Summary: You Aren't An Accident...
You Aren't An Accident –
A Christian counselor once encouraged a woman who felt lonely and abandoned. As she explained how she felt he couldn’t concentrate on what she was saying, because a Scripture (Psalm 100:3) kept running through his mind: “It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves”. This verse had no obvious connection with her problem, but he couldn’t stop thinking about it.
After she finished talking, she sat in silence waiting for a response. The counselor didn’t know what to say other than quote the verse, although he realized it might sound foolish since it seemed totally unrelated to her dilemma.
“I think God wants you to know something,” he said. “‘It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves.’ Does that mean anything to you?”
The woman immediately broke down and cried. After composing herself, she explained what it meant. “I didn’t tell you this, but my mother got pregnant with me before she was married. All my life I believed that I was a mistake—an unplanned accident—and that God didn’t love me.”
“When you quoted that verse, I pictured in my mind God forming me in my mother’s womb. Now I know that God created me and loves me and that I’m not a mistake. I’ll never be the same again! Thank you. I’ll never forget this day as long as I live!”
God knew this woman needed to know she was “fearfully and wonderfully” made by Him and not an accident. Her perspective changed dramatically once she understood that it was God who crafted her in the womb.
As we go through Acts chapter 17 we will discover that the Bible not only teaches us that God crafts us in our mother’s womb, but in His sovereignty, He predetermines the period of history in which we are born and the exact location on this planet where we will live. This lets us know that we are here for a reason and not an accident.
Athens was home to the most renowned philosophers in history, including Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Athens was also the religious center of Greece—virtually every deity or “god” known to man could be worshiped there.
Acts 17:16 tells us that Paul’s spirit was troubled because of what he saw in the city of Athens. He saw a city that was full of lost people because they were all doomed to a Christ-less eternity because of their widespread pagan idolatry.
Let me stop here to ask you a few questions. Is your spirit provoked…is it troubled within as you when you drive through the streets of Baltimore?
Verse 16 tells us that while Paul waited at Athens, his spirit was troubled within him when he saw that the city was given over to idols. Verse 17 tells us he went into the synagogue—to reason with the religious community and he went into the marketplace—to reason with the unbelievers.
The word “reasoned” in verse 17 is the Greek word, which meant, “to preach”, “to dispute”. It is used when speaking to someone in order to convince them (by reasoning).
* This is not the preaching performed in many churches today, designed to make people feel good about themselves. It’s actually the kind of preaching and teaching we find in the Bible designed to make us feel bad about ourselves…so that we might cling to Christ and find our esteem in Him!
* It’s the kind of preaching and teaching designed to make us be at awe with God and to move us to reverence Him and praise and worship Him for who He is and what He has done!
Notice the response to Paul’s preaching in Acts 17:18: “Then certain Epicurean and Stoic philosophers encountered him. And some said, "What does this babbler want to say?" Others said, "He seems to be a proclaimer of foreign gods," because he preached to them Jesus and the resurrection.”
In verse 18 we find Paul encountering two groups of philosophers that were prominent in the culture of that day: Epicurean philosophers and Stoic philosophers.
The Epicureans were those who followed Epicurus (341-270 B.C.). Epicurus believed that happiness or the avoidance of pain was the chief end of life. If Epicurus was alive today, he would be saying, “You only go around once in life” “You deserve a break today” “Don’t worry, be happy!”. I recently saw a Verizon tagline that said, “Instant gratification is a beautiful thing!” Epicurus would have coined slogans like that.
But the Bible teaches us that true happiness, blessedness and joy is not based on conditions being right with yourself, but yourself being right with the Lord. “Joy” is not the result of fulfilled pleasure but a constant abiding with the Lord that produces that fruit of the Spirit called “joy”.