June 12, 2016: Day 14 – Acts 14June 12, 2016
Paul and Barnabas continue in their missionary journey and they bring a whole crew of Jews and gentiles to the faith. As it did in other places, it caused quite a stir. The scene in Lystra starting at vs.8 is an important scene. We find Paul and Barnabas heal a man crippled from birth. This is again a reminder to us that healings and miracles still take place after Jesus has ascended into heaven. So miracles are still a part of the reality in which we live. Don’t let anyone tell you that God simply does not work that way any longer. God absolutely does work in this way and continues to work in a way that astounds us and leaves us thinking: with God anything is possible. But the people of that region had not seen anything like it before. They reverted back to that which they knew, which was the worship of their gods, so they began worshipping Paul and Barnabas. As you would expect, Paul and Barnabas turn their attention from their own selves to the resurrected Jesus Christ. What a great strategy. How do we turn the attention of people away from us and toward God? A bit of time passes and the crowds turn on Paul and Barnabas and try to stone them but they slip away after they are left for dead.
Starting at vs. 21 we see a great model for church planting where at first they preached the Word and people were won over for Christ. The next step after that which we find in these verses is they then appoint elders in each of the churches to oversee them. They then went back home, recounted their missionary journey, and stayed with the disciples in the church for some time. It was a fitting ending to a very, very successful missionary enterprise.
So today the worst mass shooting took place in the history of the United States. The angry young white man is replaced by a radicalized twenty something with a cause. Dylan Klebold has been replaced by Omar Mateen.
There certainly are miracles today. Tanya and I are both examples: Ovarian cancer continues to be one of the leading causes of death in women but we both stand here today cancer free! And for Tanya to have been diagnosed so early that she could be treated and still have those beautiful girls is a perfect miracle. I truely believe that Jesus has placed angels among us to lead us to these miracles that await.
When I graduated with my degree in nursing we had two songs as apart of the ceremony one was “It is better to light just one little candle than to stumble in the dark” and the second was Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me. Every time we sing let there be peace on earth at the end of our service tears run down my face, Oh how I have lost the innocence that believed that would be achieved in my lifetime. I believe we are coming closer to the promise of Jesus that he will return in the book of revelations when our earth is producing Dylan Klebold, Osama Bib Laden and Omar Mateen.