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Acts 13:1-3; 14:8-18 – Paul's Mission

Narrative Lectionary Key Verse for Today

When the crowds saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, ‘The gods have come down to us in human form!’
— Acts 14:11

NL Daily Devotion for Sunday, May 12, 2019

by Dr. Kimberly Leetch, Clergy Stuff

Main Idea: God works in and among believers and non-believers.

Paul and Barnabas were teaching, preaching, and healing in lands that had never heard of Jesus before. These were cultures quite different from Jewish culture, and they worshiped gods of their own. When Paul healed a crippled man, it’s understandable that the people thought Paul was one of their gods visiting upon the earth. Paul tried to tell them he and Barnabas were mortals like they were, but the people tried to offer sacrifices to them anyway. Paul tried to teach them about the true, living God, who provided for them even before they knew of God. But it was difficult to convey the message across languages and cultures.

Paul pointed out that God took care of the people, even when they thought they were being cared for by their Greek and Roman gods. God gave them rain for their harvest and fruit on their trees. Even though they were not believers, the God who created all things watched out for them.

Could it still be true today? That God cares and provides for people, even when they don’t believe? It is common among Christians to proclaim life to believers and death to those who refuse to believe. But is it possible that God works in and among Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Pagans, even Atheists? If God is caring for these, what might that mean for Christians trying to proclaim Christ?

How might opening ourselves to learning about other religions shape and inform our own beliefs?