VIDEO Miracles and the Laws of Nature

Jan 19, 2015

Some modern day theories seem to pit science against God, but why? Do you have to choose or can you intellectually believe in both? In Science & God, author and social critic Os Guinness engages Oxford University Professor of Mathematics John Lennox in a conversation that explores this tension, with calculations that subtract neither God nor science. Lennox looks at both historical and contemporary explanations of the universe, offering his unique perspective. Decide for yourself what to think about this important debate as you examine both scientific and theological perspectives.

View the complete video Science & God at: http://dod.org/programs/the-search-for-meaning-science-god/

Coming Alongside – The Spiritual Search

My Help Comes From The Lord Psalm 121 2
Coming Alongside

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, . . . who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

When my sister Carole was diagnosed with breast cancer, our family worried. That diagnosis, with its surgeries and treatments, caused us to fear for her well-being, which drove our family to prayer on her behalf. Over the ensuing months, Carole’s updates were honest about the challenges. But we all celebrated when the report came back that the surgery and treatments had been successful. Carole was on the road to recovery!

Then, less than a year later, my sister Linda faced the same battle. Immediately, Carole came alongside Linda, helping her understand what to expect and how to prepare for what she would face. Carole’s experience had equipped her to walk with Linda through her own trial.

This is what Paul calls for in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, where we read, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.”

Thankfully, the Lord doesn’t waste anything. Our struggles not only give us an opportunity to experience His comfort, but they also open the door for us to share that comfort with others in their struggles.

Today, how can I be an encouragement to others whose hearts are weighed down by the cares of life?

God’s presence brings us comfort; our presence brings others comfort.

By Bill Crowder
—-
The Spiritual Search

What man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? —Matthew 7:9

The illustration of prayer that our Lord used here is one of a good child who is asking for something good. We talk about prayer as if God hears us regardless of what our relationship is to Him (see Matthew 5:45). Never say that it is not God’s will to give you what you ask. Don’t faint and give up, but find out the reason you have not received; increase the intensity of your search and examine the evidence. Is your relationship right with your spouse, your children, and your fellow students? Are you a “good child” in those relationships? Do you have to say to the Lord, “I have been irritable and cross, but I still want spiritual blessings”? You cannot receive and will have to do without them until you have the attitude of a “good child.”

We mistake defiance for devotion, arguing with God instead of surrendering. We refuse to look at the evidence that clearly indicates where we are wrong. Have I been asking God to give me money for something I want, while refusing to pay someone what I owe him? Have I been asking God for liberty while I am withholding it from someone who belongs to me? Have I refused to forgive someone, and have I been unkind to that person? Have I been living as God’s child among my relatives and friends? (see Matthew 7:12).

I am a child of God only by being born again, and as His child I am good only as I “walk in the light” (1 John 1:7). For most of us, prayer simply becomes some trivial religious expression, a matter of mystical and emotional fellowship with God. We are all good at producing spiritual fog that blinds our sight. But if we will search out and examine the evidence, we will see very clearly what is wrong— a friendship, an unpaid debt, or an improper attitude. There is no use praying unless we are living as children of God. Then Jesus says, regarding His children, “Everyone who asks receives…” (Matthew 7:8).

“I have chosen you” (John 15:16). Keep that note of greatness in your creed. It is not that you have got God, but that He has got you. My Utmost for His Highest, October 25, 837 R

Oswald Chambers

God’s Gift of Forgiveness

Colossians 3:12-14

Motivated by love, God provided a way for our sins to be forgiven: He sent Jesus to be our Savior. When we trust in the Lord’s substitutionary sacrifice on our behalf, we receive the gift of forgiveness.

Before placing faith in Christ, we were dead in our sins and objects of divine wrath (Ephesians 2:1-3). But our merciful heavenly Father sent His Son Jesus to redeem us. At the cross, the Savior took our sins upon Himself and experienced God’s fury for our sake. His death secured a pardon for us; there was nothing we ourselves could do to acquire God’s acceptance. We are saved by grace—through faith in Christ and what He accomplished (Ephesians 2:8-9). Our salvation is a free gift from the Father.

God’s will is that we, as forgiven people, show mercy to those who wrong us—to the same degree that He forgave us in Christ. But the human tendency is to attach conditions when extending mercy. We think, I will forgive you only if you apologize. Or, You must fix the problem, and then I’ll stop being angry. Or even, You must make restitution before I will let this go. That’s not what our Savior did. Romans 5:8 expresses it this way: “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”

Depending on how much hurt we’ve experienced, we may require time and healing before we can truly forgive. But we are to remember that showing mercy is God’s will. We’re called to pardon those who have caused us pain. Through reliance on God’s Spirit, we can become Christlike and forgive.

The Great Divider

“Suppose ye that I am come to give peace on earth? I tell you, Nay; but rather division.” (Luke 12:51)

From the very beginning, God has been a great divider. On the first day of creation, “God divided the light from the darkness”; on the second day, He “divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament” (Genesis 1:4, 7). When God first created man, they walked together in sweet fellowship, but then sin came in and made a great division between man and God. Nevertheless, “when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son” (Romans 5:10).

The price has been paid for full reconciliation with our Creator, but “men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19), so Christ Himself is now the One who divides. “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36).

Jesus Christ divides all history and all chronology. Things either happened “Before Christ” (B.C.) or “in the Year of our Lord” (A.D.). Men are either under the Old Covenant or the New Covenant. Most of all, He divides humanity. “There was a division among the people because of him” (John 7:43; see also John 9:16; 10:19). These divisions because of Him can cut very deep. “The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against the father; the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother” (Luke 12:53).

Finally, when He comes to judge all nations, “He shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: . . . And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal” (Matthew 25:32, 46). The division is life or death, light or darkness, heaven or hell, Christ or antichrist—and the choice is ours! HMM

Unconvincing Testimony

For thou shalt be his witness unto all men of what thou hast seen and heard. —Acts 22:15

There is a large amount of ineffective Christian testimony among us today. Much of it is well-intended, I am sure—honest and sincere. We do the best we can with what we have. But our performance turns out to be something like that of the salesman promoting fountain pens. He tries to make a case for his product, but his would-be customers know he really thinks ballpoints are far more practical.

Too much of our Christian witnessing is unconvincing because we have not been convinced. We are ineffectual because we have not yet capitulated to the Lord from glory. It is like the proselyte making proselytes….

Perhaps this is happening because we are trying to plan how everything should happen. Everyone of us reads a little how-to book on witnessing. We try to do it the way we have been taught. But it is perfunctory and without any contagious element. If angels can weep, they must weep salty tears upon seeing a proselyte who has never really met the Lord making another proselyte who will also never meet the Lord.

Out of the abundance of a heart filled with love for You let me speak today. Let me see You this morning in a way that will cause me to leave this prayer time with a renewed passion to minister. Amen.

We Make Religion Easy for the Moral Rebel

And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. Acts 5:41

The story of the earliest Christians is a story of faith under fire. The opposition was real. To continue “steadfastly” as Luke records was to continue against serious opposition. Steadfastness is required only when we are under attack, mental or physical.

Those first believers turned to Christ with the full understanding that they were espousing an unpopular cause that could cost them everything. Shortly after Pentecost some were jailed, many lost all their earthly goods, a few were slain outright and hundreds were “scattered abroad.”

They could have escaped all this by the simple expedient of denying their faith and turning back to the world; but this they steadfastly refused to do.

Here again is seen the glaring discrepancy between biblical Christianity and that of present-day evangelicals, particularly in the United States. To make converts we are forced to play down the difficulties and play up the peace of mind and worldly success enjoyed by those who accept Christ!

We will never be completely honest with our hearers until we tell them the blunt truth that as members of a race of moral rebels they are in a serious jam, and one they will not get out of easily. If they refuse to repent and believe on Christ they will most surely perish; if they do turn to Him, the same enemies that crucified Him will try to crucify them.

Heir to All Creation

God… hath… spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things. HEBREWS 1:1-2

In this life, we are experiencing only unfinished segments of God’s great eternal plan. Certainly we are not able to comprehend fully the glory that will be ours in that future day when leaning on the arm of our heavenly Bridegroom we are led into the presence of the Father in heaven with exceeding joy!

The writer to the Hebrews has tried to help us in the proper exercise of our faith, with the amazing statement that our Lord Jesus Christ is the heir of all things in God’s far-flung creation. All things created have been ordered and laid out so they become the garment of deity and the universal living expression of Himself to this world!

What does “heir of all things” really mean? It includes angels, seraphim, cherubim, ransomed men and women of all ages, matter, mind, law, spirit, value, meaning. It includes life and events on varied levels of being—and God’s great interest embraces them all!

Surely God has left nothing to chance in His creative scheme—whether it be the tiniest blade of grass or the mightiest galaxy in the distant heavens above!

Lord of the Harvest, there are still people in this world who have never heard the name of Jesus. Nor, therefore, have they heard that He will be the rightful “heir of all things.” I pray that Your Spirit will hasten the sending of the gospel to the remaining unreached peoples of the world.