Summary: If you live for Christ, opposition will come.
JUN 2 2013PM Preaching to a Heathen and Superstitious People
There was a preacher who was an avid golfer. Every chance he got, he could be found on the golf course. It was his obsession. One Sunday was a picture-perfect day for golf. The sun was out, no clouds in the sky, and the temperature was just right. The preacher was in a quandary as to what to do. The urge to play golf overcame him. He called his assistant minister and told him that he was sick and couldn’t attend church. Then he packed up the car, and drove 3 hours to a golf course where no one would recognize him. Happily, he began to play the course.
An angel up above was watching the preacher and was quite perturbed. He went to God and said, "Look at the preacher. He should be punished for what he’s doing." God nodded in agreement. The preacher teed up on the first hole. He swung, and the ball sailed effortlessly through the air and landed right in the cup three hundred and fifty yards away—a perfect hole-in-one. The preacher was amazed and excited. The angel was a little shocked. He turned to God and said, "I thought you were going to punish him." God smiled. "Think about it, who can he tell about that shot?"
Is it possible that a preacher would miss church for a game of golf? Or for something else: fishing, hunting, a ball game, etc. Possibly. Depending on the preacher. And why would he do such a thing as that? BECAUSE PREACHERS ARE ONLY HUMAN, JUST LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE!
Have you ever heard someone say, “Well, I’m just human?” Is that an excuse or an admission? I think many people use that expression as an excuse for any wrongdoing or error in their life. And it’s true that preachers are just human like everybody else. But honestly, don’t we generally expect a little more from the preacher? Don’t we expect him to be more faithful, more committed, more serving, more dedicated than anybody else? We probably expect more from the preacher but that doesn’t mean it will happen.
Also, one of the problems of being in front of people is the temptation to receive praise. Some televangelists seem to "eat up" this praise to the point where some almost act like they can do nothing wrong.
In our text we have Paul and Barnabas doing something good by the power of God and the people wanting to give them the credit for it. Paul was quick to say, "We are only human like you." He was honestly trying to get the people to realize that it was God who deserved the glory and not him. From this text, let’s think about what we "humans" can do in life and the proper attitude we should have.
READ vv. 8-10. God used Paul to bring healing to the lame man. Paul was God’s instrument of kindness or of doing good.
Gal. 6:9-10 "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers."
Don’t give up doing good. Others will be blessed by our good deeds and we will too! It’s sometimes easy to give up on certain people but we must never give up doing good. Some people will respond even if others won’t. I’ve been disappointed by many people but also surprised by some others. You just never know when there’s a diamond hiding in that rough exterior of a person.
"As we have opportunity..." We all have opportunity every day to do something good for someone. We need to stay awake to these opportunities. Our goodness may lead to godliness. That is, doing good to others may lead some to Christ, which should be our ultimate goal in life!
Eph. 2:10 "For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do." We do good to others and are kind to others simply because that’s what we are supposed to do! We all need to be open to opportunities to doing good for others, even if it’s just something simple like opening a door for someone or saying a kind word or offering a friendly smile. And don’t forget that laughter is not only good medicine, it’s also a great witness for Christ! If your grumpy and have a scowl on your face, what kind of witness is that?
READ vv. 11-15
ILL.- In 1963, A spry sixty-eight-year-old man set out to build a church by himself. He spent his own money to build a cement-block-and-stone church complete with parking lot and auditorium on a five-acre plot near Greenlawn, New York.