Throwing Away The Script (Acts 17:22-23)

Aladdin. Smokey and the Bandit. Apocalypse Now.

Besides being an iconic part of American movie lore, these three movies had something else in common. Much of the dialogue was improvised by its main characters! Many movies and other productions have indelible moments when the action or dialogue was completely ad-libbed. However, in the three referenced movies, the main actors literally threw away the script and ad-libbed many of their lines, much to the initial consternation of the director and producers. Only after the scenes were filmed and reviewed, did everyone agree that the ad-libbed lines were better than the original script.

When the Apostle Paul entered a new city, he usually preached in the local synagogue. When he entered the city of Athens, this is what he initially did.

While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was deeply troubled by all the idols he saw everywhere in the city. He went to the synagogue to reason with the Jews and the God-fearing Gentiles, and he spoke daily in the public square to all who happened to be there. 

Acts 17:16-17 (NLT)

However, as he walked through the city, the Holy Spirit moved him to speak extemporaneously. He observed all of the pagan idols and shrines and wove his observations into a magnificent sermon, one that led to the conversion of Dionysius, a member of the city council, and several other prominent citizens. 

So Paul, standing before the council, addressed them as follows: “Men of Athens, I notice that you are very religious in every way, for as I was walking along I saw your many shrines. And one of your altars had this inscription on it: ‘To an Unknown God.’ This God, whom you worship without knowing, is the one I’m telling you about.”

Acts 17:22-23 (NLT)

When we serve God, we should always be ready to defend our faith and explain to others the reasons we are Christians. However, like the Apostle Paul, we should be willing to throw away any script and allow the Holy Spirit to guide us. Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, promised this to all believers.

And when you are brought to trial in the synagogues and before rulers and authorities, don’t worry about how to defend yourself or what to say, for the Holy Spirit will teach you at that time what needs to be said.

Luke 12:11-12 (NLT)


Love and trust in the Lord; seek His will in your life.

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