February 12 - Acts 17
HAVE A TALK: Twice in this chapter we are told that Paul 'reasoned' with people (v2, 17). Literally, he had a dialog with them. The hard part of these sorts of dialogs for us is they quickly spiral out of control: they go from a conversation to an argument and ultimately turn into a fight, because we're talking about issues that are deeply personal. Rather than take the chance of ruining a friendship or causing an argument, we instead just keep our mouth shut. But Paul's dialog is different. He's not trying to force his personal opinion down other people's throats, he 'reasoned with them from the Scriptures (v2).' He simply explained God's Word to people.
BE LIKE THE BEREANS: The Roman society loved fads. They eagerly jumped from one idea to the next (v21), just like people in our own day and age. But the Bereans were different. They neither blindly accepted the new teaching that Paul brought, nor did they aggressively reject the challenge to their worldview the way other Jewish communities did. Instead, they 'examined the Scriptures every day (v11)' to determine what was true. What a perfect example of how studying God's Word each day is the most practical thing we can do to evaluate all of the different ideas and opinions that come our way every day.
WHEN IN ROME (or ATHENS or WORTHINGTON): Paul quotes two different Greek philosophers in v28 as he dialogs with the philosophers on Mars Hill. Notice in this dialog he doesn't reason from Scriptures - in other words, he just doesn't bombard them with various proof texts. Here he uses their own culture and philosophy to argue for God's supremacy and salvation through a risen savior. It's important as we evangelize that we understand the perspectives and issues of the people that we're dialoguing with. It also gives us another reason to maintain strong relationships with people in our community.
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: "The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven & earth... who gives life and breath and everything else... who marks out all of history and the boundaries of nations. (v24-27)"
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Ask God to reveal Himself & His will to you each day as you carefully examine His Word (v11).
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: Ask God to help you to skillfully dialog with people and reason with them from God's Word.
5x5 Bible Reading Plan Home | Subscribe | Online Bible Study Resources