Gleanings – Above All Else

Acts 14:1-18

“With these words they scarcely restrained the people from offering sacrifice to them.”

Paul and Barnabas rightly resisted the efforts of the crowd to deify them. They would not have Barnabas called Zeus or Paul called Hermes. They resisted plainly in words. “We also are men, of like nature with you.” They demonstrated it boldly. “They tore their garments.” They consistently pointed to Jesus and eschewed any notoriety for themselves.

This is lesson that must be relearned in every age. In our present day we exalt speakers. Some of them speak eloquently of Jesus. Some simply speak eloquently. In either case, the measure of their faithfulness is whose name is advanced more, the preacher’s name or that of Jesus.

We also exalt churches often in the area of how many people they reach. Many have eliminated obstacles that keep a seeker or newcomer from accessing worship instantly. Others have eliminated words and symbols that challenge even words and symbols integral to understanding the faith. Regardless, the measure of their faithfulness is not attendance, the number of members or even baptisms into the church but how many are being led to being fully devoted followers of Jesus.

With Paul and Barnabas we must resist notoriety and endeavor to elevate the name of Jesus above all names. It’s never been about us!

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