“Then Paul stood up on Mars’ Hill and said, ‘Men of Athens, I see how very religious you are in every way. 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'” (Acts 17:22,23).
Traveling across the West last week we crossed several mountain ranges; the Sierra Nevada in California/Nevada, the Wasatch Range in Utah and finally the tallest, the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, with peaks over 14,000 feet above sea level. Here in Pennsylvania we have mountains but not nearly the elevation as out West. Pennsylvania’s highest point is Mount Davis which is a mere 3,213 feet.
Today let us consider preaching points in the Bible which are called hills or mountains. Elijah preached on Mount Carmel* (1 Kings 18); Jesus preached the “Sermon on the Mount” (Matthew 5-7) and in today’s text “Paul stood up on Mars’ Hill”. The gotquestions.org site describes this Mars’ Hill,
“Therefore what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you.”Paul used his observation to his advantage and proclaimed this “unknown” God to them in the verses that followed:
Today we appeal to a world where to so many Jesus is an unknown God. God created within our inmost being the need to follow after One greater than ourselves. Of course He desires that we worship Him not in ignorance, but in Spirit and in Truth. And the way we follow the True God is to open His Word to our hearts making it a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path.
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne WeberDaily Prayer: Father, we thank You for those who go to the uttermost parts of the world and proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ, making known the “unknown God” to the people of that land. From the very beginning You created a hunger within our hearts to serve you, but far too many misfeed that hunger and instead “worship gold, silver or stone, images from the art and thoughts of man”. Instead we choose to feed that hunger by loving You with all our heart, soul, mind and strength. We are grateful for the wooing of Your Holy Spirit that convicts us our sin and reveals Your great love to us. Thank You for making Yourself known to us in Your Word, in nature, in our spirit, and in the experiences of everyday life. Amen.
* Mount Carmel as a “high place,” was long a center of idol worship, and its outstanding reference in the Bible is as the scene of Elijah’s confrontation with the false prophets of Baal (I Kings 18).
Way up into Maine, far farther than most people ever venture, is sprawling Aroostook County. Along US 1 there is a small town called Mars Hill named for Hezekiah Mars, who camped for three years at the base of what is now Mars Hill Mountain. About twenty-five years ago a friend let us stay there in his vacation home for several days. It’s a rather remote area with not a lot to do. Interestingly, it’s an agricultural area with lots of potatoes and kind of a Bible Belt area, unusual for New England at this point in history.
There is college and town in North Carolina with the name Mars Hill which was named after the Biblical Mars Hill.
Missionaries Mike and Lori Cassel shared about a church in Mexico with an interesting name. The Spanish name is “Al Dios No Conocido” which means “The Unknown God” Church. The earnest Mexican pastor named it after our daily text and Mike shared that he had some reservations about the name but didn’t want to interfere with the nationals. It occurred to me a name like this can create a compelling witness opportunity!
Calvary Church Hoang Commissioning Interview Video Peter and Sarah are a Vietnamese couple who arrived in the country as as young children refugees in the seventies having escaped Vietnam among the boat people. They are now returning to serve as missionaries seeking to make known the unknown God. Yesterday a quote was used from this interview that is very stunning to us. Peter’s mother couldn’t understand why he would go back when they had left for a better life. He shared this: