This devotional is based on Acts 14 that is read in accordance with the Revived by His Word initiative of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
What an excellent problem it would be to have to be telling folk today - 'No, no, we're not gods!' - not because we coyly seek praise or behave with any subtle air of superiority, but simply that we give Holy Spirit-powered service. So where Matt. 5: 16 says, "Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven," doesn't it come alive where what you do evokes the desire in others to worship, and your job is to simply DIRECT that worship to God? Oh that we would draw some of the worship being offered in the world today, and redirect it to He who alone deserves it.
From Worship to 'War-ship'
"But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having persuaded the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead." Acts 14: 19
How does a crowd get from wanting to offer sacrifice to these "gods among us," (Acts 14: 11) to stoning Paul to the point of death and throwing him out of town? That should only be possible if these guys were found out to be frauds - and that's very likely the case that these opposing Jews successfully made. Familiar scene? Should be. Only a few days before He was crucified, Jesus was hailed by the very people who, "Took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord." It is very likely that some of the very individuals who instigated Paul's stoning were the very ones who are here described, "And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the son of David; they were sore displeased." Matt. 21: 15. They would later lead the crowd to ask that Jesus be crucified (John 19: 6).
Think it not Strange
Peter who himself faced this seemingly strange anomaly in his ministry said, "Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you," (1 Peter 4: 12). Paul and Barnabas were indeed reconciled to what they faced in ministry and encouraged those they shared with "to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God." Acts 14: 22.
To read Acts 14 and other related blogs, please click here.