Men or Gods?
Scripture Reading — Acts 14:8-18
Barnabas and Paul ... rushed out into the crowd, shouting: "Men, why are you doing this?" Acts 14:14-15 —
Miraculous signs are powerful testimonies to God's power in evangelism. But they can also become a pitfall for those who bring the gospel. How many fine and powerful preachers have not gone astray because of the glory that comes with a ministry that reveals God's amazing power? Paul and Barnabas were facing such a situation. The people of Lystra saw the amazing healing of the lame man in their town and figured that Paul and Barnabas must be gods. Some theologians might argue that Paul and Barnabas should have accepted the names of Hermes and Zeus in order to help the local people understand the gospel in this pagan city. But Paul and Barnabas would have none of that. They didn't want to compromise the name of Jesus, the only name by which people can be saved.
How often do we clarify that we can't take the credit for our talents and gifts? How often do we go out of our way to explain that who we are and everything we do come only from the Lord and never from our own wisdom or strength?
Robbing God of his glory is a constant threat to anyone who has special talents and gifts. Let us tear down myths about our goodness, holiness, giftedness, and power. Let us remember that "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble" (1 Peter 5:5).
Lord, forgive us when we take credit for our accomplishments instead of giving credit to you. Help us to be humble and to give you the glory in all we do. In Jesus' name, Amen.