Weekly Scripture Meditation (5-15-23)

The Text (Acts 17:24–28)

“The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, 25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. 26 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, 27 that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, 28 for

       ‘In him we live and move and have our being’;

as even some of your own poets have said,

       ‘For we are indeed his offspring.’”


An Insight

This week’s mediation comes from Paul’s proclamation of the gospel in Athens. This sermon has a different ring to it than his other sermons because he is preaching to Gentiles rather than Jews. Instead of turning to Moses, David, or the prophets to speak about Jesus, Paul broadens his scope to reflect on how God relates to all of humanity. Paul describes to the Athenians a God who needs nothing we can offer him but who is incredibly generous with what he offers us. He also describes a God who wants to be known. He determined when and where we live with the intention that we seek him from there. The good news is that he doesn’t intend this quest to be hard; he is actually quite close by. Paul anchors these truths about God in a quote from a Greek poet whom the Athenians would appreciate. The poet states a truth also found in Scripture: All of us are God’s children. God wants his children to know their father.


A Timeless Principle

We see in Paul’s sermon a basic, beautiful truth: God is good. He generously bestows blessings on all people, without prejudice or favoritism. He wants us to know that goodness. He has not hidden himself in a corner or left himself without witness. He wants us to seek him, but he does not intend to make the search hard. He is not far from anyone because he wants to be found! If we were to keep reading Paul’s sermon, we would see that the raising of God’s Son from the dead is the place to look. The search for God concludes at the empty tomb and with the risen Jesus. It is God’s desire that all who seek him find him there.


Living the Text

The search for God in one sense concludes with the risen Jesus, but in another sense it only begins there. We are now on a lifelong journey of coming to know God by growing in Christ. The message Paul spoke at Athens to unbelievers remains true for us as believers. God has placed us where we are today with the intention that we will seek him by seeking to grow in his Son. He is just as eager for us to more deeply know his Son as he is for unbelievers to find him, and through Christ he is now even nearer to us. The rest of Scripture even testifies to how God guides and empowers our ongoing search. If we moved through this day with our eyes open and our hearts spiritually attuned, where might we find him?



Heavenly Father,

Although you are infinitely beyond us in every way, you have revealed yourself to us and invite us to come to know you. Thank you for such an indescribable gift. Thank you for placing us where we are today with the intention that we seek and find you. You are near to us, with your Spirit even within us, because of your Son. Open our eyes to see you more clearly and our hearts to receive you with joy.

In Jesus’ name,


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