Monday, February 10

Find the common ground

Scripture: Leviticus 13-14, Acts 17

Acts 17:16  While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was deeply troubled by all the idols he saw everywhere in the city.

Acts 17:22–23 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.

Observation

When Paul arrived in Athens, he was “deeply troubled by all the idols he saw everywhere in the city.”  He was there to proclaim the good news of Jesus; where to start in a city filled with idols?

Paul noticed that one shrine was to an unknown God.  Paul connected with his audience by using this as his starting point.  “This God, whom you worship without knowing, is the one I’m telling you about.”  Paul, who hated idols, used one as a starting point to share the gospel.  He found and started with some common ground.

Brilliant!

Application

When sharing the gospel, look for common ground as a starting point.  There are many cultural and human commonalities that can serve as launch points for a gospel conversation.  I like to find as many of these as I can to build friendship and trust with others, and usually one of them can become the bridge across which the gospel can travel.  It can be sports, marriage and family, health, job, hobbies—anything.  

Look for common ground.  Use it to build a bridge.  Point them to Jesus.

Prayer: Lord, help me in every relationship to identify the “unknown god”, the common ground, and then use it as a starting point for a gospel conversation.