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Read Acts 17:24-34
“Some began to ridicule him. But others said “We will hear you about this again.” So Paul went out from their presence.” (Vs. 32-33 HCSB)
As I mentioned last time about no harm coming to Paul in Athens, Beth also points out that he “was not forced to leave the city”. Acts 18:1 tells us he simply left.” (1) In Athens, they wanted to hear from this “babbler”, they were into the latest and greatest, they were philosophers and could debate all day long. Most of them could care less!
“They were too cold to care! Paul’s experience in Athens is a perfect example of a situation in which people were open-minded to a fault. Their motto was ‘anything goes’. Everyone was welcome to his own philosophy. Live and let live! If it works for you, go for it! Athens was the birthplace of the tolerance movement.” (2)
But let’s take a look at what Paul did tell them about “what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you” (vs. 23)
- The God who made the world and everything in it
- He is Lord of heaven and earth
- He does not live in shrines made by hands
- Neither is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything
- He Himself gives everyone life and breath and all things.
- From one man, He has made every nation of men to live all over the earth and has determined their appointed times and the boundaries of where they live
- So that they might seek God
- Perhaps they might reach out and find Him
- He is not far from each one of us
- For in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring’
- Being God’s offspring, then, we shouldn’t think that the divine nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image fashioned by human art and imagination. (vs. 24-29)
How else could they, you, I know this God unless we get in His Word to learn more about him. Read for yourself! Don’t repeat what is simply told to you and/or get in debates over something that you’re not even sure about!
Today take some time and continue to read … read the scripture references each time, so that you become knowledgeable about our God and not be in the habit of worshiping an “unknown god!”
Become the person who does care and not indifferent to the One “who made the world and everything in it!”
Have a great weekend
(1-2) Paul, 90 Days in His Life of Faith/Beth Moore/B & H Publishing
Deut. 6:4-9 “..Bind them as a sign on your hand and let them be a symbol on your forehead. Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” (vs. 8-9 – HSCB)
Beth states “By the time Saul was 13 years of age, he was considered a son of the law. He assumed all the religious responsibilities of the adult Jew.”(1)
”The Code of Jewish Law prescribed that a Jewish man 13 years or older was to put on the tefillin at the first moment in the morning when enough daylight was present to recognize a neighbor at a distance of 4 cubits. These practices seem very strange to us perhaps, but we should appreciate their attempt to interpret Scripture as literally as they knew how.”(2)
They were to wear God’s Word as a banner and shield over their weakness. We don’t practice the outward expression of the Jew, but we are wise to share the inward principle. They were required strict adherence to the customs of dress as an outward expression of their faith.”(3)
As a child, I remember we were not allowed to wear pants and had to wear a veil over our heads when we went to church. I was taught this was symbolic of reverence and honor for the church and for God. As our walk matures we soon realize that it isn’t the outward things that we wear or do to “show” our faith but the inward promptings of our heart that is the greater principle. Beth shares that Saul adorned himself with outward garments as “he was reminded of his binding relationship to his Creator. Soberly he assumed the responsibility of one associated with God. The law of the Lord was his life.”(4)
I must admit that I may do certain “outward expressions” symbolic of an “inward expression” of the heart. Does it mean that I’m putting my faith in the outward expression, absolutely not! It helps me to remember and that I do not forget how big God really is and how much He loves me! I believe God is more interested in the matters of the heart. The outward expressions are for us to never forget to love Him with everything that is within us.
Does life sometimes cause you to forget your association with God? What do you do to bring yourself back?
“…The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 (NIV)
1-4 - “Paul, 90 Days on His Journey of Faith/Beth Moore/BHPublishing Group