“And He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him.”
– Acts 17:26–27
Acts 17:26–27 is an incredible description of the sovereignty of God over the nations of the world, all the people groups in the world, all the ethnicities of the world, and even the places where all kinds of different people groups live, where different ethnicities and nations live.
God, open our eyes to the opportunities we have to share the gospel with the nations right around us. May we proclaim the gospel in our neighborhood and among the nations.
God made from one man every nation, so we all came from Adam and Eve, so we have a picture of all nations, all kinds of different people groups that have come from one man, so we’re all a part of the same race, the human race. There are many different ethnicities, different languages, different cultural backgrounds. But we are all are made by God, and God has determined allotted periods and boundaries of our dwelling place. So when you think about the movement of peoples, you even just think about refugee crisis today, and I’m not just talking about refugees in this part of the world or that part of the world, like all over the world, you see a migration of peoples due to all kinds of different circumstances in all kinds of different places. You see all kinds of movements of peoples.
Acts 17:26–27 Reminds Us God Is Always Sovereign
I’m guessing wherever you live probably doesn’t look exactly the same today as it did 10 years ago or 20 years ago or 30 years ago. There’s likely more diversity or there might be just movement of different peoples in different places. So the whole picture here is that even in a sinful world and all kinds of sinful factors that may even cause migration of peoples in some circumstances, God is ultimately sovereign over that and he is drawing people to seek him and find him.
So just look at the world through that lens and realize that when you see the migration of peoples, it’s ultimately not by accident. There is a sovereign God who desires, 2 Peter 3:9, “all people to know his grace, to know his salvation”. We have a savior who has commanded us to make disciples of all the nations, all the people groups, and the beauty is, God sometimes brings all kinds of different people groups to where we are as followers of Jesus. And we have opportunities. I look around the city where I live, Metro Washington, DC. There are so many different people groups, ethnicities, even languages being spoken.
Acts 17:26–27 Describes How God’s Message Is for All People
What a glorious opportunity to share the gospel with the nations right here. And the same is true in so many different places. I think about just where I grew up in Metro Atlanta, in Stone Mountain, Georgia. Right near there, there is a whole refugee community in Clarkston, Georgia, where God has brought the nations and where there is opportunity to share the gospel with so many different people groups right there that it would be really hard to get to other nations to share the gospel, but God has brought those nations right there.
And it’s not just here in the United States or North America that God has done this. God has done this around the world. You look across the world, you see all kinds of different peoples migrating in this way or that way. God is ultimately sovereign over it all and God is desiring disciples to be made in every single nation, desiring his salvation to be made known in Jesus among every single nation, every single people group.
So God, we pray for this. God, we pray for the spread of your glory among the nations.
We pray for the spread of the gospel of Jesus, the glory of Jesus among all the nations, among all the peoples. God, we pray specifically today for the Rayeen in India, about a million of them, hardly any followers of Jesus, if any followers of Jesus, among the Muslim Rayeen. God, please, please draw them to seek you and know you, to seek you, Jesus, to know you, Jesus, as the savior and Lord and king over all.
Please, O God, bring the Rayeen to know you. Cause your people either to go to them or bring Rayeen to places where the gospel is proclaimed to them. God, we pray that you would sovereignly work for the salvation of the Rayeen and thousands of other people groups, and God, that you would give us, wherever we live, sensitivity, openness, open eyes, open hearts to the opportunities we have to share the gospel with the nations right around us.
When we see people who speak different languages, who come from different cultural backgrounds, God, with Acts 17:26–27 in mind please help us to see that this is not an accident that we are in the same neighborhood, in the same apartment complex, in the same community, in the same city with all kinds of different people. So God, we pray that you would give us boldness and compassion to share the gospel with the nations right around us. And God, we pray that as a result of our lives under your sovereignty that people would find you, would find you through hearing the gospel through our mouths.
God, please may that be the case today, this week. Use us. God, please help us not just to reach out to people around us with the gospel who look like us or come from the same background as us. God, please help us to cross cultural backgrounds, to cross linguistic backgrounds, to share the gospel with all peoples, starting with the peoples represented right around us. And God, we pray for this in light of Acts 17, please orchestrate the movement of peoples and individual people that they might know and enjoy you forever. And use our lives, we pray, toward that end. In Jesus’s name. Amen.