How Broad & Deep is God’s Love: Acts 17, Part II
Meditating on the content of Acts 17 is a very thought provoking endeavor—one that can be very heart challenging, as well. I (Pastor Ron) have personally found spending time with that chapter to quite rewarding, recently. In this guest post that follows, Elaine Mustain shares with us some of the thoughts that have been tugging at her mind and heart concerning this passage. Thanks Elaine.
If you’ve been present for most of the teachings in this series, you’ve no doubt heard Paul quoted several times as saying ”In God we live and move and have our being.” But to understand Paul’s effort to convey God’s deep love and concern for ALL people we need to read the section of his speech that deals with that topic.
He begins by stressing the power of God, and the fact that God wants nothing from us but a relationship. Here is how he conveys that thought:
“The God who made the world and everything in it, he who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in shrines made by human hands, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mortals life and breath and all things.”
In other words, God has no need of anything from us. God is not into Getting. God is into Giving. In short, God is Love.
Paul moves on then to the relationship that binds us all to one another. He puts it quite succinctly: “From one ancestor God made all nations to inhabit the whole earth.” That is, we are all related; from the cave people of ancient France to the high culture of dynastic China, from Plato’s Greece to modern America, from the middle ages in the Mesopotamian world to the future nations of this planet, from tribes in the Amazon to the cities of Modern South Africa, from Palestine to Israel, we are all members of the family of God.
Paul goes on to the main conclusion of this section by saying, “…and God allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, so that they would search for God and perhaps grope for him and find him—though indeed he is not far from each one of us. For in Him we live and move and have our being; as even some of your own poets have said, ‘for we, too, are his offspring.’
Implicit in this conclusion is the rock-bottom truth that God loves us. God created us to search for God, because we do live and move and have our being in God, and God really does want us to experience now, in this life, the joy of more fully realizing and walking in the reality that we live and move and have our being in God. Through relating to God and allowing God to move in our lives, we will find the deepest reality of God’s love for us and ours for God and for one another.