On Your Purpose

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Revelation 4:11 KJV).

If you are seeking your purpose today, you can find it today!

Why are we here? From where did we come? Where are we going? The Holy Bible addressed these queries and answered them over 3,500 years ago, but philosophers and theologians still wrestle with these questions because they still wrestle with the Bible’s answers. Some seek to find purpose and meaning in life by studying nature, others by meditating, still others by praying, and so on. Despite all that searching, very few ever actually find the meaning of life because of the confusion as to how to find it and because nearly all of the ways that are presumed to lead to it lead to everything but it!

In today’s Scripture, the 24 elders in heaven have cast their crowns before Father God sitting on His throne in heaven, and they worship Him, particularly by uttering today’s Scripture, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” They admit that their authority to rule is actually power that Father God gave them, power that they exercise to praise and honor Him. He is worthy to receive their crowns because that authority was His before He gave it to them!

The “things” in today’s Scripture are offices of government in heaven and earth (see Colossians 1:16,17). Colossians 1:18,19 say, “…that in all things he [Jesus Christ] might have the preeminence [supremacy]. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell.” Originally, Father God wanted heaven and earth to glorify His Son, Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:9,10), so He created angels (for heaven) and humans (for earth) to carry out His will. Once angels and man sinned, God created the nation Israel (to restore earth) and the Church the Body of Christ (to restore heaven).

Why do you exist? Why does everything exist? To glorify the Lord Jesus Christ!

The Natural View and the Spiritual View #1

Saturday, February 8, 2014

“Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7 KJV).

Herein is offered the first of several (brief) devotional arcs addressing the associated objections and misconceptions concerning the recent Ken Ham/Bill Nye Creation/Evolution online debate.

As a Bible teacher and student, and a geologist (Earth scientist) pursuing my Master of Science degree (anticipated later this year), I enjoyed the debate. Raised in a Christian home where Bible creationism was believed, and spending nearly two decades in public schools learning evolutionary theory (over seven years in university), I will here evaluate both views and reduce them to “layman’s terms.”

Unfortunately, many professing Christians vacillate concerning, or completely avoid, the Creation/Evolution issue. Sadly, they are unsure how to answer the “scholars’” anti-Bible theories and “evidence,” or they prefer to avoid the “superstitious Bible-toter” stigma and exemption from the “in-crowd”—mainstream scientific community and its agreeing public.

The Creation/Evolution issue actually predates Christ’s earthly ministry. It has been especially controversial during the last 150 years, since British naturalist Charles Darwin published his book, “The origin of species by means of natural selection, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life” (notice this full title [rarely seen or reported] conveys racial undertones—evolutionary theory was once utilized to teach there are superior human races!).

It is now imperative to define terms.

Evolutionary theory asserts that all life forms (bacteria, plants, animals, humans) descended from one original ancestor (which itself “evolved” when random organic molecules mysteriously combined), and this morphing of one organism into totally different species we see today—in order to adapt to environments and survive predation—involved a four-billion-year-long process of genetic mutations (man is considered “most evolved”).

Bible creationism, embracing the Bible’s creation account (Genesis chapters 1 and 2 especially) as literal, historical narrative, teaches that all life forms (bacteria, plants, animals, humans) are not genetically related, but each “family” of organisms was created perfectly by the Lord Jesus Christ within six literal days in the recent past, but which species then used pre-inserted genetic material to adapt to a fallen world (the curse brought on by man’s sin).

Proceeding onward….

Consider Your Ways, Mankind! #2

Friday, September 27, 2013

“Forasmuch then as we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Godhead is like unto gold, or silver, or stone, graven by art and man’s device. And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:29,30 KJV).

Mankind, in his natural state, is apathetic to JEHOVAH’S desire to build a temple… using him….

“For by him [the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ] were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him” (Colossians 1:16). God created and placed angels in heaven to serve Him there, and He created and placed man on earth to serve Him there.

Man was to govern earth for God’s glory as Genesis 1:26,28 explain: “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. And God blessed them [Adam and Eve], and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish [fill up] the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

Psalm 8:4,7-9 elaborate: “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: all sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; the fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas. O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!

Adam was to prepare earth for God to come down and dwell on, but Adam sinned, delaying the construction of that “temple….”

What’s the Bible Got to Do With Me? #1

Monday, May 13, 2013

“The grass withereth, the flower fadeth: but the word of our God shall stand for ever” (Isaiah 40:8 KJV).

One frequent charge the lost world levels against Christians preaching and teaching the Holy Bible is, “That ‘old’ book has nothing to do with me!” Is this a valid objection?

Genesis 1:1, the Bible’s first complete thought, declares, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.” Most people cannot get past that first verse, so they struggle to believe the next 31,000. Genesis 1:1 is such a simple verse, and yet it is much too difficult for many to believe. As one dear brother in Christ said, “The Bible is not hard to understand, the Bible is hard to believe!” If one were to believe Genesis 1:1 as is, he or she would have no problem believing God exists, and that He created heaven and earth for an intelligent purpose. These two basic facts would then imply that divinely-ordained laws and principles are in place, a methodical system to accomplish that original purpose of creation. But, sin disrupts this clear-cut scenario….

To avoid accountability, to ease one’s conscience, to blame-shift, and so on, the unbeliever simply ignores the testimony of creation’s existence as confirmation of an intelligent Creator (atheism), and/or he or she pleads ignorance regarding any knowledge of a personal relationship with that Creator (agnosticism). Either way, they discount the Holy Bible (which says there is an intelligent Creator God whose name is the Lord Jesus Christ, who wants us to intimately know Him).

Romans 1:21 summarizes: “Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” When one recognizes the God of the Bible as the one and only true God, but fails to worship Him, he or she is unthankful toward that God. The only result is an empty imagination and a darkened, foolish heart. It really is that simple.

Now that we know why arguments against the Bible are raised, we can proceed to analyze the common “the Bible has nothing to do with me” assertion….

The Awareness of a Temporary Earth

 Monday, April 22, 2013

“And, Thou, O Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: they shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; and as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail” (Hebrews 1:10-12 KJV).

On this Earth Day, let us not confuse the creation with the Creator!

Today, people worldwide celebrate “environmental awareness.” According to the secular, naturalistic worldview, our planet and its sun could last many more billions of years. They claim that we have done so much damage to our planet—climate change, overpopulation, deforestation, pollution, et cetera—that we must change our attitude toward “mother earth” and change our lifestyles before we destroy her and civilization as we know it! You can sense the zeal in their message, can you not? While these people are sincere, they are wasting all of their time, energy, and resources on a temporary planet.

Let us be very clear that the Lord Jesus Christ placed man on the earth, especially the Garden of Eden, to “dress it and keep it” (Genesis 2:15). Adam was to take care of the Earth: he was God’s representative, God’s king, who had a divine commission to rule this planet for God’s glory (Genesis 1:26-28).

It was not long, however, before Satan distracted mankind from understanding God’s purpose for him. Adam began to focus on himself: like Satan, he began to “worship and serve the creature more than the Creator” (Romans 1:25). Thus began man’s continual downward spiral into spiritual ignorance. He would continually worship himself, as we well know today.

Today’s Scripture reminds us that, because of sin, this creation will pass away. The Lord Jesus Christ, however, will live forever. Why worship that which is temporary? It makes no sense! The Lord Jesus Christ gave you life, not the pagan goddess “mother earth.” Environmental awareness? Indeed, be aware that our world is temporary, as God will one day create “a new heaven and a new earth” (Revelation 21:1).

Why Am I Here?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

“For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens; God himself that formed the earth and made it; he hath established it, he created it not in vain, he formed it to be inhabited: I am the LORD; and there is none else” (Isaiah 45:18 KJV).

Although philosophers and religious “scholars” still stumble over the age-old question, “Why am I here?,” God’s Word settled the matter long ago.

Creation is not the result of some random, mindless, cosmic explosion billions of years ago, as scientists often tout. Our universe exists with “divine design in mind”—this is particularly true of Earth. Today’s Scripture explains that, in addition to creating the heavens (outer space), God also created planet earth not in vain.” God had a special purpose for Earth. It is no accident that mankind lives here, as opposed to other celestial bodies.

We exist because the triune Godhead (God the Father, God the Son [Jesus Christ], and God the Holy Spirit) wanted to share with us the love and fellowship they shared with each other before creation (John 17:5,24). In the person of Jesus Christ, the triune Godhead would manifest itself to mankind, a unique race of creatures whom the Godhead appointed to rule over Earth (Genesis 1:26-28). But, why Earth?

When God placed the first man, Adam, on earth, God was preparing to establish His kingdom on earth (Matthew 25:34), where He Himself would live with mankind: “For the LORD hath chosen Zion [in Jerusalem]; he hath desired it for his habitation. This is my rest for ever: here will I dwell; for I have desired it” (Psalm 132:13,14). Unfortunately, Adam sinned, postponing that earthly kingdom for 6,000 years now. God formed Earth, not to simply give us a home, but to one day make Himself a home (Christ’s Millennial Reign on earth). “He formed it to be inhabited”… by Himself! Amazing!

Friends, we are not accidents. We exist for God’s glory, not for our own glory. God wants us our faith, our trust, to rest in His Holy Word, the King James Bible, the record of how He paid for our sins, and thus restored His fallen creation unto Himself.

Walking in the Spirit #1

Thursday, October 4, 2012

“And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit” (Galatians 5:24,25 KJV).

Now that we have trusted Jesus Christ alone as our personal Saviour, we have a new identity, which should impact our lifestyles for God’s glory.

Saints, from conception, we had an identity in Adam. Imagine, when we were still forming in our mothers’ wombs, God exclaimed, “They look so cute and innocent, but I know better!” As King David wrote, “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me” (Psalm 51:5). This identity in Adam caused us to sin, and thus we lived in rebellion against God and His will for our lives. We could not help but sin, for it was our very nature.

So, on Calvary’s cross, when Jesus Christ died, we died to sin, too. “I am crucified with Christ” (Galatians 2:20a). Today’s Scripture explains that, as Christians, we “have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.” The “flesh” here is the old sin nature, our old identity in Adam, and it was put to death at Calvary: “Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him [Christ], that the body of sin [our Adamic nature] might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin” (Romans 6:6).

But, God did not leave us dead. When He resurrected Christ, He also raised us: “that like as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we should walk in newness of life” (verses 4b,5). We have a new identity in Christ, and this new identity will produce “newness of life.” “I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh [physical body] I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20).

Saints, we do not have to serve sin: we can walk by faith in our identity in Christ, and let Christ live in and through us. 🙂