Acts 14:18 And with these sayings scarce restrained they the people, that they had not done sacrifice unto them.
19 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.
Oh what a difference a verse makes!
In verse 18, Paul and Barnabas are doing all they can to dissuade the Lystrans from cutting up a calf as a sacrifice and doing obescence to them.
The city was divided, those who chose to maintain their paganism and those, both Jews and Gentiles, who received the message of the Gospel and believed.
But just one verse later, the apostle's detractors were present in force to silence these Gospel preachers once and for all. The Judaizers persuaded the pagans to pummel Paul with stones, thus sending him on to glory, resulting in the original version of "90 Minutes on Heaven."
One moment, they were the gods, the next, the goats. Oh how fickle people can be! Paul desired neither the calf nor the cuts, the sacrifice nor the stones. He only desired free course in doing the work of God.
Believer, soul-winner, preacher, missionary, can you relate?? It seems, in our work, we go from preaching to a receptive crowd to being confronted by some curmudgeon about our use of a Greek word.
One day we are winning a few souls for the kingdom, the next, we are called on the carpet for choosing the wrong color of carpet.
On the one hand, we rejoice in a miraculously answered prayer and on the other, Satan is buffeting us with a thorn in the flesh.
One side of the coin has us rejoicing in worship, the flip side has us stewing over a difficult budget.
And the rollercoaster never ends until we behold the Lord face to face.