In Him was life

“He is the God who made the world and everything in it. Since he is Lord of heaven and earth, he doesn’t live in man-made temples, and human hands can’t serve his needs—for he has no needs. He himself gives life and breath to everything, and he satisfies every need...“His purpose was for the nations to seek after God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us. For in him we live and move and exist...now he commands everyone everywhere to repent of their sins and turn to him. For he has set a day for judging the world with justice by the man he has appointed, and he proved to everyone who this is by raising him from the dead.” Acts 17:24-31

From the text, Paul emphasized the value God placed to every human being. All throughout the Scriptures, we are told that God has a continuing interest in the ongoing historical process.

God’s concern with the affairs of mankind was not the result of some mere whimsy idea. It stemmed, instead, from His purpose for man. It was God’s will that all men diligently seek after Him. The entrance of sin into the world shattered the close relations that man shared with God at the creation. God immediately put into effect His plan to bridge the abyss that sin had opened. He also put in the heart of every man a deep longing for God that would not be satisfied with anything less than a return to the sweet communion that God and man had once known. Through the centuries, man has sought God. He sought the one true God through many gods; this led to polytheism. He has sought Him by making God the sum total of everything; this led to pantheism. In his arrogant sophistication, he has denied that God even exists; this is atheism, or that He can ever be known; this is agnosticism. When man’s own misguided efforts to find God have failed, he has often given his unrestrained passions full reign in his life; this led to hedonism. When all of these efforts have failed, and they always do, man has descended into the depths of degradation and despair. Paul wrote, “You were dead in your transgressions and sins.” (Ephesians 2:1). Man’s efforts to find God have again and again failed, not because God has been unavailable, but because man has insisted on seeking God in his own selfish ways. Since God is our Creator and our Lord, He has a right to make certain demands of us. God has commanded that all men everywhere repent. This is what Jesus proclaimed as He began His earthly ministry; “Jesus went into Galilee, where he preached God’s Good News. “The time promised by God has come at last!” he announced. “The Kingdom of God is near! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!” (Mark 1:14b-15). Paul asserted from the text that there is demanding reason to repent—the Day of Judgment is at hand. When God’s message of salvation was spoken, people will have different responses. This judgment would come by the man God had appointed, even Jesus Christ. No doubt, Paul’s mention of a Day of Judgment brought cynical sneers from his sophisticated audience. However, Paul’s words about the Judgment and the resurrection struck a responsive note in the hearts of others, and they desired to hear more. But just because there will be different responses and it is difficult, it does not mean that we should not try to reach them with the gospel. Just like in Paul’s experience, “some joined him and became believers. Among them were Dionysius, a member of the council, a woman named Damaris, and others with them” (Acts 17:34). God’s purpose for us is to seek after Him “and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him—though he is not far from any one of us. For in him we live and move and exist.”

Blessings,

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