Acts 17:16, 23-27, 16 Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was stirred in him, when he saw the city wholly given to idolatry. … 23 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you. 24 God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; 25 Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; 26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; 27 That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us.
Today, all over America, we will take a few moments to remember one of the most horrendous and frightening days in the history of our country. And rightly so! Remembering tends to lead to reflecting, and reflecting can, if we will allow it, lead to revival and restoration!
On September 11, 2001, not only did over 3,000 men, women and young people die, but many “first responders” willingly gave their lives to try and save those who were trapped in the burning buildings with little or no hope to get out!
We are grateful for the ultimate sacrifice of those who died in an attempt to save others. In fact, they gave their lives for folks they did not know and had never met.
These men and women will always be heroes in our eyes!!!
As I read the passage of scripture above this morning, I was reminded of two other thoughts:
First of all, all over the world, especially in the part of the world known as the 10/40 Window, superstitious people worship ignorantly at altars hoping to appease a god that they do not know and a god who does not care. And, whether they recognize it or not, they are “trapped” and without hope and without help!
THERE IS A GREAT NEED FOR SOME MEN AND WOMEN WHO WILL BECOME SPIRITUAL FIRST RESPONDERS AND BRING THE GOSPEL TO THE DARKEST REGIONS OF THE WORLD!
Secondly, every culture and every people group has its own set of idols, including those of us in the West! In fact, the buildings that were attacked on September 11, 2001 represented much of what America was and is eve to this day. In a sense, and in many ways, they represented some of the idols of our own culture.
It is always easier for us to FROWN on the idols of another culture, while at the same time, becoming FOND of the idols within our own culture. This is what we would call a spiritual blind spot and cultural ignorance!
THERE IS A GREAT NEED FOR ALL OF GOD’S PEOPLE TO PRAYERFULLY CONSIDER THE IDOLS IN THEIR OWN LIVES!
This morning, it might not be a bad idea to prayerfully consider who or what might be the “potential” idols (i.e. fame, financial security, family, friends, favorite hobbies, fun, food, etc…) in my own life!!!