By Julie Kraus
Today's Scripture: Acts 21:37-40
Central Thought: To win people to Christ, we must present the Gospel in a culturally relevant manner.
While attending a pastor's conference overseas, I listened to a Bible translator's ministry give a presentation on a new Bible translation in a local dialect. The presenter read a passage from the Bible. Watching the crowd, I could easily recognize which pastors spoke that dialect. Their faces beamed with joy as they heard for the first time the words of Jesus speaking to them in their own language.
In 1 Corinthians 9, Paul explains his philosophy of life: 'I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some (verse 22). In verses 19 through 22 Paul explains that he became like those he was with in order to win them to Christ. He had one goal: 'win more of them” (verse 19).
In Acts 22 we see this philosophy of life played out. Initially, the jailor assumes Paul is an Egyptian. When Paul speaks to him in Greek, he is quite surprised and grants Paul his request. Then Paul turns to the Jewish crowd and addresses them in Hebrew. Egyptian, Greek, and Hebrew are three very different languages with very distinct cultures. The apostle Paul was fluent in the languages of his cultural surroundings. His dress and his mannerisms did not limit his ability to communicate the gospel to those around him.
Walk through any city today and you will be confronted by many subcultures within our culture. Are we communicating our message of hope to this generation in a language they can understand? Paul's mission was to win more of them. And he knew how to do it: 'become all things to all people that by all means I might save some.”
Devotional Prayer: Lord, I don't want my mannerisms or language to prevent anyone from receiving the Gospel. Help me to relate to those I encounter and to be an effective witness for You today.
Today's Bible Reading: 2 Kings 22:3-23:30; Acts 21:37-22:16; Psalm 1:1-6; Proverbs 18:11-12