While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was deeply troubled by all the idols he saw everywhere in the city. Acts 17:16 NLT
Read: Acts 17:16
Listen: Acts 17
While Paul is waiting for his companions to join him, he probably began to get a good look around. Imagine what it was like to walk the city to see temple after temple, altar after altar, dedicated to any and every false god. All the temples and altars represented crowds of people who were lost. All the idol worship was too much for him as today’s verse tells us he “was greatly troubled.”
The text doesn’t tell us exactly what Paul was thinking or why he was so troubled. As we picture the scene, we can imagine at least two possible reasons were: his respect for God and his love for people. The people were disrespecting God, and Paul was concerned for the people and distressed by what they believed. Paul was bothered because he knew there was no hope to be found in these false gods.
We can learn from Paul’s feelings as we are surrounded by lost people today too. Some of us feel stressed when we watch the news, see alarming cultural trends or interact with people who are lost. In these moments, it can be tempting to be troubled by others and pull away. Instead, we should learn from Paul who seems to be troubled for those who are lost.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Spend a few minutes alone with God in prayer. Specifically, ask that he would give you a heart for those who are far from God around you and opportunities to show and tell them about Jesus.
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