Nothing exceeds thy power,
Nothing is too great for thee to do,
Nothing too good for thee to give.
Infinite is thy might, boundless thy love,
limitless thy grace, glorious thy saving name.
Let angels sing for sinners repenting, prodigals restored,
backsliders reclaimed, Satan’s captives released,
blind eyes opened, broken hearts bound up,
the despondent cheered, the self-righteous stripped,
the formalist driven from a refuge of lies,
the ignorant enlightened,
and saints built up in their holy faith.

I ask great things of a great God.

*From, “The Great God” in The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions (Banner of Truth Trust, 2011)

Those who believe that God is who He says He is don’t give up on their culture. They go, Paul like, into the Areopagus. They go into the very spaces where the most heated discussions about religion, science, art, and politics are held, and they advocate there for the gospel. They do not believe that there is anyone “too far gone”, or utterly hopeless, or one who ever truly constitutes a “lost cause.”

When Paul found himself in Athens and subsequently, by invitation, in the Areopagus, the philosophies of the learned were no barrier for him to the proclamation of the resurrection.

He said boldly in Acts 17:30-31:
“The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now He commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because He has fixed a day on which He will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom He has appointed; and of this He has given assurance to all by raising Him from the dead.”

Some mocked, others said effectively “maybe next time”—but some “joined him and believed" (Acts 17:34). Some—like Dionysus the Areopagite and a woman Damaris—believed him. And further, they believed in Jesus and joined Paul that very moment.

It is no fool’s errand to trust God and step out on faith and proclaim the gospel both, “in” and “to” a culture that seems to have its ears closed shut. Some will mock, some will say “maybe next time”, but––because we know that there is nothing too hard for our God––some will surely believe.

by Craig Lester, Pastor of Worship & Music

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