Acts 14:8-18 God Can Be Seen All Around
8 In Lystra there sat a man who was lame. He had been that way from birth and had never walked. 9 He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed 10 and called out, “Stand up on your feet!” At that, the man jumped up and began to walk.
11 When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in human form!” 12 Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes because he was the chief speaker. 13 The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought bulls and wreaths to the city gates because he and the crowd wanted to offer sacrifices to them.
14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting: 15 “Friends, why are you doing this? We too are only human, like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made the heavens and the earth and the sea and everything in them. 16 In the past, he let all nations go their own way. 17 Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.” 18 Even with these words, they had difficulty keeping the crowd from sacrificing to them.
Living God’s Word: Responding to the people of Lystra, Paul and Barnabas reminded them that God never leaves himself “without a witness” (14:17). Rain and crops, for example, are evidence of God’s goodness. Later, Paul wrote that this evidence in nature leaves people without an excuse for unbelief (Romans 1:20). When in doubt about God, look around, and you will see abundant evidence that he not only exists but that he also is at work in your world.
Words to Live By: Lystra has no synagogue, so when God miraculously heals someone, Paul testifies to the people that God graciously blesses all creation. People by nature tend to worship gods of their own making and in their own ways (Rm 1:22–25). Yet, God’s bounty in creation, and especially His Word, come to turn us away from idolatry and toward Him.
Prayer: Praise to You, O Lord, the King of creation. “The eyes of all look to You, and You give them their food in due season. You open Your hand; You satisfy the desire of every living thing” (Ps 145:15–16). Amen.
Living and Sharing the Word of God… because it matters!
Pastor Rod Lindemann
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The Holy Bible: New International Version. (2011). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan
Words to Live by and Prayer: Engelbrecht, E. A. (2009). The Lutheran Study Bible (2002). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House. Purchase a copy of The Lutheran Study Bible at www.cph.org or contact Rod Lindemann.
Living God’s Word: Adapted from Life Application, Barton, B. B. Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers.