Check out all the previous Acts readings here.
Acts Reading Plan | Week 13 | Day 4
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.
Iaaiah 40:31 says, “those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” As you come to meet with Jesus, if you are feeling weary or faint today in the troubles of life, ask God to renew your strength. If you are soaring, thank God for His grace in your life.
Bible Reading: Acts 17:22-28
Read these verses three times slowly.
Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “People 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. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.
“The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’
Reflection & Questions
Yesterday, we read that Paul was “greatly distressed” at all the idols in Athens. Today, he gets to speak about this at the Areopagus, a gathering place in Athens where people would debate philosophy and religion. His speech to them, which we will look at today and tomorrow, is a great example of how to bring the gospel to others. Paul uses things in their culture; he talks about their altar to an unknown God and he quotes one of their poets. All to get across the gospel in a relatable and relevant way.
What’s Paul’s message? What do these idolaters need to hear? That the true God doesn’t need anything from us. He’s not a taker, He’s a giver. He’s not demanding, he’s generous. He’s not putting a burden on us, he’s our source of everything. As Paul says: “he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else.” All other things we try to put in the God-shaped hole of our hearts (idols) will ultimately leave us tired and weary. They take, they demand, they place burdens, they drain. But God gives us rest, he gives energy and he gives us life. Given that, why would we (or anyone) not want Him at the center of our hearts?!
- Why do things (even good things) that we put in the place of God, leave us drained? Are you doing that?
- As you think about reaching your ONE, are there ways you might communicate the gospel in a way they relate to? Ask God to give you insight into that.
Talk to God in response to today’s reading.
You might use this song today to worship Jesus today:
Check out more Bible Reading Plans here.