8 Aug 2014 by Kim Yung CM-
A minister of Irish origin in the UK, Pastor Dr John Andrews and his family graced City Harvest Kuala Lumpur on the 26th of July 2014 where he preached on how God wants us to excel in the ordinary the most.
“The ordinary is where most of us live. We want to believe that our lives are exciting, exceptional, amazing and awesome yes? I always get a bit suspicious of someone on twitter whose life is always ‘awesome’. My experience, if I could be really honest with you, everything’s not as awesome, in fact most of the time life is pretty routine and mundane, doing the same sorts of things everyday,” he shared.
Twice in the Spotlight
So many people have dreams of doing something spectacular in their lives but they don not pay attention to something that is really routine.
“I’m going to show you powerfully that Jesus pays attention to the ordinary. If you can excel in the ordinary stuff, then when it comes to the exceptional stuff, you’ll fly!” John spoke with encouragement.
He then began by leading everyone to the Bible according to Luke 2:41-52 which tells of Jesus as a young boy (aged 12 years old) who stayed back after the festival of the Passover at Jerusalem even after his parents had left. The parents were on a day’s journey in a group, thinking Jesus was with them. But they only realised after a day that he was missing and so they returned to Jerusalem to look for Him.
46 After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 And when his parents saw him, they were astonished. And his mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us so? Behold, your father and I have been searching for you in great distress.” 49 And he said to them, “Why were you looking for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?” 50 And they did not understand the saying that he spoke to them. 51 And he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was submissive to them. And his mother treasured up all these things in her heart. 52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and in stature and in favor with God and man. (Luke 2:46-52)
John then led everyone to another paragraph in Luke 3:21-23, which tells of Jesus, an already grown man (aged 30 years old now) who was baptised.
“These are two amazing passages of scripture that are really important for us. As human beings, they are attractive to us because they show Jesus in the limelight,” he shared.
At the age of 12, Jesus was in the limelight when he was in the temple, in a three-day debate where everyone was scratching their head and totally amazed by Him. And at the other end of the passage, at the age of 30, the spotlight returned to Jesus once more (according to the scripture below), which tells the Father opening the Heavens and saying that He was pleased with Jesus.
“Bang! Jesus is back into the spotlight and He begins a more-than-three-year-program that literally impacts the world. We love all of that! The bit that we don’t love is the bit in the middle,” shared John.
Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heavens were opened, 22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form, like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son;with you I am well pleased.” (Luke 3:21-23)
Growing in Obedience
Now what happened to the many years in the middle of Jesus’s life? One may wonder. Most people just rush past that bit in the middle while reading this. But from the end of chapter two to verse 21 of chapter three is 18 years of Jesus’s life! So what did He do in 18 years? How did he survive?
“Now from some clues and some insights when we put the gospels together, we have worked that stuff out. The reality is 18 years of Jesus’ life was off the radar and this child prodigy just ‘dropped off the edge of the earth’ and didn’t reappear till he was 30. Now if you just ask someone to wait for 8 minutes, they will freak out!” he shared.
During the gap Jesus stayed in Nazareth, a very small town that was unnoticed by many, Jesus remained obedient under the orders of His parents. He made a decision to grow.
“Nazareth was so small and so insignificant that even on the map of its day, less than 300 people lived in Nazareth,” shared John.
“Many people say to me, ‘If I lived somewhere else, my life will be better’, ‘If I have what you have, my life would be better’ or ‘If only I have the opportunities you have then I can make this stuff work’. What encouraged me tremendously is that Jesus lived in a time without prospects and lived with a family that did not stand out from the crowd. He lived there and grew so successfully that when He became 30 years of age, He’s ready to go!” shared John.
In the back-end of nowhere, Jesus grew. He gave himself to excellence and made sure that whatever His world looked like or whatever the world was going to give Him or not give Him, He was going to be ready for what God has for Him!
“Today may suck, today may not be what you want it to be, today you may be a day that you’re not enjoying in terms of where you are and Jesus must have had days like that, days when it was boring, routined, days when He did not want to go to the workplace, days when He was hoping something would change; but he got through every one of those days because He knew that there would come a day when God would call Him!” said John.
“If you are waiting for your world to become perfect before you make the decision to grow in God and to be the best that you can be, it’s never going to happen. There will never be a set of events that will just be absolutely be perfect. Lots of things will be good and there will be stuff that’s bad, there will be stuff going for you and stuff going against you,” he said.
Don’t wait for the perfect moment before you make your move!
Excel in the ordinary.
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