Summary: The Extraordinary Prayer: "Lord, let us live such extraordinary lives that they can only be explained by the power of God."
Let’s start with a trivia contest. This is only for old people like me. How many of you remember something specific about the summer of 1969? Raise your hand...something about the summer of 1969. It’s funny. For the old people, they’re doing a couple of things. One...they’re saying, "I don’t want anyone to know what I remember about the summer of 1969." Then the other half of the old people is saying, "I’m not going to admit I’m old enough to..." We know. Come on.
I remember the summer of 1969. I was seven years old. In July of that year, Neil Armstrong took the first step of a human on the moon. How many of you remember that event...watched that on TV? I’ll never forget...I was over at a friend’s house, and we were seven, so we ran out in the front yard. We looked up at the moon to see if we could see Neil Armstrong walking on the moon. We couldn’t see him, but I knew from that moment on exactly what I wanted to do in life. I wanted to be an astronaut. Man, no matter what else, I was going to be an astronaut.
So what do you do if you’re going to be an astronaut? Do you guys remember? What do you drink? Tang...that’s right. I started drinking my Tang. Everybody under 40 is saying, "What? What are they talking about?" Drank my nasty tasting, powdered orange-juice Tang. Started doing my sit-ups. I started paying attention in math class every other day. I was going to be an astronaut. Well, my extreme fear of heights and claustrophobia combined...man, I was never going to get inside the space capsule. Probably my weak math would have messed me up too. But I knew from that time on, I wanted to do something extraordinary.
I tell you what I want to do. Let’s have a little audience participation today. Now, what I want you to do...just turn to your neighbor, tell them what you wanted to be when you grew up. Tell your neighbor right now. What did you want to be when you grew up? Okay. We don’t need a description of your career, just what you wanted to be. Some of you guys...maybe you wanted to be a rock star when you grew up and sing to a huge coliseum. Or maybe you wanted to be an athlete who caught the winning touchdown in the Super Bowl, or maybe you wanted to be a doctor who cured cancer. But almost all of us, I think, would say that when we grew up, when we were kids, we wanted to do something extraordinary.
I don’t think any of us would say, "You know, my dream when I was a kid...what I really wanted to do would be to grow up and live an ordinary life, and to have an ordinary family, have an ordinary business, and eventually die an ordinary death and not make a ripple in life." Probably not. If you’re like me, what I wanted most, as a kid, was to do something extraordinary with my life.
That’s one of the reasons I love the book of Acts in the Bible because the book of Acts is about very ordinary people...people like you, people like me. The people in the book of Acts were fishermen. They were blue-collar workers. They were accountants. They were stay-at-home moms. They were career people...just ordinary, everyday people. Something happened in their lives that they suddenly became extraordinary. They did extraordinary things. In fact, by the end of the book of Acts, someone is going to describe this group of people as having turned the world upside down. That fascinates me. That’s why I love the series we’re in. We’re in a series called It Starts With One. We’re going through the book of Acts.
Now, we will be going through the book of Acts well into 2015. Okay? Just so you know that. What will help you as we go through this series, honestly, and it’s a habit I’ve kind of gotten out of, but if you’ll start bringing your Bible with you every weekend to church because we’re going to spend a lot of time just actually in the Scripture. I carry my Bible, and I have a little Blackberry, and I have an online Bible I use, but whatever Bible you use, let me encourage you, just really start bringing your Bible.
If you brought one today, go ahead and pop it open to Acts, chapter 4, because that’s where we’re going in a little while. We’ll eventually get there. We’re going to take a look at a Scripture in Acts, chapter 2. So if you want to put a finger in Acts, chapter 4...back over to Acts, chapter 2, the last few verses, we’re going to take a look at those in a few minutes. We’re going to look at how this band of ordinary, everyday people lived extraordinary lives. Before we dive into that, let me pray. Would you pray with me just for a minute?