Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Evangelism to a Post Modern Culture: Study People and Know God is at Work

 "Men of Athens, I observe that you are very religious in all respects.  For while I was passing through and examining the objects of your worship, I also found an altar with this inscription, 'TO AN UNKNOWN GOD'" (Acts 17:22-23).

Paul was a pioneer in Athens as they said among themselves that Paul was bringing "some strange things to our ears" (Acts 17:20).  Paul had observed and examined the culture around him.  He did not assume that they knew anything and he zeroed in on their spiritual hunger.  He said he noticed they had an altar to an unknown God.  Then he proceeds to tell them who that unknown God is.  As Paul zeroed in on their spiritual hunger, he spoke plain and simply to them.  Richard Baxter, a noted Puritan theologian, said:  "I have found it impossible to speak too plainly to people." 

Sharon Beougher
Though this was a pioneer area for the gospel, Paul took advantage of his opportunity.  God is at work in the world, so it should not surprise us that even in an area where the gospel has not preached, God has been at work.  God is drawing people to Himself.  That means He is at work right now and my job is to go and join Him in what He is already doing.  Paul Little, author of How to Give Away Your Faith said, "Every person I have known who has been used of God in personal evangelism has had an attitude of expectancy to discover interested people."

Do you expect that God is drawing people around You to Himself?  Do you trust that He is working in your family or your circle of influence?  Do you think He is powerful enough to make Himself known even without your help or my help?

Lord, help me be a better "observer" of people.  Help me be alert to the deep needs of those around me.  Give me the boldness to approach people and know that You are working in people's lives.  Help me to recognize Your work, trust You that You are softening hearts, and join in the work that You are doing.  Thank You for the privilege of letting me share Your precious message of salvation.