important to understand that every person is worthy before God (1 Peter 1:17)
So we must not excessively despise or praise anyone.
Rich and poor, men and women, native and foreign, different races… we all are potential citizens of Heaven.
We must tell to everyone that Jesus is their Savior.
“It is not the position, not the finite wisdom, not the qualifications, not the endowments of any person that makes him rank high in the esteem of God. The intellect, the reason, the talents of men, are the gifts of God to be employed to His glory, for the upbuilding of His eternal kingdom. It is the spiritual and moral character that is of value in the sight of Heaven, and that will survive the grave and be made glorious with immortality for the endless ages of eternity. Worldly royalty so highly honored by men will never come forth from the sepulcher into which it enters. Riches, honor, the wisdom of men that have served the purposes of the enemy, can bring to their possessors no inheritance, no honor, no position of trust in the world which is to come. Only those who have appreciated the grace of Christ, which has made them heirs of God and joint heirs with Jesus, will rise from the grave bearing the image of their Redeemer”
E.G.W. (Selected Messages, vol. 1, cp. 36, pg. 258)