Tag Archives: Iconium

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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Drawing Us Closer

We often talk about being rescued. Most people believe that being rescued means that a person is saved from a dangerous or stressful situation. But when Paul wrote that “the Lord rescued,” it means so much more. To fully understand what it means when the Lord rescues, helps us to embrace everything that comes our way.

The word rescue is translated rhýomai. The meaning of rescue from the Lord is that the Lord draws oneself, in this case Paul, to Himself. The situation, the persecution, the suffering, whatever it may be, was used by God to bring Paul closer to Him.

We may say we need rescued by God from a situation. We may say that only God can get us through a particular trial. These things are true. But to be rescued by God is not simply to be saved from the situation. When He rescues us, He draws us close. The situation you might be going through right now can bring you closer to God. If you allow Him to move through and you look to Him in the process, you will find yourself much closer to Him. The Lord can rescue you from all.

“You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings–what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them.” – 2 Timothy 3:10-11 [NIV]

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