The Right Approach
Acts 17:16-34 Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols...
think about it.
What moved Paul to speak up in Athens (17:16-18)? Where did Paul start with these people (17:18-25)? Where does he take them (17:24-31)? What responses did he get (17:32-34)? Where do you start with people when you talk about Jesus? How does this passage help you cope with the responses you may see?
There are many different approaches to sharing Christ and Paul shows us in Acts 17:16-34 that we'd be wise to take into account the audience before us when considering what approach we use to witness. Paul is in Athens and he is grieved by the idol worship that is so open and widespread. These people need to know about salvation and Paul most certainly tells them. But the tactic he uses is different than what we've seen him do elsewhere. Instead of a head-on approach, here Paul first engages the people in conversation about their practices and what's meaningful to them. Then he introduces God, the need for repentance and Christ's resurrection. Paul doesn't water down or sugar coat the message. He recognized that with this particular crowd, he needed to come at their need for salvation a little differently.
So two thoughts today. First, how can we be more like Paul--grieved by the people that are lost around us and not hesitant to tell others about their need for salvation? And second, what did you learn from Acts 17:16-34 that you can put into practice? Tami W.
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