When things in the world, your nation, your city, and your neighborhood are stressful, taxing, and possibly even out of control from a human perspective, know that you were made by God for this very time in history. You have been designed for this very day that you are reading this post. The Apostle Paul made that clear to the men and women of Athens in the first century and, by extension, to us. As Christians this can give us great hope and encouragement that despite the trials of our times we are meant to live through them for the greater good of the gospel of our glorious King.
God Is Lord of Everything
God is the Lord of this time and everything that he made. The apostle was in Athens the hub of philosophy of the day. They were often consumed with the search for ultimate reality and knowledge. Their great teachers searched for the truth of “being” or existence. Paul knew this and took advantage to explain the gospel. From a philosophical perspective, Christians endorse that the eternal being which caused all things to be made is God. He is the first cause of everything. Apart from Him nothing was made for a thing cannot create itself. A formal way to say this is nothing comes from nothing (Latin: ex nihilo nihil fit). The Greeks knew this concept as it came from Parmenides and later discussed by Aristotle. We do not believe in an eternal universe or a spontaneously generated universe by time and chance. There are extensive writings, over the centuries, that outline why this is true which do not fit into a blog space. Put simply, chance is not a thing, but a descriptor of mathematical odds. It has no power to grant existence to anything. Only God, who is eternal, has the power to create.
Paul said, “The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. (Ac 17:24-25)
God Made Specific People for Specific Times
Take advantage that you live where you do. Who are your family members, neighbors or co-workers that need encouragement in the way of Christ? You can help them dive deeper into the life of Christ and know him who is love.
And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. (Ac 17:26–27)
God is Near You
God is the power behind our ability to live. God sustains our “being” in this time and space. If we are found in Him, we are obligated to choose to live for him and not for our own ways. Don’t concentrate on the ornaments and trinkets of this life, but take up your cross and live to your calling. He is near you to sustain you in your pain and need. He hears your praise and prayers. He is in you – Christian – for this very day!
Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, for
“ ‘In him we live and move and have our being’;
as even some of your own poets have said,
“ ‘For we are indeed his offspring.’(Ac 17:28)
Help Others Find Christ
You can and are making a difference. Paul outlines to the Greeks in Athens that since God is alive, they are called to respond to repent and believe in the Christ. If we are found in him, how much more can we live for him in order to help pray and minister to each other and those that he will call. Be a light! Do not mope over things that God has not called you to have. Know that you are made for this time and place with the things he has given you. Be a cheerful receiver of his kindness, knowing that he gives good gifts rather than snakes to his children. Display gratitude by sharing the kindness of God to those that are being called by Him to his eternal kingdom.
“Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.” (Ac 17:29–31)
The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Ac 17:24–27). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.