ODJ: called and equipped

November 22, 2015 

READ: Acts 4:5-14 

The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John . . . ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures (v.13).

One of the most famous and influential preachers of the gospel in American history was D. L. Moody. The preacher, who lived in the 19th century, also founded Moody Bible Institute and began publishing Christian books—scarce at the time. Both MBI and Moody Publishers continue to function more than a century after his death. Surely such a renowned believer in Jesus was highly trained and educated! But that doesn’t describe Moody. He had very little education and worked as a humble shoe salesman for years before his conversion.

D. L. Moody’s example seems to be an exception, but it’s actually consistent with what we find in the New Testament. In Acts 4, Peter gave a compelling explanation of the miracle he had performed—it was Jesus who made this miracle possible (v.10). One might assume that Peter was highly trained as a biblical scholar and public speaker, but the authorities couldn’t help but note that he and John were “ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures” (v.13).

This is a great illustration of a principle found throughout Scripture: God doesn’t call the best equipped; rather, He equips those He has called. This was the case with Peter, but also with Moses—a man who said he was a clumsy speaker and yet was told to challenge the most powerful man in the world! (Exodus 4:10). It was also the case with David, who—compared to King Saul—was small and unimpressive (1 Samuel 9:2).

—Peter Chin

365-day-plan: Romans 8:19-39

Read Acts 9:1-19 for another example of a man who was equipped by God for a ministry for which he appeared to be poorly suited. 
What’s more important in your decision-making process, your ability or your calling? How do we make sure we’re truly being called to do something?