Friday, September 23, 2016

Does God Seem Far Away?

Acts 17:24-28
24 “The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by human hands. 25 And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. 26 From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. 27 God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any 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.’

In the journeys of Paul, he found himself in Athens, a city with a population of multitudes which were following after false Gods.  Paul was interested in teaching others about Jesus, but there were some  Epicurean and Stoic philosophers debating him, some thinking he was promoting foreign gods. Others were interested in learning about the Lord. Paul's teaching about Jesus was new to them and they wanted to hear more.

Paul stood and preached in the meeting of the Aeropagus, telling the people of Athens he had detected they were very religious. He then brought up an inscription he had seen on an altar in their city, "To and unknown God."  Paul used that inscription to accuse them of being ignorant of the god they worshiped. He went on to proclaim his message in the verses printed above. Let's look at some of the things he had to say. 

1. God, the maker of the world and everything in it, doesn't live in structures built by human hands.
2. He is not served by human hands as if he were in need of anything.
3. He gives everyone life and breath.
4. He made us to inhabit the earth.
5. He marks out appointed times in history, and the boundaries of our lands. 

All of this was done so we would seek him and reach out for him and find him. 

How often do we hear people say, "God seems so far away?" It is a common saying by those who yield to the struggles of life. Yet Paul wanted his audience, and us, to know.....God is not far from any of us! Paul stresses that life is from God and without him near to us, we could not exist. If we find ourselves blind to his presence or deaf to his voice, it's not God distancing himself from us, it's us separating ourselves from Him.  The God Paul preached about is the God who "gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him will not perish, but inherit everlasting life."  Seek him. Reach out for him. Find him. 


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