When Barnabas and Paul heard what they were about to do, they tore their clothes and ran into the middle of the crowd, shouting, ‘Why are you doing this? We ourselves are only human beings like you! We are here to announce the Good News, to turn you away from these worthless things to the living God, who made heaven, earth, and sea, and all that is in them.’ (verses 14,15)
Read Acts 14:1-18
There is a Lycaonian legend that tells that when Zeus and Hermes came to earth in disguise, nobody would help them except two old peasants. Zeus proceeded to kill all the Lycaonians and made the two peasants guardians of a magnificent temple.
The people of Lystra decided never to make such a mistake again. When they saw the powerful way in which Paul and Barnabas spoke and healed the sick, they thought Zeus and Hermes had returned. Paul and Barnabas were horrified. Everything they were trying to teach was being defiled by the people’s desire to worship old gods and old ways.
Christians today have a similar problem. Generally people are open to the idea of some sort of god, but more and more are looking to pagan beliefs, New Age solutions and quick-fix religions that offer hollow promises and no salvation. We need to announce the good news today as never before and point the way to the one true living God.
Help me to see through the false ways of the world and worship only you, Lord, the one true God. Amen.
by Kathy Hoopmann, in ‘Guidance for each Day’ (LCA, Openbook, 2002)
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