When seeking to persuade the philosophers of Greece regarding the reality of the living and true God, the Apostle Paul proclaimed the truth of Divine involvement in His creation.
"God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that He is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hand, neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though He needed any thing, seeing He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things, and hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; that they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after Him, and find Him, though He be not far from every one of us: for in Him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also His offspring. Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man's device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent" (Acts 17:24-30).
"He giveth to all life and breath and all things… He is not far from every one of us… In Him we live and move and have our being… We are also His offspring." Note that Paul references all as he speaks to those so ignorant of their Creator and Sustainer that they erected a catch-all altar bearing the inscription, "To The Unknown God" (Acts 17:23). Unbelieving humanity may be far from the Lord in heart. "All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to His own way" (Isaiah 53:6). In proximity, however, Scripture declares a God so intimately and intricately involved in the existence of human beings that Job confessed of Him, "The Lord… in whose hand is the soul of every living thing" (Job 12:9; 10). The Psalmist echoed such wonder, "Thou openest Thine hand, and satisfieth the desire of every living thing" (Psalm 145:16). Creation teems with the presence, provision, and proactive redemptive working of its Creator. No less a voice than the Lord's chief New Testament writer declared such Truth as "he preached unto them Jesus and the resurrection" (Acts 17:18).
We do well to join our brother of old, declaring the gift of salvation in Christ to proceed from the same gracious One who has given to our hearers every breath they have ever breathed (not to mention "life" and "all things"). It matters not how wicked and unbelieving the audience, every human being exists as the beneficiary of the God lovingly and graciously involved to the degree that we are all as fish swimming in the sea of the Divine. Of course, this does not mean that every human being knows the Lord in redemptive relationship, nor does it preclude the future judgment of unbelievers who will one day hear the tragic and eternal dismissal, "Depart from Me, ye that work iniquity" (Matthew 7:23). It does mean, however, that the Gospel rightly preached proclaims a Lord "not far from every one of us." Indeed, let us confidently declare an intimately and intricately involved Lord Jesus to those who have benefitted from His gracious involvement since their conception and unto the present moment. This includes all, as Paul affirmed, and as the Spirit of God and the Word of God lead us to proclaim with utmost confidence and assurance.
"The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works."
"We both labor and suffer reproach because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those that believe."
(I Timothy 4:10)
Weekly Memory Verse
God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
(II Timothy 1:7)