Hello, this is Mike. I’m one of the curates at St Peter’s and I’m going to be guest-blogging on here this week. If you have any questions or comments, please tweet me @mike_griffiths or leave a comment below and I’ll try to respond.
For who’s glory do you do what you do?
During the week I work for a software company where I am responsible for managing and motivating teams of people. To help with that, we do a lot of “Personality Profiling” work so we can all understand each other better and know how to get the best out of our colleagues. It can be quite revealing! Some people like it when you tell them publicly how great they are, some people would be really embarrassed by that and prefer a quiet “thank you”. Other’s really want their name in lights – to be the one who is worshipped – and will do anything they can to make that happen.
In our passage today, Simon strikes me as one of those people. He has tasted fame (and, presumably, fortune) by doing some pretty dodgy stuff but people were amazed at what he could do. People were also interested in what he had to say and that would have been a pretty big ego boost. Sorcerer Simon, though, had his head turned when he heard about Jesus. Even he, the popular one who everyone loved, started following Philip around so he could learn more about Jesus for himself. This is a wonderful story of someone turning from darkness to light.
But hearing the Good News and being baptised does not mean that we get a personality (or ego) transplant. It might be a one-off decision to follow Jesus but it is also a daily choice to put Him first and not return to our old ways. Our God is an Awesome God and wonderful things happen when people get to know him. Simon saw some of those things happening and wanted some of that power for himself – he wanted his name in lights again – but the Apostles said “no way – your motivation is all wrong!!” Whenever we have the opportunity to serve God, we must remember that what we do is all for Him who is worthy of all honour and praise.
Lord Jesus, thank you for all the wonderful gifts you have given to each one of us. Help us to use them for Your Glory and not for our fame. Amen
It is never easy to be told that we’re being self-centred but it is often the thing we need to hear the most. Where in your life do you need to look at your motives and think about how you can put Jesus first?