“In him we live and move and have our being; – Acts 17:28a (ESV)
For the second time the Apostle Paul in traveling in Asia Minor preaching the Gospel. He is in Athens waiting for Timothy and Silas to join him. Our verse today is a very small part of the speech that the apostle Paul gave on Mars Hill* in Athens, Greece. Recorded in Acts 17. Some Athenians who enjoyed spending “their time in nothing other than tell or hearing something new (v. 21)” invited Paul to explain what he was teaching. Paul took the opportunity to tell them about the one true God. We worship the true God about whom the apostle Paul was speaking. What He said about God is true for us today. Our God has given us life when we were born and He gives us life every day. We don’t live on our own. And we even live by the strength that God gives us to live the moments through each day. As we keep this promise in the top of our minds, we also develop and appreciation of His involvement in our lives, God’s presence with us become more precious. For it is in Him that we have our being.
*Mars Hill is the Roman name for a hill in Athens, Greece, called the Hill of Ares or the Areopagus
More about Paul’s talk on Mars Hill.
“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.” Acts 17:27 (NIV)
When the Apostle Paul visited Athens, the capital of Greece, he went to a place called Mars Hill which was close to the Acropolis and where the court of the Areopagus* met. This was a gathering place for those who sought discussion on new ideas. Our verse today comes from the recorded words that Paul said to those gathered there. After telling the people that God, the creator of all, had caused them to settle in different parts of the world, he made this statement in today’s verse. God knows where each one of His creatures is He knows where you and I each are. And His great desire is that we reach out for Him and find Him. Our verse reminds us that no matter where we are on this earth God has promised that He is not from from us. That means that we do not have to reach out far to find Him. We only need to be in earnest and to be honest in reaching out for Him. He is there for each of us no matter where we might be on this earth.
“Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What kind of house will you build for me, says the Lord, or what is the place of my rest? Did not my hand make all these things?” – Acts 7:49-50 (ESV)
These words, spoken by Stephen to the Jewish Sanhedrin in defense of his faith. Stephen was a deacon in the truly first church in Jerusalem and became the first Christian martyr. Stephen quoted Isaiah 66:1-2. It is a reminder for us to remember church is not a building, in grand or simple architecture and the size and does not make a place a church. When emphasis is on the structure, we tend to limit God to that building. Because of His majesty no one can build a house for Him to dwell in (1 Kings 8:27); God is the Creator of all things – especially all things used to build the grand and beautiful church buildings. What He values above His inanimate Creation are people who are humble and contrite (Isaiah. 57:15) and who follow His word. God desires to dwell in the hearts of persons who takes His Word so seriously that it produces humility, broken spirit, and trembling in the presence of His Word. ““But to this one I will look, to him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word.” Isaiah 66:2b