Paul Builds a Case for the One True God
Day: 19 | Plan: Acts
Today's Reading: Acts 17
Acts 17:26 (NIV) “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.”
Near the close of Acts 17, we find Paul in Athens addressing a broad audience of philosophers and educators, men who gathered regularly to hear the “latest” teachings but didn’t believe in any one thing. They loved to think for the sake of thinking and did not deal in absolutes.
Paul spoke at their invitation because they were completely enamored by his message. It was unlike anything they had ever heard.
When entering the city, Paul had observed an excessive number of religious sites—altars and temples dedicated to multiple gods. One altar in particular captured his attention. The one dedicated: “TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.”
This altar served as the perfect point of entry for Paul to introduce his God, the living God, the Creator of heaven and earth. Paul crafted a magnificent sermon. It was bold but not offensive. He built a strong and revolutionary case for belief in the one true God. The God whom Paul contended is sovereign over all things …
- Who can’t be conformed to an image or confined to a temple.
- Who doesn’t need food or drink or any assistance from humans.
- Who is self-sufficient.
Paul continued his sermon, showing another side of the one true God: He is intimate and personal. He cares for the entire human race because He created it. Each one His child, created in His image. Paul elaborated that this God made the entire human race, and all the nations, from this one man, Adam. And not only did God create all people, He determined the times and places they would each live.
This spoke to my heart. The nation in which we live, the century in which we live, is not haphazard. God’s hand has been in history since before time began and still is! Nations rise and fall. But God remains God over them all. His unseen hand guides and directs them according to His perfect will. Daniel 2:20-21 affirms, “Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever; wisdom and power are his. He changes times and seasons; he deposes kings and raises up others.”
When wars and rumors of wars overwhelm me. When the cruel and torturous acts of ISIS horrify me. When terrorist attacks on our own soil stir up fear in me. I remember Paul’s words. We do not live in an impersonal world with an impersonal God. We live in a personal world created by a personal God. A God who cares for us and loves us deeply. So deeply that He gave His Son, Jesus, to die for us so that we could live forever with Him.
This is how Paul closed his message in Athens that day. He confronted his audience with Jesus. Jesus’ death and resurrection and the Day of Judgment. Some believed, but many did not. His message was clear. Those who believe and trust in Jesus will be saved. Those who don’t will be judged and found guilty.
Prayer: Father, thank You for the peace that comes with absolute truth. The truth that You are the one true God. Thank You for the peace that comes knowing our nation, our times and our lives are in Your hands. I need not fear bad news or bad men because You are greater than all my fears. In Jesus’ name, amen.
God also spoke a personal word of encouragement to me through Paul’s words in Acts 17:26.... Read More
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