We’re not Gods. If you spent any time with me it would be obvious that I’m not a God, but it’s easy for us to think that we are. We are given such power, such freedom, such authority by God that sometimes we feel we can do anything. Other times, we’re so crushed by our ineptitude, our sin, our everyday failures, that we could never think too much of ourselves.
Paul and Barnabas face a similar issue here. They are preaching and acting inthe name of God, for His glory, but their actions are misconstrued. It would have been easy for them to enjoy the adulation, to go with the flow, to build their platform. A lot of life tells us that self-promotion and self-advancement is the way to go. Rather, here they show us the pattern for a fruitful, truly successful, God-honouring ministry. We live, love, work and minister for the glory of God alone. Not for money, not for adulation or love, not for recognition, not to please God, not to make ourselves feel worthwhile. We are given life, hope and a future so that God might be glorified and His purposes might be advanced. Paul and Barnabas understood this, and they were used mightily, perhaps partly at least, as a result of this understanding.