June 22 - From Vanity to Reality
At Lystra, Paul began his ministry by healing a man who was crippled from birth and had never walked. By demonstrating the power of God, he did not only draw the attention of the people there but also unexpectedly drew the people’s attention to themselves. As these people paid homage to Paul and Barnabas, they refused their worship but declared the good news of a living God. Signs and wonders opened the hearts of the people but an accurate presentation of the gospel is needed so the people may know whom and what to believe.
The first introduction of God by Paul was that this God is a living God who created the heaven and the earth. He is unlike any human beings and has a nature very different from us. He is eternal and living, not dead but always lives as compared to the brevity of human lives. Our relationship with Him is through the creation of God: He is the Creator and we are His creatures. This is how we all relate to Him, as the Source of our beings and the reason for our living here on earth.
This God whom we all can relate to has not been silent but has been active in human history. In past generations, He allowed all the nations to walk in their own ways. Yet He did not leave Himself without witness. His reality was shown through His goodness to all humankind. Our well being depends on His gifts from above, giving rain from heaven and fruitful seasons, satisfying the human hearts with good and gladness. We do not only owe our being to Him but also our well being. He is a good God and we can trust Him.
Paul successfully explained the reality of God in the world and he called the people to come out of all the vain things they were after to turn to the true and real God. God is the ultimate reality and all other idols are vain and empty. To become a believer is to turn from vanity to reality. The devil wants us to believe in something that is not real, like lies. He is the father of lies and he brings in many false and vain things into our lives. Many of our children have been brought up with Disney characters that are not real, when they grow older, they are into virtual realities through music and video games. Adults go into the vain world through their imaginations, fantasies, the reading of novels and watching soap operas. Even music and art can take us into another world that is not real.
Have you been saved from vanity to reality? Are you still dealing with things that are vain and unreal? Do you depend on different forms of entertainment to make yourself happy? Are you addicted to the things of this vain world? God is the ultimate reality, the unseen real. Escape from any kind of unreal and earthly things now. What is seen is temporal and what is not seen is eternal. Remember that!
Ps 136:23-26 2 Kgs 3:1-4:17 Acts 14:8-28 Prov 17:22