Read Acts 17:16-34
If you are familiar with the writings of Paul or with other sermons that he preached in the book of Acts, you know that the words expressed here were different. His listeners in the Areopagus had little to no biblical foundation. They were apparently unfamiliar with the Old Testament. They had not heard about Jesus. Nevertheless, they were deeply religious people. The influence of pagan gods was symbolized by the numerous idols that filled the city. These were men and women who enjoyed a good debate and philosophizing about life.
Recognizing his audience, Paul had a different starting point . . . the visible creation and its creator. He punctuated his presentation with a quote from one of their own poets. But, of course, he brought all of that to a close with a clear reference to the Savior who was raised from the dead and who will one day judge all.
In these few lines, however, I want to do more than point out obvious contrasts in Paul’s preaching style. Instead, I want to express something very clearly:
You are deeply valued by God!
He is the ultimate source of your existence. He gave to you life, breath, and movement. It doesn’t matter if you were planned by your parents or a surprise. It doesn’t matter if you felt loved, tolerated, or used by them. God chose to give you life in the past and all that is necessary for you to carry on life in the present. You are part of His will and an object of His love.
But, your Heavenly Father has purpose in your existence. He has orchestrated the chronology and geography (the when’s and where’s) of your life with one intention in mind. You see, He does all of that so that you “would seek Him and perhaps reach out for Him and find Him” (v. 27).
You are part of His will and an object of His love. He wants to be in relationship with you!
Indeed, you are deeply valued by God!