Saturday, 4 September 2021
Title: Provoked!!
By: Wong Yoke Ming

Acts 17:16
Now while Paul was waiting for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols.

Oftentimes as Christians, we say, we must share the good news, but we are not journalists and certainly not reporters. Read what the verse said of Paul – his spirit was provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols.

Paul’s motivation to share the good news came from within him – not as a herald who just proclaimed what others wanted to be proclaimed. It was a specific pronouncement directed at the people in a city full of idols. Today, we do not see only idols of deities adopted as gods, but also as idolatry from within the heart – covetousness, greed, anxiety, materialism and the like.

Until we identify the ‘idols’ in our midst and feel the provocation within our own spirit, how would we proclaim the ‘good news’ with the compassion of an “Apostle Paul” and with the strength and perseverance of Spirit?

In the ‘darkening’ world of the first century (it was darkening compared to what the deep darkness of today), Paul had to deal with either Jews or Gentiles. Today, the “Gentile” faction has become a myriad of religious followings, atheism, pantheism, gnosticism and more. Claims and proclamations of secularism threaten to drown out every voice.

Therefore, before we even begin to be ‘provoked’, we need to identify the ‘provocateur.’ There are those that are still visible (in various places of ‘worship’) but there are a lot of ‘gods’ that we may not recognize as ‘gods’ in our lives; the insidiousness of sin is truly its craftiness. Then there is the Voice of Truth.

Just as Paul’s spirit within him was provoked, what battles within us (as also with us) are the two spirits – ours and the Holy Spirit. “For from within, out of the heart of man,” Jesus said, our temptations arise, our strongholds are built (or broken); we are lured and enticed by our own desire. (James 1:14)

We need to learn who God is. Paul wrote that He is the Creator, He is the Sustainer, He is the Ruler, He is the Father, and He is the Judge. (Acts 17:22-31) He gives us our being, He sustains our being, He rules over us, and while He is our heavenly Father, He also is the Judge (the One who brings condemnation). The only route to victory is obedience to the Word. The Law given through Moses in the Septuagint (the Old Testament translated to Greek) is called the “Ten Words.” (Gk. The Decalogue)

“And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)

Within us, how deep is the seed of truth planted? How well do we hear the Voice of Truth? These are the reflections that, individually, each one of us needs to battle through.

Lord Jesus, as Your followers, Your Spirit is within us as it is Your Truth. Let our conviction come from the Spirit that will lead us into all truth. We pray and commit this into Your loving hands. Amen.

星期六 2021 年 9 月 4 日
翻譯 : 王靖端姐妹

使徒行傳 17:16

我們經常說,作為基督徒,我們必須分享好消息,但我們不是報紙撰稿人,當然也不是新聞記者。讀一讀這節經文對保羅的描述:當他 “看見滿城都是偶像,就心裏著急“。





正如保羅在他裡面的靈被激動著急一樣,我們心裡面(也包括我們肉體)的爭戰是兩種靈——我們的靈和聖靈。耶穌說:“因為從裏面,就是從人心裏,” (馬可福音7:21),我們的試探出現了,我們的堡壘建立(或破壞)了;”但各人被試探,乃是被自己的私慾牽引誘惑的”。 (雅各書 1:14)

我們需要了解上帝是誰。保羅寫道,衪是創造者,衪是扶持者,衪是統治者,衪是父親,衪是審判者。 (使徒行傳 17:22-31)衪賜給我們我們的存在,衪支持我們的存在,衪管理我們,衪既是我們的天父,又是審判者(定罪的那一位)。得勝的唯一途徑是順服神的話。神的話在七十士譯本(舊約翻譯成希臘文)中通過摩西頒布的律法被稱為“十句話”。 (希臘文:十誡)

“道成了肉身,住在我們中間,充充滿滿的有恩典有真理。我們也見過祂的榮光,正是父獨生子的榮光。” (約翰福音 1:14)