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July 10, 2018

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Reading along with us in Acts? Here’s today’s reading:

Acts 17 (ESV)

Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. And Paul went in, as was his custom, and on three Sabbath days he reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and proving that it was necessary for the Christ to suffer and to rise from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus, whom I proclaim to you, is the Christ.” And some of them were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, as did a great many of the devout Greeks and not a few of the leading women. But the Jews were jealous, and taking some wicked men of the rabble, they formed a mob, set the city in an uproar, and attacked the house of Jason, seeking to bring them out to the crowd. And when they could not find them, they dragged Jason and some of the brothers before the city authorities, shouting, “These men who have turned the world upside down have come here also, and Jason has received them, and they are all acting against the decrees of Caesar, saying that there is another king, Jesus.” .....Continue Reading

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This Post Has 4 Comments
  1. 11Now these Jews were more noble than those in Thessalonica; they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.

    “‘In him we live and move and have our being’;
    as even some of your own poets have said,
    “‘For we are indeed his offspring.’❤️

  2. Wish we could read/hear more of Paul’s sermons…

    Then Paul stood in the midst of the Areopagus and said, “Men of Athens, I perceive that in all things you are very religious; 23 for as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I even found an altar with this inscription:

    TO THE UNKNOWN GOD.

    Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you: 24 God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands. 25 Nor is He worshiped with men’s hands, as though He needed anything, since He gives to all life, breath, and all things. 26 And He has made from one [j]blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their preappointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, 27 so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’ 29 Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising. 30 Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent, 31 because He has appointed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained. He has given assurance of this to all by raising Him from the dead.”

  3. Three different cities that reveal three different responses to the gospel that we as believers need to be prepared for. The first is Thessalonica and the response of violent opposition. The gospel confronts us and shows us that our ways are not the right ways and it is only through acceptance of Christ that we can be made right. The exclusive nature of the gospel can be offensive and people can respond to that aggressively trying to silence us through criticism, anger or violence. We must choose to persevere and not be silenced and find other means to communicate the truth. We can also be encouraged that sometimes the most aggressive response shows that the conviction of truth is strong and can lead to acceptance and surrender.

    The next city is Berea and we see the response of enthusiastic acceptance. The gospel is good news and frees us from so much in life that hinders and destroys. Some welcome this truth and the better way that God provides and pursue truth on their own both with and independent of us. We respond to this with validation and making ourselves available for discipleship.

    The third city is Athens and the response is intellectual distance. Some don’t respond negatively or positively but simply with curiosity. The truth of God is interesting and aspects of it can tickle our fancy. So some might seek to learn more of the things of God without internalizing or accepting any of it. Their engagement with God is in the mind and not the heart and is on their terms and not God’s. In some ways this response is most challenging because people can think they have it right. We respond with various facets of the truth and emphasize the exclusive nature of it and help this people see that call calls them to a relationship on His terms and not their own, but in surrendering to Him they are gaining and not losing.

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