7/15/2020 – Pastor Brian’s Blog –
Last Sunday after church a number of us from our church went on a motorcycle ride to Kittery, Maine for lunch. It was a very hot & muggy day, but as long as we kept riding our bikes, the air was cool enough so that we were comfortable. But when we stopped riding… let the perspiration begin!!
Yet in spite of the heat it was an enjoyable day, as I got to ride with Judy and we got to hang out with friends from our church. And… we got to our final destination, Bob’s Clam Hut, where their whole belly fried clams never disappoint. We then stopped on our way home to get ice cream and then parted ways, each to their own home. It was a fun time had by all.
Then it happened: I got home and I did something I should never have done… I sat down and watched… a Sunday news show. So what started out as a good day at church, and then a fun time with friends, quickly turned to despair. I was quickly reminded of riots, pandemic fears, and lost hope. People losing jobs, politicians helpless and self-absorbed, and people searching for answers but looking in all the wrong places.
Today Judy went shopping to find empty shelves, registers sealed in plexiglass, people staring her down because she had the audacity to walk into a store without a mask. She even tried to return something to Sam’s Club for credit, only to be informed that they no longer take returns because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Do you remember the definition of insanity? “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” That is what seems to be happening in our world today. We keep doing the same things over and over again, or like Tim from the TV show, “Home Improvement,” they intensify those things, and then do them over and over again, only to find, that things not only don’t change, often they get worse.
Well, it is time that Christians stop doing the same things. Stop living the same kind of lives and start living a life like we have been with Jesus. Instead of allowing our emotions, our environment, the media, or our favorite political party to dictate how we live, it is time that the church lives a life so radical and so different that we start a new Jesus movement. If we do that, we can help change our world, one person at a time.
Peter and John knew what it was like to live in crazy times; one moment they were healing people and the next, they were being persecuted for healing people. Yet they faced their craziness straight on. There was no doubt what motivated them…
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.Acts 4:13
Two things about Peter and John. First they were “ordinary men.” God uses ordinary men and women to accomplish His work. The people God uses don’t come with halo’s, they have no superpowers within themselves, they aren’t flying around with angels wings: they are people as ordinary as you and me.
They are ordinary people! Chances are they have not been to seminary, they may ride motorcycles, they are people that go out to eat fried clams, they might even have gas from time to time, they snore, that have bad days, and at times they actually don’t do the right things. They are ordinary people.
But secondly, they are ordinary people that have been with Jesus and that makes all the difference in the world. Instead of becoming consumed with the craziness of what was happening around them, they became consumed with the God who lived in them.
The Sanhedrin knew that these same two apostles, Peter and John, had been with Jesus in the temple and at His trial. So to see them now, they knew something was different. And they knew they were different, because now these two followers of Christ were doing what Jesus did. They were doing miracles like Jesus did, they were using scripture like Jesus did, and like Jesus they boldly preached the gospel to this group of powerful religious leaders.
Can I ask you: “Who would people say you are like?” The people in your life who are living in fear, the ones that are worried and placing their hope in man, those people that are searching for answers, don’t need people in their life that look and act like them, they need people in their life that look and act like Jesus.
Look at the ordinary people Jesus used in the early church: fishermen, illiterate people, prostitutes, hated tax collectors, revolutionaries, Gentiles and Jews. People that were far from qualified from the world’s perspective, but people that had been with Jesus. People that would allow Jesus to stir that fire in their soul to change their world.
Our world needs change desperately, and from everything I read in the Bible, the solution to our craziness is still the same. The solution is ordinary people, people that do not think too highly of themselves, but people that spend time with Jesus and think highly of Him.
When people look at your life, will they know who you belong to? Will they see a life that is influenced by Satan and his world, or will they see a life empowered by the Spirit of God? When Peter and John were confronted with the craziness of their world they responded by saying…
“For we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.”Acts 4:20
May our response be the same. My friends, you and I are on this planet not by chance, the people that come into our lives have been allowed in by God. Not to show off ourselves but to show off Him. Our world is spinning downward at what seems to be one of the fastest downward spins in the history of man. It is time for the church, for Christians with the same boldness of Peter and John, to not only preach the gospel, but just as importantly, to live the gospel.
God has raised each of us up for such a time as this…