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Acts Reading Plan | Week 13 | Day 3
Take a moment to be silent and still. In order to be fully present in body and mind, take a deep breath in and let it out slowly. Do this three times.
Psalm 103:12 says, “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” Thank God as you come to spend time with Him that He has removed your sins and you can be at peace with Him.
Bible Reading: Acts 17:16-21
Read these verses three times slowly.
While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols. So he reasoned in the synagogue with both Jews and God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there. A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to debate with him. Some of them asked, “What is this babbler trying to say?” Others remarked, “He seems to be advocating foreign gods.” They said this because Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection. Then they took him and brought him to a meeting of the Areopagus, where they said to him, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? You are bringing some strange ideas to our ears, and we would like to know what they mean.” (All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.)
Reflection & Questions
There are times in our walk with Jesus that our minds and hearts are more sensitive to what God sees and it affects us deeply. We have a moment of clarity. As Paul waits in Athens, that is exactly what happens. He sees all the idols and Luke tells us “he was greatly distressed.”
Idols are anything that takes the place of God in our life and gets our allegiance. For the town of Athens they were worshiping statues to all sorts of gods. In our culture, we don’t often see statues being worshiped, but we do see allegiance being given to all sorts of things. It may be good things or bad things, but once they become god things there’s a problem. That problem is that idols don’t fill the God-sized hole in our heart. We were designed to live with God at the center of our lives, and putting anything else there is going against our design and will ultimately destroy us (and the thing we put there). That’s why Paul is so distressed. The people are trying to fill the hole in the heart, and he knows they never will. Only the living God can do that.
- What idols do you see in our culture that people try to use to fill their God-shaped hole? How might that shape your prayers for your ONE or others?
- Are you looking to fill your God-shaped hole with something other than God? If so, how’s that working out for you?
Talk to God in response to today’s reading. Ask Him to give you eyes to see things in this world, and in your life, as He does. Thank Him for His grace in being so patient and forgiving with us.
You might use this song today to worship Jesus today:
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