Embracing Divine Providence
The Tapestry of Time, Heart, Conduct, and the Power of the Gospel
“Time determines the people you meet. The heart determines the people you seek. Your conduct determines those who are with you.” – “Ziad K. Abdelnour”
I came across the quote by Ziab. K. Abdelnour and it got me to thinking and I felt that it was something that I needed but we all needed to consider – so I hope the following will prove a blessing as it’s contemplated.
First, however, let me clarify what I understand is the meaning of “Divine Providence” with an illustration.
Imagine a beautiful painting being created by a master artist. Every stroke of the brush is carefully planned and placed to make the painting perfect. Divine providence is like that artist’s plan for our lives. It’s the way that God, who loves us deeply, carefully arranges everything that happens to us. Just like the artist knows exactly where each brushstroke goes, God knows the best way for our lives to unfold. Even when things seem confusing or difficult, we can trust that God is in control, working behind the scenes to create a masterpiece of love, purpose, and blessings.
Again, imagine time not as a mere progression of moments, but as a breathtaking mosaic of divine appointments, intricately woven together to advance the gospel. Reflect on the beauty of God’s timing, revealed throughout Scripture. In the book of Esther, we witness how God strategically positioned Esther as queen to save the Jewish people from destruction. It was a divine appointment, orchestrated by God for a specific purpose.
Similarly, consider the encounter between Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch in “Acts 8:26-40.” God’s timing was impeccable, as Philip was led by the Spirit to meet the Eunuch at the exact moment when he was reading the scroll of Isaiah. This encounter resulted in the eunuch’s conversion and baptism, a profound testimony to the power of divine appointments – “Acts 8:26-40.”
We need and should recognise that every person we meet, and every circumstance we face, is divinely orchestrated by our sovereign God. We should trust in His perfect timing and align our hearts to perceive the opportunities for gospel proclamation and transformation that lie within each encounter.
With that said let’s jump right in.
In the intricate tapestry of our lives, every thread, every encounter, is meticulously woven by the hand of our sovereign God. As children of God, we are called to recognise that nothing happens by chance in our lives. Instead, our encounters, guided by the interplay of time, heart, and conduct, are divinely orchestrated for our instruction and the proclamation of the gospel, which is the power of God unto salvation (that’s divine providence at work.)
As we reflect now together, and draw wisdom from the living Word of God, which reveals His sovereign plan in shaping our journeys of faith let’s see what we may discover.
1. Time: Divine Appointments for Gospel Opportunities.
God’s Word assures us that time is not merely a sequence of events but a tapestry of divine appointments designed for the advancement of the gospel. “Galatians 4:4” proclaims, “But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son.” Every moment, every encounter, is perfectly ordained by our Heavenly Father to fulfil His redemptive plan.
As we reflect on the people who have crossed our paths, in the past or even today, and will do in all of our tomorrow, let’s acknowledge God’s hand at work in the timing of those meetings. “Acts 17:26-27” reminds us, “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.“
Trusting in His perfect timing should fill us with awe, knowing that every encounter holds the potential for the proclamation of the gospel and the transformation of lives.
2. The Heart’s Alignment: A Passion for the Gospel.
Picture our hearts ablaze with an unquenchable passion for the gospel. As we immerse ourselves in the living Word of God, allowing His truth to penetrate the depths of our being. Let’s draw inspiration from the life of the apostle Paul, whose heart was set aflame for the gospel. In “Acts 9”, we witness the transformative power of encountering Christ on the road to Damascus. From that moment on, Paul’s life became a fervent pursuit of sharing the good news of salvation.
Let’s take to heart Paul’s prayer in “Ephesians 3:16-19”, where he petitions God to strengthen believers with power through His Spirit, so that Christ may dwell in their hearts. Let’s pray that the Holy Spirit will ignite our hearts with a passionate pursuit of God’s purposes, aligning our desires with His perfect will.
Consider the example of the early disciples, who were filled with boldness and zeal for the gospel after receiving the Holy Spirit at Pentecost “Acts 2.” Their transformed hearts propelled them to proclaim the good news fearlessly, even in the face of opposition.
We are called upon to nurture our passion for the gospel through prayer, studying Scripture, and cultivating a deep relationship with God. Many, just live out the ritual of discipleship fulfilling all the rules but never experience a true heart of passion for the lost, speaking nice things but never telling the truth and making personal invitations to come into life. As we nurture our passion our desires will be refined, and our hearts will beat in harmony with God’s purpose, attracting others who share our fervour for Christ and joining us in the mission of spreading His salvation.
When we align the desires of our hearts with the will of God, an extraordinary transformation occurs. Our hearts, once driven by self-centred ambitions, become instruments in the hands of God, guiding us towards purposeful connections for the sake of the gospel. The desires of our hearts, when aligned with God’s will, become instruments of God that guide us toward purposeful connections for the sake of the gospel.
The psalmist beautifully captures this longing in “Psalm 119:36”, where he pleads, “Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain.” In this heartfelt prayer, we recognise the importance of redirecting our desires towards God’s truth, relinquishing our selfish inclinations and embracing His divine purpose.
As we immerse ourselves in Scripture, our hearts are transformed to prioritise the proclamation of the gospel and the expansion of God’s kingdom. Immersing ourselves in Scripture is the catalyst for this transformation. As we dive deep into the Word of God, His truth begins to saturate our hearts and minds. It is through this immersion that our hearts are refined, moulded, and renewed, causing our desires to align with God’s ultimate plan. Our priorities shift, and the proclamation of the gospel takes centre stage in our lives. We become passionate ambassadors of Christ, driven by the expansion of His kingdom and the salvation of souls.
As we cultivate a heart surrendered to God’s leading through His Word, our desires are refined and directed towards relationships that honour Him. “Romans 10:1” echoes the transformed heart’s cry, as the apostle Paul shares his deep longing for his fellow brethren saying, “Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.” His heart’s passion aligns with God’s will, as he earnestly intercedes for the salvation of others.
This heartfelt prayer serves as a reminder that a surrendered heart, captivated by the gospel, seeks to see others encounter the life-changing power of Jesus. Embracing the passion for the gospel, we attract individuals. Something remarkable happens. Our transformed desires draw like-minded individuals towards us those who share the same profound love for Christ and a burning desire to proclaim His salvation. Together, we form a vibrant community united in purpose and mission. We find ourselves surrounded by kindred spirits, individuals who understand the significance of the gospel and its transformative impact on lives. Those who share a deep love for Christ join us in the mission of proclaiming His salvation.
These purposeful connections become vital in our journey of faith. They provide encouragement, accountability, and a collective effort to reach the lost with the message of redemption. With hearts aligned with God’s will, we embark on this mission, hand in hand, to make disciples of all nations, just as Jesus commanded us “Matthew 28:19.” In this united pursuit, we discover the profound joy of fulfilling God’s purpose for our lives and experiencing the power of the gospel in action.
Therefore, let us continuously cultivate a heart surrendered to God, immersing ourselves in His Word and allowing His truth to shape our desires. May we echo the psalmist’s prayer, asking God to incline our hearts to His testimonies, so that we may be guided away from selfish gain and towards His divine purpose. And as our hearts align with God’s will, may we find ourselves surrounded by fellow believers who share in the passion for the gospel, working together to proclaim Christ’s salvation to the ends of the earth.
3. Conduct: Living Out the Power of the Gospel.
Envision your life as a radiant reflection of the gospel’s transformative power. Our conduct, guided by the indwelling Spirit, becomes a living testament to God’s love, grace, and forgiveness.
When we look at Jesus, we see the perfect embodiment of the gospel message. He lived a life of selfless love, compassion, and unwavering commitment to righteousness. Through His conduct, Jesus drew people to Himself and ultimately to salvation.
In the early church, we see how the conduct of believers brought about incredible transformation and growth. “Acts 2:42-47” depicts a community marked by their devotion to teaching, fellowship, breaking bread, and prayer. Their conduct reflected the power of the gospel and drew others into the fold of believers.
In “Colossians 4:5-6”, the apostle Paul encourages believers to conduct themselves wisely toward outsiders, making the most of every opportunity to share the gospel. As we embrace a posture of humility, gentleness, and kindness, we will know that our conduct can serve as a bridge to lead others to Christ.
In “Matthew 5:16”, Jesus instructs His followers to let their light shine before others, so that they may see their good deeds and glorify their Father in heaven. Let’s walk in the footsteps of Christ, abhorring what is evil and holding fast to what is good “Romans 12:9.” Let genuine love permeate our relationships, showing honour and selflessness to others.
Our conduct, shaped by the power of the gospel, influences the quality and impact of our relationships. By allowing the transformative power of the gospel to work in us, our actions become a reflection of God’s love and grace.
In the tapestry of our lives, our conduct serves as a testament to the power of the gospel to bring salvation and transformation. “1 Peter 3:15” reminds us, “But in your hearts honour Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defence to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you.“
Through our words and actions, we draw others to experience the life-changing power of the gospel, fostering relationships grounded in truth and eternal significance.
As we navigate the intricacies of daily life, let our conduct be a testament to the life-changing power of the gospel. Seeking to emulate Christ in our words, actions, and attitudes. Let love be our guiding principle, not only in your interactions with fellow believers but also in our relationships with those who have yet to experience the transformative grace of God.
Remember that our conduct speaks volumes about the God we serve. When others observe our actions aligned with the gospel, they will be drawn to the truth and hope found in Jesus. Our conduct will become a living testimony, inviting others to inquire about the reason for the hope that resides within you “1 Peter 3:15.”
In the vast tapestry of divine providence, we discover that every encounter, every connection, is an opportunity to bring glory to our Heavenly Father and participate in the advancement of His kingdom.
Through the perfect timing of divine appointments, our hearts aligned with a fiery passion for the gospel, and our conduct shining with the transformative power of the gospel, we become vessels for God’s grace to flow through us.
Therefore, with resounding conviction, let us respond to the call of divine providence. Let us approach each interaction with intentionality, recognising the eternal impact it can have. Boldly and creatively proclaiming the gospel, both in words and deeds, knowing that it is the power of God unto salvation for all who believe “Romans 1:16.”
May we seize the divine appointments that God orchestrates, engaging in conversations that point others to Christ and His redemptive work. Let’s live with a burning passion for the gospel, aligning our desires with His purposes, and seeking opportunities to share the hope we have in Jesus.
And may our conduct be a living testimony of God’s transforming power, reflecting His love, grace, and forgiveness in every aspect of our lives. Let’s be the light shining in the darkness, drawing others to experience the life-changing message of salvation.
As we navigate the dance of time, heart, conduct, and the power of the gospel, let’s remember that we are not mere bystanders in the tapestry of life. We are called to actively participate in God’s redemptive plan, being ambassadors of reconciliation and heralds of the good news.
So, let us go forth, clothed in the armour of God “Ephesians 6:10-18”, with hearts burning for the gospel, eyes open to divine appointments, and conduct that shines His light into the darkness. Let us make a difference in the lives of those we encounter, pointing them to the ultimate encounter with Jesus Christ, who offers eternal salvation and abundant life.
In this divine dance of faith, we discover the profound truth that every thread, every encounter, is an opportunity to glorify our Heavenly Father and participate in the advancement of His kingdom. May we embrace this calling with fervour, knowing that through us, God can change lives, restore brokenness, and bring salvation to a world in desperate need?
The choice is yours and mine (as for me I’m jumping in once again) – are you ready to step into the tapestry of divine providence and be a vessel for the power of the gospel with me?
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