How Quickly They Turn

Message:  In Acts 14 Paul & Barnabas went to the town of Iconium after the Jews had stirred up trouble. Trouble followed them to Iconium so when they preached the Jews countered them and “poisoned their minds of the Gentiles against the brothers.” Paul & Barnabas continued preaching and when they did God moved in signs and wonders so great that the people thought they were gods. They called them Zeus and Hermes and began to worship them. They urged them not to and when Paul told them to turn from their sinful ways they turned on him, threw him out of the city and stoned him. What really got my attention here is that the people loved the signs and wonders. They considered them gods until they told them to turn from their sinful ways. Everyone wants the benefits and people will worship anything as long as they don’t have to sacrifice anything for it. This is not the gospel and this is not the God we serve. We have to be careful when we share the gospel that in our celebration of the good things of God we never promote a false narrative that supports the idea that God is a giver of gifts and promises without the sacrifice of self that he modeled for us. The beautiful thing is that in our sacrifice of “self” we begin to discover that what we gave up is not so great after all in comparison to the gifts we never even knew we wanted! There once were things in my life that I struggled to surrender before understanding what a gift it was to let those things go. The path of walking with Jesus has never been easy but it has been the biggest source of unexpected joy, peace and contentment that I have ever experienced. It truly sheds light on what Jesus meant when he said that he who loses his life for my sake will find it again.

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