Empty Cross Ministries
January 26, 2021
Daily Devotion in Acts 14
Paul Heals a Lame Man.
Who Should Get the Credit?
God had done an incredible miracle and healed a man that was crippled from birth (Acts 14:10). Paul was the vessel that God used to get the man to walk.
Then a shocking thing happened. When the people saw what Paul had been used to do, they immediately gave their false gods credit! They accredited Paul to being Mercurius (Mercury), the Roman god of commerce. They thought Barnabas was Jupiter, the Latin name for the false god, Zeus. To make matters worse, the priest of Jupiter arrived, brought them gifts, and wanted to make a sacrifice to the false deities (Acts 14:13).
When the two men of the true God heard how God’s work had been interpreted and credited to false gods, they were shocked. Barnabas and Paul “rent their clothes,” which was how the Jewish culture showed great distress and disappointment. They went among the crowd trying to explain to the people who the real God was.
Many times, we see God’s mighty hand in a situation. We know it is answered prayer and are amazed at what He has done. However, it is not long until we hear the ungodly crowd see it differently.
I remember when Florida was faced with a hurricane heading directly for the south-west portion of the state. All weather projections had it going straight through the state and doing much damage. The storm got closer and closer. It was evitable that the state was going to be clobbered. Windows were boarded up. People left the threatened area. Dark clouds and winds arrived. At the last minute, the hurricane turned 180 degrees and headed away from land and went out to sea.
Christians were elated. They knew God had done the impossible — again. Almost immediately, the weather broadcasts attributed it to some scientific weather anomaly. They would not give credit where credit was due. They failed to see the true God intervening. Perhaps, it was for the same reason that the crowd who saw Paul’s and Barnabas’ experience were blinded. It may have been because they were raised without the knowledge of God and did not know Him or what He could do.
Unfortunately, I believe our world today is in a similar position. People have been programmed and raised without biblical knowledge. They are ignorant of His creation, His history with the people of the world, and His workings. When something supernatural does occur, they explain it away with the only “religions” they do know: humanism, science, or other false religions they trust.
Man, usually wants to have an answer for what happens. If they are not trained properly, they will come up with their own explanations. That is why, as Christians, it is so vital that we fill the void of understanding an ungodly world has with the truths from the Word of God!
“A coincidence is when God chooses to remain anonymous.”
Words to Understand:
Impotent: void of strength; unable to function properlyToday’s Reading:
1 And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake, that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed.
2 But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil affected against the brethren.
3 Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands.
4 But the multitude of the city was divided: and part held with the Jews, and part with the apostles.
5 And when there was an assault made both of the Gentiles, and also of the Jews with their rulers, to use them despitefully, and to stone them,
6 They were ware of it, and fled unto Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and unto the region that lieth round about:
7 And there they preached the gospel.
8 ¶ And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother’s womb, who never had walked:
9 The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed,
10 Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked.
11 And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men.
12 And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker.
13 Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before their city, brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the people.
14 Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out,
15 And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein:
16 Who in times past suffered
all nations to walk in their own ways.
17 Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.
18 And with these sayings scarce restrained they the people, that they had not done sacrifice unto them.
19 ¶ And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead.
20 Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.
21 And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch,
22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.
23 And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.
24 And after they had passed throughout Pisidia, they came to Pamphylia.
25 And when they had preached the word in Perga, they went down into Attalia:
26 And thence sailed to Antioch, from whence they had been recommended to the grace of God for the work which they fulfilled.
27 And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles.
28 And there they abode long time with the disciples.