Acts 14:1 – And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake, that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed.
When Paul and Barnabas came to Iconium, I believe they had one basic thing on their mind – to preach the Gospel of Jesus. Did they want to see people saved? Yes. Did they want to see people healed? Yes. Did they want to see the power of God in manifestation? Yes. But for this to happen, they needed to keep this basic truth at the forefront of their thinking. They were not the savior, they were not the healer, and they were not the source of the power of God being manifest. Yes, they WERE the vessels God chose to use in that place, but the thing that needed to be set forth was the Word of God.
Paul and Barnabas did precisely what they came to do. They preached with Word of God in the synagogue into which they entered. I am sure they did so boldly, and I am likewise sure they did so accurately. We can know this by reading the verses that follow our Text for Today. Acts 14:3 declares that God granted that signs and wonders should be done by the hands of Paul and Barnabas, thus confirming the Word they were speaking. I am also sure that Paul and Barnabas expected God to confirm His Word with signs following. But once again, their primary purpose for preaching in the syna-gogue was for the truth to be heard.
We already know that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. Faith does not come by seeing, or by debating, or by winning verbal arguments. Faith comes by hearing, and it is faith that moves God. So, the signs and wonders done by the hands of Paul and Barnabas did not come because they were great reasoners, or great debaters, or champions of some verbal competition. They came because the Word was preached, and from that faith was established, and through that signs and wonders were done.
Let me encourage you today. When you speak, do not speak to win a debate or an argument. Do not speak to wax eloquent and astound the audience, leaving them in awe of your oratory skills. Please do not speak in order to make someone else look foolish. Your speaking is not a competition with other voices. Rather, when you speak, let it be for the purpose of people hearing the Word of God. It is not the power of your oratory, but rather the power that is God’s Word that will make the difference, for no word from God shall be void of the power required to bring it to pass. God’s Word IS God’s power!
Manna for Today – Acts 14:1-7; Romans 10:17; Hebrews 11:1-6; Romans 1:16; Hebrews 1:3; Luke 1:37; Psalm 107:20; Ephesians 3:20; Mark 16:15-20