Acts 17 outlines some of the stops Paul made during his second missionary journey. One of his stops includes the city of Athens and it is in this city where he shares one of his most intense messages. Just by passing through and observing the objects and false idols the Athenians were worshipping, Paul could see the spiritual state they were in. He knew these people were extremely religious based on all the objects of their worship, but they were misguided in their religious beliefs. It was obvious when he noticed an altar inscribed with the words “To an unknown God”. Paul uses this to call them out for their ignorance in their worship and tells them that this “unknown god’ they are worshipping is not so unknown. Rather that He is the creator, the God who made the world and everything in it. He tells them that this “unknown god” they have been praying to is the Lord of Heaven and earth, the one who gives life and breath to all living things.

Paul’s message is not just a rebuke of their ignorance in their pagan worship but a call for them to repent, seek Him out so that they might establish a relationship with a God, so that to them, He may be known. He reminds them of the ultimate sacrifice given, so that all may have a chance to know who God really is.

Christians today are not unlike the people of Athens. While we are not out there blatantly worshipping shrines and objects built by man, we do spend a lot of time focusing on material and earthly things that bring us happiness, things that we place way too much significance on, only to find that our focus and motivation has shifted away from the only thing that is worthy of our reverence and adoration. We find that rather than worshipping the one we love, we are worshipping the things we hate.

by Grace Schmidt, Women's Ministry Team

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