October 7, 2018
READ: Acts 17:16-34
This God, whom you worship without knowing, is the one I’m telling you about (v.23).
There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of each man which cannot be satisfied by any created thing but only by God the Creator, made known through Jesus Christ.” While the exact wording of that quote—attributed to seventeenth-century theologian Blaise Pascal—is up for debate, there’s no doubt that people continue to seek something or someone worthy of their worship.
The pursuit of the divine was illustrated by the Athenians and their pantheon of gods. When Paul was in Athens, “he was deeply troubled by all the idols he saw everywhere in the city” (Acts 17:16). In typical Paul fashion, he spoke of Jesus in the synagogue, the public square and with the philosophers of the day (vv.17-18). Eventually, his message attracted so much attention that he was taken before the high council (v.19).
Addressing the council, Paul said, “Men of Athens, I notice that you are very religious . . . for as I was walking along I saw your many shrines. [One] had this inscription on it: ‘To an Unknown God.’ This God, whom you worship without knowing, is the one I’m telling you about. He is the God who made the world . . . . He himself gives life and breath to everything, [and] he is not far from any one of us. For in him we live and move and exist” (vv.22-28). Paul’s sermon elicited contempt from some. But others wanted to hear more, and some even became believers (vv.32-34).
We’re not guaranteed a positive response to sharing the good news, but we don’t need to be discouraged, for God “uses us to spread the knowledge of Christ everywhere, like a sweet perfume” (2 Corinthians 2:14). As we follow Paul’s example to make God known, may “our lives [be] a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God” (v.15).
365-day plan: Acts 2:1-13
Read Matt. 28:18-20 and reflect on what Jesus has called believers in Him to do.
To what extent do you obey the Great Commission? How can you increasingly share the good news of salvation in your day-to-day encounters?