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.
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.