Tag Archives: Sergius Paulus

A tale of two brothers

Adolf and Rudolf Dassler inherited shoe-making from their dad, but they didn’t inherit love for each other. Adolf broke off their partnership and founded Addidas, while Rudolf founded Puma — both in the same German town of Herzogenaurach.

A rare photo where both brothers, left and middle, appear together

Their intense sibling rivalry led to unprecedented shoe wars waged through stepped-up bidding battles for the hottest athletes. In an attempt to stave off the spiraling sponsorship costs, both made a pact to not pursue Brazilian soccer genius Pele.

Pele led the Brazilians to World Cup glory in 1970

But Rudolf betrayed it. He paid $120,000 for Pele in the 1970 World Cup to ask the ref to not whistle the beginning so that he could tie his shoes. As worldwide television looked on at the cause of the delay, Puma won a publicity coup without parallel.

His brother never forgave him. The two are even buried in the farthest opposing extremities of the town cemetery.

Can’t we get along??? Again, I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven — Matt. 18:19 NIV. We ought to get along at least enough to pray together.

The Dassler brothers only tamed their family war with the appearance of Nike, which blindsided them and stole huge shares of the athletics market. Only when the devil shows up, will we get along?

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Sabotage on faith

The devil is constantly sabotaging your faith. In war, sabotage means attacking infrastructure to disrupt and derail normal operations. Industries are blown up. Communication lines are cut. Transport is bombed. Satan’s constant barrage on your mind and life will kill your faith — if you let it.

Such is the story of Elymas. Paul testified to Sergius Paulus, a proconsul on Paphos Island. But his counselor resisted the evangelization. Elymas the sorcerer (for that is what his name means) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul from the faith. — Acts 13:8. Paul rebuked the sorcerer, and God blinded him. Subsequently, Sergius Paulus believed.

Elymas is alive and well today. He circles like a tiger looking for the opportunity to strike and slay your faith.

What is surprising in verse 6. There we see this witch masqueraded under the name “Bar-Jesus,” which means “Son of Jesus.” It is possible he had heard about Jesus’ powers and used this name to bloat his reputation. But in truth, he was a Satanist.

What does this mean for us today? It means that some of the very people who call themselves Christians will be those who undermine your faith. Make your faith grow in the Word and in prayer. And be careful about advice given that sabotages faith.