Body: Read Acts 17:16-34 The Work At Thessalonica, Berea, and Athens - Continued. Paul was sharing Jesus with the people in Athens. In this section of the book of Acts he ended up standing before the Areopagus (i.e., a high council of religious affairs). Paul’s sharing about Jesus drew some to the Lord and drove others away.
Applications – - Ready to share Jesus. Notice in vss. 17-23 that Paul was ready to talk about Jesus to whoever would listen. This is a great example for believers to follow. The reason we review the “Plan of Salvation” so often is because all believers should be able to share Jesus with those we meet along our life journeys.
We should share our testimonies, personal experiences, and consider our listeners; however, the four statements and John 3:16 should never be far from the minds of those who claim to be disciples of Christ. Let’s work on being ready to share the Gospel with those we meet along our journey.
- Talkers verses doers. Notice in vs. 21 of the book of Acts that there were those who simply liked to talk about religious ideas. They were much more concerned with talking than walking.
The mission of the church is to help people get saved and growing in the Lord, not to simply debate and discuss religious issues. Let’s work on staying focused on our mission. At judgment, we will have to give an account of how we lived by what we learned, not just what we learned.
It is one thing to know that we should love one another. But it is quite another matter to actually love one another.
- Lessons about God. Notice in vss. 24-28 several lessons about God. First, God is the creator and self-existent one. As the creator and the self-existent one, we need Him; He doesn’t need us. Think about how idols are created and need people in order to exist.
Second, God has been working His plan to get people to come close to Him. As humans, we often don’t see how God is working things out for us, or we see it after the fact. But we can trust that the Creator and Self Existent One is working things out for the good of His people.
Third, God is our source. Without God our lives would be over. We breathe God’s air and walk around with the bodies that He has provided. Let’s live like we believe these lessons about God.
God really is the creator, self-existent one, the one working out a plan, and the source of all that we have. Such living should be known for obeying God’s commands to love Him and others as we love ourselves.
- God’s patience. Notice in vss. 29-31 of this section of the book of Acts that God’s patience runs out. The text talks about God moving from overlooking ignorance to a day of judgment. It is so dangerous to think and behave as if God will always overlook our lack of obeying His will.
At some point, God punishes sin and blesses obedience. Let’s live like we believe that God’s patience will run out. Such living includes obeying God’s instructions for our lives. If we are not even studying, serving, and giving, we have a great deal of work to do in this area.
- Varied responses to God’s word. Notice in vss. 32-34 of the book of Acts that there are varied responses to God’s word. One person may sneer. Another may be curious. And yet another may be accepting.
These issues are between the listeners and God. Our job is to make sure we share the word with those we meet along life’s journey.
We sow the seeds of God’s word like a farmer who sows seed among thorns, on rocky soil, and thank God, on good ground as well. Let’s be faithful in sharing the word of God, in spite of varied responses.
Conclusion: Let’s work on being witnesses for the Lord, everywhere we go. God has much for those who obey His will.
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