Believing in The God of Creation

The day got away from me, and I jettisoned several attempts to write a new post for my blog. Since that wasn’t going to happen, I thought I’d “repost” something that I wrote about 9 years ago.  We’re staring out evening youth ministry tonight (thus my failed attempts at blogging), and our lesson tonight is on Genesis 1, the story of creation.  Here’s my article on the Benefits of Believing in a creator God.

Because the Bible says God created the heavens and the earth…

This is probably the most important reason.  God says it, that settles it.  It is often difficult to balance faith and reason, the weight of scientific evidence and the Word of God, but I must remember that this is the Word of God, and it is the rule of faith and life.  All of my thoughts and actions must be brought into submission to the Word of God.  In the end, all truth is God’s truth, so faith and science must lead us to their author.  For the time being, both my understanding of science and of God’s word are imperfect, so I must default to an inherent trust in the infallible Word of God.

Someone other than me is in control

What a relief to know that I am not at the center of the universe, that I am not the one responsible for causing the stars to shine and the worlds to turn.  Now sometimes I may think that I am, but believing in the God of Creation helps to bring me back to reality.

Francis Chan, in his book, Crazy Love, (chapter 2), puts it this way.  When we are stressed, we are saying that “the things we are involved in are important enough to merit our impatience, our lack of grace toward others, or our tight grip of control…How is it possible that we live as though [this life] is about us?… Frankly, you need to get over yourself.  The point of your life is to point to him.”

The God who created me, cares for me

This week I was reminded of the tornado that struck Wichita and Andover back in 1990.  I see on the news today that the volcano in Iceland continues to spew ash into the air, causing worries of water pollution, more volcano and earthquake activity, and financial crisis in Europe.  There are continued reports of war around the world and violence in our own communities.  If I did not know that the God of all creation called me His child, I would easily lose hope.  But God does know me, and in Jesus Christ, He saves me, He calls me by name, and He seals me with His Spirit that I may be assured of my salvation for eternity.  As Brad Stine says, “my self-esteem comes from the fact that the God of all creation loves me and esteems me.”

I have a purpose in life

I heard Cal Thomas say something along the lines of, “If you believe you came from slime, then to slime you will return.  But if you believe that God created you, you will live your life for Him.”  If God created us, it must have been for a reason (Jer 29:11 “I know the plans I have for you…”).  God has given us a purpose, and this is more than just a sense of calling or vocation.  Our purpose in life, to quote the Westminster Divines, is “to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.”  Better yet, to quote scripture, is to be “conformed to the image of his Son (Rom 8:29).  We will find different ways of doing this; but our ultimate song will be “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created” (Rev. 4:11).

May your faith in the Creator God bring you strength and comfort today. 

SDG


From the Pastor’s Desk – Here are some of the things that have come across my desk this week:

Love Believes All Things: I found this to be a refreshing take on what Paul means when he writes in 1 Corinthians 13 that loves believes all things.  To think the best of others, and to give them the benefit of the doubt, is this not what it means to love and live in the community of Christ?

Why I’m Still an Evangelical: The way the word Evangelical is used today, there are many who would rather not be called by that name. It has taken on political baggage that does it a disservice.  Here the author writes: “An evangelical, by common definition, is a Christian who reads the Bible as if it’s actually true. This doesn’t mean that all evangelicals agree on everything the Bible says, but it does mean that we use it as our foundation of Truth. It’s a way of seeing and understanding the world: A worldview.” This is a helpful correction.

10 Things to Know About Reformed Theology: Like the previous article about Evangelicalism, I think Reformed Theology gets a bad reputation, and representation, sometimes.  Here is a neat little summary of what we mean by Reformed Theology.

WYWIWYB

“we all… are being transformed
into the same image from one degree of glory to another”
(2 Cor 3:18 (ESV))

There is, in computer programming jargon, the following phrase “WYSIWYG,” pronounced “whiziwhig.”  It is an acronym for the term, “What You See is What You Get.”  I use a website program in WYSIWYG.  Rather than having to learn the website programing code HTML, I can simply place objects, pictures, text and links onto a page, and the program converts what I’ve done into the appropriate code, and it gets posted online exactly as I designed it (usually).  WYSIWYG is a great help, I figure knowing Biblical Greek and Hebrew and a few words in broken Spanish is all the language  training I need.

There is a Biblical truth that lies at the heart of the idea of WYSIWYG.  We might call it WYWIWIB – What You Worship is What You Become.  Think about this with me for a minute.

That which is most important to you, that which is at the center of your life, that which you worship (whether you call it worship or not), will shape and define who and what you become. 

If the most important thing in your life is finding financial security, wealth, and the accumulation of power, that will shape the decisions you make, the goals you set, and the way your treat others.  Your essential question in every situation will be along the lines of, “How does this benefit me; what can I can from this relationship?”

If you believe that the greatest truth in this life is found in the teachings of science, and particularly, evolutionary science, that will shape the decisions you make and how you treat those around you.  If we are all here by chance, and only the strongest survive and thrive, then compassion for the weak is only a luxury, self-preservation is the greatest good, and, since there is no afterlife (since there is no God who created life) all that matters in life is what you experience here and now.

But if we believe that we are created by a holy, sovereign, and gracious God, that too will shape who and what we become.  If we believe that there is a God at the center of the universe, a God who is the foundation of all life, then that God will also be the center of our lives, the foundation of our ethic and our experience.  Hughes Oliphant Old, dean of the Institute for Worship at Erskine College, once wrote “Those who worship the holy God become through that worship holy themselves.  When we worship, having our minds enlightened by the Spirit, our lives cleansed by the Spirit, our wills moved by the Spirit, and our hearts warmed by the Spirit, then our worship is transformed from being a mere human work into being a divine work.”  Worship is the workshop where we are transformed into the image of God.

I think this is at the heart of what Paul is saying in 2 Corinthians 3:18, “And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.”

Who are you becoming?  Are you growing in the likeness of Christ, being transformed into his image, maturing in the work of the Spirit?  Or are you becoming more and more like the world around you, blending in with the tone and temper of the fallen world?  Answering this question will begin to show you who or what is at the heart of your worship.

May you become more like Him who has made you!

SDG