Day 37: Acts 17:22-34

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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, in the hope that they might feel their way towards 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.

POINTS OF INTEREST

  • v23 Paul sees the altar to an unknown god, and then uses that the proclaim to the people of Athens who that unknown god is. He uses a local cultural item, in a way that declares the truth about God. He offers them knowledge they previously didn’t have.
  • v24-27 This is a beautiful and powerful evangelistic message. See how Paul started off talking about the altar, and then went on to talk about how God is beyond human altars. And then he moves onto how we are God’s offspring. He even references the Athenian poets.
  • v.29-31 Then he moves to a message of repentance. God is calling us to follow him!
  • v32 For some people they heard the message and immediately believed. For others they needed to hear more. And others still rejected it straight away. Don’t be discouraged by people’s response – instead continue to faithfully declare the truth about God.

PRAYING IN FAITH

For Yourself

I’m sure most of us wish we were as eloquent as Paul. But it’s no use wishing – pray that God teaches you to open your mouth to explain his message to those around. And then take those learning opportunities!

For Your Five

Pray that your five will be the ones who hear the truth and respond.

For Our Church

Pray that our church can have an open heart to God’s gospel message – some of us have forgotten how God’s news is the good news! Ask God to remind us how precious it is to be God’s children.

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