Acts 17


22 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. 23 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.
24 “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. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. 26 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. 27 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. 28 ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’
29 “Therefore since we are God’s offspring, we should not think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone—an image made by human design and skill. 30 In the past God overlooked such ignorance, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent. 31 For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.” (copied from biblehub.com)


Photo of lithograph from wikipedia

Baptism


I was rightly convinced decades ago. Reverence for Jesus, the fear of God, (in the book of acts, in the first century) was not at all like Christianity today. The people were not baptized as a beginning of their Christian walk. They were baptized because they were "walking".

They were not baptized because they believed the message of the gospel. They were baptized as a sign and seal that they were living the Gospel.

How does that compare to what you have witnessed?

Billboard Hysteria


Two women were complaining about all the Bible billboards down south. One said she was tired of being inundated about sin, Jesus, and condemnation. She made some remark to excuse herself for being callous to the words. Something like, “I know the gospel is important, I’m just tired of it being in my face all the time”.   Surprisingly, her friend agreed.  

Are you tired of hearing about God? You might want to get used to it. He owns eternity, you know. And the conversation about his glorious Son Jesus is never ending. Such people as those women are not likely to have a good time.

A Profitable Life


The beautiful stories in the Bible, where God displayed protection for his people, are not just stories. He is willing to save his people of faith from anything in the world can deliver against them.  

Years ago, there was a video of a man on an island carrying a cross toward flowing lava. He was hoping that a symbol of God’s majesty in Christ would stop the destruction of his town. The man was set on fire from the heat.  


Do you expect God to rescue you from everything? He will. But the word “everything” includes a whole lot more than this world can hold. There are the things of heaven, compared to which nothing in this world can hold a candle.  


Death, turmoil, confusion, and violence are the nature of this place. You’re bound to get some of all of it. Trust him anyway. He has a place in his kingdom for all who put their trust in the Son of the Living God. It is written, “they will never be put to shame”.


Try hard to remember, God’s desire is not to give you a pleasant life here. That would make a mockery of his kingdom. His desire is to prove his love to you so that you can have a rightful place in glory. See what the writer of Hebrews says in chapter 11.  


32 “And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets, 33 who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised; who shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword; whose weakness was turned to strength; and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies. 35 Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. 36 Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. 37 They were put to death by stoning;e they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated— 38 the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.”

Don’t versus Belief


Measure how great and sure is the promise of God to save those who trust in His salvation. It is delivered to us in the body of an individual called The Word of God.  

No promise on earth has ever been kept in fullness until it’s completion. Understandably then, doubt continues to plague believers. But God is not like the fallen hearts, minds and souls of Man. He is forever Other. God is Sovereign Life; He answers to no one. Believe.  


Although we already know this, doesn’t our belief suffer loss? Isn’t our loss because we compare Him to the things we witness here? Christian belief then is a Life full of willful action based on trust. That’s how it is said, “Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness”.

Safety Is


Written on the ocean on March 2, 2017. But ever so eternally poignant.

The waves beat against the hull of the ship.  

With a silent and determined anger;

With gluttony for autonomy,


They desire “unimpeded”.  


See how the steel says, “No”.  

See how they are forced to go,


Dissipated.  


How the strength of their ruin is utterly devastated.  


How, with present Will

pressed against them, 

they turn to white frothing.

At the majesty they encounter;  

They turn to –

Mere nothing.  


Like they do as the wind whips them up, 

in small measure 

The sea is dotted with purity.  

Yet:

With impassable Will

All is turned back.  


“You will not pass.  

I cannot relent.  

I move through your midst,

My strength never spent.”


Be still!

Cease your work!

Bow to Me!

My people will pass


Speaks The Maker He.  


Move Holy Spirit.  

Move through my soul.  

Be the ship that carries 

The desire of Your own will. 

As it has been from old.  


Be in me the strength of your love.  

Keep me on the

“Inward side.”