From one man he made all the nations, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he marked out their appointed times in history and the boundaries of their lands. God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us. Acts 17:26-27 NIV.
A look back at our lives, at the path that they’ve taken, at the events that have happened, helps us to see God’s plan. He’s been at work to bring us to this place and this time.
As I’ve had the opportunity to visit with many of the members of the Mount, I generally ask this question: What brought you to the Mount? The answers are different, but also the same. Some people will say it was a boy or a girl, a husband or a wife that brought me. Others will say that their parents brought them. Some will say that the school was a draw. Others will say that circumstances in life drove them to their knees and the Mount was right here, right at the corner of 60th and Hampton, right in the neighborhood where they lived.
All of the answers are different, but, a look back, also reveals that they are the same. It was God who put those people in your life to connect you to Jesus and to the Mount. It was God who put you in this community and sent those events into your life. It was God who drew you to himself through people. It was God who called you to be his own through the Gospel.
That’s what Paul wanted the people of Athens to know. They were unbelieving pagans who were seeking a god; they just didn’t know who the true God was yet (but Paul was about to tell them!). Paul wanted them to know that the true God had arranged everything in their lives, the times of their lives and the places where they would live SO THAT they would seek him and find him.
That is precisely what God has done for you in your life. He has put you in the right place at the right time so that you’d hear this message about Jesus, so that you’d receive the adoption to sonship, so that you’d hear his call and believe. He put people in your life so that they could tell you. He put events in your life to draw you to himself. He put you in the right place at the right time to save you.
Now think. God has done the same thing for every other person in this world. Paul was talking to the unbelievers around him and saying, “God put you in the right place and the right time so that you’d seek him and find him though he isn’t far away at all.” That’s also true for the people who live around The Mount in our Hampton Heights community. That’s true for the people who live around you in your communities. That’s even true for the people you interact with at stores. It happened to me just the other day. I had to get my phone replaced and the woman helping me noticed my e-mail (email@example.com) and asked, “Where are you a pastor?” And the conversation went from there. God put me at the right place and the right time in her life and her husband’s life SO THAT they’d seek out and find him (and it took a broken phone to get me there).
God has put The Mount the right place and the right time. He has planted our church in the Hampton Heights community to serve the people here, to share the gospel with the people here with the gospel. He has planted our school here in this community so that we might transform families and raise up disciples, heirs and leaders right here at this time and in this place. He has put us here at the right time and in the right place for them and their salvation. We are The Mount and that’s why we’re here: to transform this community and the families of it with the gospel of Jesus.
And God has put you at the right time and in the right place. He has put you in your neighborhood with your specifics neighbors at this time in history to impact them with the love of Jesus and his Gospel. He will give you daily interactions which are not accidental, but are arranged by him so that you can share the Gospel with those whom you meet.
God is always at work and he will use us at just the right time in just the right place. How will he use you today?
Pastor Nate Bourman