I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts.
–1 Kings 19:10
We all want our lives to count for something. We want to be extraordinary. The extraordinary life is made by choosing extraordinary moments, and the decision is yours.
My friend Dr. James Dobson calls the ordinary life the “straight life.” He said, “The straight life for a working man is . . . pulling our tired frame out of bed, five days a week, fifty weeks out of the year. It is earning a two-week vacation in August, and choosing a trip that will please the kids. The straight life is spending your money wisely when you’d rather indulge in a new whatever; it is taking your son bike riding on Saturday when you want so badly to watch the baseball game; it is cleaning out the garage on your day off after working sixty hours the prior week. The straight life is coping with head colds and engine tune-ups, and crabgrass and income tax forms.” That’s a pretty good description of the ordinary existence of most men and women. Yet I believe that deep down you want a life that is truly extraordinary, one that is making an eternal difference in the lives of people. You may say, “You don’t understand, Pastor. How can I have an extraordinary life? I am a nobody from nowhere. What eternal difference can an ordinary person like me make?” Don’t ever underestimate the power of an ordinary person to make an extraordinary impact.
Consider the story of Edward Kimball, a Boston carpet salesman who taught a Sunday school class of teenage boys in the mid-1800s. One day, Kimball wanted to share the gospel with a troubled youth from his class, so he went to the shoe store where the boy worked. They talked for a few minutes, and then, to Kimball’s surprise, the boy knelt and professed his faith in Christ. That eighteen-year-old was Dwight L. Moody, who became the greatest evangelist of the nineteenth century.
Years later, Moody counseled a young man named J. Wilbur Chapman on the assurance of his salvation. Chapman became an evangelist who influenced a popular former baseball player named Billy Sunday. In 1924, Billy Sunday led an evangelistic rally in Charlotte, North Carolina, from which a Christian businessmen’s club was formed. In 1934, that club sponsored a revival meeting at which a fifteen-year-old boy was saved. His name was Billy Graham–a man who preached the gospel to more people around the world than any other evangelist.
In 1953, Billy Graham held a crusade in Dallas during which my mother gave her life to Christ. So I can truly say that I became a Christian and began my ministry in large part because of a Boston carpet salesman who, 165 years ago, was faithful to Christ. Don’t ever underestimate the power of God using an ordinary you to make an extraordinary difference.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Choosing the Extraordinary Life” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2017.
James C. Dobson, quoted in Charles R. Swindoll, “Living on the Ragged Edge” (Waco: Word, 1985), 29.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.