All Posts Tagged: Genesis
We live by faith, not by sight. 2 Corinthians 5:7
If you spent money today, you operated by faith! A one dollar bill is only paper. Nonetheless, it has power. Why? Note the words “The United States of America.” They represent the authority of the federal government. Second, observe the words “Federal Reserve Note.” The government promises that your piece of paper has $1 worth of purchasing power. The third element is trust. If neither the seller nor buyer has trust in the governing authority, the paper becomes worthless! Finally, the system requires action: selling and buying. These are the mechanics of faith: authority, promise, trust and action.
A rather humorous Bible story demonstrates faith. Abraham and Sarah had been childless their entire marriage. At age 75 Abraham was promised a baby boy by the Maker. Sarah laughed at the promise. Can you blame her? Nonetheless, “The Lord was good to Sarah and kept His promise. Although Abraham was 100 years old, Sarah had a son exactly at the time God had said. Abraham named his son Isaac (meaning he laughs).”(Genesis 22:1-3)
Years later Paul commented: “Abram never wavered in believing God’s promise. He was fully convinced that God has the power to do whatever He promises.” (Romans 4:20-21)
God, the governing authority, made a promise to Abraham who trusted the promise. We’re left with action. Inquiring minds want to know: what exactly did Abraham and Sarah DO for 25 years? Get it? The Maker is not a killjoy, lacking a sense of humor. Just ask old Abraham and Sarah! Oh, by the way, undoubtedly God got the last laugh!
Check this out … read more about the Mechanics of life in our Faith on Fridays series—
In America there’s no better time than to talk about work than around Labor Day.
A word of caution—as with all aspects of God’s creation we now experience work as flawed: “Because you ate from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from, you’ll be working in pain all your life long” (Genesis 3:17). Consequently, it’s imperative that we anchor our perspective upon the solid ground of Father’s original intention. So, here are the Basics about work located on the first pages of the Manual!
First, God is a worker: “God finished the work He was doing, so on the seventh day He rested from His work.” With the exception of one day off per week God has never stopped working His original plan. Jesus said, “My Father has never stopped working, and that is why I keep on working.” Furthermore, God’s not afraid to work with His hands: “One day God scooped dirt out of the ground, sculpted it into the shape we call human, breathed the breath that gives life into the nostrils of the human, and the human became a living soul.”
Second, “reflecting God’s nature,” man was designed—physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually—to be a worker. “I have filled Bezalel with the Spirit of God—I have given him the skill and knowledge to do all kinds of things. He is a very good designer. And he can make things from gold, silver, and bronze. He can cut and set beautiful jewels. And he can work with wood. He can do all kinds of work” (Exodus 31:3-5). “Man, made in God’s image, should make things as God makes them, for the sake of doing well a thing that is well worth doing” (Dorothy Sayers). “God calls upon man to collaborate with Him in the great adventure of work” (Paul Tournier).
Third, work produces a fulfilled spirit: “God looked over everything he had made; it was so good, so very good!” Work brought satisfaction, pleasure and joy to the Maker’s heart! So it is to be for us. “So I decided there is nothing better than to enjoy food and drink and to find satisfaction in work. Then I realized that these pleasures are gifts from God” (Solomon). “Work is a way of life in which the nature of man should find its proper delight and so fulfill itself to the glory of God” (Dorothy Sayers). “Being productive gives people a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment that loafing never can” (Zig Ziglar).
For years I have shopped at a national tool store that promises a 90 day unrestricted warranty on every product. They’ve always delivered on their promise!
The Bible contains a warranty that includes over 3000 promises (check out the Mechanics of Life). I want to examine the first and most important promise in the Manual (cf. Genesis 3).
You’ve probably seen a TV commercial that ends with the line: “But wait! There’s MORE!” That’s the hook “the ancient Serpent, the one called Devil and Satan” used on Eve. The fruit of the forbidden tree held the MORE! “When the Woman realized what she would get out of it, she ate the fruit and then gave some to her husband. At that moment they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness.” Immediately Life was damaged causing dis-ease and death. What would the Manufacturer do?
With compassion Father entered the Garden with a warranty. He promised to free His kids from the shackles of Satan. “God spoke to Satan. ‘I’m declaring war between you and the Woman, between your offspring and hers. He’ll wound your head, you’ll wound His heel.’” The Old Testament is a prelude to the Big Battle: “But when the right time came, God sent His Son, who was born of a woman so that He could buy freedom for the slaves of Satan.” “At the Cross Jesus was wounded for our rebellious acts …” At the Cross the Serpent’s head was crushed: “The battle was won over Satan and his minions through Christ.”
So, “If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing Himself to the worst by sending His own Son, is there anything else He wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? That’s an UNCONDITIONAL WARRANTY!
When you purchase an energized (a tool or an appliance) product you will most certainly get an Owner’s Manual. Among other things the manual will contain instructions: how to assemble, how to use, how to maintain and how to repair. In content the Bible is not much different. It too contains instructions: Whatever was previously written was written for our instruction. Let me illustrate.
“Most people need between seven and eight hours of sleep each night to feel refreshed and function optimally. If you’re getting less sleep than your body needs, there can be serious consequences” [Carl Hunt, MD, Director of the National Center on Sleep Disorders Research]. “Brain imaging and behavioral studies are illuminating the brain pathways that are blocked or contorted by sleep deprivation, and the risks this poses to learning, memory, and mental health” [Clifford Saper, PhD, MD, Harvard Medical School].
The Bible confirms what science is discovering about rest and sleep! The Creation account ends with this statement: “By the seventh day God had finished His work. On the seventh day He rested from all His work.” Rest is also included in the Maker’s ten prescriptions for satisfactory living! “Remember the Day of Rest …. Six days you will do all your work. But the seventh day is a Day of Rest to the Lord your God. For in six days the Lord made everything. But He rested on the seventh day. So the Lord gave honor to the Day of Rest and made it holy.”
Perhaps you’re surprised by the practicality of the Bible. Listen to this! “Children, listen to your father’s teaching. Pay attention and you will learn how to live. These words are the secret of life and health to all who discover them.”
A retired business executive has said: “Your customer doesn’t care how much you know until they know how much you care” [Damon Richards]. Your Father cares deeply about your satisfaction in living … even as regards your rest and sleep. So, if you’ve been “burning the candle at both ends,” wise up! You need adequate sleep and rest to experience optimum health!
In December, 2004 this Associated Press headline sent shock waves throughout the scientific community: Famous Atheist Now Believes in God. “A British philosophy professor who has been a leading champion of atheism for more than a half-century has changed his mind. He now believes in God—more or less—based on scientific evidence. At age 81, after decades of insisting that belief (in God) is a mistake, Antony Flew has concluded that some sort of intelligence must have created the universe.”
In 2007 Flew produced a book, There is a God: How the World’s Most Notorious Atheist Changed His Mind, outlining his intellectual journey and the reasons for his new conviction. “I must say that my discovery of the Divine has thus far been a pilgrimage of reason. I have followed the argument where it has led me. And it has led me to accept the existence of a self-existent, immutable, immaterial, omnipotent and omniscient Being.”
One strand of evidence that triggered Flew’s “new conviction” is discoveries from the Hubble Telescope. Hubble, named after the astronomer Edwin Hubble, was launched into low Earth orbit in 1990 and remains in operation today. Here is a summary of its shocking findings:
- The universe is expanding continuously ever since its creation and the speed of expansion is picking up continuously (imagine a balloon being blown up faster and faster).
- Hubble’s law implies that at some time in the distant past (about 13 billion years ago) the entire mass (or energy) of the universe must have been concentrated at one point (the balloon was totally deflated).
- There was a momentous event (Big Bang), which must have created the universe and initiated the process of expansion.
“When I first met the big-bang theory as an atheist, it seemed to me the theory made a big difference because it suggested that the universe had a beginning and that the first sentence in Genesis (‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth’) was related to an event in the universe. If the universe had a beginning, it became entirely sensible, almost inevitable, to ask what produced this beginning. This radically altered the situation!”
Did Flew embrace the Bible? NO! Did the professor get connected to Jesus? NO! In any sense did he become a Christian? NO! He merely said that, based up scientific evidence, he could no longer embrace his former belief in atheistic evolution as an explanation for The Source of Life!