Week 47 Sunday

Getting to Know God

Today’s scripture selection: Acts 17-18

Key Verses: Acts 17:23b

“Now what you worship as something unknown I am going to proclaim to you.”

It was more than an intellectual game; an esoteric pastime.

It was more than just a way to show off how much he knew.

For the apostle Paul – it was what would save his life – and, hopefully, the lives of those who heard him.

He wanted to help people come to know God.  Not just

  • Know something about God
  • Know about his particular brand of religion
  • Know about why he thought his God was “better” than theirs

He wanted them to personally come to know and love God – the way God knew and loved them.

And so, he was tireless; and fearless in his preaching.

It cost him much.  Eventually, it cost him his earthly life.

Few today would sacrifice as much, as willingly as he did.

But, having been brought to this deep relationship with God, through Christ, during a conversion experience that had literally blinded him for awhile – he could do no less.

For many of us, Christianity is a far less dramatic affair.

But for Paul, and the other early believers, it was life and death.  It was being “born again.”

These days, being “born again” is a label; something that is checked off on a poll about religious affiliation.  But it can be much more than that.

So I encourage you to think about this God who, despite all the talk, remains “unknown” to so many.  Do you really know Him?  Would you like to know Him better?

It begins by doing what those very first Christians did; opening your heart and mind, in faith, in love, to a relationship with the living God; the resurrected Christ.

It’s more than just an intellectual game; an esoteric pastime.

It’s getting to know and love God – as He knows and loves you.

Prayer: Lord, I want to know you – not just with my mind – but with my heart.  Come, Lord Jesus.  AMEN.

 

 

 

 

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. “Elpis” is the Greek word for “expectant hope.” He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, and a member of Spiritual Directors International. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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