“Howbeit certain men clave unto him and believed—among the which was Dionysius, the Areopagite, and a woman named Damaris and others with them.”

Acts 17:34

When we leave the results up to God, we’ll not grow anxious or agitated when things don’t seem to turn out the way we’d planned or hoped.
“Howbeit certain men clave unto him and believed.”
The real meaning of the word “clave” (Grk. “kollao”—“to stick to, join, keep company with, etc.”) in today’s Manna is “stick to like glue.” Or, in other words, like Ruth said to Naomi, “Where you go, I will go; where you lodge, I will lodge. Your people shall be my people and your God, my God” (Ruth 1:16), so did Dionysius and Damaris say to Paul.

Simply put, they weren’t going anywhere!
Although we don’t really know anything else about these two individuals named here, we do know the name “Dionysius” was given to the mythological Greek god of grapes and wines. Thus, we can safely assume this convert to Christ under Paul’s preaching came from a pagan background. And, because Dr. Luke refers to him as “the Areopagite,” we know that he was a judge and a member of Athen’s supreme court. And, according to writings by Eusebius, he became the second Bishop of Athens! Glory!!

As for Damaris, again, we know nothing about her except for what is written in today’s Manna. Some have conjectured that she was of high social status in the community, for only women of such degree were allowed to assist in the Areopagus meetings.

Regardless, the point is clear, even though the majority of Paul’s listeners callously and casually dismissed his message (vv.18-32), there were still a few (like Dionysius and Damaris) who believed and immediately became disciples of Paul.

And, in light of a continuing Christian presence in Athens and Greece today, we should believe that this “dynamic duo” continued being faithful witnesses to Christ even after Paul left. How wonderful to think that they were instrumental in helping start a new church in Athens and led many others to Christ in the following years.

So, often we gauge our success (or seeming lack of it) on tangible results. We look at the statistics (e.g., baptisms, budget receipts, building programs, etc.), thinking that somehow these are good indicators of how well things are going. But, dear Pilgrim, we should, instead, keep our eyes on Jesus, “the Author and Finisher of our faith” (Heb. 12:2), knowing He is the One “who brings the increase” (I Cor. 3:7).

Therefore, be faithful, weary Pilgrim, in the “Race that is set before you” (Heb. 12:1). Keep “fighting the good fight, running the good race and keeping the faith” (II Tim. 4:7). Even though your efforts may seem paltry and your results pathetic, do not fear—for the Lord God is writing it all down and will “work everything together for good because you love Him and are seeking His Will in your life” (Rom. 8:28). Hallelujah!!

August 31