6/23/2009

Simon is just like us

6/23/2009 Posted by Sheldon Clowdus , , , No comments
I was reading the story of Simon the magician in Acts this morning. If you are not familiar with the story....Simon amazes the people of Samaria with his magic and gains a reputation for being a great man. When Philip comes and preaches the gospel, Simon believes. Later when Peter and John come and lay hands on the believers there, the believers are filled with the Holy Spirit. When Simon sees this, he offers to buy the ability to grant the Holy Spirit to someone from Peter and John. He is then rebuked and asks them to pray for him.

What struck me about this story is the similarity between Simon and so many believers in the church today. God has rescued us from our sin and adopted us into His kingdom but we still think and operate as if worldly principles still applied to us.

Simon was a great man with great powers before Christ. When he perceived what he deemed a good opportunity to be a great man with great powers in Christ, he jumped on it. What he soon learned is that the kingdom of God does not work like the kingdom of the world. Simon probably had good intentions. He wanted to be great in God's kingdom. He just didn't know how to accomplish that so he fell back to the world's formula for greatness.

We do the same thing. We pursue opportunities in church or ministry that the world would think are prestigious. We have good intentions.....we just go about greatness the wrong way. Greatness in God's kingdom is service. Service that is unconcerned about who knows about it or how it is perceived while we are here on earth.

Greatness is loving God and serving others and knowing that great is our reward in heaven.

6/10/2009

Lessons from the beach

6/10/2009 Posted by Sheldon Clowdus No comments
My family and I are on vacation this week on St. George Island off the coast of Florida. This morning we were walking on the beach down by the ocean so we could enjoy the waves lapping around our feet as we walked. My 2 year old Sophie got tired of walking and called out, "Mommy, I can't walk!" In response I reached out my hand to her. She grabbed hold of my hand and continued to walk the rest of the way. I didn't pick her up or carry her, just held her hand. It was as if their was something about just holding the hand of her father that allowed her to continue walking when she didn't think she could.

Shouldn't our relationship with our heavenly father be like that? Shouldn't we be able to go to Him and cry out, "Father, I can't walk!"? When we can't continue, shouldn't just feeling the touch of our Father empower us to continue?