We're 50 And I'm Reflecting (Part 2)

Come and see what God has done: he is awesome in his deeds toward the children of man.
— Psalm 66:5 ESV

This week I am sharing five life lessons I learned from pondering five decades of God's work in the life of Spanish River Church. Here are lessons 1 and 2:

  1. If you want to see something big, look up! Click here for more.
  2. God loves using the ordinary to do the extraordinary.

Before you read more about Lesson #2, take a few minutes and enjoy the outstanding work of Stephen Olmo as he chronicles SRC's past, present, and future in the video below.

Life Lesson #2 -- God loves using the ordinary to do the extraordinary

On February 5, 1967, David and Nori Nicholas held the very first service of Spanish River Church in a small storefront in Boca Raton. Looking back over those fifty years of life with Spanish River Church, Nori said:

What I find amazing is that God would take two such very ordinary and unremarkable people and give us such opportunities.

Nori's marvel is God's M.O.. He loves doing the extraordinary through the ordinary.

  • King David started his career as an ordinary shepherd boy.
  • Priscilla and Aquila were ordinary first century tent makers.
  • Peter and John were ordinary fishermen casting nets on Galilee.
  • Matthew was an ordinary bean counter working for the Roman IRS.
  • Mary was an ordinary teenage girl in Palestine.

Why does God find such great delight in transforming the ordinary into the extraordinary? It's rather simple:

  • Our ordinariness magnifies his extra-ordinariness.
  • Our inability magnifies his ability.
  • Our weakness magnifies his strength.

Weak people have to rely on God. Paul writes, "Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead" (2 Corinthians 1:9 ESV). Jesus told Paul,

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.
— 2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV

Ordinariness is a gift of sorts. People who recognize they are unremarkable, that they are inherently weak get to watch God perform the extraordinary through their lives.

Prior to our 50th Anniversary at Spanish River I posted on Facebook about the upcoming big day. A high school friend saw it and commented:

Very cool Tommy! You were a quiet, shy ordinary kid and God is using you in mighty ways!

She got the "ordinary" part spot on! Very ordinary!

But here’s the “very cool” part. The lesson of Spanish River Church is that Jesus is still taking ordinary people and doing extraordinary things:

  • God is taking ordinary students, as well as men and women who volunteer, to leave an eternal mark on the lives of kids through Upward Basketball at Spanish River.
  • God is using ordinary men and women to engage the casually connected of Boca through our 5K River Run and Ride for Orphans.
  • God is using ordinary moms and grandmas to impact children and younger moms through Nurturing Your Newborn and River Tots.
  • God is using ordinary folks with a passion to cook and bake to serve thousands of meals to our church and community through our Helps Ministry.
  • God is using ordinary folks to leave extraordinary impact in River Adventure and RAP.

I can go on and on. The point is that Jesus is still taking the ordinary and doing the extraordinary. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever (Hebrews 13:8). That belief has transformed my outlook on Spanish River Church. I think it should transform the way all of us think and live.

Here is what I reminded our church on Sunday:

Every time you step on our campus you need to remind yourself, “God does the extraordinary here!” Every time you walk off this campus you need to remind yourself, “I am an agent of the extraordinary God! He has given me a platform to witness and serve. I am on his mission!”

Fifty years ago God took two "very ordinary and unremarkable people" and gave them the ride of their lives. He is still doing that kind of work today.

Are you feeling a little ordinary today? You you have a great reason to have a good mood deep down in your soul. You are a prime candidate for God's extraordinary work. Why not stop right now and pray:

Lord God, here I am. Use me today to witness and serve.