Throughout Scripture we clearly see the sovereignty of God expressed in various ways. In Acts 17 we have Paul’s sermon on Mars Hill.
In that sermon we find one of these “sovereignty” expressions as it relates to whole nations. Paul says, “He [God] made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times, and the boundaries of their habitation” (v. 26 NASB).
Times for Nations
Do you mean to tell me that nations have appointed times of existence? It seems from the text that nations have particular physical boundaries and limited times of particular existence.
Wow! Do you know what happens after all these boundaries and times are over? Verse 31 declares that “He has fixed a day in which He will judge the world in righteousness through a Man [Jesus] whom He has appointed.”
Peter reminds us what the final judgment will be like: “The heavens will pass away with a roar and the elements will be destroyed with intense heat, and the earth and its works will be burned up” (2 Peter 3:10). Then he says, “Since all these things are to be destroyed in this way, what sort of people ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness” (v. 11).
What sort of people ought we to be? We ought to be people that live in light of His glory, in light of eternity, and in light of judgment.
Times for Individuals
Not only do we live in a nation with limited time, but there are appointed times for our own lives. Recently, my youngest son was fighting fear late one night while going to bed. I reminded him that we cannot live one day more or one day less than the appointed days God has declared for us.
We need to remember the same thing. Even though we don’t know the number of those days, there should be peace and intentionality in how we live.
We have certain purposes to accomplish for the glory of God and the good of those around us. On Paul’s first missionary journey, while preaching to the Jews, he made a statement that is easy to miss. While referring to David, he said, “After he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep” (Acts 13:36).
Each of us has a purpose to fulfill in our own generation, and then it’s time to fall asleep. In other words, as long as we are still alive, we still have tasks to fulfill.
In Light of the Times
God has appointed times for nations and for individuals, each to serve His purpose. So here are some obvious questions:
- Do you have any idea of God’s purposes for you?
- Are you staying close to the Lord in the Word and prayer so you can discern His purposes for you?
- Are you obedient (vs. resistant) to what the Lord has revealed as His will?
- Do you live with the conscience awareness that you exist on this earth for His glory, and that there are particular purposes to accomplish?
It’s important to remember that all of us exist for Him, to know Him and worship Him but also to influence others for Him. How many others can you name that are pursuing Jesus because of your influence in some way, in word or deed?
This is a great part of why OneCry exists. We believe this is an important part of serving the purpose of God in our own generation. So let us turn, pray, and unite, and influence others to do the same.