Acts 17:16-34 While Paul was waiting for them in
, he was greatly
distressed to see that the city was full of idols. So he reasoned in the synagogue with both Jews and God-fearing Greeks, as
well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there. A group of Epicurean and Stoic
philosophers began to debate with him. Some of them asked, “What is this
babbler trying to say?” Others remarked, “He seems to be advocating foreign
gods.” They said this because Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection. Then they took him and brought him to a
meeting of the Areopagus, where they said to him, “May we know what
this new teaching is that you are presenting? You are bringing some strange ideas to
our ears, and we would like to know what they mean.” (All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent
their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.) Paul then stood up in the meeting of the
Areopagus and said: “People of Athens ! I see that in every way you are very
religious. For as I walked around and looked
carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this
inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing
you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.” Athens
This last Sunday, Pastor Rick preached from the above passage as we are in the middle of a sermon series through the book of Acts. He starts out by asking, “What provokes or greatly distresses us in our city, nation and world?” Idols set up everywhere, but completely missing Jesus. Are we emotionally stirred up when we see godlessness in people around you, pursuing things that will never satisfy their soul, and Creator God is relegated “to an unknown God?” Does it brother you to the point of engaging the situation? Unless we are completely broken for the lost around us, we cannot truly move forward with the gospel message and fulfilling God’s mission which He has called us to in the day to day struggles of life.
Like Paul, we need to be moved (mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically) from a religious place to the marketplace. One day in church, where we worship and bring Him glory, lifting up our praise to God, but then six days in the world marketplace of ideas for Jesus Christ and Him risen, taking our faith into this culture and society that so desperately needs the light on truth to shine in the darkness of sin and unbelief because people are desiring to hear something new and find meaning in this great hope in God for their unsatisfied life in a world that is always needing something new for their happiness. Reason and share with those who will listen and build bridges through relationships through points of connection in place of agreement that lead to invitation day by day. Like when you’ve eaten a meal and are filled, then you are satisfied and do not need or desire any more food because you are content. But, if life is about continually experiencing something new in “meaning for the moment”, then you are never filled, never satisfied and never content because they have not found ultimate truth; the truth beyond what they know and have experienced that produces lasting joy here on earth. Satisfaction is something so much greater than trying something new.
Let’s pick this eye-opening message from Pastor Rick up on tomorrow’s Post.
In Christ, Brian