"God, who made the world and everything in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands.Paul stood before a variety of men in varying settings.
Before hostile Thessalonicans and fair minded Bereans in the synagogues of their cities, in marketplaces and homes and now in the Areopagus of Athens preaching to Epicureans and Stoic philosophers who every day of their lives were surrounded by a multitude of gods.
Paul was not put off by their being curious for curiosities sake, if they would listen he would preach. It did not matter if they would accept readily or turn angry to bring chains, or mock him for his 'crazed beliefs' of a resurrection.
He didn't speak only to those desiring after God and Son. He spoke to all by the power of the Holy Spirit.
In the United States we are rarely called to speak before those who would bind us in chains, torture or kill us for our beliefs.
More often we must speak before those who would roll their eyes and walk away, or laugh in derision. Before friends who won't hurt us, but may turn their backs or never look at us the same if we were to show the true face of a Christian, to display the honest love of an invisible God and the faith we hold in Him.
And it's hard.
And the idea hurts.
And it's lonely.
And more than these it's important.
It's love, the love we have for them and for our God, and it's the true value of our friendship.
When we know we will never die, and cry that they will die truly, why do we keep silent? Why do we stand by and watch as they go down the wide path to destruction? Why do we claim to care for them but won't share our faith? Why do I do these things?
What a selfish love is that!
God sacrificed His Son to die a sinners death and receive the fullness of His wrath, but I won't even risk paying the price of a relationship that, as it stands, will likely last at best a few years.
A relationship that, with a sudden change of circumstance, may end in a few short seconds at the hands of a crashing car.
I'm not trying to be "holier than thou".
I spent my time hiding in a class as the shadow on the wall and afraid to be any lonelier than I already was.
I stood and sang with the school choir without sharing that, for me at least, the words of those old hymnals rang true.
But I don't want to be selfish; I don't want to play the part of a coward, not anymore.
Thinking about all that Paul did faithfully following the Lord, I am reminded that though where I am I can't speak in person, I have left facebook unattended for quite a while and at least one conversation without response where I was sharing the truth, the gospel, the good news of Jesus. Tonight I'm going to spend some time on facebook prayerfully focused on glorifying my God.
Written April 23, 2012
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