Struggling With Selfishness
Full of Faith & The Holy Spirit
To the world you may only be one person,
But to one person you may be the world.
That Sunday I hardly heard one word of the sermon. Just a couple of seats over in front of me a young dad cradled his precious newborn. I couldn’t pull my own eyes away from the fixed gaze of that little girl on her daddy’s face.
He represented her whole world.
I smiled remembering those days when my children thought their daddy hung the moon. As teens, they still seek his approval, but they don’t always believe he’s right about everything. They look to other people to form their identity and answer questions about life, themselves, and their futures.
Sometimes those sources they seek can make them pretty self-focused.
I’ll confess, the first time I read through Acts, my own selfishness became the focus of the story. God put Stephen in charge of the church’s food bank. A noble ministry for sure. But when I read the rest of Acts 6 and then Stephen’s sermon in Acts 7, I instantly thought, “This guy can preach! For REAL! Like, this is the best sermon recorded in the entire New Testament canon, and God had him passing out bread?!”. I just don’t get it.
Full of Faith & the Holy Spirit
But to those widows who depended upon Stephen’s careful administration of church resources: he became their world. I can only imagine what words of encouragement and comfort he offered to each woman who approached Stephen and the six other deacons each day. Stephen did preach, with every crumb of bread that passed from his hands into a desperate woman’s.
It takes a person full of faith and the Holy Spirit to do a job that by the world’s standards, can feel meaningless. There is a mark of maturity in a person who will set aside their own passions, giftedness, and desires to simply get a needed job done. (I feel like I’m being so tested in this in my own life right now. My family has collectively decided my spiritual gift is dishwashing, so they make sure they give me ample opportunity to exercise it- LOL!).
A Little Truth Telling
Okay- here is a little truth telling moment- this is from a Facebook Post a few months back:
Does anyone else live in a family where every member seems to hold irrational fears toward this common household appliance?! 🤷♀️🤦♀️💁♀️
I mean, we’ve made great strides. They’ll actually come near it now and put their dishes in the sink next to it. Occasionally they’ll even hint of breakthrough and remain long enough to douse their dish with water 💧
But alas, this cavern in the counter is still treated like Pandora’s box, fearing all manner of evil and strife if they dare open it and insert a dish inside 🙄
And all I have to say about that is if we don’t experience some sort of psychological breakthrough soon, this mama is gonna need her own round of therapy bc I am seriously sick of doing ALL the dishes 😂😂😂😂
Stephen stepped up and said, “We will serve the least of these. We will do whatever needs to be done so the greatest number of people possible can hear about Jesus”. Look what happened:
“And the Word of God continued to increase, and the number of disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith,” (Acts 6:7).
Revive Us, Lord!
As we are serving in our homes, let’s ask God to revive within us a spirit of unselfishness. Let’s allow Him to use this time to fill us with faith and the Holy Spirit, realizing that to our family, we are their world right now, even though they may not acknowledge it.
If you live alone, ask the Holy Spirit to revive within you a spirit of service toward your neighbor, your extended family or your church body. With so many in isolation, a simple phone call can mean the world to someone else right now. And when those church doors do reopen? What will you and I be willing to do so that the number of Jesus followers multiplies greatly?
A PRAYER for Revival:
LORD JESUS so much of our world today focuses on finding ourselves first so we can know how to serve you. All of those tools are necessary and helpful in so many ways. There are other times though, when you call us to set aside the service that we love in order to accomplish the service that is needed. Stephen set aside his great preaching gift in order to feed the hungry. Exactly what You taught your disciples to do when You walked upon the earth. Strip us of the fascination with size and help us to see every individual soul with significance, so that we become willing to serve as you taught us, knowing that You are the God who never wastes simple obedience. Instead, You are God who turns the simple into something spectacular.
Today’s reading is from The Pentecost Challenge A 49 day devotional sent each morning to your inbox to intentionally seek revival in your life. To connect with Erica, learn more about her bible studies and speaking ministry, visit https://ericawiggenhorn.com