What is your strategy for day to day living, for achieving goals, for happiness? What is the source of your strength for day to day, or while pressing toward that goal, and for getting through true challenges, heartaches, and trials? Do you tend to rely on intellect, emotions, inner-strength, and will-power? Well if you do, you are probably with the majority of us ladies. Don’t we tend to especially rely on our intellect and emotions? If this is your reality, do you also find that this strategy fails in true times of sorrow, fear, or struggle? Do you find yourself thinking something is missing, or there has to be a better source of strength in your life?
In Acts Chapter 17 Paul is living among and teaching a group of intellects. These people live in a society that prides its self on philosophies for living while seeking and finding the happiness and pleasures of life. They do acknowledge that there is a higher being and consider themselves a spiritual people, but don’t necessarily live by this particular philosophy. These people were academics, so they were actually curious about what Paul was teaching. Paul’s goal was to share the gospel (good news) of Jesus Christ which would ultimately transform these individuals’ way of thinking, and way of life…. At least those individuals willing to listen, ponder on, and accept God’s words that Paul spoke.
You see, just like for most of us, these philosophers that Paul was speaking to believed that for day to day living they needed intellect, luxuries, and pleasures of life. Like many of us, their goals were for happiness and they pressed toward these goals by gaining education and using will-power. But what happened to these high society people, whose lives seem strategically put together on the outside, when they faced trials? Perhaps, it was in these moments that their minds sought a higher power to sooth their aching hearts. What happens when our lives are strategically put together on the outside? Do the storms we face cause us to crumble? Do the emotions we experience cause us to become weighted down, over burdened, and overwhelmed? Is it at these times when we realize the material possessions, hobbies that we enjoy, pursuits for happiness, and our inner-strengths fail us miserably? When we come to the realization that all we have, do and strive for still leaves us with something missing, then we are ready to hear, ponder, and even accept the words God gave to Paul.
In Acts 17:28a Paul said” for in Him we live, and move, and have our being”. The truth Paul shares is that God, not you, not material possessions, not hobbies, not pleasures of life, and not will-power… God is the source for living! The good news of the gospel is that Jesus Christ died for our sins so that we might have eternal life. Paul is trying to say that life begins the moment you accept the gift of salvation. We get to live(day to day), move(towards goals), and exist with God guiding our life. Ultimately this gift of life leads to a life with God in heaven after death.
Romans 12:2 “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” When we begin to look to God as our source for living in all things, we will find our mind is renewed. We no longer rely on our smarts and emotions. Our goals will change, and the power to achieve them comes from walking with God day to day. The pursuit of happiness and material possessions will pale in comparison to the amazing plans and goodness God has in our lives.
You have the choice to reject God as The source of life and living…or to accept Jesus Christ as your Savior and source of life. We know that Jesus can provide true life. Although he died a sacrificial death for you and me…He did resurrect from the dead and lives today. We have a living Savior that promises life.
Are you wondering how the Epicureans and the Stoicks (Greek philosophers) responded to God’s words that Paul shared? Vs. 32-34 of chapter 17 tells us that some rejected, some wanted to hear more, and many accepted. Where are you? Maybe you have never heard The Truth about God (only the world’s philosophies of Him), so in the past you have rejected. Are you ready to accept today? Maybe you think about God, are even a Christian, but are living life with God as your helper instead of as your source. Maybe you just need reminded of the awesomeness and power of God in your life for day to day, but especially through the storms and trials.
Psalm 117:28-29 “Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and he bringeth them out of their distresses. He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still.”
The strategy: Accept God’s gift of eternal life. Seek God and live with Him, by Him, and through Him day to day.
The Source: God alone. In Him we have life, move through life, and exist. Cry out to Him in troubles.
A video Bible lesson: