Today’s Bible readings can be found at this link: Daniel 11:14-28 and Acts 12:12-25.

Acts 12:22-23 They shouted, “This is the voice of a god, not of a man.” Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.

It was a dreadful end to a wicked leader. One moment, Herod Antipas was being lauded as a god by his supporters for a rousing speech, the next he was dying from a painful parasite which was taken to be a punishment from God. He who once was mighty and powerful was debased and diminished because of his vanity and pride. Instead of being hailed as the kingly champion of the people, Herod is remembered as an amoral schemer whose downfall was brought about by his own narcissistic tendencies and delusions of grandeur.

            This all took place at the same time when the fledgling Christian church was beginning to grow substantially. Herod’s influence was waning whereas that of Christ and His followers were increasing rapidly. The bold Galilean, whom Herod interviewed and sent to His death, would now be praised and lauded for centuries to come. Antipas, however, would remain in the past – along with all of his achievements, buildings, and decisions.

            Good leadership is a gift from God and those who are in positions of power – whether in our congregations or communities – should acknowledge God’s presence in their endeavors, accomplishments, and success. To claim those things as self-made is to rob God of His glory, something which Herod Antipas learned way too late.

Point to ponder:  What leadership responsibilities have I been given? Do I thank God enough for any of my successes?

Prayer:  Lord Jesus, help us to remember that everything belongs to God, especially our own victories and successes, achievements and accomplishments.  Keep us mindful of the many blessings that You grant in order for us to fulfill our dreams. In Your Holy Name, we humbly and thankfully pray. Amen.

Today’s image is one of John’s chess drawings called ‘Celtic King.’ If you would like to view a larger version, please click here. If you have any questions or comments about today’s message, please send him an email to