This morning Jon Freeman, our Missional Outreach Pastor, challenged us to engage others that have different views than we do. We all have a "lens" that colors how we view the world. Some view the world through the filter of the Bible, but many others have different filters.
In Acts 17:16-24, we see Paul is spending some time in Athens. Fifteen years prior, Paul had an encounter with Jesus that changed his life. He used to persecute Christians, defame the name of Jesus, and help conspire to murder Christians. Now, he is the one being persecuted for his faith. As he is in Athens, he is provoked by the Spirit to notice all of the idols in Athens. His heart is grieved because everybody needs Jesus.
In verse 17, we see that Paul has done his homework and is able to engage people. He understands where they come from. Because he knows them, he is able to talk to them about God. From verse 24:
1. He is creator and made you.
2. He is not waiting for us to earn favor.
3. It is imperative that you seek God.
Paul goes on to tell the people that something has fundamentally changed and that Jesus has been raised from the dead for all people. Everyone needs Jesus!
For us today:
1. Get to know people
2. Introduce them to Jesus.
3. Find ways to walk across the street.
4. Find out the questions they are asking.
5. Listen to their stories.
6. Be prepared to share the Good News
7. Remember that you don't have to have all the answers.
To Discuss Today
1. What are the major idols in Charlotte today?
2. Do you really care that everyone needs Jesus? If you do, does your life show it? What are you waiting for?
3. How do you respond to, "...but I don't know all the answers" or "I don't feel called to this" or "but that isn't my spiritual gift"?