I Believe in Impossible Things – The Creation

I am beginning a new set of devotional thoughts about believing in impossible things. I pray that they will bless you.

THE CREATION

It is amazing how deeply divided the world is about our origins. I sometimes wonder about my family’s heritage. I know my father’s side of the family goes back to Ireland, but know nothing before 1794. My mother’s family comes from Norwegian backgrounds. But we go back further, I suppose, and I don’t know anything before the first of my ancestors that came to America.

Genesis 1:1 boldly declares that God created the world (John  1:1; Revelation 4:11).images (29) He made the planet, he divided light from darkness, he split the sky from the land, he made day and night, sun and moon, plants, animals, birds, sea creatures, and human beings. Pretty impressive! Every day the earth and the natural things in it “declare the glory of the Lord!” (Psalm 19:1; 57:5; 108:5; 4:11).

Then there is the belief that science has explained the origins of the world as accidental and natural, or some outside intelligence (God or someone or something else) is responsible for the initiation of an evolutionary process that developed and evolved over millions of years; one thing becoming another thing, evolving and adapting over time to become what we know of humans and animals now.

Which track is true? I personally have never, ever doubted that God created the world. I have never once believed that evolution (other than macro-evolution; which as I understand it is basically environmental adaption) has had a single thing to do with the beginnings of this world and how it continues to exist.

In a modern and a post-modern world, where evolution and skepticism is normal, I believe in the impossibility that God created the world as we know it, with plants and animals and humans and everything pretty much the same as when he created but has also been effected by the poison and cancer of sin.

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Events That Changed Everything

My church will begin a new adventure in September. It is called Events That Changed Everything. It is the story in the Bible; God and humanity, sin and salvation, loss and hope, joy and eternity.

We live in a society of sound bytes. And Christians have a tendency to study the Bible in a similar manner. Taking a verse, or a passage and missing the big picture. The Bible has context. It presents a story and history and each Bible study sound byte fits in and knowing how it fits helps with understanding and meaning and depth of meaning.

Here’s the goals we have for Events:

Events That Changed Everything will help the Bible unfold before you through the progression of Bible events and characters arranged chronologically.

Beginning with creation, everyone who participates will discover a new and deeper understanding and appreciation of the Bible with each sermon, each Bible lesson, and your own Bible reading.

You will:

  •  Understand the basic story line in the Bible
  •  Realize how you can be a part of God’s ongoing story
  •  Understand how God’s story has the power to change lives
  •  Increase Biblical understanding and knowledge and build an appetite for the Bible
  •  De-mystify Bible study
  •  And introduce Bible study resources and ongoing Bible study opportunities

Sunday, September 4th we will begin our journey in the Bible’s story with the Creation.

Share in our adventure as we experience the Bible as a whole and share these things with you here.

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In the Image

It is very curious that the one need, our basic need as humans, is that people cannot find God.  He is everywhere, not like the pantheist who believe that he is in the trees, the water, the sky, that every object is the embodiment of god ( go to this link for a full definition, http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/pantheism/ ).  I wonder if this is where the idolatrous concept of “Mother Nature” comes from.

We need God.  We’re searching for him in the creation (rocks, plants, trees, clouds, etc.) but we deny that he is God.  There may be intelligent design, but many like atheist Richard Dawkins, author of The God Delusion, said in Ben Stein’s movie, Expelled, the idea that there is a God or gods whoever they are is unacceptable.  If a being of intelligence created the world, the only, the only logical conclusion about who it is is that intelligent designer is a god, or the God.

Paul wrote in Romans 1:19, “that which is known about God is evident within them, for God made it evident to them” (from the New American Standard Version of the Bible).

What was it Pascal said?  We were created with a God-shaped vacuum (hole) that only God can fill.  How is that?

Paul wrote that God made it evident that there is a God and we human beings know it.  We know it because we were created in God’s image.

And people like Richard Dawkins deny there is the possibility of God.  As Vizzini said in the movie The Princess Bride, “Inconceivable!

It’s totally conceivable because it is in me to know God.  And when I finally learn and accept that there is a God, I find that he has revealed himself to me.

He has shown himself to me in love as I first received it from my mother and many, many others.   He has shown himself to me in Jesus because he is the image of the invisible God (Colossians 1:15) and all things were created by him, through him, and for him (Col. 1:16).  I look at Jesus and I see God.  He has shown himself to me through his revealed scriptures, the Bible.

If God had left it up to we see God in creation without an explanation, I wouldn’t know who he is.  He identified himself by telling me about himself.  I wonder what the interview would be like.

Science is probing further into our world and farther outside of our world, and most of us have never dreamed we could reach that far or that it all goes that far, but what we will discover is an endless line of discovery which will lead to research and what the scientists will learn, if they will open their minds is that not only is there a god, they will learn who God is, because he has identified himself.  He is a personal God and we mean by that, that he didn’t just make things and leave us as the Deist believe (such as Thomas Jefferson and Albert Einstein believed), but that he continues to be involved in this here world and everything that he creates.

“Since the creation of the world God’s invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made” Romans 1:20.  It’s all there.  it’s all right there in the natural world that God is and that he is divine and powerful.

I get it because I have the image of God impressed in me and I fill that impression with God.

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Learning About the Creation

The more recent posts have had a lot to do with creation.  God being creator and creating this world that we live in.

I recommend the Institute for Creation Research as a strong and outstanding resource for understanding creation.  It is not that it relates back to the Bible and the Creator, but that it is truthful and factual and therefore points back to the Bible and the Creator who is God.

http://www.icr.org/aaf/

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I Didn’t Make Myself

Truthfully, I don’t think I have ever heard of anyone who claimed to have personally created themselves.  There are self-made people, but that has to do with who they are not their very existence.  The evolutionist, those who believe evolution is real, wouldn’t dare claim that they created themselves.  Something else did.  Actually, someone else did!

In the movie “Expelled” by Ben Stein, you know the teacher from the movie “Ferris Buehler’s Day Off” and the show, “Win Ben Stein’s Money,” he talks with atheist Richard Dawkins.  Interesting conversation.  Dawkins believes that there is the possibility of an intelligent designer, but rejects the idea that this intelligent designer is the God or a god of any sort.  It cannot be the Hebrew God, the Christian God, the Hindu god or gods, or any possibility of god, a non-personal or a personal god.  He totally rejects that.  He wouldn’t want that!

I reject the concept of “Mother Nature.”  Nature is God’s creation.  The God of the Bible, the Hebrew and Christian God.  Nature is not our creator, or even a god over us.  The Bible rejects the notion that there is no God and teaches there is only one true God.  “In the beginning God…” (Genesis 1:1); “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God” (John 1:1).  The forever existent, self-existent being — GOD!  Hmm!  Pre-existent to creation, existing outside of time and space and existing beyond the end of the world and time.  Everlasting God is who He is.

So, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1). From that point God created time (day and night, the seasons, the week – 7 days long) and created various aspects of what we have on this planet (land and sea, plants and animals and sea-creature, the sun, moon and stars) and human beings and you and I are related to Adam and Eve the progenitors of all humanity (Read Genesis 1).

I was created through conception and birth, a picture of the creation of man in my mind.  I didn’t make myself.  God made me and gave me breath and life.  Now, I can take my life (that’d be pretty bad) and I can ruin my life and I can run from God and deny him if I please (which is also very bad).  God gave us that prerogative; free-will, the freedom to choose right and wrong, the freedom to obey or disobey God.  In that, I guess I could be a self-made man, but I choose to let God’s creating continue in me.  To recreate, to renew my life through faith and hope in Jesus.

My physical make-up shows me without having to look into some high-powered microscope and see the depth of the detail of my cells and the molecules that make up my body.  It’s natural functions, breathing, eating and digestion, etc., tell me that there is a God and Jesus reveals who that God is (Romans 1:19-20), Yahweh the creator God who is Lord of creation and the whole world.  He rules from a throne in the spiritual realm and enters the physical world through Jesus, through messages from angels and prophets, through his Holy Spirit who is in the Christian, remaking me every day into the image and likeness of Christ who is the image and exact representation of God.

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together” Colossians 1:14-17, NIV.

I am his because he created me and because he has recreated me through Christ.

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ID-ing God

“There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God, the Creator, made known through Jesus”  Blaise Pascal, 1623-1662, French Mathematician, Philosopher & Physicist.

I’m sure that a lot of people when they try to picture God see in their minds the picture Michael Angelo painted on the roof of the Sistine Chapel in Rome, Italy.  God looks like what we think Abraham or Moses might have looked like.  Older, long gray hair and beard, with a firm, determined or an angry look on his face.

Pascal, who I know very little about and I’m not even sure what the context of the above quote is from, noted our need for God.  He described us as having a God-shaped vacuum or a hole in us that only God can fill.  There is this spiritual longing and an emotional search to fill this void.

The search has involved for a lot of different people, forays into a variety of religions, beliefs, philosophies, drug experimentation and alcohol.  Many have attempted to fulfill this “need” with sexual addictions; food issues, work, and anything that is possible.

Honestly, there is a severe need to find out who God is.  Many miss him because they are looking in the wrong places and those systems and addictions capture them and keep them in a bondage that makes it almost impossible to discover God, but he can be found.

…. what may be known about God is plain to humanity, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from has been made….” Romans 1:19-20

If we were simply left to our own search and discovery, than all we might learn about God is that there is some force, spirit, power, or something like that out there.  We wouldn’t know anything about this being.  God has chosen for us to be able to discover that he is there, and he is now often called by those who are trying to determine the earth’s origins an intelligent designer.

Science as it delves deeper into the molecules and atoms and the make-up of our world, continues to discover more and more, without end, and are struggling to believe it is chance.  So much for evolution.  Telescopes and space probes keep learning more and searching farther as if there is no end.  What we learn is that none of this is chance or accident but there was purpose and intelligent thought behind it all.  What or who is that intelligent designer?

It is God!  How do we know it is God?  Because he didn’t just leave it up to our interpreting creation to figure it out.  He chose to reveal himself beyond the world of natural science.  He chose to tell himself about us.  He chose to show himself to us.

Finding God is more than realizing and believing that he is.  That is a key element.  “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those  who earnestly seek him” Hebrews 11:6

If you search for God he will find you.  It won’t matter if you are in the heart of NYC or a desert island in the South Pacific all alone.  He will find you because it is obvious that you want to believe.

One Sunday in late summer of 2008, I shared with around 30 teens about the problem of evil.  The previous two times I was there I shared with them that God loves them and no matter what the trouble may be that they go through and that ultimately, all bad stuff comes from sin, even sickness and disease.

This particular Sunday, I took them to the book of Job.  After explaining the benefits of pain and suffering, we wouldn’t know there was a problem without pain, physical and emotional, and stuff like that, I shared with them about how Job had questioned God about it all.  And showed them how God answered Job.  Job didn’t know the ins and outs of creation, of exactly how great and powerful it is.  He didn’t understand just how God controlled and maintained this world, even caring for Job in the trouble he was going through.

God showed Job that simple faith and trust in him was all that Job had to worry about.  God had control.

One young lady, originally from Russia, had been seeking God.  She asked me a few questions and said, “I don’t know if I believe in God, but I want to.” Over the next 3 or 4 months until she left the program, we worked on developing her faith in God.

She was asking and searching and God sent a messenger to show her the way to him.  In this case the one sent was me.

So, what is God like?  We’re going to find out.

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