In the Gospel reading today from John 14, Jesus says, “Whoever loves me will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our dwelling with him.” We all like to think that we love Jesus, right? But are we keeping His word? Are we living out His teachings in our lives? Perhaps further examination is merited in this matter.
We read a very interesting story today in our first reading from Acts 14. Paul and Barnabas had just fled Iconium because they were about to be stoned. They went to Lystra to preach the Gospel and there healed a crippled man, lame from birth who had never walked. The crowds could not believe their eyes and thought that the gods had come down. They began to call Paul “Hermes” and Barnabas “Zeus.” The people were about to offer sacrifice to them when Paul and Barnabas spoke up to tell the people about the one true God, and how it was the power of God working through them.
When we run across great preachers or people who have the gift of healing or mighty deeds, it can be easy for us to get caught up in the cult of personality. Our society today is a shining example of the cult of personality. Celebrity worship is the way of the world. How sad. Now, people using gifts given them by God is a very good thing. But they must always take the example of Paul and Barnabas and steer people toward God. It is when they begin accepting credit that they, and those that follow them, enter the danger zone. All glory must go to God all the time!
Father, we thank you for giving wonderful gifts to us, and to others. May we always give the credit and glory where it belongs: with you, Father, through your Son, Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit! Amen.