Acts 28:1-16; I Samuel 4-5; Psalm 52
Paul had to deal with two different extremes in the way people looked at him. Many considered him to be evil. As the shipwrecked crew warmed themselves on the Isle of Malta a snake came out of some wood that Paul had been carrying and bit him. The local folks thought he had gotten his just deserts as a murderer. They waited for him to swell up and die. ” However, they were expecting that he would swell up or suddenly fall down dead. But after they had looked for a long time and saw no harm come to him, they changed their minds and said that he was a god.” (Acts 28:6) Paul had to deal with that issue, especially in light of the next part of the story as he began healing people of the island. The Bible doesn’t say this specifically, but Paul’s character would imply that Paul rejected being seen as a God and pointed people to Jesus. As he healed, there is no doubt that he reminded people that he was not a god and that all healing came from the One, True God. While people today rarely see followers of Christ as gods, they will often point to our foibles and call us hypocrites or look at us when we are doing what we should be doing and attacking us for thinking we are better than others. In truth and in short, we are men and women who follow Jesus. If we are faithful, we will change the world through good. If we are not faithful, we will stumble and fail. Our call, whether recovering from our failures or rejoicing our victories is to follow Jesus humbly and draw people to Him.
Lord God, give me the strength to act as Your servant. When I fail, let me seek Your grace and forgiveness and follow you once again. When I am faithful and good things happen, let people see the great God I serve.