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Steven A. Bush - October 4, 2015
After preaching the Gospel in Antioch of Pisidia, Paul and Barnabas travel to Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe before circling back through the same cities. Besides many becoming believers, the two were also met with fierce opposition. At Lystra, Paul heals a man crippled since birth and the locals are convinced he and Barnabas are Hermes and Zeus. As the pagans were trying to sacrifice oxen to them, the brothers declare: "Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men, of like nature with you, and we bring you good news, that you should turn from these vain things to a living God, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and all that is in them. In past generations He allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways. Yet He did not leave Himself without witness, for He did good by giving you rains from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying your hearts with food and gladness.” (Acts 14:15-17 ESV) But before the brothers can move their sermon from common grace to Amazing Grace, a mob turns on them and they commence to stoning Paul. Convinced of Paul's death, they drag his body outside the city. But the faithful gather around the Apostle and life returns to his bludgeoned body. He walks back into the city and the next day they trek on towards Derbe. To Paul and Barnabas, Jesus was worth all the pain and suffering. These were trails they were gladly willing to endure for the sake of Christ. The question we must ask is, what are we willing to endure for Christ, for the One who gave Himself to die, even die for us?