But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard [that the priests of Zeus were about to offer sacrifices to them], they tore their clothing in dismay and ran out among the people, shouting, "Friends, why are you doing this? We are merely human beings — just like you! We have come to bring you the Good News that you should turn from these worthless things and turn to the living God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them. In the past he permitted all the nations to go their own ways, but he never left them without evidence of himself and his goodness. For instance, he sends you rain and good crops and gives you food and joyful hearts." But even with these words, Paul and Barnabas could scarcely restrain the people from sacrificing to them.
— Acts 14:14-18 NLT
Paul and Barnabas made clear to the appreciative crowd that they were human messengers for Jesus, not divine messengers from Zeus. They began to instruct the crowd about the one true God. This God, not Zeus, was the source of the miracle of healing they witnessed and all the good things in life. The problem, however, was that the people wanted these messengers for Jesus to be something else — something that would fit their familiar world and not require them to change. As we will see in the verses that follow (Acts 14:19-20), even though Paul and Barnabas did what was right in the sight of God, the result was not easy for them. There are times when we simply must do what is right and if we suffer, then we must rejoice in suffering for Christ and move on to our next opportunity to share Jesus!
Dear Father, strengthen my resolve and steady my courage so that I can remain faithful during challenging times. I want to be your witness to others, your witness who faithfully fulfills your call to share Jesus, in whose name I pray. Amen.
Related Scripture Readings
- Acts 5:38-42
- 1 Peter 3:13-17
Other Devotionals from Heartlight for Thursday, August 3, 2023
About This Devotional
Unstoppable! is a one-year devotional guide through the book of Acts. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage, a reflection and a prayer. The reflection opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges one to live for Jesus.
Unstoppable! is written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.