Pastor Wrinkles: House On Fire Pt. 39

The Word of God is a bridge that connects Earth with Heaven and Heaven with Earth.- Joseph Elon Lillie

The Word of God is a bridge that connects Earth with Heaven and Heaven with Earth.- Joseph Elon Lillie


Thank you Debby and Skye for sharing your thoughts about the Book of Acts in our last “House on Fire” blog. For those of you new to the discussion we meet here in Lillie-Put a couple of times a week and discuss a short passge from the Book of Acts. If you would like to look in on some of our past discussions or even add your two cents they can be found at

If while you are at it you would like to learn more about what is on Debby and Skye’s heart you can find their blogs here:

Leave me a cogent comment with this discussion and I will put a shout out up for you blog in our next discussion!

Acts 17:10-34

10 That very night the believers sent Paul and Silas to Berea. When they arrived there, they went to the Jewish synagogue. 11 And the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and they listened eagerly to Paul’s message. They searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth. 12 As a result, many Jews believed, as did many of the prominent Greek women and men.

13 But when some Jews in Thessalonica learned that Paul was preaching the word of God in Berea, they went there and stirred up trouble. 14 The believers acted at once, sending Paul on to the coast, while Silas and Timothy remained behind. 15 Those escorting Paul went with him all the way to Athens; then they returned to Berea with instructions for Silas and Timothy to hurry and join him.

Paul Preaches in Athens

16 While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was deeply troubled by all the idols he saw everywhere in the city.17 He went to the synagogue to reason with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and he spoke daily in the public square to all who happened to be there.

18 He also had a debate with some of the Epicurean and Stoic philosophers. When he told them about Jesus and his resurrection, they said, “What’s this babbler trying to say with these strange ideas he’s picked up?” Others said, “He seems to be preaching about some foreign gods.”

19 Then they took him to the high council of the city. “Come and tell us about this new teaching,” they said. 20 “You are saying some rather strange things, and we want to know what it’s all about.” 21 (It should be explained that all the Athenians as well as the foreigners in Athens seemed to spend all their time discussing the latest ideas.)

22 So Paul, standing before the council, addressed them as follows: “Men of Athens, I notice that you are very religious in every way, 23 for as I was walking along I saw your many shrines. And one of your altars had this inscription on it: ‘To an Unknown God.’ This God, whom you worship without knowing, is the one I’m telling you about.

24 “He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in man-made temples, 25 and human hands can’t serve his needs—for he has no needs. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need. 26 From one man he created all the nations throughout the whole earth. He decided beforehand when they should rise and fall, and he determined their boundaries.

27 “His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us. 28 For in him we live and move and exist. As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’ 29 And since this is true, we shouldn’t think of God as an idol designed by craftsmen from gold or silver or stone.

30 “God overlooked people’s ignorance about these things in earlier times, but now he commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to him. 31 For he has set a day for judging the world with justice by the man he has appointed, and he proved to everyone who this is by raising him from the dead.”

32 When they heard Paul speak about the resurrection of the dead, some laughed in contempt, but others said, “We want to hear more about this later.” 33 That ended Paul’s discussion with them, 34 but some joined him and became believers. Among them were Dionysius, a member of the council, a woman named Damaris, and others with them.

In today’s reading Paul visits two cities. In each city he uses a different tactic to preach the gospel. What do you think leads Paul to do this?

As people we get used to doing certain things in certain ways. This even extends  to how we share Jesus with people.  But when it comes to sharing the gospel there is no “one size fits all” method that will be effective in every setting.

Think of your  current mission field. What are some ways you could change how you present the gospel to be more relevant to the people you are sharing with?




9 thoughts on “Pastor Wrinkles: House On Fire Pt. 39

    • Hi Rose, I would really love to learn more about your group. Perhaps we could open a dialogue about how you operate. Perhaps there will present itself an opportunity for collaboration some time in the North East.

      • Many thanks–

        Our mission is to help non-famous inspired writers formulate their best inspirational writing, and to connect them with readers.

        Your artists’ collaborative group sounds amazing. One of our writers, Tracy Lee Karner, (who recently moved to Rhode Island) works specifically with groups like yours to help individuals get from inspired to published. It’s a difficult, sometimes arduous process, and traditional publishers, even Christian publishing houses, are so large and profit-driven, that they don’t have time or resources to encourage or support beginning and intermediate writers. Even advanced writers need to be almost famous, or have a huge platform, to garner their attention. We’ll tell her to leave a note on your blog.

  1. Pastor J, this is something God has already been speaking to me about. I found that teaching the Rainbows (3-5yr olds) has proven to be a bit of a challenge. I ask God to help me because he called me to teach this class so he was going to have to equip me. After praying about it I felt God asking me, “what do you want them to get out of your class?” The most important thing to me is that they leave knowing stories of the bible along with the central truth we are focusing on for the month. So I decided to use some cards I had that have stories of the bible and pick the ones that relate to the central truth that month. I do the same story two weeks in a row and I am happy to say that this has made a big difference. They are actually actively listening and asking questions about the story. I believe God is preparing/equipping me for my role I serve in the Special Touch Ministry in our local REACH New England chapter. So back to Paul, I feel Paul uses different tactics because he knew what would touch the hearts of the people. I mean its important to have your heart tugged a little by the Holy Spirit in other words seeds were being planted. Some sprouted instantly by believing right then and there when Paul spoke and others I’m sure needed to be watered by the new believers for a while before conversion could take place.

    • I think you are on to something here Deb. Paul used different tactics with different groups because they needed something different in order to put the gospel into context. If you used the same technique with a teen age group as you used with the rainbows you probably would not have very good results. Paul had to use a different tactic in Athens because he wasn’t preaching primarily to Jews who knew the Old TEstament. He was preaching to Gentiles who had little idea who Jeremiah or Daniel were.

  2. I agree with Deb, it’s about touching hearts (which means respecting hearts). She shows patience and kindness by being willing to accept the children where they’re at, by not rushing them, by allowing them to take the time they need to absorb a concept before moving on to new territory. Ultimately, it’s all about Love.

    • You are absolutely right Tracy. Love must drive us to share in a way that is effective. When I lead worship for my congregation I use a blend of hymns and upbeat music to try and touch the hearts of our diverse congregation. When I lead worship at the senior center where I bring communion once a month I play the old standard hymns. It is not about what I like but about what will bring the people I am serving into the presence of God. Thanks for this comment

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