And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead. ~Acts 14:19
Head injuries can have very serious short-term and long-term implications. A concussion can result in ongoing migraine headaches, memory loss, and other serious neurological disorders. Some football players and boxers have had their wellness of life greatly debilitated. In our passage, Paul experienced his first stoning. The people of Lystra and Derbe believed the untrue accusations made against Paul by the hostile Jews, and together they dragged him out of the city and stoned him until he was lying on the ground and appeared to be dead. However, this stoning that Paul endured did something to him that made him a greater man than he already was. This morning, let us see what happens when you get hit in the head.
We see the fatal ASSAULT.
Paul had been attacked, drawn out of the city, and stoned by the Jews. The very same people who, minutes before, were praising him and calling him a god were now calling him nasty names and pelting him with rocks. We must face the reality that living for Jesus and trying to win people to Him will cost us. Rocks might be thrown at you in the way of discouraging words and false accusations. People will turn on you and become your enemy if you do not see things the way they do. It is easier for people to believe lies fabricated about you than it is to examine if what you have told them is truth. Are you living such a godly life for the Lord that you are running the risk of being stoned?
We see a friendly ASSEMBLY.
“Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city,” Acts 14:20a. While Paul was laying on the ground beaten and bleeding, an assembly of familiar and encouraging faces stood around him. I imagine that this included Barnabas, Timothy, Lois, Eunice, and a host of new believers. This group was encouraging Paul to get up and back on his feet! “Come on, Paul! Come on, Paul! You can do it!” When you’ve had stones thrown at you and have been knocked on your back, look up and see the faces of the people who do believe in you, and who are encouraging you back up.
We see the fresh AWAKENING.
Paul had been hit in the head. He most likely received a concussion and a really bad headache. However, Paul got up and went right back into the city where his attack began. Getting hit in the head gave him a stronger determination. Getting hit in the head gave him more boldness. Getting hit in the head moved him to redeem the time. Getting hit in the head compelled him to make more disciples, train up leaders, and develop Pastoral leadership for the churches. Getting hit in the head increased his faith, and made him an earnest believer that what he was doing for the Lord was life-and-death business. Some of us need to get hit in the head like Paul did!
We see the phenomenal ALTERATION.
When a brain injury occurs, most people are impaired and do less than before the injury. They lose some functionality and are retired from being frontline people. However, for Paul, getting hit in the head altered him into a greater Christian and servant of the Lord. He accomplished more for the Lord after this incident. He would go on and one day say, “None of these things move me.” He put his life more at risk. In all of this, God blessed Paul for his faith, fervency, love, longsuffering, and determination. Hundreds and thousands of lives were impacted and changed because Paul got up instead of staying down for the count.
Paul had an unshakable belief in what he did for the Lord. Don’t let the rocks being thrown at you keep you down. Get up, go forward, and let the Lord use you in a great way!
Have an awakened God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Leviticus 16-18