1. Have you ever wondered why certain people miss the point in many sermons? So many people misunderstand the essence of Godâs message for a number of reasons. When the crowds saw how the Lord had used Paul to heal the man of Lycaonia, they cried, "The gods have become like men and have come down to us." (Acts 14:11) Failure to grasp the essential truths in the scriptures is mainly caused by faulty learning. Many people misinterpret truth because of their inability to understand Godâs nature, purpose and power. The Lycaonians believed that Zeus, the sun god, had somehow transferred his power to Paul and Barnabas. When people have a faulty perception of God they will err in their understanding of His truth, His processes and His people. Ask the Lord to help you correct the false notion that people have about our heavenly Father.
2. Faulty learning, like that of the Lycaonians can be caused by any of the following reasons: a). Pride ö Do not fail to humbly ask God to give you the understanding to discern His truth for your life. Do not simply observe and interpret truth without first asking the Lord to speak to your heart. b). Preoccupation ö Do not allow your attention to so engaged in something that you fail to catch the essence of what God is trying to teach you c). Poor interpretation skills ö Do not fail to understand the truth in its context along with the main theme of its passage of scripture d). Inappropriate Questions ö If you fail to ask the right questions you will usually get the wrong answers e). Poor listening skills ö Failure to listen and observe what is really be said and not just how it is spoken can cause one to miss the main point f). Inattentiveness ö Failure to give disciplined attention to the entire message or scripture until the main lessons are understood g). Distractions ö Train yourself to filter out the external or internal noises that may keep you from learning all that is essential h). Negative attitudes ö Put away all bitterness, anger or fear against the message or the speaker. Let the message change your mind according to the truth about your God given responsibilities I). Misunderstanding ö Be willing to admit when you need to change an incomplete or faulty assumption k). Indiscipline ö Some people miss the point of what God is teaching them because they are not disciplining themselves for the purpose of godliness (I Tim 4:7,8) Ask the Lord to help you teach others how to avoid all of the above faulty learning tendencies.
3. The apostles corrected the Lycaonians to direct them to the eternal source of truth, power and love. When people miss the point, do not just berate them. Point them to the source of truth, love and power. Ask the Lord to help you correct people with tact, gentleness and cultural sensitivity.
4. The apostles used the healing experience to demonstrate how God is concerned about all people in every situation. When people are convinced how Godâs love transcends all classes, language group and problems, they are drawn to Him. Never let your limited understanding hinder what God wants to do with all people everywhere through Christâs power. Ask the Lord to help you present Christ more as a God who cares about every aspect of individualâs lives regardless of their backgrounds.
5. The apostles saw the horrible outcome of people who missed the point. The esteem of the Lycaonians proved fickle and faithless. The same hands that were willing to offer sacrifices to the apostles were soon busy throwing stones at them. Faulty sincerity always ends in unrighteousness. Ask God to help you teach in a way that people do not suffer because they have missed the main point of Christâs truth.