Thursday, May 3, 2012

Acts 14:14-18

Summary retelling of Acts 14:14-18

When Barnabas and Paul hear about what is going on, they are really disturbed.  They immediately go out into the streets and begin to tell the people that they are just human beings like the rest of the people.  They explain that they do the things they do to help people understand the power of God within everyone not so that people might continue to turn and worship false gods.  They also explains that in the past God allowed people to walk whatever way they wanted while giving them subtle signs of His love like the sunshine and the rain.  Even with this explanation it was difficult to keep the people from continuing to think of them as gods and to keep the people from making sacrifices.

Thoughts for Today
First Thought:
Paul and Barnabas immediately go out and set the record straight.  As Christians we don’t want anyone thinking higher of us than they ought.  The amount of glory I receive is not all that important.  (Although I also have to admit that from a human perspective it is still important in some way, too.)  What is far more important is that it is God who receives the glory and that it is His name that is praised.  I give Paul and Barnabas a lot of credit for having the humbleness for not wanting a part of what the town was offering them.  If they wanted, I’m sure they could have gotten rich and powerful in Lystra – but they just aren’t interested in those things.  They want God to get the glory.

Are there times when you crave the spotlight and crave people complimenting you?  Are those times always inherently bad? How do we know when to accept genuine appreciation and when to remind people to focus on God’s greatness rather than our greatness?

Second Thought:
Paul and Barnabas explain that God has set a subtle witness around us.  The heat and light from the sun.  The rain from the clouds.  The produce from the fields and orchards.  We are blessed by His provision.

Do we see and remember the subtle witness very often?  Do we give God the glory for the subtle things as well as the big things? 

Third Thought:
Paul and Barnabas can barely keep the people from doing what they want to do anyway.  There is a strong lesson in this, too.  When people get something in their mind, they usually want to do it regardless of any truth or logic that comes their way.  We as human beings are fairly stubborn people – even in the face of truth we still want our way.

Why are we so stubborn?  Why are we so slow to admit that another way is a better way?

Passage for Tomorrow: Acts 14:19-23
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