KEY SCRIPTURE: Acts 14:19 And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and, having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead.
(Read Acts 14:18-25)
Apostle Paul and Barnabas, after healing the man in Lystra who was born impotent in his legs, were nearly worshipped by the people as gods come in human form. Paul and Barnabas had to do everything to prevent them from doing such an abominable thing. These days some pastors allow their members to treat them as demigods. The way they have presented themselves make them literally worship them. This is rather unfortunate. You are a man and must not allow anyone to do that.
Members should not be too familiar as to disrespect the grace that is upon the man of God, yet be careful when they treat you as God. Let them understand it is the grace of God that has made you what you are and that as a man you are of like passions like them.
On the flip side these people who wanted to worship Paul and Barnabas were convinced by some Jews who came around to turn against them and stoned Paul, almost to death. How could a people who were ready to make sacrifices and worship them become instant enemies and try to kill them. Indeed, the heart of man is deceitful and desperately wicked who can tell? (Jeremiah 17:9). The bible says in John 2:24 that “But Jesus did not commit himself unto them because he knew all men”. Dear man of God, do not yield yourself to men. Do not live for their praises, live only to please God.
Never act against what God says to honour men. “THE ONLY WAY YOU TRULY BLESS MEN IS TO PLEASE GOD ALWAYS”. The Lord Jesus knew what is in men, and so he did not allow men to control Him.
These people stoned Paul and dragged him to the next city. Please picture it, they supposed him to have died. I believe they held him after stoning him and were satisfied that he had died. I believe he died, and they dragged him on the floor to the next city. This should complicate his condition. The scripture said in Acts 14:20 “Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up and came into the city and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.” This man Paul, after such a traumatic experience did not reside to rest awhile but, immediately continued working for the master.
Paul was not living for himself he lived to please Christ. What are you living for.?
Oh, Father may you open the understanding of all children of God to know that the true essence of living is to live for Jesus.
2 Corinthians 5:14-15 :For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.”
Philippians 1:20-21 ” According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”