Your Part in God’s Plan, Part 2

Bible Reading: Acts 1:8; 1 Corinthians 1:26-29

Acts 1:8, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

In Acts 1:8, we read of Jesus’ church-building plan.  These words mark His last statement to His disciples.  He had previously spoken of His purpose to build His church (Matthew 16:18).  And now the time has come for His departure.  He gathered His disciples together.  He commanded them “not to leave Jerusalem” but to “wait for what the Father had promised” (Acts 1:4) and unveiled to them His plan (Acts 1:8).  Then He ascended into heaven.

Note the inherent simplicity of His plan.  A mere 37 words in the NASB.  Jesus spoke to them about a message and a means.  And that’s it.  No church growth strategy.  No elaborate methodology.  No programs.  These men and a message and the means by which it would be proclaimed.  Ordinary men supernaturally empowered to proclaim an extraordinary message.

Who were these men, these 11 disciples who were entrusted with this great — “I will build My church” plan?  They were ordinary in every way.  Not one of these men was a scholar.  They were not orators or theologians.  Their natural talents and intellectual abilities were in no way outstanding.  The Sanhedrin later recognized Peter and John to be “uneducated and untrained men” (Acts 4:13).  They were men prone to failure.  Jesus even stated that they were slow learners and spiritually dense (Luke 24:25).  They sometimes argued amongst themselves.  When Jesus prayed in Gethsemane, they slept.  When Jesus was arrested, they fled.  Even after Jesus rose from the dead, they hid.  They were far from perfect!  They were people like you and me.  Yet, God used these men, as one antagonist against the church put it, to turn the world upside down (Acts 17:6). 

Why would Jesus choose men like that?  And note that He did choose them.  They were men given to Him by the Father (John 17:6).  He spent the “whole night in prayer to God” before He chose them (Luke 6:12).  I think it is safe to say that it is not the group that men would have chosen.  Men would have chosen men from amongst the religious elite — the wealthy, the powerful, the influential.  But God chose these men—fishermen, political zealots, and a former tax-gatherer.

God has a purpose in choosing men like that!  God has a purpose in choosing people like us to do the work that He has given us to do.  He is well-pleased to use such folks, even as 1 Corinthians 1:26-29 explains, “For consider your calling, brethren, that there were not many wise according to the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble; but God has chosen the foolish things of the world to shame the wise, and God has chosen the weak things of the world to shame the things which are strong, and the base things of the world and the despised God has chosen, the things that are not, so that He may nullify the things that are, so that no man may boast before God.”

Why has God purposed to choose “the foolish, weak, base, and despised things of the world?”  Why are there not many “wise, mighty, or noble?”  He has deliberately chosen the have nots, to shame the haves.  He has set things on their head and turned them upside down.  The world is enamored with human wisdom, human power, human fame, and human ability.  God takes those who are lacking such things and makes much of them by His power.  He takes empty vessels and fills them.  That’s what He does in salvation.

Consider Acts 1:8 again.  That was Jesus’ plan.  He had said, “I will build My church.”  Here’s the plan.  You go and bear witness of Me!  That’s it.  That’s the plan.  Jesus chose to do it that way.  Pretty simple isn’t it?  Too simple, some might say.  But that’s the way God likes to do things.  He’s well-pleased to invest His treasure in ordinary jars of clay—“that the surpassing greatness of the power may be of God, and not from ourselves” (2 Corinthians 4:7).  That is how God has designed it to work.  Every assembly of believers is an assembly of clay jars.  Ordinary, fragile, breakable, imperfect.  But remove the lid and look inside.  What do you see?  There’s treasure in those clay pots.  Christ is in there.  And His presence inside makes all the difference.  God chose you.  And you have an important role to play in the work God is doing!


The Love Of God Is Broader
Than Earth’s Vast Expanse,
‘Tis Deeper And Wider
Than The Sea.
Love Reaches Out To All
To Bring Abundant Life,
For God So Loved The World
His Only Son He Gave.

Chorus: Share His Love By Telling
What The Lord Has Done For You,
Share His Love
By Sharing Of Your Faith,
And Show The World
That Jesus Christ Is Real To You
Every Moment, Every Day.

All Those Who Have Trusted
In God’s Only Son,
And Hold This Precious Treasure
In Their Hearts,
Seek Ways To Make It Known
To All Who Need To Know
That God So Loved The World
His Only Son He Gave. [chorus]

We show the love of God
Each day we live
Reveal Christ’s presence
In our lives
And how the Holy Spirit
Guides us day by day
For God so loved the World
His Only Son He Gave. [chorus]

Author: looking2jesus13

Having served as pastor at Lewis and Clark Bible Church, in Astoria, Oregon, for almost three decades, my wife’s cancer diagnosis led to my retirement and subsequent move to Heppner to be near our two grandchildren. I divide my time between caring for Laura and working as a part time hospice chaplain and spending time with family and spoiling my chocolate lab.

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