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Posts Tagged ‘creation’

Come Before God With Thanksgiving

November 28, 2013 1 comment

The beginning of the first proclamation of a national day of Thanksgiving from 1789. – by George Washington.  (before it became a yearly thing)

‘Whereas, it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the Providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, humbly implore his protection and favor…”

The goal was always to thank God for his provisions. That is what Thanksgiving is about!

Why is God where our Thanksgiving beings, as it says in verse 2 “come before him with Thanksgiving.”

He gives Salvation to us

The Psalm reminds us that God is the Rock of our salvation. Right now there is turmoil in families all over the world.  If we were left to our own devices to somehow obtain salvation and make sense of it all, it would be like trying to build a mansion on the beach with no foundation.  Sure, you might get by for a while, but the wind and waves will come at some point and the house will be destroyed.

We can be thankful today that despite all the changes in our culture, positive or negative, that God does not change.  We can be thankful that He still saves sinful people from the mess of sin we are in.  He takes us and places us on the Rock, Christ Jesus.

He Made it All & is Over It All

In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land – Psalm 95:4-5

 There is purpose and order in the creation.  No matter what is going on at any given moment, God is still the real King.  Why?  Because He made it all.  I mean try to imagine this scene.  The depths of the earth in his hand.  The mountain peaks, some of which people have never climbed, and never will climb, are his.  The sea in all its splendor is God’s. He owns it because He made it.    I mean I have made some amazing things with Lincoln Logs and Legos,  but never anything as amazing as the universe, the depths of which we can never fully grasp.

This makes my heart burst with thanksgiving because it tells me that God is always on the throne.  God is never surprised by anything that happens.  There is no molecule in the universe that he is not aware of.   He made it all.  He knows it all.    It reassures me that no matter what I am going through, no matter how alone I might feel, I can find comfort in knowing that God knows exactly what is going on.

He Knows and is Involved With us Personally

This is where it gets crazy.  God over everything, but He knows everyone personally, individually.   It is one thing to recognize that there is a God who is over everything, who is larger than anything. Many people believe in a “higher power.”  But, the difference here is that God is personal and involved in our lives.

Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; – Psalm 95:6

He is our maker.  That means we are not a mistake and not junk.  Ephesians 2:10 says that we are God’s handiwork, His masterpiece.  He has molded each person individually like an artist does with clay.

So, as we gather today we give start by giving thanks to God because in Him is where our Thanksgiving begins.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!  

 

An Ordered World Demands An Ordered Beginning

March 27, 2013 2 comments

I went to the store and bought some jelly beans to give to my class.  As they entered, I gave them all some of them.  Why did they have jellybeans?

Ordered and beautiful -- can't be random

Ordered and beautiful — can’t be random

This is not a challenging question, is it?  They have jellybeans because I gave them some.  If I didn’t go to the store, pick them out, and bring them with me for my students, would they have jellybeans?  If the people in the factory somewhere didn’t put the ingredients together and package them, would I have been able to buy them?

This is something that we refer to as cause and effect.  As we live our lives, we operate under this all the time.  It basically tells us that all that we see around us is contingent upon something else.  We have light because we have the sun providing that light.   We find that even as knowledgeable as our medical community is, their expertise only goes so far to sustain a human life.  We are contingent upon things outside of our self to live.

Science for years has attempted to make a fool out of those of us who adhere to a Creator.  They say that our views are closed minded and dangerous.   Their position holds true, even if they are throwing a lot of observations out the window by ignoring the order of the Universe.  Could I shake up mud long enough to create something?  Could I take a bowl of sugar and stare at it while it morphs into a bag of cult colored, multi-flavored jellybeans?  That would take a lot more faith, in my mind, than to believe there is a God who ordered things.

Job, in the Old Testament, had a real crisis of faith.  He lost everything in short order and had his wife and his friends offer less than helpful advice.  Job eventually goes to God and complains about all of it.  God reminds him of some important truths that hit at the very heart of this debate about origin.

“Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?  Tell me, if you understand.  Who marked off its dimensions?  Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it?  On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone — while morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy? ”  - Job 38:4-7

“Have you entered the storehouses of the snow or seen the storehouses of the hail, which I reserve for times of trouble for days of war and battle?  What is the way to the place where the lightning is disperse or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth?” – Job 38:22-24

Job finally understands the role that God played in ordering the Universe and in the daily affairs of it.  God has been personally involved with His creation.  He is able to be known and desires to be known by us.  This is a profound truth that sets Christianity apart from other worldviews.

“I know you can do all things; no plan of yours can be thwarted…..surely I spoke of things I did not understand, things too wonderful for me to know. – Job 42:2-3

Where did this cupcake come from?  Did it just appear?

Where did this cupcake come from? Did it just appear?

There must be some reason why everything is here.  I know that humanity has long thought that they could obtain some sort of autonomy, but any rational thinker knows that can’t be true.  We do not control as much as we might think we do.  So much is said about happiness and making things happen for yourself.  We control so little and we need to understand this.  No matter who we are, or what we believe, we need to have some sort of answer for where it all began.  If the big bang is the best that science can come up with, then who is it that is living by more faith?

The bottom line is that an ordered world demands an ordered beginning.  You can’t have an ordered beginning without some sort of design.  You can’t have a design without a designer.  It all points to God, not to some random, coincidental happening.

Snow!

December 31, 2012 2 comments

Well, we did get a little bit of snow, as my son had been praying for.  I guess we can count Christmas this year.  The bad news is that two of my children were sick, and the power was out for about 10 hours.  It was a beautiful sight, though.

snowbranch

snow branch 2

snow branch 3

Come Before God With Thanksgiving

November 22, 2012 Leave a comment

The beginning of the first proclamation of a national day of Thanksgiving from 1789. – by George Washington.  (before it became a yearly thing)

‘Whereas, it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the Providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, humbly implore his protection and favor…”

The goal was always to thank God for his provisions. That is what Thanksgiving is about!

Why is God where our Thanksgiving beings, as it says in verse 2 “come before him with Thanksgiving.”

He gives Salvation to us

The Psalm reminds us that God is the Rock of our salvation. Right now there is turmoil in families all over the world.  If we were left to our own devices to somehow obtain salvation and make sense of it all, it would be like trying to build a mansion on the beach with no foundation.  Sure, you might get by for a while, but the wind and waves will come at some point and the house will be destroyed.

We can be thankful today that despite all the changes in our culture, positive or negative, that God does not change.  We can be thankful that He still saves sinful people from the mess of sin we are in.  He takes us and places us on the Rock, Christ Jesus.

He Made it All & is Over It All

In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land – Psalm 95:4-5

 There is purpose and order in the creation.  No matter what is going on at any given moment, God is still the real King.  Why?  Because He made it all.  I mean try to imagine this scene.  The depths of the earth in his hand.  The mountain peaks, some of which people have never climbed, and never will climb, are his.  The sea in all its splendor is God’s. He owns it because He made it.    I mean I have made some amazing things with Lincoln Logs and Legos,  but never anything as amazing as the universe, the depths of which we can never fully grasp.

This makes my heart burst with thanksgiving because it tells me that God is always on the throne.  God is never surprised by anything that happens.  There is no molecule in the universe that he is not aware of.   He made it all.  He knows it all.    It reassures me that no matter what I am going through, no matter how alone I might feel, I can find comfort in knowing that God knows exactly what is going on.

He Knows and is Involved With us Personally

This is where it gets crazy.  God over everything, but He knows everyone personally, individually.   It is one thing to recognize that there is a God who is over everything, who is larger than anything. Many people believe in a “higher power.”  But, the difference here is that God is personal and involved in our lives.

Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; – Psalm 95:6

He is our maker.  That means we are not a mistake and not junk.  Ephesians 2:10 says that we are God’s handiwork, His masterpiece.  He has molded each person individually like an artist does with clay.

So, as we gather today we give start by giving thanks to God because in Him is where our Thanksgiving begins.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!  

 

God’s Masterpiece

November 15, 2012 2 comments

It is easy to notice the creativity of God this time of year.  The leaves are turning colors, and the seasons are changing.

The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of his hands. – Psalm 19:1

 

There is beauty in the creation that gives us a glimpse of God’s glory.  Even more amazing is that all of us are God’s handiwork.  We are literally His masterpiece!    Maybe you don’t feel like that today.   We know that God does not make mistakes and He makes us all by His own hand.

For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do – Ephesians 2:10

 

The Answer That is in Plain Sight

July 5, 2012 1 comment

It is in here somewhere

They search and they search and they search for something other than God.  They find all kinds of things that point to God, but they are not satisfied.  The answer is never good enough, so they keep looking. They find a particle, which has been labeled the God particle, and assume they have found an origin to life.  The irony of it is that they are trying too hard to find some elusive particle.  God has been here all along and is the only explanation that makes sense.

Months back I saw a documentary called “Proving God” where some priests who were scientists talked about evolution and God.  They made many claims in that show, but didn’t prove too much of anything.  The one area that was just coming to light  at the time was this “God Particle.”   Now months later, they think they have found it.     While so quick to claim that everything somehow stems from this particle, no one in the science community appears to want to claim that maybe there is a God after all.  No one asks where that particle came from.   There is no answer for that.  They just jump up and down with excitement that they have found it.

Scripture talks a lot about the intricate nature of the Creation.  It is incredible.  The details like the angle of the Earth, the perfect amount of oxygen and nitrogen in the atmosphere, and the distance we are from the sun, all are too good to have just happened.  The way our bodies function have been researched for years and there are still things to learn.  God has designed it all.  There is mystery to it, but that is alright because we don’t have to know everything about everything.  We just need to know who did it.

Look what God made!

I look at my children and I see their simple trust.  They get up each morning without a thought of wars, bills to pay, or the notion that they could be in danger at any given moment.  They are not worried about those things because they are taken care of by people they can trust.  Parents have this bond with their children.  Children do not know everything and don’t bother to even ask.  My kids look out the window and exclaim things like  “wow, dad, God did a good job.”  They don’t go digging in the ground looking for some clue as to where we came from.  They just accept it and move on.  Sure, they ask why God made snakes or spiders, but they don’t ask me to prove that it was God and not a big bang that they originated from.

In the Gospels, Jesus was surrounded by little children and His disciples rebuked them for supposedly wasting Jesus’ time.  But, Jesus responds and illustrates perfectly what it means to have trust in God.

“Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.  I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” Luke 18:16-17

Children just trust

Yes, there is a lot we don’t know and much more to the universe than we could ever fully grasp.  That doesn’t mean we can’t believe in God, it means that we must believe in God.  There is no amount of digging for particles that will satisfy the answer to the origin of the universe and the ultimate state of humanity.  It is only when we allow ourselves to let God be God that we truly find that the answer we have been looking for has been right in front of us all the time.

“As a father has compassion on his children, so the LORD has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.  As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the filed; the wind blow over it and it is done, and it place remembers it no more.” – Psalm 103:13-16

If you want to understand creation, ask the Creator.

December 18, 2011 2 comments

To make sense of a created world, one would need to start with the creator. At least that makes sense to me. For example, my children often draw pictures that I hang in my office.  These pictures are thought through and make sense to them.  Often, though, I need to ask them what they have drawn because it is not clear to me.  The picture I posted here may, or may not make sense to you.  I know it is my son and I fishing, but I wouldn’t have known that unless I had asked the author about it.

I bring this up because I watched a History Channel documentary the other night titled “Proving God.”  The two hour program was devoted to using science to help prove there is a God.  But, does it really make sense to use science to find God?  After all, God is the creator of everything, including science.  So, while the created world would point to a creator, and it does, one would not automatically be able to locate God through science.  God is not bound by His creation.  In order to prove God, they would need to start with God as the starting point and then look for ways creation shows He exists, not the other way around.

I am not a scientist, so I have a limited understanding of all of the complicated processes they used.  I just had a few things I thought were worth mentioning here.

1- They showed that the parting of the Red Sea in Exodus chapter 14 could scientifically have happened, even if it would have been an extremely rare occurrence.   They found that given perfect conditions, the wind could push the water back and then have it fall down abruptly on Pharaoh’s army, as the Bible states.   This event was too perfectly timed to be simply a coincidence, which shows that this story is legitimate and something only God could have done.

2-    One of the scientists said that the church has admitted they were wrong about creation and that the big bang happened.  I don’t remember ever seeing that in the Bible.   They also say that God, or the “big banger”, essentially started the creation of the universe and then watched it all fall into place randomly.  This is counter the Genesis account, where we do see God specifically designing everything, including people.   God was hands on with creation and put everything together with detail and perfection.

Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He who brings out the starry hose one by one and calls them each by name.  Because of his great power and mighty strength, not one of them is missing. - Isaiah 40: 26

3-  Can science give purpose or meaning to life? The answers to life’s meaning and the significance of mankind is far too elaborate to be limited by some scientific method.   Something else must provide purpose and meaning for our lives; it cannot come from inside of us.

4-  Even with the empirical evidence, it is hard to discount personal experiences. Ask believers around the world how God has worked in their lives and you will get testimony of His work in their lives.  Is everyone crazy?  How about miracles?  When someone is healed from a disease, is that a result of their body just healing itself or is there a healer?

I believe that science will never be satisfied with what they find because they will never be able to disprove God.  They do these studies and only prove that the Biblical accounts are real, which then complicates their science further.  The bottom line here is that no scientist will ever really make sense of the created world without acknowledging that there is a Creator.

He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. – John 1: 10