“What strikes me most from today’s reading [which included Acts 14] is the thought that after deep frustration in Antioch of Pisidia and Iconium, Paul preaches the gospel in Lystra. There, the gospel is, again, a huge flop. The people are so blind that they end up worshiping Paul and Barnabas instead of God (I hate when that happens), which no doubt made him frustrated and furious.
To make matters far worse, Jews from Antioch and Iconium travel to Lystra just to oppose Paul and Barnabas, and stone him so badly that everyone assumes that he’s dead. This is where you take a break (!) from ministry or quit altogether and go home. That’s probably what my pastoral counsel would have been to the apostles.
Before the day is through, he regains his consciousness and goes back into the city (where he was just nearly killed) to preach the gospel. The next day, no doubt incredibly stiff and sore from having been pelted by rocks almost to the point of death, he walks with Barnabas to Derbe to preach the gospel there as well.
Will I imitate Paul as he imitates Christ, or will I only admire him? This is becoming a very key question in my life. Perhaps the defining question of my life.
God, please give me grace, strength, and courage to imitate and not just admire.