Acts, Daring Faith in Action, Devotional

Acts 17: 16-34 (Daring Faith in Acton Devotional)

16 Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols. 17 So he reasoned in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there. 18 Some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers also conversed with him. And some said, “What does this babbler wish to say?” Others said, “He seems to be a preacher of foreign divinities”—because he was preaching Jesus and the resurrection. 19 And they took him and brought him to the Areopagus, saying, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? 20 For you bring some strange things to our ears. We wish to know therefore what these things mean.” 21 Now all the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there would spend their time in nothing except telling or hearing something new.

22 So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription: ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. 24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, 25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. 26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, 28 for “‘In him we live and move and have our being’; as even some of your own poets have said, “‘For we are indeed his offspring.’
29 Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. 30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”
32 Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked. But others said, “We will hear you again about this.” 33 So Paul went out from their midst. 34 But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them.
Acts 17: 16-34

Athens was the cultural metropolis of its time! Many philosophies originated in Athens. The Areopagus was the busiest market then, where many people talked about different philosophies. Paul was facing many top scholars and philosophers, but Paul did not shrink back timidly. He bravely witnessed the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead as an assurance of the appointed Savior.

Paul noticed that the Athenians feared ghosts and gods, even worshiping gods they didn’t know! Taking advantage of their God-fearing hearts, Paul brought out this God they didn’t know, who was also the Creator of heaven and earth! This God is something we can find and experience!

Paul also studied the poems of the Athenians, so he was able to quote what was expressed in the poems – “we are indeed his offspring!” This God was related to us! And he commanded us to repent, leave idols, and return to him!

The Athenians had many philosophical theories; why should they be persuaded to believe what Paul preached? Well, there is only one piece of proof in Paul’s message, the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead! The resurrection of Jesus is not a belief but a historical fact! There were more than 500 witnesses, and Paul tried his best to preach the testimony! Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John are all witnessing the resurrection of Jesus! The disciples in the book of Acts also all witnessed this greatest historical fact! The disciples throughout the ages have been willing to sacrifice their lives but have never given up on this testimony!

Paul’s sermon 2,000 years ago still stands in the Areopagus (marketplace) of Athens today, and he still proclaims to everyone that Jesus Christ was resurrected from the dead as an assurance of the appointed Savior! Have you responded to the Lord’s call to be My witness to all peoples?


Prayer: 

Hallelujah, Praise the Lord as the Risen Savior! Please, let me experience your presence every day, feel your love, and experience your resurrection power! Please enlighten me, give me strength, and let me witness together that you are the resurrected Christ!

Song:

The Risen Lord

  1. It’s so precious! I have the risen Lord.
    Throughout my life, daily He walks with me.
    He had passed through the darkest night!
    He’d overcome Satan and death!
    He holds my hand and walks with me through life,
    Leads me through storms and fires –
    And I shout, “Vict’ry!”
  1. The risen Lord is my fountain of joy.
    This joy no one can snatch away from me.
    He fills my heart with faith and hope.
    I joy in Him, while onward go.
    He holds my hand and walks with me through life,
    Leads me towards the peak –
    And I shout, “Vict’ry!”
  1. I’d tasted death, but now I am living.
    I’d conquered death, and I’ll live forever.
    I’ve the keys of Hades and Death.
    My hand hold all authority.
    Fear not, My love, I am with you always,
    To the end of the age.
    Oh, let us rejoice!


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