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Is Your Spirit Provoked?

Daily Reading: Acts 17

Scripture Focus: His spirit was provoked within him. (Acts 17.16)

Devotional Thought: If you watch the news on television or read it online, you probably have times when you feel like screaming. "These people are nuts!" The world sometimes doesn't make any sense. We see obvious solutions that the world runs away from! Our spirits are provoked within us by the absurdity of it all. What should we do?

What did the Apostle Paul do when facing that situation in Athens in Acts 17?

Paul reasoned with them (v. 17). Paul did not ridicule; he reasoned. Ridicule slams the door. Most people I know - including myself - don't like to be called stupid. Reasoned and calm dialogue works a lot better. People shouting over each other may garner TV ratings, but it doesn't lead to communication. It just leads to noise!

Paul conversed with them (v. 18). Since he wanted them to listen, Paul listened to them. As the saying goes, God gave us two ears and one mouth for a reason! Having two ears actually helps us locate where a sound originates. When we listen intently, we understand where someone is. When we talk, we don't have a clue as to another's position. How can we hope to respond effectively? The Bible says, we are to be quick to hear and slow to speak (James 1.19). That's hard to do when we are "provoked," but that is just what we need.

Paul preached the gospel (v. 18). Having reasoned and conversed, Paul was in a better position to preach. There is a time and place for speaking! Too often we rush into the "preaching" (testifying, witnessing, etc.) mode when people are not ready to hear. But, when the time is right we need to speak up! After all, Jesus said the rocks would cry out if we didn't!

Prayer: Lord, may my spirit within me be provoked by the errors of the world. And when I am provoked, grant me wisdom and patience to communicate your Truth. Amen.

Psalm of the Day: 17 May his name endure forever, his fame continue as long as the sun! May people be blessed in him, all nations call him blessed! 18 Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things. 19 Blessed be his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory! Amen and Amen! 20 The prayers of David, the son of Jesse, are ended. (Psalms 72:17-20)

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