Thursday, April 07, 2005

What Do You Say About God to Someone Who Doesn't Know Him?

The little boy was fairing poorly, to say the least, in elementary math. His mom did everything she could to help him get his grades up, but all her efforts were in vain. She finally decided to take him out of the large public school he attended to enroll him in a small, private Christian school nearby. They had never exposed themselves to Christian teaching, she just thought some of the differences might make the difference for him.

The first day she picked him up from school; he got into the car with her and immediately opened his math book and started studying. When they got home, he went to his room and stayed there studying until dinner. After dinner he went back to his room and studied more. This kind of study was so out-of-character for him, the mother was shocked to silence. But it happened everyday for six weeks!

Finally, he got in the car with her and handed her the report card he had received that day. She slowly opened the card, and a big smile spread across her face. He got an A in math! She was so happy – for him and herself.

“What’s the difference, son?” she asked. “Is it the smaller class size? Is the material explained better? Is the teacher that much better?”

“No, none of that,” he son said. “I just knew the first day that I walked in the classroom and saw that man nailed to that plus sign that they were serious about math.”

There have been a few times that I’ve come across someone who knows next to nothing about Christianity. Even people who know something about Christianity can be limited in what they know, really know, about God. Paul found some people in Athens who had erected an altar to the unknown God. They did that to cover their bases, so to speak. Paul knew that there really was a God that they did not know. What do you say to someone who doesn’t know God?

Paul told them five things in Acts 17. They are important things. Maybe they are important because you need to know them. Maybe their importance is in the need for you to express them to someone you have encountered and care about. Here, in a nutshell, is what he told them. Read it with a tone of caring, not arrogance. You can bet that is how Paul said it.

1. The God You Don’t Know Doesn’t Need You, But You Need Him
2. He Wants You To Seek Him, But You Don’t Have To Look Far
3. Since You Are His Offspring, You Would be a Fool to Worship Idols
4. He’s Been Patient, But Now Is the Time to Repent Because Judgment Is Coming
5. The Resurrection of Jesus Should Prove It to You

Turn from the life that sets you at odds with the God who you need. He’s been close to you all your life, even when you didn’t know it. He raised Jesus to be your savior, but also to be your judge. You are his offspring because you are his creation. It’s time to become one of his children. It’s time to get know God. That’s Life at Work!

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