09 Mar From Unknown to Known
Read Acts 17:16-34 (NLT)
Thought for the Day: Do we see obstacles or chances to build bridges?
Arriving in the ancient city of Athens, the Apostle Paul had more than a few concerns. As a person of faith, the culture he found himself in did not share his values. Wherever he looked, he saw idols that the people had created in an attempt to find spiritual meaning. Rather than making a snap judgment and deciding that this city was not a good place to plant a church, Paul saw an opportunity. Therefore, he chose to begin conversations. He went to the local synagogue, the public square, the philosophical debate halls, and even the high council chamber. Each time, rather than pointing out everything he found wrong, Paul looked for common ground.
Paul knew that these people had set up many idols because they were searching for answers. Speaking with the high council, Paul acknowledged that the people of Athens were looking for an answer that is only found in Jesus: “Men of Athens, I notice that you are very religious in every way, 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.” Rather than condemning the people, Paul built a bridge.
Do we look for opportunities where we can build bridges with others? At times when life makes no sense, let’s realize that God can use our difficult experiences as bridge-building opportunities. This allows us to further His Kingdom on earth. If Paul was frustrated that the Athenian culture did not share his values, he didn’t show it. Instead, he was both kind and compassionate. Rather than running away or compromising, Paul stood firm. He saw the opportunity and introduced the people of Athens to their UNKNOWN God. Let’s have the courage to do the same.
Pastors Stan and David