Creation

Beauty

baby-shoes

God does not do anything in haste. When He acts, He creates beauty. He is unconstrained by dimensions or time or space, or human opinion or expectations or prejudices. His measure of success is that His will has been done, and His will is always done (Isaiah 55:11).

The thing that God impressed on me today, as I was praying, was that His work is always beautiful. We may not see the beauty. It may take 1,000 years before any son or daughter of Adam perceives its beauty. Perhaps, no child of Creation will even discover the beauty God has placed in His work, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t look for it, for it is always there. Great tragedy can still contain beauty, for, on God’s timeline, tragedy lasts for a moment, but the beauty of God’s fulfillment will last for eternity.

God Creates Beauty Through His Children

This truth of God is at work within all believers. John 15:16-17, “You did not choose me, but I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce fruit and that your fruit should remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give you. 17 “This is what I command you: Love one another.

Exodus 28:2And you shall make holy garments for Aaron your brother, for glory and for beauty.

Psalms 50:2Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines forth.

Isaiah 53:2You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.

Romans 8:28Let’s be slow to judge “We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.”

Photo by Drew Hays on Unsplash

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Jesus Was There

picture of a man looking at the universe

We’re on a mission to discover Christ in Christianity. In Luke 24:27 we find an important message that will help us on this mission. After Jesus rose from death, He met some of his disciples on the road to Emmaus. During this encounter we learn, “And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.

From Luke 24:27 we learn that Jesus can be found in all the Scriptures. So, to begin our mission, let’s stroll back to the creation of all things to see if we can find Jesus there. Our first task is to clear away all the layers of good intentions, apologies, and cruft that have gathered upon the narrative of creation. To do this we need to go to source, to Genesis 1:1-3 : 

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

  • Genesis 1:1, God, the Hebrew is אֱלֹהִ֑ים (’ĕ·lō·hîm), which is is plural, means the true God. So Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are present in the first verse of the Bible
  • Genesis 1:2, Spirit of God, the Hebrew is וְר֣וּחַ (wə·rū·aḥ) of אֱלֹהִ֑ים (’ĕ·lō·hîm), which mean breath, wind, spirit of God
  • Genesis 1:3, Said, the Hebrew is וַיֹּ֥אמֶר (way·yō·mer), which means say, speak, utter, so the Word of God  was active in creation.

Disbelief

We often find people challenging the Creation truth, not only by telling lies, but by attaching emotions to this truth with the hope of embarrassing or demeaning anyone that believes it. A common way people assault Genesis 1:1 is by saying, “I don’t believe in myths, I believe in science.”

Well, an article on TNW states, “Quantum physics is about as close to a faith-based field of scientific study as there is.” And MIT Technology Review published an article titled, “A quantum experiment suggests there’s no such thing as objective reality.” It’s tough to argue about who is right if the other side has decided that people don’t exist.” 😉

My question to “science-based” faiths is this: why should I place my trust in you? Your beliefs are contradictory, fragile, and volatile. Your scientific community continually changes what you believe while the truth stated in God’s Word has remained unchanged for at least 3,500 years? Which camp should I trust, science or God? The answer seems self-evident.

Jesus Was There

A fascinating passage from Scripture about Jesus and creation is found in Colossians 1:15-17 :

He [Jesus] is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

  • He –> That is Jesus, who “was chosen before the creation of the world” (1 Peter 1:20)
  • is the image of the invisible God –> Jesus said, “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” (John 14:9)
  • the firstborn of all creation –> Jesus is the heir and Lord of all creation. This verse is NOT saying that the Son of God was created! We know this by the very next verse which states, “For by him all things were created.” The Son did not create Himself.

What Have We Learned?

So, what have we learned? We found that in eternity past God (God the Father, God the Son, and God the Spirit) was (no beginning – God is the I AM). As we excavated the creation of all things we found, before creation, Christ was there. Christ Jesus is the Word that became flesh (John 1:1). 

In the opening verses of the Bible we find exactly the same God as we find throughout God’s Word. The Word that became flesh made all that was made. Therefore, let us receive Him as our Lord and Savior. Let us be good stewards of the earth for our Lord made it. Let us not mistreat animals for we will be held accountable. Let’s give thanks to God for he cares for us (1 Peter 5:7).

Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

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Create!

Amish barn raising

It’s been said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. When a dad sees his son or daughter playing at sweeping the deck or a mom sees her child standing beside her mixing imagination while she mixes the ingredients for a cake, their hearts just about burst with joy. 

Our heavenly Father is the same way. All people have some measure of creativity because we all are in the image of God. But, when we are reborn, the Holy Spirit comes and lives within us; the God of all creation comes into these jars of clay.

God’s Creativity in Us

When creative God abides within people made in His image then marvelous creativity bursts forth. Yes, I’m talking about you! Let’s see God’s creativity in three passages of Scripture:

For by him (the Son of God) all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. – Colossians 1:16

And David danced before the LORD with all his might. And David was wearing a linen ephod. – 2 Samuel 6:14

“Arise, and go down to the potter’s house, and there I will let you hear my words.” – Jeremiah 18:2

Emulate God’s Creativity

God’s Word affirms His creativity. God’s Word declares His pleasure in His people emulating His creativity. Just as their child’s imagination blesses a parent, so God is blessed when His children dance and sing and paint and create pottery. Let’s not forget that before Jesus began His earthly ministry, He was a tektōn. Most Bibles translate this Greek Word to mean carpenter, but this Greek Word was a common term for an artisan/craftsman– Wikipedia

God wants His children to be creative. When we are, we are worshiping the Creator. So, receive this liberty from God. If God has given you dance, then dance. If He has given you musical skills, then use those to glorify God. If God has given you artistic skills, skills to paint, sculpt, sew, craft wood, or clean tombstones, then do so to the glory of God. Whatever creativity God has placed in you, be emboldened to use it. That’s why God gave it to you. Use it in honorable ways; ways that pull people to God the Creator.

Be Confident

Are you unsure of what creativity God has given you? You can glorify God through the use of software or farming or auto repair or custodial work. Wherever God has placed you, He has provided the means to be creative, ask Him, seek His provision, knock on the door of His opportunities, and you will receive. And the God who created everything that is seen and unseen will be pleased when you imitate Him.

Photo by Randy Fath on Unsplash, picture of an Amish barn raising.

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My Conversation with an Atheist

two men sitting outside chatting

Have you ever had a sit-down, over-coffee, conversation with an atheist? I’ve had passing conversations, but my most memorable chat was with a co-worker. 

We were on a business trip, and our boss was with us. The three of us had some downtime, so we holed up in an empty meeting room, checking email, and chatting. My co-worker turned to me and said he’d seen my website (an old website that I had) and had read some of my articles. Then he said, “Science has disproved that stuff. I believe in science, not a god.”

We had a cordial but unvarnished debate, while our boss listened. I was elated when I learned that my co-worker continued to read my articles after our discussion. 

The underlying problem with all arguments atheists make is that they speak as a created being against the existence of their Creator. It doesn’t matter what logic you build upon this fundamental fallacy; at some point, it all crashes down.

God summed up this atheistic argument in Isaiah 29:16 (ESV): You turn things upside down! Shall the potter be regarded as the clay, that the thing made should say of its maker, “He did not make me”; or the thing formed say of him who formed it, “He has no understanding”?

As we walk through this anti-God world, we must be ready to defend the Gospel. These opportunities come at the most unexpected moments in our lives. But remember, “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.” (1 John 4:4 ESV)

Photo by Juri Gianfrancesco on Unsplash

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See. Measure. Repeat.

We understand that God created nature and much of nature is quantifiable. And, we, as Christians understand and typically work within the natural laws which God created, but we are not naturalists. We understand there are laws of physics; laws that God created. However, we also understand that God is sovereign. God is no more bound to the laws of nature than our Federal government is bound by the laws of a city.

Our journey within the Spirit requires the supernatural act of regeneration. That’s not an allegory, it really happens. Jesus said, You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.” (John 3:7) This requires us to believe in something beyond naturalism; it requires supernaturalism.

When a person dies their body decays so naturalism says that the entire physical result of death is decomposition. But science can’t measure what happens after death. And, because they can’t “see, measure, repeat” what happens they declare that death is the end of it. Amazingly, these same scientists embrace all matter of foolish ideas with no consideration that, perhaps, they should look into Jesus with that same openness. If only they would read and believe John 1:1-3, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.

When we receive Jesus our lives are no longer limited to only “see, measure, repeat” but our lives also include “ask”, “seek” and “knock” (Matthew 7:7). We are supernaturalists and in Jesus, we are not limited to the natural course of the world. The Holy Spirit inspired Paul to tell each of us, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” (Philippians 4:13 ESV)

Therefore, let’s face each day with peace, confidence, and humility for there is no life better than to be known by Jesus.

Photo by Kenny Luo on Unsplash

Art

It occurred to me that the difference between an artist and a crazy person is that an artist will walk naked into a McDonalds and wonder why everyone is wearing clothes whereas a crazy person will walk naked into a McDonalds.

It doesn’t matter what kind of art a person creates, that art is an expression of something within them. This doesn’t mean the artist isn’t crazy; consider “Salvador” Dali. Still, art is a gift God has given humanity. If we look around, the world is full of beauty, and this beauty isn’t limited to our five senses. It should be expected that people would create art for we are made in the image of God.

If we study how DNA, RNA, Epigenetics, Enzymes, Genes, Chromosomes, and the vast array of “things” and “processes” which God has created from the smallest building block of an atom to the entire universe, they are all overflowing with beauty and artistic veritas. And, why shouldn’t they? “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” (Psalms 19:1 NIV)

God’s beautiful creation testifies to the magnificence of the reality of God and from God, the existence of morality. We find the Moral Law at work in humanity. At its most basic classification, humanity judges a person as good or evil. This is not so with the animal kingdom. We do not judge a lion as evil because it killed and eats gazelles. A viper isn’t evil because it bites a person which cause that person to die. Animals are not judged as evil because they are not the progeny of Adam. It’s upon Adam and his seed which sin rests.

I like the way C.S. Lewis spoke about the Moral Law. He said: Christianity seems at first to be all about morality, all about duties and rules and guilt and virtue, yet it leads you on, out of all that, into something beyond. One has a glimpse of a country where they do not talk of those things, except perhaps as a joke. Every one there is filled full with what we should call goodness as a mirror is filled with light. But they do not call it goodness. They do not call it anything. They are not thinking of it. They are too busy looking at the source from which it comes. C. S. Lewis

We find this Moral Law in Scripture in Romans. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. (Romans 1:20 ESV) And, we learn that even the invisible things, including the laws of physics, are created by God and testify to HIs existence. We see this here:

For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:16-17 ESV)

Let us revel in God’s beauty but may we always worship beauty’s Creator.

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