Unstoppable! 'Various Groups Come Together' — Acts 17:4

Saturday, August 28, 2021

Some of the Jews who listened [to Paul's proclamation of Jesus as the Messiah] were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, along with many God-fearing Greek men and quite a few prominent women.

— Acts 17:4 NLT

Key Thought

As we have seen throughout Acts, Paul and his mission team often began in the synagogue. In Macedonia and Achaia — essentially what is now modern Greece, there were typically responses from a wide variety of groups:*

  • Some committed Jewish people.
  • Many God-fearers — Gentiles who believed in the one true and living God of the Scriptures. They were drawn to the Good News because of their hunger for godliness and morality.
  • Prominent women of influence — probably well-educated and of financial substance.
  • Other Gentiles who were idol worshippers, not God-fearers.

Paul had a strategy that was rooted in the culture of his time. This strategy worked remarkably well. He knew how to appeal to the "God-longing" in different groups, and his messages in Acts reflect that cultural awareness. We must follow his example. Our goal is not to copy Paul's specific tactics, but to follow his example of knowing those we are trying to reach and knowing what touches their hearts with the Good News of Jesus.

* The Related Scripture Readings help show the various groups that came together in the churches.

Today's Prayer

O Father, help me understand my world and the cultures I am involved in trying to reach. I want to know how to speak your hope, joy, and love into the hearts of men and women who are searching for you — even those people who are longing for something or someone they don't know. Give me wisdom and patience, along with the right words and the tender attitude I need to share Jesus with them. I ask for this help in his name and by his authority. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Acts 16:6-10, 13-15, 17:1-5, 10-12, 22-23, 33-34, 18:4-8
  • 1 Thessalonians 1:8-10; Romans 16:1-3; Philippians 4:2-3

Comments

Other Devotionals from Heartlight for Saturday, August 28, 2021

A devotional to help reclaim Jesus as the daily Lord of our lives.
"Dear Disciple, Nearly every one of My leaders through the ages has been stuck between a rock and a hard place. I'm talking about being in a situation..."
A daily guide from the gospels that challenges readers to live for Jesus.
"Then Peter came to [Jesus] and asked, "Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?" "No, not seven times," Jesus..."
A daily devotional about God's power for our battles.
"Jesus sent out the twelve apostles with these instructions: ‘Don’t go to the Gentiles or the Samaritans, but only to the people of Israel — God’s lost..."
A daily devotional featuring wise counsel found in Scripture.
"Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love..."

Illustration

Illustration of Acts 17:4 NLT — Some of the Jews who listened [to Paul's proclamation of Jesus as the Messiah] were persuaded and joined Paul and Silas, along with many God-fearing Greek men and quite a few prominent women.

About This Devotional

Unstoppable! is a one-year devotional guide through the book of Acts. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage, a reflection and a prayer. The reflection opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges one to live for Jesus.

Unstoppable! is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.