All Too Real

11 When the crowd saw what Paul had done, they shouted in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in human form!” 12 Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul they called Hermes because he was the chief speaker. 13 The priest of Zeus, whose temple was just outside the city, brought bulls and wreaths to the city gates because he and the crowd wanted to offer sacrifices to them.

14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd, shouting: 15 “Friends, why are you doing this? We too are only human, like you. We are bringing you good news, telling you to turn from these worthless things to the living God, who made the heavens and the earth and the sea and everything in them. 16 In the past, he let all nations go their own way. 17 Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.” 18 Even with these words, they had difficulty keeping the crowd from sacrificing to them. Acts 14:11-18

We smile at some of the actions of these people, but it’s often all too real here. Sometimes people will flock to hear the great preacher or the healer or the prophet or the great servant of God. Megachurches fill up fast when there’s a dynamic speaker to draw them there. They’re so busy they don’t even have time to pastor. They let their Associate Pastors handle the more trivial details of the church. There’s nothing wrong with that, per se, as some people are gifted at speaking while others are gifted at pastoring. the problem comes when the well-known speaking pastor/healer/prophet allows himself to be placed on a pedestal to be worshiped and adored.

There are just so many dangers associated with celebrity preacher-worship. Pastors should be loved by their congregations; there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact I encourage it.

Preachers and pastors are susceptible to the same temptations and sins that we are. In fact, because of their positions of leadership and influence, they are under spiritual attacks most of us aren’t under. Satan wants to destroy them any way he can.

Pray for your pastors and their families today. Pray for them the same way you’d pray for your family.

Then let them know through an email or a phone call (or snail mail) that you’ve prayed. They will certainly appreciate it.

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