"Come, holy Light, guide divine, Now cause the Word of life to shine. Teach us to know our God aright And call Him Father with delight. From ev'ry error keep us free; Let none but Christ our master be That we in living faith abide, In Him, our Lord, with all our might confide. Alleluia, alleluia!"
When the apostle Paul visited Athens, he saw that the city was full of idols and "his spirit was provoked within him" (Acts 17:16b). He began teaching the people of the city, both Jews and Gentiles, to "know ... God aright" by "preaching Jesus and the resurrection" (Acts 17:18b). Some who heard Paul dismissed him as a babbler who was preaching about foreign gods. Others were interested and wanted to know more. Seeing an altar inscribed "To the unknown god" (Acts 17:23b), Paul proclaimed the identity of that God, the true God who created all people, including the people of Athens. Now the true God and Creator commands all people to repent. A day of judgment is coming and the righteous Judge whom God appointed, Jesus Christ, had been raised from the dead. As Paul spoke, the Holy Spirit, the "holy Light, guide divine" was at work in the Word and a number of Athenians believed and came to know their God aright.
When we look at the world around us, at the culture in which we live, our spirits, like Paul's, may be provoked within us because of the idols we see. Although we may not see the altars, there are many false gods worshiped by the world's religions. We are surrounded by the tempting idols of self, greed, wealth, power, and pleasure. We meet people every day who do not "know ... God aright." We may be provoked in our spirits by the unbelief and idolatry around us but, like the apostle Paul, we cannot remain silent.
The Holy Spirit has enlightened our hearts and minds. Through faith in Jesus Christ, we "know our God aright and call Him Father with delight." We pray that the Spirit would keep us from error and keep us in the true faith, trusting in Jesus as our Lord and Master. Confronted by our culture's unbelief and opposition, as well as its curiosity, we preach Christ crucified and risen from the dead. Some people will scoff at what they hear and dismiss us as "babblers." Others, moved by the Spirit at work in the Gospel Word, will listen and believe. They, with us, will "know ... God aright and call Him Father with delight." Surrounded by idols and by opportunities to witness, we pray in our hymn that the Holy Spirit would "now cause the Word of life to shine!"
WE PRAY: Holy Spirit, cause the Word of life to shine as we witness to Jesus our Savior. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Carol Geisler. It is based on the hymn, "Come, Holy Ghost, God and Lord," which is number 496 in the Lutheran Service Book.
1. How does the Holy Spirit keep us close to Jesus?
2. Are there false "gods" that people worship in the world today? Can you name a few?
3. What kinds of things tempt you to turn toward the world and away from Jesus? (No need to share.) How do you address these things?
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