Tuesday 2-7-17, Modesto, California
Today we read Lev 4 – 6 and Acts 14
S = Scripture O = Observation A = Application P = Prayer SOAP for the soul.
S. Acts 14:15 Friends, why are you doing this? We are merely human beings like yourselves! We have come to bring you the Good News that you should turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them. NLT
O. The man had been lame from birth. He had never walked a single step. Paul had been preaching about the miracle working Jesus and when he saw faith in lame man’s eyes. He yelled, “Hey, you!” “Who? Me?” “Yeah you! Stand up!” You can almost hear the crowd gasping, “Oooohhh”.
You know the old line… “All religions are good. They all lead us to God. Our religion is better than yours! Just look at our pretty temple with the angel and trumpet on top of the spire.” Within minutes the local priests of their Greek god, Zeus had a religious act in full motion. These were very religious people. Their priests could already see this would be good for business for their Temple. But when Paul and Barnabas saw it… they came running. “No! No! Stop! Look! We are not gods!” So, the crowd used their mob spirit to stone Paul and here is Barnabas with a friend or two dragging the motionless body out of town leaving a trail of missionary blood. Then the few new believers circled him and prayed. A swollen black eye opened and now Paul was up and walking back into town for more.
A. I get discouraged too easily. Somebody denounces me. “You didn’t do that right.” I get a sinking feeling in my gut. The devil sneaks up to tell me I am a failure. No rocks, no clubs, just words and here I am whimpering. J I should be rejoicing.
P. Lord, I haven’t been stoned lately. Or if I have, they missed. The only blood I have spilled on the mission field was when I skinned my knee. When the devil used a demon possessed man to take me out of commission with his fists, You raised an invisible shield. Probably You protect me because You know that I am such a wimp. Really, I prefer to not be strong like the Apostle Paul. I can live without action stories about beatings, shipwrecks, floating on a board at sea a night and a day, chased, chained and chastised and years in prison. I think I’d rather be a wimp, thank You. Amen.