VIDEO God Caused Order

Ordered systems or structures do not happen spontaneously.

We never observe orderliness occurring by accident, without an intelligent cause to direct the order. No amount of power or energy is enough to bring order out of chaos. Try shooting a wristwatch with a bullet; the watch’s order does not increase! (The only order in a watch is that which the watchmaker intelligently puts into it at the beginning.)

Likewise, if we drop a plain glass bottle of spoiled milk on bricks, it quite naturally shatters into a more disorderly arrangement: chaotic glass fragments mixed with spilt spoiled milk. It could never reform itself into a more exquisitely-sculpted glass container containing fresh milk!

The mere addition of “lots of energy” is not enough, either. A tired human eats to gain food energy, but eating hot coals is not an adequate energy source, because it fails to match and cooperate with the orderly design of human digestive systems.

Everyday experiences, such as broken watches and spilled milk, remind us that order does not happen by itself. In fact, our entire universe teaches us that same truth. The earth’s rotation, the moon cycle, and the changing seasons are just a few of the ordered processes observable in nature. These processes don’t happen randomly but are divinely caused by God.

God is the Author and Organizer of orderliness. His design and construction of our own bodies, through the complexity of biogenesis, is a proper reason for glorifying and thanking Him for making us.

Baking with Jess – Are You Discouraged or Devoted?

Baking with Jess
toast jelly

Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life. John 6:27

One morning as Lilia prepared for work, her 4-year-old daughter Jess set to work too. The family had purchased a conveyor toaster, and the concept of cycling bread through the small countertop oven fascinated Jess. Minutes later, Lilia discovered a loaf and a half of toast piled on the counter. “I’m a very good baker!” Jess declared.

It’s no miracle that an inquisitive girl could turn bread into toast. But when Jesus transformed a boy’s five loaves and two fish into a meal for thousands, the crowd on the hillside recognized the miraculous nature of the event and wanted to make Him king (see John 6:1-15).

Jesus is our Bread of Life.

Jesus’ kingdom, of course, is “not of this world” (John 18:36), and so He slipped away. When the crowd found Him the next day, Christ identified a flaw in their motives: “You seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled” (6:26). They mistakenly thought “King” Jesus would give them full stomachs and national freedom. But Jesus counseled them, “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life” (v. 27).

An earthbound view will cause us to treat Jesus as a means to an end. He is, in fact, our Bread of Life.

Lord, our cares and worries can keep us from a genuine relationship with You. May we see You as our very food and not only as our divine problem-solver.

Seek first the kingdom of God, and all these things will be added to you. Jesus

By Tim Gustafson

Are You Discouraged or Devoted?
pray bedside

…Jesus…said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell all that you have…and come, follow Me.” But when he heard this, he became very sorrowful, for he was very rich. —Luke 18:22-23

Have you ever heard the Master say something very difficult to you? If you haven’t, I question whether you have ever heard Him say anything at all. Jesus says a tremendous amount to us that we listen to, but do not actually hear. And once we do hear Him, His words are harsh and unyielding.

Jesus did not show the least concern that this rich young ruler should do what He told him, nor did Jesus make any attempt to keep this man with Him. He simply said to him, “Sell all that you have…and come, follow Me.” Our Lord never pleaded with him; He never tried to lure him— He simply spoke the strictest words that human ears have ever heard, and then left him alone.

Have I ever heard Jesus say something difficult and unyielding to me? Has He said something personally to me to which I have deliberately listened— not something I can explain for the sake of others, but something I have heard Him say directly to me? This man understood what Jesus said. He heard it clearly, realizing the full impact of its meaning, and it broke his heart. He did not go away as a defiant person, but as one who was sorrowful and discouraged. He had come to Jesus on fire with zeal and determination, but the words of Jesus simply froze him. Instead of producing enthusiastic devotion to Jesus, they produced heartbreaking discouragement. And Jesus did not go after him, but let him go. Our Lord knows perfectly well that once His word is truly heard, it will bear fruit sooner or later. What is so terrible is that some of us prevent His words from bearing fruit in our present life. I wonder what we will say when we finally make up our minds to be devoted to Him on that particular point? One thing is certain— He will never throw our past failures back in our faces.

The emphasis to-day is placed on the furtherance of an organization; the note is, “We must keep this thing going.” If we are in God’s order the thing will go; if we are not in His order, it won’t. Conformed to His Image, 357 R

Oswald Chambers

God Is in Control

1 Corinthians 13:12

It is 100 percent true that God is good and that He’s in control. These facts, however, do not prevent bad things from happening. Though it’s within the Lord’s power to give everyone a perfect existence, that wouldn’t be in our best interest. Trials and suffering often drive people to the Father. And for those of us who are already His followers, God uses harsh circumstances to mature our faith and conform us to the image of His Son. To be made perfect and pleasing to our Father is indeed beneficial.

In His omniscience and wisdom, God will allow disaster and evil to touch our lives so we can grow from the experience. Growth, whether in compassion, trust, or knowledge, is good. If we could peek behind the scenes of our life, we’d see the Lord sovereignly working toward His ultimate purpose for us.

Romans 8:28 affirms this: “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” On occasion, we see immediate positive results from trials. But other times, we must wait months or years (or until we reach heaven) to fully understand what God was doing in those difficult circumstances.

Suffering and evil are inevitable parts of a fallen world. But we have assurance that God is in control of the universe, including the tiny corner we occupy. When He permits bad things to happen, we can be sure that He will continue to provide comfort and guidance as He shapes us into the people He wants us to be.

The Passion of Stewardship

“And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” (Mark 12:33)

The regular diet of TV and Hollywood productions—which have grown far worse in many ways than in the radical 1960s—is rarely scrutinized or criticized. Yet vitriolic attacks on “religion” in the media are both commonplace and increasingly intense. Is there a reason for this passionate aggression?

God has a rather “passionate” view about His character and His unique authority in the universe: “I am the LORD, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me: That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. . . . 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 45:5-6, 18).

We do not and cannot know many details about the great work of God as Creator and on Calvary as Savior. What is very clear, however, is that the same God who created the worlds (Hebrews 1:2) also died on the cross (John 1:1-3; Colossians 1:16-17).

It is nothing short of blasphemy to profess that the omniscient and omnipotent God of love and grace would have effected His creation through the horrific, purposeless, waste-filled, and age-long death of billions of living things prior to the rebellion of Adam (Romans 5:12). The naturalistic and evolutionary scheme of atheistic man is contradictory to God’s Word and His revealed character. We are to be committed to what God has said—whether the majority is passionately against it or not. HMM III

“I Gave It All Up!”

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ. —Ephesians 1:3

I have been asked more than once what I gave up when I was converted and became a believing child of God. I was a young man, and I well remember that I gave up the hot and smelly rubber factory. I was making tires for an hourly wage, and I gave that up to follow Christ’s call into Christian ministry and service.

As a youth I was scared of life and I was scared of death—and I gave that up. I was miserable and glum and unfulfilled—and I gave that up. I had selfish earthly and material ambitions that I could never have achieved—and I gave them up.

That forms the outline of the worthless things that I gave up. And I soon discovered that in Jesus Christ, God had given me everything that is worthwhile.

If God takes away from us the old, wrinkled, beat-up dollar bill we have clutched so desperately, it is only because He wants to exchange it for the whole Federal mint, the entire treasury! He is saying to us, “I have in store for you all the resources of heaven. Help yourself!”

Thank You for all we gain through our new life in Christ—in exchange for all the junk we give up! Amen.

God’s Love: A Quality That Cannot Be Defined

Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 1 John 3:16

Can you really define the word “love” for me?

I do not believe you can actually define love—you can describe it but you cannot define it. A person or a race which has never heard of the word “love” can never come to an understanding of what love is even if they could memorize the definitions in all of the world’s dictionaries.

But just consider what happens to any simple, freckle-faced boy with his big ears and his red hair awry when he first falls in love and the feeling of it comes into every part of his being. All at once, he knows more about love than all of the dictionaries put together!

That is why I say that love can only be understood by the feeling of it. The same is true with the warmth of the sun. Tell a man who has no feeling that it is a warm day and he will never understand what you mean. But take a normal man who is out in the sun and he will soon know it is warm. You can know more about the sun by feeling than you can by description.

So, there are qualities in God that can never be explained by the intellect and can only be known by the heart, the innermost being. That is why I say that I do believe in feeling. I believe in what the old writers called religious affection—and we have so little of it because we have so little of true repentance, obedience, separation and holy living!

Let Us Move Forward

That ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. EPHESIANS 3:19

The Apostle Paul’s greatest desire was to always move forward in the knowledge and blessing of God. But some modern Bible teachers now call that kind of hunger and thirsting fanaticism, instead of desire for spiritual maturity.

These teachers assure the new Christian: “You are now complete in Christ. Just relax and be glad that there is nothing more you will ever need.”

With great desire Paul wrote: “That I may win Christ” (Philippians 3:8)—and yet he already had Christ! With obvious longing he said: “[That I may] be found in Him” (3:9)—and yet he was already in Him!

Paul humbly and intensely breathed his great desire: “That I may know Him” (3:10)—even though he already knew Him!

Because he did not want to stand still, Paul testified: “I follow after; I press toward the mark. I am striving to lay hold of that for which Christ laid hold on me!” (see 3:12).

It is very plain that the apostle had no other desire than to be completely available to God. Many of us refuse to follow his example!

Dear Lord, my prayer this morning is that You will satisfy my hunger to know You more and that You will use me to help advance Your kingdom.