Acts 17:16-31 (NRSV)
Assurance for all through Christ
While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was deeply distressed to see that the city was full of idols. So he argued in the synagogue with the Jews and the devout persons, and also in the marketplace every day with those who happened to be there. Also some Epicurean and Stoic philosophers debated with him. Some said, "What does this babbler want to say?" Others said, "He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign divinities." (This was because he was telling the good news about Jesus and the resurrection.) So they took him and brought him to the Areopagus and asked him, "May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? It sounds rather strange to us, so we would like to know what it means." Now all the Athenians and the foreigners living there would spend their time in nothing but telling or hearing something new.
Then Paul stood in front of the Areopagus and said, "Athenians, I see how extremely religious you are in every way. For as I went through the city and looked carefully at the objects of your worship, I found among them an altar with the inscription, 'To an unknown god.' What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things. From one ancestor he made all nations to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him - though indeed he is not far from each one of us. For 'In him we live and move and have our being'; as even some of your own poets have said, 'For we too are his offspring.' Since we are God's offspring, we ought not to think that the deity is like gold, or silver, or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of mortals. While God has overlooked the times of human ignorance, now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will have the world judged in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed, and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead."
Although I do not know anyone with an actual idol entitled, “To An Unknown God” in his or her living room, I do know a host of people who dabble in many spiritualities and idol worships, never really sure about what they believe.
Here in the United States and many other places in this world most people’s most active idols are named Greed, Lust, Power, Pride and Acquisition. On a daily basis they make offerings to these gods lifting up their minds and hearts in prayer and praise to these idol gods.
For other people they have more fearsome gods named Fear, Rage, Violence, Addiction, Abuse, and Destruction. These gods are hard task masters, keeping their worshippers in a constant state of jangled nerves, migraine headaches, stomach ulcers, and great despair and darkness.
It is extremely sad that “The Unknown God” is still so obscure in the lives of so many of our friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers. Many people, like the Athenians, have lots of questions about God and are open to hearing our testimonies of faith. It is unfortunate that so many people live their lives never having heard the GOOD NEWS! As Christians, it is our honor and privilege to find these new friends and make the Name of Jesus famous in their lives and everywhere we go!
I love to tell Jesus’ story to those who do not know Him. I love to share the GOOD NEWS that God loves us so very much that God gave Jesus to die on the cross to save us from our sin and gift us with eternal life.
Isn’t it grand that the GOOD NEWS message is so simple? God loves, gave, and saves! Unlike the idol gods of Greed, Lust, Power, Pride, Acquisition, Fear, Rage, Violence, Abuse, Addiction, and Destruction, our God is Love. Our God fills our hearts with love, joy, peace and hope for the future. Our God proved His love not by taking from us, but by giving to us forgiveness, grace, mercy, and eternal life!
Wouldn’t you like to put all of your hope in God Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth, who allowed Jesus to die on the cross to save you from your sin and gift you with eternal life?
If so, please pray with me:
Eternal One, thank you for loving me so much! Jesus is the most awesome gift! I believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose again on the third day making reparation for my sin and gifting me with eternal life! Please forgive me of my sin and fill me with the Holy Spirit so that I can be empowered to make Jesus’ Name famous everywhere I go! I love you and I want to share our love with others! In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
If you just prayed that prayer for the first time, today, you are saved! I would be so honored if you would let me know about your decision by clicking “Yes” in the poll located at the top/right of today’s devotional! I am so happy for you! Happy Spiritual Re-Birth-Day!
Next steps: In response to what God did for you just now, let me suggest that you consider telling another Christian so that they can celebrate with you! Ask them to help you find a Bible that is easy for you to understand so that you can learn more about your new-found faith! Ask them to help you find a good Bible believing church where you can be baptized and make new friends who will walk with you on your new journey! You are already saved; now let God mature you by faith! Congratulations!
Happy Birthday to Kimberly, my baby sister! I celebrate the blessing of God in your life and look forward to God's many miracles in the coming year! I love you!
If you would like to put all of your hope in Jesus today, please visit my blog entitled, “Putting All Your Hope In Jesus” located at
If you have additional questions about how to become a friend and follower of Jesus, please see the devotion entitled, "Come to Jesus"
Pastor Yolanda is now publishing another blog entitled, “A Spoken WORD” in celebration of Holy Hip Hop, Gospel/Christian Rap and Spoken Word. Please check it out @ http://aspokenword.blogspot.com/
You are invited to follow Pastor Yolanda on Twitter www.twitter.com/PastorYolanda
Good News has now added a Prayer Ministry. http://www.kindlejoy.com/groups/goodnews
You are invited to leave comments or questions regarding today’s devotional. These comments are public.
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Thanks for reading and please come again. Pastor Yolanda extends a very special welcome to all of our friends reading outside of the United States of America! We are honored that you are sharing with us today.
From Pastor Yolanda's blog http://aintathatgoodnews.blogspot.com