Tag Archives: Acts 14

When to Run

There are moments when we are supposed to press forward in a particular direction and moments that we should turn away from a situation. I’m sure you have heard the phrase “choose your battles.” It takes good discernment to know when to continue forward and when to run in another direction. Proverbs 22:3 states: “The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.”

There are times in our lives when it is best for us to not continue forward down a particular path. Perhaps a person or situation will not be beneficial to our spiritual walk. Perhaps there is danger lurking and God has another path for us. In Acts 14, Paul and Barnabas found out that there was a plot to stone them and they ran. They took off and went to another area.

It is important to know when to stand your ground and when to move onward. We might not always make the right decision. Always ask yourself, does what I am doing give glory to God? Does what I am doing further the Kingdom? Or is it simply fighting back in a battle that is not ours? Remember that Christ already has the victory. We are meant to share the message of Christ, not force it upon people. There were moments when Jesus Christ left particular areas. He was focused on His mission; so too, we should stay focused.

“The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.” – Proverbs 22:3 [NIV]

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A Palace State of Mind

There was a myth that spoke of two men that went through an area and were not received well by the people. Only one couple accepted these two men and in exchange for their acceptance, the couple was given a huge palace to live in while the others paid the price for their disbelief.

In Acts 14, as Paul healed a lame man through Christ, the people shouted about the gods coming down.  They called Paul Hermes and Barnabas Zeus. They wanted to offer sacrifices. They did not want to be like the people in this myth.

Do you have a palace state of mind? If you would see a miracle before your eyes, would you attribute it to wherever the crowd was pointing? Or would you only point to Christ?  The people of Lystra were eager for Paul and Barnabas to be gods. It would fit with this myth. It would make sense to the storyline in their minds. We, too, can believe in myths or we can make another choice—we can choose truth. We can choose the Truth. Don’t let the myths in your mind thwart you from accepting the Truth. God is not in a box. He is more than you could imagine. He will knock your socks off. Get ready!

“When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, ‘The gods have come down to us in human form!’” – Acts 14:11 [NIV]

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The Cost of Integrity

When Paul and Barnabas were in Lystra, Paul healed a lame man and the people began to call the duo gods. Paul and Barnabas tore their clothing as a sign of mourning and shouted at the crowd that they were only human. They could have accepted the glory for themselves. They could have allowed the people to sacrifice to them as they had wished. Instead they spoke of the living God, and things changed.

Even as they spoke the words, the people still attempted to sacrifice to them. But then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium. The Jews influenced the crowd and the men that were once considered gods were now looked at differently. Paul was stoned. He was stoned so badly that they thought he was dead (see Acts 14).

Integrity is rare today. Here we see Paul and Barnabas standing firm. Paul might not have been stoned if he had accepted being called Hermes. But then the message he was sharing all over would not have meant much. The message never changes. The Bible never changes. To be taken serious, we must walk with integrity. We must stand firm even if the stones will come flying. If we present anything but the Truth, we won’t be taken seriously. Integrity costs.

“And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching.” – Titus 2:7 [NLT]

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