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So he reasoned in the synagogue with both Jews and God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there. Acts 17:17

Read: Acts 17:17-19

Listen: Acts 17


Paul is alone in the city and distressed about the idolatry all around him. It would be understandable for him to hide and wait for backup, or to stew in his own frustration. He immediately moves towards the people instead. He goes to the agora day after day and has conversations with whoever happens to be there. This action reveals to us a lot about what distresses him—he was concerned about the people, and so he engages.

It is easy to be frustrated or upset about something. It is much more challenging to engage in relationships like Paul. But God may desire to do something through us in those situations that trouble us. Perhaps a friend is making some questionable decisions and their life is in a tailspin. Maybe it’s a coworker who doesn’t believe in Jesus and lives a life much different than we do.

Often when we find ourselves in these circumstances, we are drawn to unhelpful tactics. We might complain to others, post on social media or move toward silence. In short, we can be drawn to create distance and disengage. Watch this video clip below as Pastor Aaron Buer talks about moving toward instead of moving away from lost people in our life.

Whatever the situation is today, we can learn a lot from how Paul moves toward people. There’s a very good chance God has placed us right where he needs us so we can be a blessing to those around.


Spend a few minutes thinking about what conversations or relationships you might need to step into or move toward. Write these in your journal. Then spend some time thinking and praying about how to take a step to engage today.

Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.