Listen to what the Apostle Paul shares with the folks in Athens in Acts 17: 22f. “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. 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, in the hope that they might feel their way towards him and find him, yet He is actually not far from each of us.”
One of the greatest comforts I have is knowing that God has predetermined how long I will inhabit this earth as well as where I’ll live. If you think about it, God destined us to live in HIS world for a certain allotted time to seek Him. It’s comical to think that folks attempt to claim independence by determining their own lot in life. God purposefully placed us here at this time in history to not only seek him but to share Him with others. Just as God has predetermined our dwelling place and the amount of time we’ll be here, he has also determined this for all of mankind.
Our reason for living should be HIS purpose for putting us here in the first place! Share this truth with someone you care for. Let them know God has predetermined their existence in order that they might seek Him, know Him, love Him and serve Him. It’s one of the greatest gift God has afforded us.
Have a blessed day and remember the One who gave it to you!
Sometimes the deepest pain we receive comes from those of whom we love the most. Life’s battles have a way of testing us, shaping us and (at times) even hardening us to life’s difficulties. Peter reminds his readers that they shouldn’t be surprised when faced with difficulties this side of eternity. 1 Peter 4: 12-13 says, “Don’t be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange thing were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.” Jesus reminded his disciples in John 16:33 that in this life we will have tribulations, but to be of good cheer because he has overcome the world. I don’t know about you, but I’m not one who generally rejoices over heartache. Even if I were to try to fake it, I’d fail miserably because too often I wear my emotions on my sleeve. It’s not that we’ve been called to “pretend” all is well in the midst of our trials. Jesus wept in the midst of his. What makes us think we’re stronger than he is? The only way he could endure the cross was to look forward to what awaited him once the cross served its purpose. Jesus wasn’t a masochist. He didn’t enjoy the humiliation and shame of the cross. He DESPISED it. But, joy awaited Jesus after Satan had his day. Soon the Son of God would be reunited with His Father in heaven. The joy we experience must be of such that we look forward to what awaits us once this life is over. That doesn’t mean we can’t experience joy in this life. It only means that the joy that we have to look forward to in the life to come isn’t even worth comparing to the life we have now. (Rom. 8: 13).
Have a blessed day and remember the One who gave it to you. Kevin
Kevin Lough is the minister at the Whitehall Church of Christ in Fairmont WV.