Praise Not Pedestals
Begin your prayer today by declaring who God is: “You are Lord of all, King of kings, Almighty God.”
Read Acts 14:8-20
 In Lystra there sat a man who was lame. He had been that way from birth and had never walked.  He listened to Paul as he was speaking. Paul looked directly at him, saw that he had faith to be healed  and called out, “Stand up on your feet!” At that, the man jumped up and began to walk.  When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in human form!”  Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes because he was the chief speaker.  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.  But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting:  “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.  In the past, he let all nations go their own way.  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.”  Even with these words, they had difficulty keeping the crowd from sacrificing to them.  Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowd over. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead.  But after the disciples had gathered around him, he got up and went back into the city. The next day he and Barnabas left for Derbe. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat was the plea of Paul and Barnabas here?
God should never be pushed from his throne, yet each day we face things that threaten to take God’s place in our lives; each day we are in danger of believing our own publicity rather than Christ’s Lordship over our lives. Think back over the last day or so; has pride crept in? Are you willing to be like Paul and Barnabas and humble yourself? As James 4:10 says, “Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up.” If God has brought something to mind, pause to seek his forgiveness and thank him for his mercy. From the moment they rejected the belief in personified gods, Paul and Barnabas had a difficult time. To reject being put on a pedestal and refuse to become lords on our own thrones is to declare that we live for a different Lord and seek his glory, not our own. Our world does not like this, yet worship was what we were created for.
Search your heart for any pride that interferes with Christ’s lordship over your life. If you find any, confess it.
Lord, it’s really easy for me to become proud of myself instead of grateful to You. Help me avoid that trap, I pray.
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