Mission – Acts Resonating The Truth Wherever You Are. Acts 17:16-34 May 20th, 2018
I. Paul STARTS by BEING where he is. (v.16-23)
A. NOTICING what is AROUND him. (v.16,23)
B. ENGAGING all types of PEOPLE. (v.17-21)
We pick up our text today at a familiar place. Paul has made people mad and is on the run. He had to make a quick exit from Berea and move on to Athens, where he stops to wait for Timothy and Silas to follow. But Paul doesn’t just wait…He engages. He allows the truth of what He knows to shape every moment.
1. When have you felt stuck in a nowhere place, either geographically or spiritually? How did you react?
2. Paul engages everyone, what people do you feel most and least comfortable with when it comes to talking about spiritual things?
II. Paul PROCLAIMS who GOD is. (v.24-27)
A. Creator/Sustainer – BIGGER not SMALLER. (v.24)
B. Self-sufficient – A GIVER not a RECEIVER. (v.25)
C. Relational – ACTIVE not PASSIVE. (v.26-27)
In his wanderings around Athens Paul has noticed that idols are everywhere. It bothers him, the text says it distresses him, but it also gives him some insight into the need to the people there. They are seeking a God that they admit that they may not know. So Paul steps into that gap to tell them who God is.
1. Which of the three aspects of God that Paul proclaimed speaks to you personally and why?
2. Can you recall a time where you came to see God is a bigger or clearer way? What did you see, and what precipitated that?
III. CLOSER than you REALIZE. (v.28-34)
A. TRUTH awakens INTUITIVE knowing… (v.27b-28)
B. …and ALWAYS calls for RESPONSE. (v.29-34)
One of the things we realize as we grow in the faith is that God is very present to us all the time. We don’t always feel it, but it’s still true. And because we are created in the image of God often we connect with Him in ways that we aren’t able to explain. The truth of who He is resonates with something deep inside of us. It’s a deep form of knowing that shapes us.
5. Jeff talks about “intuitive knowing” or the “resonance” of truth within an individual. Have you ever experienced that? If so, how did it impact you?
6. Truth calls for a response…what is the response God is calling you to make right now?
IV. Will you BE and SEE where you ARE? (v.16-17,26;
A. Who is the GOD you KNOW and PROCLAIM? (v.23-28; I Jn 1:1)
B. God doesn’t NEED what you DO… (v.24-25; Ps 50:8-15)
C. …He WANTS who you ARE. (v.27-28; Jn 17:3,20-23)
D. Do your WORDS and DEEDS resonate? (Jn 7:45,46; Acts 4:13; Acts 1:8)
Paul engages right where he is. He doesn’t lament the fact that people always seem to disagree and push him away, He sees that God is at work. And the amazing thing is that God invites Paul to join in…to proclaim Him in a way that connects with people who may not even be able to explain their own experience. That’s what it means to be a witness.
7. What if something happened and you could never “do” anything for God again? What would that be like for you?
8. Who do you know that “resonates” the truth of Jesus? Why and how is that?