Daily Devotion, 6-8-2020 God Cannot Be Contained

Pastor: Connie Belmore

Daily Devotion, June 8, 2020
Acts 17:24-28
God Cannot Be Contained

Each one of us was raised with certain beliefs ingrained in us. Just about every person on earth believes something. For example, I was raised to believe that I should go to church every Sunday morning, Sunday night and Wednesday night. There was never any fuss in our house about attending church three times a week. No matter what, we got up, dressed for church and off we went to worship and learn about God. I still believe in the “gathering of the saints” as often as possible but now understand that different churches have different practices about when and how often to worship.

In today’s passage, the apostle Paul is talking to some people about their beliefs about worship. These people, from Athens, have built an altar with this inscription: TO AN UNKNOWN GOD. Paul is curious with them about how they are able to worship something or someone that you know nothing about. Perhaps for some of them they were just taught at an early age to worship this unknow god. So Paul begins to introduce his God, as the God who cannot be contained in a temple, or at an altar, and is not built by human hands. Paul goes on to say that this God gives everyone life, breath itself. This God made all nations from one man and marked out times and places where these different nations would be. This God, Paul says, desires for people to seek him and reach out to him and find him and is always within reach and not far from us. Paul’s God is not contained to a specific place but is everywhere. It is in God that we live and move and have our being. In other words, it is in God that we find ourselves and until we do find ourselves in God, we are restless.

We often want to put God in a box and contain God and only “take God out of the box” when it is convenient or when we have time. But God is not to be contained and even when we try to box God up and put God on a shelf, God is still present; all people were created by God so that God could love them. God continues to pursue us throughout our lives, even when we try to contain God and keep God at a distance.

Are you like the people of Athens, ritualistically worshipping God, but not really knowing God? The God of Adam, Moses, Abraham… and Paul is a God who makes himself known throughout the earth. It is in God that we are to live and move and have our being. As long as we try to contain God and only call on God periodically when it is convenient, we miss out on knowing God and living to our fullest potential in God. We were created to be loved by God and to love God in return…to be in a relationship with God. God is everywhere and wants you to freely receive the gift of grace God offers to each of us. If you are trying to keep God contained, it is not going to work. You will be restless until you find yourself in God. Open yourself up to God so that you might truly live and move and be all that God created you to be for God’s glory.

Dear God, thank you for being everywhere at all times and for not being an unknown God but the God who cannot be contained and makes himself known. Help us to feel and know your very presence and interact with you each and every day, throughout the day so that we might in you, move, and live, and find our being. Help us to refrain from trying to keep you contained to specific places and times but to recognize your presence with us all day long. In Jesus’s name. Amen.



  July 2021  
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