Saturday, May 31, 2014

Character studies

I would like to change my style and reflect briefly on some Bible characters. These stories from the past give us insights for today and for tomorrow.

Genesis 2:15-17
Adam was given a job to do – in the garden to work it and keep it.
   Adam was given a choice to make – to eat or not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil
      Adam had a friendship to enjoy – Verse 9 – in the cool of the day, God called to the man “where are you?”
Adam made the wrong choice and we today live with the unpleasant consequences.

Genesis 6:12-14
Noah lived in a wicked, corrupt, violent, immoral society  -  ruined with no repentance
    Noah was given a command – ‘Make yourself an ark’ and he did.
        Noah received a promise. 9:12-13 A rainbow that promised the judgement was past and future clouds would bring showers of blessing.
Noah obeyed, and by God the judge , he was blessed forever

Genesis 15:1,5,6
Abraham was rich with gold and camels but had no children.
   Abraham was given a promise. Ch 15:15 ‘so shall your offspring be’ – impossible!
     Abraham believed God. – and God kept the promise and Isaac was born
Abraham thus became the friend of God, with whom God shared His secrets.

Genesis 25:26
Jacob was a cheat, a deceiver by nature
   Jacob was afraid of God Ch 28:16  Yet he was given a promise of blessing and  Jacob makes a vow of surrender
      Jacob is given a new name Ch 35:9 ‘Israel’ – a prince prevailing with God
From a bad start, with a wily nature and an unhelpful family, faith takes him through many difficulties to end his days , worshipping as he leant on his staff.

Ruth 1:4
Ruth was a Moabite – not a good history, no claims to God’s promises
   Ruth clung ,V14-17 , to Naomi, to Naomi people, to Naomi’s God
     Ruth was redeemed by Boaz Ch3.13 Wedded to Boaz Ch4,13 and  thus she became the great, great..................... great grandmother of Jesus.
One of the sweetest stories of God’s grace, in the Bible.

1 Samuel 16.11
David was despised as insignificant – keeping sheep
   David risked his life, Ch 17:34-37, for the name of God, and for others.
      David sang – prayers of anguish, songs of praise, psalms of adoration, songs of enduring intimacy with God  - Psalm 23
David chose God’s way, obeyed God’s command, Believed God’s promises, Trusted Gods loving-kindness, clung to the God of all grace!
What is your choice?
Will you obey?
  Will you believe God
    Will you surrender to God?
      Will you cling to God and His grace?

Can you truly sing “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want” 

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Who made God

A question from a thoughtful student last week

“Who made God ?”

Two answers are possible
1             ‘I don’t know’
2            ‘No one’

The first answer is an acknowledgement of our finite limitations.
The second is to accept the compass of the Bible.
The Bible speaks of God being eternal:
    “From everlasting to everlasting thou art God”    Psalm 90:2
In other words and in other places –‘ He always was, never being created, and always will be, never ending.  He is uncreated.’

Many thought for many years that the universe was eternal and infinite, but the introduction of the ‘big bang’ theory has shown that the Bible is right – the universe had a beginning and will have an end.
So we might well ask what is beyond the universe???  What was before the ‘big bang’????   Rather we should ask who was there, when the sun first shone?
The only Biblical, logical answer is God.

I recommend a book by Edgar Andrews  ‘Who made God’ from Koorong or Amazon

How big is God ?  Big enough to make the stars!
How smart is God?  Smart enough to write the DNA code
How knowledgeable is God?  He knows your thoughts!
How caring is God? He knows and cares about sparrows

Let us ponder his greatness often, but let us often consider His character.........Holy, Loving,  Just..........

Blind unbelief is sure to err, but faith that looks at facts leads to worship, thanksgiving and love.


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Quote from D. Gooding's Book

Extract from "Riches of Divine wisdom"

The Holy Spirit, therefore, calls on us to be grown-up adults in intellect, and not babies (1 Cor 14:20). We are to love the Lord our God with all our mind as well as with our heart, soul and strength (Matt 22:37). We must be ready to use to the full the intellect God has given us to understand his word. But above all let us pray that Christ will do for us what he did for his disciples after his resurrection:
Then he opened their mind that they might understand the Scriptures. (Luke 24:45)
Without that, our unaided intellect would think in vain.

Proff. David Gooding

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Science and the Bible

Science and the Bible

       For in-depth answers, read the many books written on this subject. For the many that like short, pithy responses, I will try to contribute a little.

       I love science, for true science is forever discovering the marvels of the world we live in. For example I have just read how the human eye works. It is a mind boggling set of chemical reactions, operating to precise mathematical and mechanical order. So complex, yet it works so well. As one scientist put it – ‘how could it work without all the intricacies in place’
       One of the greatest discoveries of science is the finding and decoding of DNA. The single human cell has about 3 billion bits of information to make the human body function. Try reading ‘The language of God’ – a book about the decoding of the human gene.
        John McDonald of Georgia University has written “ The result of the last twenty years of research on the genetic basis of adaption has led us to a great Darwinian paradox. Those genes that are obviously variable within natural populations do not seem to be the basis of major adaptive changes, while those genes that seemingly constitute the foundation of many, if not most adaptive changes are not variable within natural populations”
       You may need to read that thrice to get the significance. It all tallies with the Bible order of God creating distinctive species and allowing change within the species, (eg different sizes of horses), yet an inbuilt mechanism to prevent changes across the species.

       The wonder of science is ‘trying to imagine how all this minute complexity and celestial grandeur came into existence’.  Is it the result of a ‘mindless accident’?  Reasonable thought says that design has a designer. We call that being God -  and oh how wise he must be!  We do well to marvel at the flower- it’s colour, design, fragrance, reproductive mechanics etc, but let us not fail to look up and worship the creator of such beauty, symmetry, scent etc.
        I fear that many have missed the genius of the God of all wisdom by emphasizing ‘ God just said it, and it happened’.  Hebrews 1.2 has a beautiful phrase “by whom He created the world” or translated differently “By whom he designed the ages”. He was the architect, the engineer, the draftsman, the builder, the inspector  of it all – grand and small!  Upon inspection it was originally “very good”.

It would be profitable to pursue the ongoing discoveries of science to show the marvels of God’s handiwork (not ‘mother nature’ please) , but the Bible compass points us to a purpose. As mentioned in the last article (Logos), the universe has been give order, functionality and purpose. A  bird expresses the glory of the creator by being a bird – its colours, its flight ability, its song, etc. Humankind has been endowed with something more than animalistic genius. The human brain is perhaps the last frontier of scientific discovery, and I was interested to notice ( on the internet!) a suggestion by scientists that when the body dies, the self consciousness goes to another universe!! I am watching closely such developments, because the Bible has been saying that for years ( i.e. heaven).

    So what is the purpose of mankind?  My first answer may seem unusual  -  ‘ to connect the natural with the spiritual’.
          Angels (good or bad) are spiritual. Animals are natural. ( not spiritual). According to the Bible introduction, God as a spirit communicated with man, who was natural. This is the higher purpose for humans – to connect with the maker, designer, sustainer of it all. It seems that all tribes of the earth have tried in one way or another to connect with  a being greater than themselves. It is interesting to watch the present humanity going in different ways – some go lower than animals and live for lust. Others apply rigorous disciplines to connect with the spirits portrayed as idols. Western society is obsessed with the idol of ‘self’  self-love, self-pleasing, selfish, self-gratification. The question of God is still so relevant  -----  “Where are you?”

         When Jesus Christ appeared, the question that confronted the people was this  -- was this man really connected with the unseen God????   Was he really what man was meant to be  - the connection between the spirit world and the natural?   The Bible answer is YES. But more, His purpose was to restore the connection, the very purpose for which we were made, for us to connect with God.

       Could I lift the horizon of your thinking above the dazzle of created things, to honour God for who he is, what he has made, for himself revealed in Jesus Christ the Lord...--   to love HIM  ,  to trust HIM  ,  to serve HIM   forever

How blessed to know HIM   !!!!!!!!!         comments welcome