Good morning! If you haven’t noticed by the title of today’s devotion, I have been listening to the Hamilton soundtrack. I’ve been pondering over the many opportunities Alexander Hamilton was given and the many shots he took (some good and some bad). Today, we will continue our reading in Acts 17 where Paul was given a shot. Lets read how it begins and throughout the week we will read what Paul said. Enjoy today’s devotion and prayer.
Acts 17:16-21 (NLT) “16 While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was deeply troubled by all the idols he saw everywhere in the city. 17 He went to the synagogue to reason with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and he spoke daily in the public square to all who happened to be there.
18 He also had a debate with some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers. When he told them about Jesus and his resurrection, they said, “What’s this babbler trying to say with these strange ideas he’s picked up?” Others said, “He seems to be preaching about some foreign gods.”
19 Then they took him to the high council of the city.[d] “Come and tell us about this new teaching,” they said. 20 “You are saying some rather strange things, and we want to know what it’s all about.” 21 (It should be explained that all the Athenians as well as the foreigners in Athens seemed to spend all their time discussing the latest ideas.)“
- Paul was deeply troubled by all the idols he saw everywhere in the city. Note, The Lord will put things on your heart. Things that concern Him.
- Paul allowed the Lord to use him right where he was. Paul didn’t lay low. He didn’t allow his past to hold him back. Paul began to share the Good News.
Paul is always on task. I’m amazed by how Jesus changed this man’s heart on the Damascus road, used his past to humble him but yet help influence the world, teach the truth of the Good News, and call people of all backgrounds to repent and believe. It wasn’t easy for Paul. But there he was in Athens without his fellow believers by his side. It was just him, God the Father, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. And, in these verses someone was about to give him the mic 🎤 – Paul was not throwing away his shot.
Sisters and brothers, I know there are times when you wonder – how can God use you? Or you may say Lord Jesus – I feel so alone. Sisters and brothers, I want to encourage you right where you are, that God sees you. He is the same God who saw Hagar beside a spring of water in the wilderness (Genesis 16:13). He is the same Lord, strong and mighty; the Lord, invincible in battle (Psalm 24:8). He is same Lord who used a little shepherd boy to take out a giant, 1 Samuel 17:45 NLT – “David replied to the Philistine, “You come to me with sword, spear, and javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies—the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied.” The Lord is for you and He is with you.
Sisters and brothers, it is time that we move in the same confidence as David whenever we face things that are bigger than ourselves, “we come in the name of the Lord of Heaven’s Armies – the God of the armies of Israel”, we are chosen (refer to 1 Peter 2:9-19), we are redeemed, we are accepted, we have been changed, and we will be with the Lord our God, Jesus our Savior and Lord for all eternity (refer to Colossians 1:13-22) No weapon formed against us will prosper (refer to Isaiah 54:17). Greater is he who is in us than he who is in the world (refer to 1 John 4:4). We are the head and not the tail. We are victorious in Jesus name.
You will never truly be alone, the Holy Spirit is with you. Do not miss your shot to share the Good News. Let the Lord use you and watch Him work. Get your armor on (refer to Ephesians 6:10-18), there’s work to be done (refer to Matthew 9:36-38). The harvest is ready.
Father God in the name of Jesus we come to you today, humbly and unworthy of your grace and mercy. Lord, forgive us for our sins (known and unknown). We repent of our sins and desire to turn away from them today. Lord, we ask that you not only give us a willingness but an obedient heart so that there will not be any separation in the fullness of our relationship with you. Lord, we do not want to walk around in bondage any longer to fears, anxiety, lies of the enemy or plots against us. We want to experience every victory you have given us. Lord, we want to walk in full confidence of the promises you have given us. Lord, write today’s verses on our hearts and lead us. Lord, we want to stand in the strength and power of Your Holy Spirit. Ignite those flames within us and keep them burning in Spirit and in Truth. Lord, we bind the things that hinder us from making progress in our relationship with you, in Jesus name. We bind the spirit that is trying to uproot our families and speak destruction over our children and spouses in Jesus name. We come against all things that don’t align with your will and purpose for our lives, communities, and leaders in the mighty name of Jesus. Lord, keep us. Strength us with your power. Give us boldness to speak on the things that please you, but also live it out. Lord, we want to be effective witnesses for you. Have your way, Jesus. In Jesus name we pray, amen.
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