Question 2: Where and who are the devout people?
Paul begins his trip by engaging with those people who he is most familiar with. Remember when it says in verse 17 that Paul went to the ‘Jews and the devout persons’, this would have the closest to Paul before he became a Christian. He does what anyone does, and starts with the easy option, the familiar option. You want to start planting a church in Ghana, maybe the British embassy or the expat Church is a good place to begin. What’s also important that these ‘devout’ people are those people that Paul thinks are kind of close to the truth— they believe in God, they try and worship God, he just thinks that they do it in the wrong way. They don’t look to Jesus. So this isn’t a job of changing everything in someone’s belief system, but Paul finds those that are halfway there. He looks to the familiar.
There are people that are kind of similar to this in our cities today. Sometimes these are called ‘people of peace’. People like this aren’t opposed to faith or to Jesus, they may even believe in God and be trying to figure out their spirituality. For these people to know Jesus, although it would change their lives in one respect, it wouldn’t be a total shock. Who are these people in your city? Who are the people that really want to know more about Jesus, that aren’t closed in any way to faith or the Church but just need someone to make that connection for the first time? And where is the familiar point in your city? Where do you find that you can express your faith openly without feeling afraid of what people might think?