Daily Devotional – Tuesday June 26, 2007
Lord, bless me with understanding and clarity. Open me to your message and love.
We continue Luke’s account of the history of the early church. Today he provides a very clear telling of how conversion of large crowds of people was achieved. As I read this passage it struck me how simple it all seems and yet we know it was not simple. Imagine walking into a church and suggesting that what they believed and worshiped was wrong and they you had the right answer. It would take some pretty convincing arguments. However, this small band of believers had more than just arguments. They had physical proof of the existence of a living and loving God. The sample of the healing of the man crippled from birth is just one of many miracles performed in the name of God.
How did they respond? They tried to rationalize what they saw according to their own beliefs. They claimed the healers to be Gods in their own right. They were claimed as Zeus or Hermes and the people brought sacrifices in the traditional manner. Barnabas and Paul got very upset and challenged them and told them they were wrong in what they did and that they were no different from them. He told them about the one and only God who made heaven and earth and sea and all that is in them. It wasn’t them who healed the man; it was God and his faith in God. He told them that God has always been with them in the form of rains and fruitful seasons and taken care of them. Now God has been among them in human form and will take care of them forever. They believed.
This is all about change and how to make it happen. God wanted the world to change. Jesus was to be the catalyst of that change. His people had to be changed for they would not change on their own. As I read about the current crisis in our church and how we struggle with change I realize we are still in a change process that probably will never end. We need people like Paul and Barnabas with the conviction to witness to the living presence of God on earth and lead the changing of other people.
John Dickie, June 26, 2007