Day 18 Acts 14:11-18

The thing that strikes me most about this text is the horor that Paul and Barnabas express at being mistaken for gods. They tear their clothes as a sign of mourning and repentance, overwhelmed by the thought that someone has mistaken what God has done thru them, instead giving them the credit. How often do I fail to redirect praise to God for the positive impact of my ministry? And again the struggle between boldness and humility. I want to deflect praise when people’s lives are impacted by a sermon I deliver, yet I do not wish to be ungracious by refusing a complement or appreciation.
I also love this following text: 15 “Friends, why are you doing these things? We are only human beings like you. We are bringing you the Good News and are telling you to turn away from these worthless things and turn to the living God. He is the One who made the sky, the earth, the sea, and everything in them. 16 In the past, God let all the nations do what they wanted. 17 Yet he proved he is real by showing kindness, by giving you rain from heaven and crops at the right times, by giving you food and filling your hearts with joy.” What a wonderful affirmation of what God has done, and a positive way of talking about God’s ongoing relationship with people who are not yet Christians. So our job is to enter into dialogue with them and say, “Look what God has already done in your midst. Imagine what more God desires to do. Let me tell you the Good News about what God has done in Jesus.” That is a way to honor people’s experience, just as Paul will do in Acts 17 when visiting Athens.
How can I honor the presence and work of God in people’s lives, helping them to be open to what He is doing, and helping them thus to see Christ in their experiences.

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