Paul and Barnabas are preaching in Lystra. They have healed a man and now the crowds are convinced that they are Hermes and Zeus and are preparing to sacrifice to them. “But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of it, they tore their garments and rushed into the crowd, crying out, ‘Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men, of like nature with you”(Acts 14:14-15). They are greatly upset at this development, insisting that they are mere men and not deserving of worship. Yet this scene also provides an object lesson: “We bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them”(Acts 14:15). This kind of foolishness—assuming that living men are really lifeless gods—is exactly what the gospel prevents.
Paul doesn’t preach to them from the Law of Moses, since they are unfamiliar with it. Instead, he argues for this “living God” from their own experience. “Yet he did not leave himself without witness, for he did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness”(Acts 14:17). The evidence he cites for a living God is that someone “did good” to us. Someone ensures that we have the rain and the crops we need to sustain us. Someone makes our hearts happy by giving us food and happiness. There is good in the world and we are taken care of; this speaks to a God who is living.
------------- One Thing to Think About: What evidence of a living God—from my own experience, outside the Bible—have I observed?
One Thing to Pray For: Vision to see how God is working in our world
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