by M. Jolaine Szymkowiak

Now is the Time!
M. Jolaine Szymkowiak, MA-EM
Acts 14:8-18

Have you ever wondered just what it would mean for you, if someone came up to you and said, "Now is the time!"? A dear friend said that to me just this past week. "Now is the time!" For what? I was really in a quandary. To what was my friend referring? My friend was not addressing me, per se, but addressing my soul. How would I know that? My heart jumped into my throat and I knew something had to change, something was wrong, and not necessarily wrong in a bad way, but wrong in that there needed to be change. And it scared me to think that I might have missed the point had I not had the shock of my friend's exclamation.

Now, now is the time for what? Many thoughts flooded my mind, and then I realized that as with the man of Lystra who had never walked, I needed the grace of faith to be obedient to God's call for my life (Acts 14:8-18).

We see in this story the complexity of life in those days much like life today. The man in the town of Lystra had been hearing Paul and Barnabas talk with the people there for many days, and apparently had listened very intently to what was being said by them. Crippled from birth, he had been put in a place where he could observe the comings and goings of the people, possibly to beg, but quite possibly just to be out of the way of family business. No matter, he had been intent on what was being said by Paul. Paul recognized this and that the man was open to a healing faith in God. The man was healed. Now was his time. Now was his time to coming to faith.

People in those days were very superstitious believing in the old gods of mythology, Zeus and Hermes and others. The people associated Paul as Hermes or the Roman Mercury as Paul was the spokesman, and Barnabas with Zeus, which may indicate that he was of imposing presence. The people wanted to treat them as such, brought bulls and wreaths to the gates wanting to offer sacrifices to them. ...

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