Archive for December 1st, 2006

Spiritual Compass

Friday, December 1st, 2006

Today’s scripture: Acts 17:16-34 (NRSV) (The Message)

As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me in this passage? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.

My thoughts on this passage (Kay Olry):

Do you know where true north is? Try this the next time you get several people together. Have them close their eyes, and then ask them to point north. Inevitably, you will have hands pointing in all directions. They will believe that they’re pointing north, but many of them will be wrong, regardless of how strongly they believe it.

Paul, when he was still Saul, was someone who believed that he knew the truth. His faith as a prominent Jew, a member of the Pharisees, led him to believe that this sect of Jews who called themselves Christians were telling lies, and leading others away from the true God. He believed this so much that he asked for and received permission from the Jewish leaders to persecute and even kill the followers of Jesus.

Fast forward to a later date. Saul is now Paul. His beliefs have changed drastically. Not only does he no longer persecute the Christ followers, he’s become one of them! Paul’s conversion shocked everyone. So what happened?

He came face to face with Jesus, who he knew was already dead and buried. His encounter with the resurrected Christ convinced him to follow Jesus. It’s a fascinating story.

Fast forward again. Paul is now in Athens and comes across an altar with an inscription, “to an unknown god”. The Greeks, believing in many gods, were trying to cover all the bases with this altar — just in case they had missed one that they didn’t know about. Paul tells them about Jesus. He convinces some, but not others.

It’s now 2,000+ years later, and the conversation continues. There is a smorgasbord of religious beliefs from which to choose. Ask any spiritual person what they believe and you’ll get all kinds of answers. The question is still, is there a “true north”? Can everyone be right?

I encourage you to ask yourself if you’re praying to “an unknown god”. I like this quote from C.S. Lewis (and I’m paraphrasing): Jesus was either who He said He was (the Son of God), or a lunatic, or a liar. I think it’s the most important question we can ever ask ourselves: Who was this Jesus?

If He was, in fact, God come to earth, it changes everything. . .

Thought for the Day: Which way are you pointing?

Today, let’s join in prayer for: Those who are searching for truth. May the Holy Spirit guide them in their journey.

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. Use the item above as a starting point, or consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.

"Be still, and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10
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