By most traditional standards she was a prude. She was a conservative fundamentalist. Those are not very popular today. She championed family values. She opposed abortion and was not afraid to voice her opposition. "Yet for from being lampooned by the secular media she was hailed in life and death as a saint." They disagreed with almost everything she stood for but they respected her and listened. I speak of Mother Teresa. People respected her ability to abandon the pleasures of life to follow Jesus and minister to the poor.
God uses ordinary people most of the time. Our text deals with that issue. It is Luke 5:1-11.
GOD MAKES YOU ABLE
In this text Peter is greatly impressed at Jesus Christ's competence to work in his life.
"Come follow me, I will make you fishers of men." "Put your nets out deep." "Don't be afraid, from now on you will catch men.
GOD MAKES US ABLE! That is how He uses ordinary people. Zig Ziglar has often said that you are not a meaningless generality. God makes you a meaningful specific. He gives meaning to your life. When you least expect it God comes through for you. It is like the lady waiting for a bus. Every day she waited for a bus and every day she saw this poorly dressed man standing nearby. One day she prepared herself and gave the man a $10 bill and said, "Never Despair!" The next day she came to catch her bus and the same man was there. He handed her a crisp $100 bill. "What's this for, asked the lady? The man answered, "Never Despair won the 3rd race at 10-1 odds!" God is able! I think Ephesians 3:20 words it best. God makes you able. So often we are not able. God works in our lives and suddenly we have a power beyond ourselves.
GOD GAVE THESE MEN A VIEW BEYOND
Last summer my wife, son, and I along with some church members went to Bar Harbor, Maine for a summer trip. We visited some fishing villages. Professional fishermen are not known for their formal education. They are often untutored, unlearned, governed by their own religious views, and prejudices. They are simply skilled at fishing. These fishermen that Jesus encountered fit the pattern. But Jesus used them.
That is why I know God can use us. God literally works two acts of grace in our lives.
1. He accepts us just as we are. Then He watches as us grow.
2. He gives us a view beyond. I've seen it happen many times. God works in a person's life and suddenly they see hurting people, people in need. They look beyond themselves.
That is good for all of us, to look beyond. The church specializes in looking beyond self.
GOD MENDS US
These fishermen were mending their nets. That word mending is the same word Paul uses in Ephesians 4 for equip, "equipping the saints for works of ministry." God fixes us up. He equips us for what needs to be done. The xperiences in my life are not just circumstantial. I don't believe the things that happen to me just happen. Instead God uses those circumstances and events to equip me for ministry. That's what God does in your life. He equips each of us for what He wants to accomplish. Muhammad Ali says that when he was a child his parents bought him a new bike. Someone stole it. The police came and asked him what he was going to do when he found the person who stole his bike. Ali said he didn't know. So the policeman took him to a gym and taught him to fight. Ali said, "to this day I never found my bike, but every time I get in the ring and see my opponent I think of that bike." God uses the events of our lives to prepare us.
Do you know what I love about this text? God uses ordinary people. Sign up for any personality class or any motivational class or any management class and every effort is made to standardize you. You must fit into the mode whatever the mode might be. God doesn't standardize His people. He takes us as we are and works hard at using ordinary people like you and me. Be assured, God is competent to use each of us today.