Ordinary People

Hello, my friends!

Have you ever marvelled at the incredible diversity of languages in our world? It's astounding how we can communicate complex ideas, yet sometimes struggle to understand someone from a different culture. But what if I told you that God has a way of transcending these linguistic barriers in the most extraordinary ways? Let's embark on a journey back in time to a pivotal moment in history that changed everything – a day when language became a bridge instead of a barrier.

Picture this: Jerusalem, a city pulsating with life as pilgrims from all corners of the known world converge for the feast of Pentecost. The air is thick with anticipation, though no one realises they're about to witness an event that will turn their world upside down – or should I say, right side up!

Just weeks earlier, Jesus had ascended to heaven after spending 40 days with His disciples post-resurrection. Can you imagine the rollercoaster of emotions they must have experienced? Their teacher, friend, and Messiah – gone again. But this time, He left them with a promise that would change everything. “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

Now, let's pause for a moment. Have you ever been entrusted with a task that seemed impossibly daunting? That's precisely how the disciples must have felt. Take the gospel to the ends of the earth? How could they, a small group of ordinary individuals, possibly accomplish such a monumental task? But here's the beautiful thing about our God – He doesn't call the qualified; He qualifies the called. He takes our weakness and transforms it into strength through His power.

So there they were, 120 believers gathered together, waiting as Jesus had instructed. And then, in an instant, everything changed. “When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them” (Acts 2:1-4).

Can you imagine the scene? The rush of wind, the appearance of fire, and then – languages! Not just any languages, but the native tongues of all the pilgrims in Jerusalem. It was a miracle that reversed the confusion of Babel. Where once language divided, now it united under the banner of God's love and grace. This wasn't just an impressive display of supernatural power, my friends. This was God's way of declaring, “My message of love and redemption is for everyone, regardless of language or culture.”

In that moment, God's kingdom expanded beyond borders and cultures, inviting all to come and taste His goodness. The apostle Peter, empowered by the Holy Spirit, stood up and addressed the crowd. He explained how this miraculous event was the fulfillment of prophecy and proclaimed the good news of Jesus Christ. “Repent and be baptised, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2:38-39).

But why is this ancient event so crucial for us today? Well, let me ask you this: Have you ever felt unqualified to share God's love? Maybe you think you're not eloquent enough, or knowledgeable enough, or just not 'good' enough. Let me tell you a liberating truth – none of us are. But that's the beauty of grace. It's not about our qualifications; it's about God's power working through us.

You see, the same Spirit that filled those believers at Pentecost is available to us today. Paul reminds us in Ephesians 2:8-9, “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—not by works, so that no one can boast.” Our salvation, our ability to serve God, our very purpose – it all stems from God's grace, not our own merit.

The kingdom of God isn't built by mighty armies or clever strategies. It's built by ordinary people like you and me, empowered by an extraordinary God. It grows not through force, but through love. Not through condemnation, but through invitation. Jesus beautifully illustrated this truth when He said, “The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches” (Matthew 13:31-32).

From the smallest beginnings – a group of 120 believers in an upper room – the message of God's love has spread across the globe. And you, my friend, are part of this incredible story. The same power that turned a group of scared disciples into world-changers is available to you today. Are you ready to let that power work in your life?

But you might be wondering, “How does this apply to me? I'm not a preacher or a missionary.” Well, let me tell you something wonderful – every believer is a minister of God's grace. Peter tells us, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10). Your unique experiences, talents, and even your struggles can become a platform for sharing God's love.

Remember, you don't need to have all the answers. You don't need to speak in tongues or perform miracles. You just need to be willing to share the love and grace you've experienced. Sometimes, the most powerful testimony is simply your story of how God has worked in your life.

As we go about our days, let's carry the spirit of Pentecost with us. Let's break down barriers, build bridges, and share the good news in whatever 'language' those around us can understand. Because at the end of the day, love is the universal language, and grace is the message we're called to share.

So, my friends, I want to encourage you today. Don't let feelings of inadequacy hold you back. Don't let fear silence your voice. Remember, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). You have been equipped by the Holy Spirit to be a witness for Christ right where you are.

Whether you're a student, a parent, a worker, or retiree – you have a unique sphere of influence. Your kindness, your integrity, your willingness to listen and to love – these are all powerful ways to witness to the transforming power of God's grace. As you go about your week, I challenge you to look for opportunities to be a bearer of God's love. It might be through a word of encouragement, an act of service, or simply being present for someone in need.

Remember, the kingdom of God is here, and you're a vital part of it! So go forth, my friends. Be bold. Be loving. Be filled with the Spirit. And watch as God does amazing things through your willingness to be His witness. After all, that's what Pentecost is all about – ordinary people empowered to do extraordinary things for God's glory.