Today’s scripture: Acts 17:16-34 (NRSV) (The Message) What might God be saying to me?

My thoughts (Robert Ferguson):

Today Paul teaches us a valuable lesson about being tolerant of others’ beliefs. Surely we know that Paul must have been horrified upon entering Greece to find idols used for worship. Yet, when given an audience of pagans, Paul chooses to speak respectfully, even going so far as to quote one of their poets. He could have easily rebuked and belittled his listeners and criticized their beliefs. Instead he spoke about truths that would not be offensive or received as judgmental by his audience.

Paul spoke of God as mankind’s one creator and pointed out that God is actively involved with each one of us. Paul went on to teach the assembled group that Jesus had been sent by God and that God had indeed raised him from the dead.

In our world we often find ourselves in discussion and contact with people of different or varying religious beliefs. Our witness and ministry are most effective when we avoid arguments and confrontation. By sharing our faith with respect, kindness and gentleness we are able to demonstrate the loving message of Jesus Christ.

Thought for the day: A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. Proverbs 15:1

We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.