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Summary: Takes a look at how God wants to use ordinary people and do extraordinary things and encourages people to follow after God to be used in great ways

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From Ordinary to Extraordinary

Series Introduction

Slide

Do you ever think that God is unable to use you?

Maybe you feel that you aren’t very gifted or talented.

Maybe you feel just like an ordinary person. Or maybe you feel less than ordinary and you will never be able to be used in a significant way for the Lord.

Well, I want to give you some encouragement.

Over the next several weeks, we are going to be looking at various individuals of the Bible who were just ordinary, or even less than ordinary people, who God used to do extraordinary things.

I want to let you know that no matter

what stage of life you are in,

what hindrances lay in front of you,

how much you lack in gifts, abilities, or knowledge,

God desires to use you in extraordinary ways to expand His kingdom.

It is my hope that as we look at various individuals from the Bible over the next couple months, you might see a bit more clearly how God can and wants to use you.

Sermon Introduction

Today we are going to begin by taking a look at Gideon.

Slide

Many of you probably know the name Gideon if you have ever stayed in a hotel or motel. The Gideon’s are the ones who place the Bibles in hotels around the world.

But before Bibles were being placed in hotels around the world, there was a man named Gideon whom God used in an extraordinary way.

Turn with me to Judges 6:11.

P. 174

Slide

We are going to see what we can learn from the story of Gideon that may prepare us to be used by God in an extraordinary way.

Background on Judges and the History of Israel at that time

After Joshua led Israel to occupy the Promised Land, the people of Israel served the Lord throughout his lifetime. But after Joshua’s generation died, Israel turned away from the Lord God.

Throughout Judges we see a repeated cycle of

God’s blessing,

spiritual complacency,

sin (idolatry – They served the Baals),

suffering at the hands of enemies,

a cry for help, and

God’s deliverance through someone He raised up (a Judge).

Gideon is one of the people God raises up during this time to lead the Israelites.

Now the time leading up to the specific events concerning Gideon are that Israel has been sinning by turning to false gods and the Lord has given them into the hands of the Midianites.

The Midianites would attack the Israelites and take their crops and destroy what they did not take.

This had been going on for about 7 years when God came to Gideon.

Now let’s read

Judges 6:11-40

11 The angel of the LORD came and sat down under the oak in Ophrah that belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, where his son Gideon was threshing wheat in a winepress to keep it from the Midianites. 12 When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, "The LORD is with you, mighty warrior."

13 "But sir," Gideon replied, "if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our fathers told us about when they said, ’Did not the LORD bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the LORD has abandoned us and put us into the hand of Midian."

14 The LORD turned to him and said, "Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?"

15 "But Lord," Gideon asked, "how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family."

16 The LORD answered, "I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites together."

17 Gideon replied, "If now I have found favor in your eyes, give me a sign that it is really you talking to me. 18 Please do not go away until I come back and bring my offering and set it before you."

And the LORD said, "I will wait until you return."

19 Gideon went in, prepared a young goat, and from an ephah of flour he made bread without yeast. Putting the meat in a basket and its broth in a pot, he brought them out and offered them to him under the oak.

20 The angel of God said to him, "Take the meat and the unleavened bread, place them on this rock, and pour out the broth." And Gideon did so. 21 With the tip of the staff that was in his hand, the angel of the LORD touched the meat and the unleavened bread. Fire flared from the rock, consuming the meat and the bread. And the angel of the LORD disappeared. 22 When Gideon realized that it was the angel of the LORD, he exclaimed, "Ah, Sovereign LORD! I have seen the angel of the LORD face to face!"

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