Posts Tagged ‘Athens’


Acts 18:1b, 4-6, 9-11
Paul left Athens and went to Corinth… Every Sabbath he reasoned in the synagogue, trying to persuade Jews and Greeks. When Silas and Timothy came from Macedonia, Paul devoted himself exclusively to preaching, testifying to the Jews that Jesus was the Christ. But when the Jews opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am clear of my responsibility. From now on I will go to the Gentiles”… One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision: “Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city.” So Paul stayed for a year and a half, teaching them the word of God.

For a long while, I imagined Paul to be a strong and courageous man for his ability to speak out against what was not right and stand up for the gospel. In today’s passage, we see another side of Paul; we see fear and frustration in a man devoted to the cause. So much so that God had to reassure him in a vision. Paul in his ministry traveled significantly with one goal in mind – to serve Jesus to the world and now he seems lost. What happened to Paul? Had he lost his drive and passion? Was it the strength of the opposition or the lack of support in his ministry? What is the Lord speaking to us this morning?

Like many, we tend to put our faith in things we can see and touch and so in Paul, we drew confidence from his powerful ministry and life because he is a person we can relate to. However, we are reminded again that Paul is not the role model we need to follow but Christ. Paul, like you and me, is a servant of God and lived to glorify God, not himself. We need to be focussed on Jesus and draw strength and direction from Him. As human as Paul was, he could only see opposition and hardened hearts but God sees the big picture and directed him to continue to serve. We need to ask God to show us the way to serve him and we need to give it our all. The reason should not be self glory but God’s glory and our eyes need to fixed on Jesus throughout.

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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Acts:17:22-23
Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “Men of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you.

Paul was a trouble maker before and after the Lord called him to be his own. Before he was saved, he led the lay Jews against the followers of Jesus Christ and after he was saved, he tried to help the same people see the truth, both ways getting himself into trouble. In today’s passage, he is addressing the wise people of Athens who spent their days and nights debating. This was a sport of it’s own kind and these people wanted to hear him out before challenging him back. Why was Paul unwantedly getting himself in a knot?

We are all creatures of habit and we like to steer towards thing we are comfortable with more than things we are not. Paul was a man smitten by God’s love for him and for all mankind that he could not stop himself from sharing the good news of Jesus Christ, whatever the cost. Worse still, he was sure that if he lost his life, he would gain it with Christ and no one could ever take it away. When I watch the athlete’s daily in the winter olympics, I see human passion for being the best, even at the cost of life. Some of these athlete’s train all their lives for a few seconds of competition and only 3 out of millions in the world make it. As Christians, what are we passionate about and are we running the race?

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

PS: Sign up for daily devotionals by clicking the email subscription icon at the top right of this page or by visiting this group. Also, share it with your friends and family who need some encouragement and direction in their lives.