Bible Reference: Acts 17:22–23
Bible Text: 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.’
Bible Translation: New Living Translation (NLT)
If you walked into a young man’s bedroom, and he had the walls plastered with large posters of young ladies, some dressed and some barely clothed in a swim suit, might you conclude that the young man is a true ladies’ man, or that he is a good, loyal, faithful husband? How about if this was a young man from your Sunday School class, would you be more, or less convinced that he is a religious person? If you met a store clerk who wore a cross on her chain and appeared to have a great attitude, might you conclude that she was a very religious young lady? How about when you walk into a church on the weekend and see hundreds of attendees, surely they are religious, right? Friends, Paul had to address this misconception of acting ‘religious’ as it could mislead someone into believing that they are a born-again Christian. I believe that the Holy Spirit prompted me to remind this audience that there is only one way by which you are saved, and the only way into heaven is when God is convinced that you are saved. The one way that you are saved is by getting before the Lord Jesus Christ, asking for His forgiveness of your sin, and inviting Him to take charge of your life – total surrender on your part. This is totally scriptural and can be supported by scripture, so it is gospel truth. Somehow, I believe you may have concluded that none of what I have described to you above, matches the biblical description of what a Christian is, or acts like. However, they may sound like the individuals may be ‘religions’, at least in the eyes of some, right? Friends, your connection to the Master of the Universe, and your personal relationship with Him, matters first of all to the Master, then you, then should be obvious to all those you come into contact with. Acting, or pretending to be religious, may very well come across to your friends as you trying to be something that you’re not. When your relationship with Christ is in order, there will be something about your life that others will immediately recognize, without you saying a word, or acting any differently. When the Holy Spirit resides inside of you and works in and through you, your whole demeanor will change and others will see and believe! Please don’t get me wrong friends. I am not saved to prove anything to my friends who truly love me, but because I am saved they can tell from the life I live and the hope that is evident in my character, that I have a hope, I have a future, and it is in heaven with my precious Lord and Savior. Would you please put your mind at ease, and the concern of your friends and family, by seeking out Jesus today? Enough with trying to be ‘religious’. Seek the face of Jesus, look full in to His wonderful eyes, and the things of this world will grow strangely dim!
Father God, You are so awesome that You not only created us and gave us a very successful life to enjoy here on earth, but You went a step further by providing the means for us to be assured today about our future with You. Although not automatic, yet You knew that it was not something that we could attain on our own, so You provided Your Son as a living sacrifice for our sin. So that through Him, we might become sons and daughters of the most high! Thank You for loving me with such passion and grace! Thank You for assuring me that it’s OK to share this message with friends who can make the same decision as I did, so that they too might be assured of their salvation. Lord, may this be the day of decision for all who reads this devotional. AMEN!
If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at NuggetsFromGodsWord@outlook.com. Allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog could indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to www.nuggetsfromgodsword.org and read more, or you may freely to subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Highlands County, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!