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Seeds of the Kingdom

A Lesson from Peter and Paul

by Yulia Kariuki

29 January 2020

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But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
Acts 1:8, NIV

Before Jesus left this earth, He gave a command to His disciples that would change their service and ministry for the Lord, once it was fulfilled. The power to witness, preach and teach was to be given to the disciples when the Holy Spirit came on them. Their own experience was not enough, nor was their knowledge or wisdom. They needed the power from above to serve the Lord in a powerful way.

In the same book of Acts we read amazing stories of Jesus’ disciples doing wonderful things and glorifying God. I want to look briefly at Peter and Paul, people from such different backgrounds, who were used powerfully by the Lord.

Peter was a fisherman, unschooled and an ordinary man (Acts 4:13). His lack of education and ordinary background didn’t stop him from preaching in the power of the Holy Spirit and having three thousand people baptised and added to the church the same day (Acts 2:41).

But then we have Paul, who had all the reasons to put his confidence in his flesh. He was ‘circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for righteousness based on the law, faultless’ (Philippians 3:5-6). But he considered everything ‘rubbish’ for the sake of knowing Christ. Paul had an amazing ministry to Gentiles. He set up many churches and did a lot to further the kingdom of God.

These two men had different upbringing, life experience, and job opportunities, and yet the same Spirit came upon them both and they served the Lord powerfully.

What can we learn from them? It is not our education, upbringing, life experience, or knowledge and wisdom which empower us to serve the Lord. It is the power of the Holy Spirit which enables us to do so, bringing the fruit and furthering the kingdom of God. Being unschooled didn’t hinder Peter in bringing many souls to Christ. And Paul was able to lay all his worldly qualifications down before the Lord to serve Him humbly and fruitfully.

It doesn’t matter what walk of life we come from, whether we have many degrees or none . God is able to use us to glorify His holy Name. Our willingness to serve Him qualifies us for that. Allow yourself to be used by God the way you are, putting aside the limitations you have placed on yourself. And once you do that, you will see His power at work.

Prayer: Father, thank You that You are willing to use me to further Your Kingdom on earth. Please help me to put aside the limitations and restrictions I have placed on myself, so I can do it fruitfully. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Yulia Kariuki was born in Russia and studied translation and interpretation as her profession. She joined Ellel Ministries in 2009, after graduating from university. The same year she met her husband and Bernard and Yulia served on team for many years both in Scotland and at Ellel Grange.

 

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