July 31

Acts 17:26-28 26From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places where they should live. 27God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 28'For in him we live and move and have our being.' As some of your own poets have said, 'We are his offspring.'

While Paul was preaching in Berea, the Jews again stirred up opposition toward him. The brothers escorted him from there to Athens. Paul was disturbed at all the idolatry he saw there and began using every opportunity to speak about Jesus. When we see problems in our world, do we look for opportunities to share the answer we have found?

The philosophers of Athens invited Paul to address them. The Holy Spirit spoke through Paul in a way that these Greeks could relate. He even used quotes that they knew and accepted from some of their own writers. In every culture we can find some truth from which we can connect with the local people.

Paul declared that God was sovereign over all things. He even determines where each of us will live and the age in which we will live. The reason He plans things out with such detail is so that men will seek Him. God has arranged our lives to give us the most opportunity to come to know Him. He is not aloof or distant or uncaring. He is doing everything possible to reach every individual.

We are surrounded by Him. It is not as if we must make some great journey or perform some impossible deed. He is continually reaching out to us. Then He explained God's solution to man's problem. The judge of the world became a man and rose from the dead. As soon as they heard about resurrection, they were divided. Some responded to God who surrounded and reached out to them. Others kept it as an intellectual game. Our job is to share at the leading of the Holy Spirit. It is up to each individual to make a choice as to whether or not he will respond to the God who is continually reaching out to him.

Consider: Are you responding to the God in Whom you live and move and have your being?