Daily Devotional

Allotted Periods

Once in awhile I like to go to an oldies’ car show.  Lynn and I got an opportunity to do so that fit, so we went to Kingsburg last Saturday.  We purchased a couple of drinks and a cookie from Kuppa Joy on the first block of the show.  We sat for a bit and enjoyed the scene.  Most of the cars were already in place in the extensive show.  But we were treated with the procession in, right in front of us, of a 59 Cadillac Coupe DeVille, white pearlized paint, chrome everywhere, and its outrageous design.  It was very low, beautiful and it seemed 100 feet long!  I never much liked these in the day, but that day I was transfixed.

The show took me back to my youth.  Among other things, I remember I was enthralled and excited by cars.  Mostly muscle cars, icons of power and beauty.  I did not know then that they were idols.  I know now, having once been delivered, and I have to be careful.

But going back in time, and remembering the basics and where we came from is extremely important.  When Paul went to Athens and preached to the men of the city filled with idols and gods of every nature, he went back to the beginning with them.  He had to establish the basics before he could declare salvation in Jesus Christ.

The God who made the world and everything in it, 
being Lord of heaven and earth, 
does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, 
as though he needed anything, 
since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. 
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. 
Acts 17:24-26, ESV
What are these basics for us to review?

  • There is one God who made the world and everything in it
  • He is Lord of both heaven and earth
  • He does not live in temples made by men
  • He does not need anything from man
  • He gives to all mankind life, breath and everything
  • He made from one man every nation to live on the face of the earth
  • He has determined the allotted periods and boundaries of every nation

It is good to remember why things are like they are.  In our faith, as we drink in God’s word, we can add the Garden of Eden and Adam & Eve, sin, the devil and the fall.  We know of Cain & Abel, of the worldwide flood and repopulation; of the Tower of Babel and the dispersion of humans all across the globe, given different languages.

So here we are today.  The present status of nations and how they interact on earth is not random, nor the effects of mere historical development.  It is what God has allotted!  Allotted periods.  Allotted boundaries. Everything on earth is progressing faithfully to its predetermined end, set by God before the foundation of the world!

After finishing our drinks and cookie, we walked the car show.  It was big.  After systematically going all the way to the end, we started back.  But after a bit we got hot and tired and decided to cut across the street and find a bench to sit on awhile. We had been hoping to meet our grandson there, but though that did not work out the Lord did have an alternate, allotted encounter for us!  It turned out to be the highlight of our day, more than all the cars put together!

We heard someone call the Warmerdam name!  Turns out it was Terry Lane, who had a car in the show.  I had to ask him his name.  We had camped with him years ago as we took some getaways with other former basketball players a few times, and he and his wife were there.  But this was not the Terry we had known!  Since our days together, he had gotten saved!  Now he was an on-fire Christian, telling us how he had escaped death more than once, witnessed miracles, and led hundreds to Christ!  A lot of that was online, and he had written a book.

His favorite passage was from Romans 10.  He quoted it several times in his stories.  We got to think back to this other foundational truth.  How does a man or woman get saved, in the midst of the allotted areas and boundaries of the nations?  It goes like this.  Hold on to these basics!

But what does it say?
“The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”—
that is, the word of faith which we are preaching,
that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord,
and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead,
you will be saved;
for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness,
and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.
For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.”
For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek;
for the same Lord is Lord of all,
abounding in riches for all who call on Him;  
for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.”  
Romans 10:8-13, NASB

For homework, and further edification – look up the hymn “I am Resolved,” by James Fillmore.  Play it on an instrument if you can.  Sing it. Look it up on YouTube.  Listen and sing along.  Become the person Fillmore wrote about as you sing.  Become a Terry Lane, and fulfill all God has called you to do and be.  Walk every day in the heavenly way, glad and free!  Walk with Jesus.
New American Standard Bible (NASB) Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation