Bible Reference: Acts 17:15-16
Translation: New Century Version (NCV)
Bible Text: 15 The people leading Paul went with him to Athens. Then they carried a message from Paul back to Silas and Timothy for them to come to him as soon as they could.
16 While Paul was waiting for Silas and Timothy in Athens, he was troubled because he saw that the city was full of idols.
OBSERVATION: Based on your Christian upbringing, your own Christian convictions and your understanding of God’s Word, what is it that really upsets you in what you see happening in our world today? How do you deal with it? What do you do about it? It has always been said that silence indicates consent, or agreement with the masses! I encourage you to read the chapter containing today’s focus verses and note how many times Paul was relocated from one place to another by his friends in order to protect his life, because he would not simply sit by and accept the sin that was evident. What about you friends?
APPLICATION: Do you run to God for his direction about the sin that you see all around you? Do you often show your opposition to the sin, or do you support those committing the sin? Do you seek God’s help and direction in showing those affected by these things that there is a better way – a way that leads to eternity with Jesus? Paul was convicted that Jesus was the only way, and that sin was sin. So he kept facing opposition from the world, yet in vs 2 we read that Paul went into the synagogue and taught about Jesus; again in vs 10 and yet again in vs 17 we read where he did the same thing after being relocated for his own safety. Would you agree with me that Paul saw a lot going on in these cities that, based on his understanding of God’s Word, he disagreed with? Would you also agree that it is evident that he was not prepared to ‘pass the buck’, but instead willing to put his neck on the line over and over again for what he knew was wrong, and to teach what he knew was right? What about you, my friend, are you willing to follow in Paul’s example? There is no question about whether things are bad enough around us, for daily we hear about the evil going on. We may not see idols everywhere, but friends when we see our friends not interested in worshiping with other believers because of other ‘idols’ in their life, should we not be concerned? ‘Idols’ is something that takes the place of God in our lives. Whenever something else takes priority over our time with God, especially on a continual basis, then I dare say that ‘something’ has become an idol in your life. God has not called us to be judge and jury, but friends it is obvious to see where ‘idols’ pop up in our own lives, and in the lives of our family and friends. It should make us question where our priority is. Like Paul, we must constantly be looking inward to see where our hearts and priorities are, and we must be willing to preach the principles of God to our friends and neighbors. We must not let Satan be the victor in our world, when we are so aware of our loving Savior and all that He sacrificed for such undeserving sinners such as ourselves. I would dare say that not many of us could be found guilty of openly spreading the gospel today, especially in areas where we know that the state has forbidden it, and unfortunately these areas are becoming way too numerous today. Jesus is coming soon friends, we must not let our friends die and go to Hell. We must live our lives in the light of eternity, and witness/teach/preach with the same intensity as Paul did. Where’s your heart dear friend? Trying to please everyone around you, or determined to carry as many as possible to heaven with you. When Jesus comes to take us home with Him, only one thing will matter – ‘is your heart right with God?’. Do you know Him friend? Do all those that you rub shoulders with, know Him? If not, work diligently till Jesus returns to help them find the way.
PRAYER: In the name of Jesus, and for Your glory, I humbly ask that You forgive me of my laxity in being a bold witness of the One who went to the cross to prove His love for me. No other love can compare to the love that You showed just for me, Heavenly Father, and I thank You sincerely for that. Please instill in me the urgency of the hour in which I live, so that I may concentrate my heart, my mind and my witness on the things that really matter – You and Your kingdom. Please touch the hearts of the folk that might meditate on this devotional today, and penetrate their hearts with the same urgency of that which I have pleaded. May we devote ourselves to winning this world for You, is my humble prayer, all for Your sake and Your glory, AMEN!