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Part 2 - Jesus is the Answer

Acts 17:18 A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to debate with him. Some of them asked, “What is this babbler trying to say?” Others remarked, “He seems to be advocating foreign gods.” They said this because Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection.19 Then they took him and brought him to a meeting of the Areopagus, where they said to him, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting?20 You are bringing some strange ideas to our ears, and we would like to know what they mean.”21 (All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.) I love this where it says "the lastest ideas). Sounds like they were immersed in their own understanding and that was a flawed truth in every case. They were acting uppity and calling Paul a "babbler" when all they had come up with in their discussion was babbling.

Paul went against the latest, greatest ideas and shot straight to the Living Word of God and in verses 22-24 says the following 22 Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious.23 For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you. I am a worship leader and I deal almost every week with people who worship worship and miss the whole point of their worship by bypassing God for some new idea. What is in the Bible is current for today because it is alive and never dies, so we can take what we call this old truth and it applies today. Romans. 12: Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.

A sacrifice that is alive! What a concept. We are dead in our sins without Jesus (Ephesians 2:As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, but alive in Him when we are born again.) One life creates another life and then true worship is seen. We live and breathe out of the righteousness of God and that comes in when we accept Jesus. If you want to see good come out of your life then live in the righteousness of God and it will happen. 2 Corinthians 5:21 God made him who had no sin to be sin for us so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. Jesus is the answer!! The following story speaks to Jesus being our righteousness.

In the Antarctic summer of 1908-9, Sir Ernest Shackleton and three companions attempted to travel to the South Pole from their winter quarters. They set off with four ponies to help carry the load. Weeks later, their ponies dead, rations all but exhausted, they turned back toward their base, their goal not accomplished.

Altogether, they trekked 127 days. On the return journey, as Shackleton records in The Heart of the Antarctic, the time was spent talking about food -- elaborate feasts, gourmet delights, sumptuous menus. As they staggered along, suffering from dysentery, not knowing whether they would survive, every waking hour was occupied with thoughts of eating. Jesus, who also knew the ravages of food deprivation, said,

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for RIGHTEOUSNESS." We can understand Shackleton's obsession with food, which offers a glimpse of the passion Jesus intends for our quest for righteousness. Jesus said it this way in Matthew 5:6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. It is time to get "filled up" and today is that day to turn away from the empty philosophies of the world and turn to Jesus the author and perfector of our faith. Without the righteousness of God, we are an empty shell, but with His righteousness, we are full and overflowing. Jesus is the Answer!!

The Pilgrimage Continues

David Warren

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