“Peter’s words pierced their hearts, and they said to him and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?” Peter replied, “Each of you must repent of your sins and turn to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. Then you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. This promise is to you, and to your children, and even to the Gentiles—all who have been called by the Lord our God.” Then Peter continued preaching for a long time, strongly urging all his listeners, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation!” Those who believed what Peter said were baptized and added to the church that day—about 3,000 in all.” Acts 2:37-41
Peter steps forward and preaches to the crowd, declaring how Jesus was the Messiah and telling the crowd that they need to repent of their sin. And as a result of his preaching 3000 people believed and joined the church. That’s a pretty successful sermon! I doubt many evangelists other than maybe Billy Graham get 3000 people when they give an altar call! But let’s pause here a second. Because it is Peter who preaches this message that so many respond to. Peter, the disciple who tried to walk on water, and sank. Peter, the disciple who tried to talk Jesus out of giving up his life. Peter, the disciple who cut a guy’s ear off when Jesus had taught turn the other cheek. Peter, the disciple who denied Jesus three times. And God uses him to save 3000 people. Which goes to show it is not about us, but the Holy Spirit at work through us.
In 1 Corinthians 1:27 we are told “God deliberately chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And he chose those who are powerless to shame those who are powerful.” God works through everyday people like you and me so that He gets the glory as we do things we could not possibly hope to achieve on our own. That is something that is really clear in my life through All4God – I’m just a guy writing stuff in my bedroom and sticking it up online, with no advertising budget, but somehow over 750 people have become Facebook fans, and the site has had close to 16,000 visits and almost 30,000 pageviews. (I looked that up while preparing for this and was blown away, I had no idea it was so many). God can work through people like us, all we have to do is let him. You may feel you aren’t good enough, not smart enough, that you don’t feel you have enough faith, but God can and will use you if you let him. I believe the Kings of Leon nailed it in their song Use somebody when they sing “You know that I could use somebody, someone like you”. Yes, I just quoted the guys who sang sex is on fire in church, but their parents were preachers so maybe so of their Biblical upbringing slipped into that song. And if God can speak through Balaam’s donkey I’m sure he can speak through a Kings of Leon track too.
When we look through the Bible at the people God used, we see that He works through everyday screw ups like us. Moses killed a guy and was a poor speaker. Jonah ran away when called by God. Noah got drunk after his heroics with the ark. Jacob lied to get a blessing he wasn’t entitled to. King David, described as a man after God’s heart had an affair after he saw Bathsheba bathing on the roof (her beauty and the moon light overthrew him). Timothy was too young whereas Abraham was too old. Thomas had his doubts. God uses misfits and failures, and he can use you.