Acts 17:24-28 “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. And he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything. Rather, he himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else. 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. 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. ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’
The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth
Amen – Enough said.
He does not live in temples built by human hands
This is an interesting part of this verse, and one I’m sure many of my “spiritual, not religious” friends would point to as a reason they don’t want to go to church. (You know who you are and you know that I love you). It is true that He doesn’t live in a temple or a church. He is not confined by walls or structures. He is omnipresent (everywhere all at once). So you can meet Him in the church – He’s there. You can meet Him in the mountains – He’s there. You can meet Him on the alleys in the inner city – He’s there. But if you’re saying you don’t need a church building to worship or meet with Him, prove it by meeting with Him in other places. Just meet with Him – He’ll be there. (Too preachy? Sorry – time to get off my high horse).
He is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything
This is another amazing part of this verse. Good works are not for God’s benefit. He doesn’t need our help. He doesn’t need us to prove what we believe or to make up for past sins (Jesus took care of that). He does call us to do good works though. I like the way the Message Translation of the Bible puts it (this isn’t a word for word translation, but it puts it in easy to understand language, and sometimes I need that) in James 2:17.
Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it? For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you? Isn’t it obvious that God-talk without God-acts is outrageous nonsense?
So am I doing that? Is my faith dead? Do my actions back up my claims? I am constantly at battle with this. I want to do more, but often lack the confidence and boldness that stepping out to help someone requires. Will they think I’m pompous? Will they refuse my help? Will I be more trouble than encouragement? I feel the devil at work in these words. The devil wants me to stay away from the things I’m being called to do, because he doesn’t like empowered people for Christ.
Lord, help me to be more like you. Help me to be bold like Nehemiah, and do what you’re calling me to do.
He Himself gives everyone life and breath and everything else
He’s got me covered. If I think that I don’t have the gifts needed to do what God is calling me to do, that’s silliness, because this verse says He provides everything. He provides even my life and breath. I can confidently go forward knowing He’s given me the gifts I need to carry out what He’s calling me to do.
God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him
Everything God has done on earth has been to draw someone closer to Him. To point us to Him so that we might be in relationship with Him. Not because he forced us to, but because we didn’t turn away from Him when He showed Himself to us through Scripture, Friends and Nature. God wants you to find Him, and He wants me to keep my eyes on Him. Seeking Him and not getting distracted by lies about me not being good enough, smart enough, rich enough or cute enough. He can use me even if I’m stupid, clumsy, poor and ugly. God has a plan for each of us, no matter who we are, a plan to prosper us and not to harm us. He plans and makes opportunities for us to know Him, and that is His ultimate plan for us. To know Him and spend eternity with Him in Heaven.
For in him we live and move and have our being
Are you being called?