Daily Reading 10-13-16
Acts 17:22-34 New Living Translation (NLT)
Now more than ever before, it is essential that we prepare ourselves with the Word of God so we may share the gospel message with others. We need to hold onto our faith and our core beliefs in Christ’s work on the cross for the atonement of sin and the redemption of lost souls. We can know forgiveness of sin and form a relationship with the Living God. We can grow in holiness through the world of the Holy Spirit. Jesus is coming back to judge the world with justice; the world needs to get ready.
The message of Jesus Christ—the resurrected Savior of the World—must be communicated and shared with others. How we communicate the message is modeled by the Apostle Paul on his trip to Athens. Paul used examples the people would understand by sharing about the nature of God. By using examples, he sought to establish common ground so they could discuss and emphasize what they agreed about God. Then, Paul pointed toward the understanding that humans have a sinful nature and all need to come to repentance and salvation through Christ Jesus the Son of God.
22 So Paul, standing before the council, addressed them as follows: “Men of Athens, I notice that you are very religious in every way, 23 for as I was walking along I saw your many shrines. And one of your altars had this inscription on it: ‘To an Unknown God.’ This God, whom you worship without knowing, is the one I’m telling you about.
24 “He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in man-made temples, 25 and human hands can’t serve his needs—for he has no needs. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need. 26 From one man he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries.
27 “His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us. 28 For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ 29 And since this is true, we shouldn’t think of God as an idol designed by craftsmen from gold or silver or stone.
30 “God overlooked people’s ignorance about these things in earlier times, but now he commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to him. 31 For he has set a day for judging the world with justice by the man he has appointed, and he proved to everyone who this is by raising him from the dead.”
32 When they heard Paul speak about the resurrection of the dead, some laughed in contempt, but others said, “We want to hear more about this later.” 33 That ended Paul’s discussion with them, 34 but some joined him and became believers. Among them were Dionysius, a member of the council, a woman named Damaris, and others with them.
Prayer: Father, I want to share the message of Christ with others. Help me to establish common ground, so I may connect with my neighbors and share Truth about your great love and provision. In Jesus’ name. Amen.