I absolutely love how a passage of Scripture can seem to be talking about a series of loosely connected events, but then God just hits me with a truth that runs through all of them! That’s what he did this morning in Acts 8. I read through it a couple of times, took a few notes, looked a few things up, and started doodling. And, it wasn’t until I was adding the finishing touches to my doodle that he tied it all together for me! (Which is, by the way, why doodling is such an important part of my quiet time!) Jesus is greater than you, than me, than any circumstance we will ever face, and he’s greater than our sin and any power it may have on us. And Acts 8 shows us every single one of those!
The persecution of the early church not only starts, but it kicks into high gear! The believers have to flee from Jerusalem and head to surrounding cities and regions. But, God keeps working. The believers keep sharing the gospel and people keep coming to faith. Jesus is bigger than the circumstance they were facing.
Simon the magician had everyone in Samaria convinced he was a man of God because of his magic. He told everyone how great he was, and they believed him. But, when Philip shared the gospel with them, they all placed their faith in Jesus. Even Simon! Jesus is greater than Simon and anything he could’ve done to convince people otherwise.
Peter laid hands on these new Samaritan believers asking God to fill them with the Holy Spirit. Simon saw this, and tried to pay Peter to give him the same power. Peter told him how sinful that was and that he should repent and ask to be forgiven for that sin and for the wickedness he was trapped in. So he did. Jesus is greater than the sin that had Simon so trapped.
Over and over and over… Jesus is greater. Jesus is greater. Jesus is greater.
So, why do we spend so much time and effort trying to get people to look at us instead of him?
When the big things happen, I’m very quick to give glory to Jesus for it. That’s easy! There’s no way I could ever do those big things myself, so of course Jesus gets the glory.
But what about the little things? What about the details? I think that’s where the Lord does some of his most amazing work, yet I am so quick to dismiss the fact that it’s him. I’ll do something small and receive a compliment for it, and I’m very quick to just say “Thank you,” and keep moving on. Or, I’ll start explaining what I did to get that result, as if I’m the reason for it. I take credit for things that have absolutely nothing to do with me. And I do it all the time.
I guess it doesn’t seem like that big of a deal, and I really don’t even notice it, because it is in the details. But, how many opportunities am I missing in even one day to point someone to Jesus? And how many times am I actually telling people that I’m greater than he is because I’m taking credit away from him and giving it to myself?
If I do something good at work, that’s Jesus.
If I make a yummy meal, that’s Jesus.
If I bring coffee to my husband first thing in the morning, that’s Jesus.
Every detail of my life, every blessing I receive, every blessing I give… it’s all Jesus.
And, even when I’m stealing his credit and glorifying myself, he still loves me. And, when I can repent of that and be forgiven, that’s Jesus.
Jesus is greater.