April 22, 2017
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of His hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.” (Psalm 19:1-2)
When summer ends we encounter the explosion of beautiful fall colors. While we enjoy the colors, consider a word God speaks to us through nature every fall: death. Since those beautiful colors are produced by the death of leaves, God is speaking to many of us that death can be beautiful. In many ways, the most beautiful reality you and I encounter in our three or four score years on earth is the death of our Lord Jesus Christ that makes it possible for us to experience salvation and enter heaven.
Paul tells us the Gospel is that Christ died so we might live – and now it is our turn. We must die to ourselves so Christ might live through us. (Galatians 2:20) That means death to our selfish ways can be beautiful.
Every spring God speaks another word through nature to us: resurrection. That is seen all around us as black trunks and bare branches of trees we thought were dead sprout to life and bloom.
The Latin root meaning of rehabilitation is “to invest again with dignity.” Do we have faith to believe God can bring to life that which we thought was dead? Can we apply that thought to our lives, to the lives of our children, and to all the people we know?
Dick Woodward, 04 September 2012
November 19, 2013
“In the beginning God created…” (Genesis 1:1)
Most people have heard about the missing link that turns up when we compare the theory of evolution with the Genesis creation account, but there are actually three missing links. The first missing link is the issue: How did it all begin? The Bible’s answer is recorded above in just two words: “God created.” It all began with a first act of creation that accounted for the universe, the earth, and all plant life.
The author uses an interesting Hebrew word for “created.” It is the word “barah” which means “to create something out of nothing.” Since there are no samples that are half plant and half animal there is a second missing link. The Genesis account again reads “barah” as animal life is created in the water.
There is also no sample that is half animal and half human. So, for a third time the author of Genesis uses “barah” when God creates man. What is usually considered the missing link is actually this third missing link. In all three of these places where the secular scholar struggles for answers the author of Genesis writes: “barah,” God created.
God began the Bible with the creation account because He knew that one day we would realize we need an act of creation in our hearts. We would then also know where to go with that need to join David in the prayer: “Create (barah) in me a clean heart, O God and renew a right spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:10 NLT)
We can also go to Jesus Who taught the new birth and the apostles, who agreeing with David, referred to the new birth as a new creation! (John 3:3-5; 2 Corinthians 5:17)