The history of redemption is not composed of isolated events, nor of points of action independent of others. It is a stream that blends the actions of men into the will of God.
Preaching to multitudes brings thousands into the church of God. Among them arises the need to care for their widows. The process fails, a group complains, the apostles call everyone together, and men are chosen to feed the forsaken. From this group arises Stephen, who, it would appear, from service to widows also moves to powerful sermons to hostile hearers.
His death brings a young scholar to the fore, who leads the persecution of Christians, which in turn God uses to get the gospel out of Jerusalem and into Samaria.
This short section of the book of Acts demonstrates well the interplay between God and man, and the sequencing of kingdom events.
… the witnesses laid their cloaks at the feet of a young man named Saul.
Acts 7.58 NET
It is not merely a literary feature that Luke often ties stories together. Rather, it is God who weaves both the sin and the obedience of mankind into the progress of the gospel.
And so he does with us as well. And so should we see the hand of God sweeping over all of history, his fingers playing the keys of times and moments and men.
Father, help me to see each moment and decision as a part of the whole, as a step toward the goal, as a piece of your plan to bring salvation to all. Thank you for guiding history to its conclusion. I rest easy in your sovereign will and your benevolent intent in Christ. Amen.
Hold this thought: I will move with God today.