November 21, 2015: Daily Bible Reading with Commentary for Acts 17-18
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Context: Today’s reading continues Paul’s second missionary journey (you can follow along with the map above). It also records one of his best speeches, explaining salvation and the truth of Jesus Christ. Paul is chased from town to town by those who do not want him to proclaim the truth of Jesus Christ. Yet it is this persecution that leads him to Athens, a city full of worship of idols, and to a great stage (the Areopagus was on the way to the Acropolis) to tell others of salvation through Jesus Christ. Although we are told that some believed, we are not told what follows in Athens. Paul had a large stage for this speech, yet, in comparison to the number who heard, relatively few believed. The results to our witnessing may not always be what we expect, however, we are to continue to listen to the Lord’s guidance, for we may be planting a seed for something great to grow. In chapter 18, Paul first arrives in Corinth. Corinth becomes a special place for Paul, as he develops a special relationship with the Corinth church and spends considerable time there. In this chapter, we see how Christians working together can cause considerable change. Being a missionary for the Lord does not always require leaving your home and going to a far off land. Missionaries are needed on your street too! We are all gifted in serving the Lord in our own way. How can you better serve the Lord from your own home?
World History: Epicureans held the belief that if something felt good, they should do it. They did not believe in an after life. Stoics held the belief that whatever happens, happens. There is not greater plan for life and there is no reason to be stressed out over a situation.