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Day 34 | Contemporary – Application

Read Acts 17

In today’s chapter, the apostle Paul shows us how to be insulated by the Word but not isolated from the world. He went to three different cities, spread the gospel, and converted many people who followed cultural truth instead of biblical truth. For the purposes of this devotional, we’re going to focus on the final city Paul visits, Athens.

When Paul visited Athens, as verse 16 states, “he was deeply distressed when he saw that the city was full of idols.” Because of Paul’s knowledge of Scripture and his relationship with Jesus, Paul was able to discern the culture of Athens wasn’t Christ-centered. If we continue reading, we see Paul didn’t lock himself in a room somewhere. He went out and had conversations with people not only in the synagogues but also in the streets. He even talked with Greek philosophers (see Acts 17:18), and these conversations led Paul to the cultural and intellectual center of Athens, the Areopagus (also referred to as Mars Hill). While in the Areopagus, Paul shared the gospel with a group of people who “spent their time on nothing else but telling or hearing something new” (Acts 17:21). While addressing the crowd, Paul used the words of some of their own poets to explain who Jesus Christ was and why He was important for their salvation. Using something familiar to the people of Athens allowed them to relate to Paul and the gospel in a way they never had before.

How can we apply this to our lives? Paul enjoyed art, culture, and literature, and he enjoyed discussing them too. But his identity, love, and devotion were first and foremost planted in his relationship with Christ. Paul was able to take the things that gave him common ground with non-believers and use them as a gateway to share the gospel.

Pray for God to use things you enjoy to open opportunities for you to share the gospel with others who share those same interests.