Wednesday, February 28, 2007

God Does Care

By the time we reach day 6 of creation, everything was made ready for God to put living creatures on the earth he has just created. Day one we saw that he earth was formless, void, deep waters and so God created the light and separated it from the darkness. Days two and three he then separated the waters and created the atmosphere, and then he separated the water on the earth. Day four God created vegetation, followed by the creation of the sun, moon, galaxies.

In all of this, we see that the earth was the focus of God’s creation. For example, Genesis 1.1 tells us God created the heavens and the earth and then in Genesis 1.2, God speaks about what is happening on the earth. Day six tells us of the creation of animals and then Adam - the pinnacle of creation.

The importance of this is not the exaltation of humans – God is exalted. But it does speak about God's unique relationship with man and one of the main messages from Genesis 1 is God's care and provision for his creatures.

This is what makes evolution so revolting. Not only do they deny God but they deny God's care. The very one who gives them food and clothing (and many other blessings) is the very one they deny. They do not live a life of thankfulness, bowing down in worship to the God who cares for them.

The great crime of evolution is not only the denial of God as Creator but is also the unthankful nature of humans to the One who supplies the very air they breath. God has given us so many blessings, all graciously given for our enjoyment, and we are raising a generation to deny God - but even more so - God's intimate care.

No wonder Satan works overtime with evolution. He ultimately sends out the message that there is no God who cares - what a lie! God in His goodness supplied all that men and women would need – he did not leave anything in creation that would leave man wanting and he created it for their enjoyment.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Let's ... Go To A Funeral ... It's Friday

I remember being at one funeral and during the reception after the service, a bunch of friends gathered in the church parking lot with the tailgate down, drinking. Inside the reception, a brochure was handed out detailing an upcoming gathering at the local pub in rembrance of the young man who passed away.

I was reading this morning Ecclesiastes 7.2-4: It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart. Sorrow is better than laughter, because a sad face is good for the heart. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning, but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure. We live in a generation who can not stand being in the house of mourning - they lived now - in the house of pleasure.

I recently attended another funeral which was not a house of mourning for the loss of a loved one but the house of celebration of a life lived. Now, that is true - but there were also many tears. Why can we not bring ourselves to think upon death today and enter the reality of sorrow?

And that is the point of the preacher in Ecclesiastes - death is common to all and it is good to be found in the house of mourning once and a while as it brings us back to reality - life lived in the presence of God.

How is a sad face good for the heart? Do you ever hear that from the world - or even the church? If you are sad something is wrong and you must get rid of it quickly and superficially. The preacher, however, tells us it is good for the heart. And it is precisely because we then come face to face with God - and that is a good place to be. In suffering, God brings his children into his tender and caring presence and ministers to them, giving them a longing for more of Him. He is a jealous God who loves us too much to allow us to love the world too much.

A house of mourning ... a sad face ... take it to heart and you will find a wise and all powerful God who draws us to Him.

Friday, February 02, 2007

3 Warnings From Jesus

The Bible is extremely practical in how we may live out our faith. There are many warnings from the lips of Jesus as he walked on earth - here are three.

Matthew 16.6: Be careful, Jesus said to them, Be on your guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees. There is false teaching that needs to be avoided otherwise, like yeast, it will penetrate the entire body. If we are to live faithful lives for Christ, if we are to be his faithful followers, we must be careful, be on our guard against false teachings.

Matthew 26.40-41: Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. Could you men not watch with me for one hour? he asked Peter. Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing but the body is weak. Thank God that he knows our weaknesses, but that does not take away from watching and praying. I think there is a special warning here when our bodies are weak - tired, depressed, suffering in some way. We need to watch that we do not fall into temptation like Peter would later on and deny that he ever knew Jesus. Sin is a denial of our relationship with God and we need to guard against tempation.

Luke 12.15: Then he said to them: Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions. How necessary to hear this warning from Jesus. We need to watch out and be on guard against taking the good things in creation and making them gods we worship. Yes, in our society we call them misplaced priorities but the Bible calls it greed - a sin.

This is a sampling to show that part of our walk will be to stand guard against sin - watch out, be careful, stand firm, be immovable - that is part of the calling of a believer.