Daily Light – Oct 17, 2017

Your daily goal:

Philippians 3:14  “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”   

(Monday-Friday, from my morning quiet time, I will write a short thought for that day which I pray God will use to motivate you to ‘GO’ for that day.  Your objective is simple…to GO…to GO OUT and share the love of Christ with someone in that day….to GO and bear fruit …to be light to the world.)

Today’s Daily Light:

Paul, the Apostle, In Athens  (Proclaiming the light in darkness)

Acts 17:16:32

16 While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols. 17 So he reasoned in the synagogue with both Jews and God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there. 18 A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to debate with him. Some of them asked, “What is this babbler trying to say?” Others remarked, “He seems to be advocating foreign gods.” They said this because Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection. 19 Then they took him and brought him to a meeting of the Areopagus, where they said to him, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? 20 You are bringing some strange ideas to our ears, and we would like to know what they mean.” 21 (All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.)

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.’  (From the Cilician Stoic philosopher Aratus).

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.”

32 When they heard about the resurrection of the dead, some of them sneered, but others said, “We want to hear you again on this subject.” 33 At that, Paul left the Council. 34 Some of the people became followers of Paul and believed. Among them was Dionysius, a member of the Areopagus, also a woman named Damaris, and a number of others.

    
Paul is in the ‘then’ cultural, philosophical and intellectual capital of the world  The rampant idolatry stirred him deeply.  Today, 2017, in our country, and around the cultural centers of the world, we live and breathe in the same cultural, philosophical quagmire of darkness and delusion.  But the darkness in our age has intensified and is much greater.   And increasingly in this culture and time, we are ridiculed and almost seen as some crazy Christian fanatic to hold to our core orthodox Christian views.
 
The writer of Acts, Luke, calls attention to two dominant philosophies. The Epicureans said, “Pleasure is the chief end of life; everything happens by chance; death ends it all.” The Stoics were “Pantheistic; all is fated by god; we must be independent of externals.” They did not believe in life after death, either.  And, today, we are surrounded, immersed in so many ideas such as was in Paul’s time, that are totally from the dark side and only exist as tools of the dark side to ‘blind’ the eyes and heart of men ‘to keep them’ from seeing the light of the good news of the gospel of Jesus.
 
We must not be afraid to proclaim the light of truth..to shine it out in front of and onto the dark world.   Such is our job as followers of Jesus Christ.   We must boldly, using common sense, and in a spirit of love, proclaim the truth of God as the only God, only Creator, and only Lord of the universe..and proclaim the wonderful good news that God the Son, Jesus, is the Savior, the Redeemer, the ‘only’ pathway to eternal life.   All other pathways are darkness and delusion.    In proclaiming..always remember that the people who live in the darkness and delusion are not doing so because they choose to do so.  It is not that they are unwilling…it is that they are unable.  They are being held captive by the power of blindness from the dark side that prevents them, makes them unable.   And it is ‘only’ the light of the truth of the gospel that can free them and bring them from darkness into eternal light.  And you are the messenger…the light bearer. 
 
Father…I pray that we will see how important it is to tell people who they are…that they are ‘Your’ offspring…that you created them and that you love them.   Give us desire and boldness to be effective in this culture of darkness that we live in…give us boldness and power to shine the light of the gospel of truth…which is Jesus crucified and resurrected.   Amen

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