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“High Drama in Lystra”, 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.”
1. Everybody worships something, vv8-13
A. Noticing needs
B. Confusion abounds
2. Prepared to share, vv14-18
• How do you feel about sharing your faith?
A.Flexible cp Acts 14, 17 & other speeches • Good news • Positive message • Turn • Living God • Abilities: • Creator • Provider • Nature: • Patient • Kind • Benefits: • Joy
B. One way to be ready• Tell your story • 3 minutes • 2 words before/after
Summary•Peter May testimony advice • “The Search for God” by Peter May: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/1910786373 • Handout available and recordings online • https://youtu.be/tIgrwZen5gQ • https://audioboom.com/posts/4903183-what-we-re-reading-the-search-for-god-the-path-to-persuasion-testimony-time?t=0
Conclusion, v19-20• God’s power at start and end of Lystra
• Sacrifice is part of the mission – for us all!
• “You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,” (2 Timothy 3:10–12 NIV11)
• “For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:6–8 NIV11)
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“Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.” (Psalms 100:2 NIV11)
God bless, Malcolm
PS: You might also be interested in my book: “An elephant’s swimming pool”, a devotional look at the Gospel of John
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