Monday, March 18, 2013

It’s not all about me

Act 14:19- 28  But Jews came there from Antioch and Iconium and won over the crowds. Then they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead. But when the disciples surrounded him, he got up and went into the city. The next day he went on with Barnabas to Derbe. After they had proclaimed the good news to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, then on to Iconium and Antioch. There they strengthened the souls of the disciples and encouraged them to continue in the faith, saying, "It is through many persecutions that we must enter the kingdom of God." And after they had appointed elders for them in each church, with prayer and fasting they entrusted them to the Lord in whom they had come to believe.  Then they passed through Pisidia and came to Pamphylia.  When they had spoken the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia.  From there they sailed back to Antioch, where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work that they had completed.   When they arrived, they called the church together and related all that God had done with them, and how he had opened a door of faith for the Gentiles. And they stayed there with the disciples for some time.

I am struck by the ‘matter of fact’ narration of the life of Paul. He is beaten up, left for dead, and when he recovers he simply continues as if nothing untoward has happened. This is a faith that avoided the cult of the individual hero. In fact Acts 14: 11-15 sees Paul explicitly resisting the adulation of the crowds. This is a faith that plays down the messenger in order to highlight the message. This is faith that acknowledges “the Grace of God for the work they had completed” (Acts 14:26).
This week we remember Jesus as he makes his Palm Sunday entrance of Jerusalem. Pray that you and I may be able to pause our ego-driven lives long enough to acknowledge that it is not all about me.


I'm coming back to the heart of worship
And it's all about You,
It's all about You, Jesus
I'm sorry, Lord, for the thing I've made it
When it's all about You,
It's all about You, Jesus

Michael W. Smith The Heart Of Worship


Palm Sunday
The Wounds and Sorrows of Ministry
Scripture reading taken from A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and Other Servants p.136


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