What separates an ordinary life from an extraordinary life? One word – extra. The “extra” added to ”ordinary” makes something “extra”-ordinary. That is true in anything that we do, on the job, in relationships, and in life. And it is should be especially true in Christianity.
When we see something that is extra-ordinary, like a beautifully landscaped yard, we are awed by the extra thought, creativity, effort, time, money and yes, extra love and passion that went into making it something way beyond the ordinary. It’s that “eXtra” factor that makes it so extraordinary.
We were created to have extra-ordinary lives. And most people want their lives to be marked by having that “eXtra” factor. But all too often when we look at our lives we see the ordinary and not the extra-ordinary.
When Jesus came to earth declaring the good news of salvation with the purpose of establishing His church, He was not coming to establish something that was ordinary. He came to take the ordinary and transform it into the extraordinary. Everything about Jesus life and ministry was extraordinary. The things He said and did were off the charts of what might be considered the norm or average or ordinary.
And Jesus was always looking for the extraordinary responses in people. He was looking for extraordinary perseverance, extraordinary love, extraordinary generosity, extraordinary obedience. Those are the things that caught His attention. Those are the things that he found remarkable; things he commented on and encouraged others to emulate.
There is a select group of people in the Gospels who Jesus declared extraordinary. Included in that elite group were the centurion who besought Jesus to heal his servant, the one leper who returned to give thanks, the widow who gave all she had, the Gentile mother pleading for healing of her daughter and the woman who broke the alabaster jar anointing Jesus right before His death. (Luke 7:9, 17:18, & 21:3; Matthew 15:21; Mark 14:9)
What made them so extraordinary? It was “eXtra” factor of faith and love. Paul describes it as ‘faith working through love.” (Galatians 5:6) Their love for Jesus and for those they brought to Him activated their faith that moved them to do extraordinary things. They made extraordinary requests and trusted God for extraordinary results.
Ordinary Christianity is really an oxymoron. Extraordinary Christianity should be the norm. Christianity is the miracle of God taking the ordinary and transforming it into the extraordinary. The “eXtra” factor of faith and love is the empowering secret. If we are willingly yielded to Him, put our faith in Jesus and love Him with all our heart, soul, mind and strength; then He will take us and make our lives extraordinary.
When Jesus comes into an ordinary person’s life through the power of the Holy Spirit, that person is transformed through faith into an extraordinary person.
Loving those who love you, that is ordinary love. Loving those who don’t love you, that is extraordinary. Trusting God when thing are going fine is ordinary. Trusting God when things are not going fine, that is extraordinary. Giving when you know that you can afford it, that is ordinary. Giving when you don’t know how you can afford it, that is extraordinary.
Is your Christianity ordinary or is it extraordinary?