Acts 17:24-31 NAS “The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; neither is He served by human hands, as through He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all life and breath and all things; and He made from one, every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times, and the boundaries of their habitation, that they should seek God, if perhaps they might grope or Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; as even some of your own poets have said, 'For we also are His offspring.' “Being then the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and thought of man. “Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all everywhere should repent, because He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man whom He has appointed, having furnished proof to all men by raising Him from the dead.”
Acts 17:28 in the NKJV says: “for in Him we live and move and have our being,”. For me as a born again Christian that means that I am “in Christ Jesus”, my life is not my own and all things that I encounter in this life revolve around my relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. I am not my own, but I have been bought with a price; the blood of Jesus Christ. I am His and He is mine! Hallelujah!
I often think about life before being “in Him”. It was one of uncertainty, wondering if I would be “good enough” to enter heaven when I died. I was raised in a denominational church that believed that your works would be what would give you entrance into heaven, but you didn't know if you had been “good enough” until you got there and then it would be too late to do anything about it if you hadn't. It was a “maybe you are” and “maybe you aren't” “good enough” type of situation. I didn't know from one day to the next whether I would “make it” or not.
Acts 17:31 tells me that there is coming a day when God will judge the world to see which ones are “in Christ Jesus” and which aren't. The key is in repenting and giving your heart to Him today so you will be ready for that Day of Judgment.
To “repent” is the Greek word “metanoeo” and it means “to change one's mind or purpose”; to “turn around” from the direction you are going to go another direction. This portion of Scripture says that all men have been made by God for the purpose of seeking Him. As we look into the world today we see a people who are self-centered, focused on one thing only, and that is themselves and what will satisfy their heart's desires. This people, who the Word says have all been made in the likeness and image of God, are seeking satisfaction and fulfillment in everything but Him. The word says that they have been in “times of ignorance” and He declares that they all should repent before the “fixed” day of judgment comes.
I don't often teach on repentance or that there is coming a day of judgment because I don't believe in portraying my God as a “turn or burn” type of God. He is a loving heavenly Father that has created man in His own image so He can fill or “inhabit” His creation to lead, guide and bless them with His presence. My God leads men to repentance through His goodness.
Romans 2:4 Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, no knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?
My mother always said that more flies are drawn to honey than to vinegar. I believe people are drawn to God through seeing His goodness and understanding that He loves them and wants a living and vital relationship with them more than in seeing Him as a God of judgment. But, as the Word says, there is coming a day when He will look at the record books in heaven and determine which ones, by their own choice, have accepted Jesus as Savior and Lord, thus deserving an eternity with Him in heaven. That is the Day of Judgment. It is simply to determine who spends eternity with Him or separated from Him.
Acts 3:19 “Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord,”
Repentance brings “times of refreshing”. Many believe that when we instruct people to “turn around” from the way they are going to following Christ Jesus that they will have to give up the good life for a life of dutiful, mundane living. But the Word says that “times of refreshing” will come from the Lord when we repent. The “good life” awaits you when you turn to the Lord. It's not a life of no problems, but you have the Lord of Life living within you to direct you through the storms of life and give you peace in the midst of them. A life of victory awaits you when you to turn to the Lord. You don't life beneath your circumstances, but He equips you to live “above”; to be victorious and more than a conqueror because of His presence within you.
Romans 8:31, 32 NKJV What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
God gave Jesus for us....His life for ours! God is not holding that against us, but He did that so that He could freely give us salvation and all things! He is a loving heavenly Father, ready to provide for our every need that we might understand His goodness.
Ephesians 3:14-19 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height—to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
God wants you to be His so that He can pour out His love upon you and fill you with His fullness. He wants to strengthen you through His Spirit in your inner man, to equip you and give you an understanding of His love. God doesn't love you because He loves; He loves you because He is love. His very nature is love. He can't do anything but love His people.
1 John 4:7-10 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
God loved us so much that He gave His son to be the propitiation, or payment for our sin. This payment satisfied the wrath of God that was there because of sin. It paid the price to establish man “in Him”, to place man “in Christ Jesus”.
Ephesians 1:7, 8 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace which He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence,
“In Christ Jesus” we have forgiveness of sins. We have been “adopted” as sons by Christ Jesus to Himself. (Ephesians 1:5) It is “in Him that we live and move and have our being”. (Acts 17:28)
I woke up this morning with this song on my heart. It says about God: “You are the love of my life; You are the hope that I cling to; You mean more than this world to me. I'd rather have You than silver or gold. I'd rather have You than riches untold. You are; You are my everything”. I can sing that because it's “in Him” that I live and move and have my being.
I want to invite you today to make Him yours and to give your heart to Him that you may also live “in Him”. Won't you accept Jesus into your heart to be your own personal Lord and Savior today? Make this your day of salvation! Pray and ask Him to come into your heart; to save you and live each day with you. Pray this prayer and mean it sincerely in your heart.
Father, I come before You confessing that I am a sinner, both by birth and by choice. I have lived my life for myself but I now realize that I need to repent, to change my mind and turn around and live for You. I ask You to forgive me of my sin, to save me and come and live in my heart to be my own personal Lord and Savior. I receive the gift of salvation that You have so freely given for me in the crucifixion and resurrection of Your Son, Jesus Christ. I believe that if I were the only person on the face of the earth You would have still given Jesus to pay the price for my sin. I receive Him into my heart and I thank You for saving me. I vow to live every day for You from this moment on. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.
If you prayed that prayer for the first time and really meant it, you are now “in Christ Jesus”. You are “in Him” and are a part of the family of God. Congratulations! That is the most important decision you will ever make in your whole life. Your eternity is now sealed with God and will be spent in heaven with Him.
Father, I pray for those who have prayed to receive Jesus into their hearts this morning. I ask that You would make Your presence real to them that they might grow in their relationship with You. Thank You for saving them, for paying the price that they might be set free from sin, death and Hell. Thank You for bringing them into Your family this morning.
Father, I pray for my friends who may be going through difficulties today. I ask that You would make Your presence known to them as well. That You would strengthen them in their inner man by Your Spirit who lives within them that they might be assured of Your love for them. I pray that they will look to You for the answers to life's problems for it is in You that they live and move and have their being. You are the answer, Lord Jesus! May they find comfort in knowing that You have made them more than a conqueror through Your love for them. Thank You for granting them the victory in You! In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.