VIDEO Science & God

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/

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Gentle Lights – Fellowship in the Gospel

Gentle Lights
night sky

Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16

Wang Xiaoying (pronounced Shao-ying) lives in a rural area of China’s Yunnan province. Due to health problems, her husband couldn’t find work in the fields, causing hardship for the family. Her mother-in-law attributed the trouble to Xiaoying’s faith in God. So she mistreated Xiaoying and urged her to go back to the traditional religion of her ancestors.

But because Xiaoying’s husband had observed her transformed life, he said, “Mother, it isn’t enough for Xiaoying alone to believe in God; we too should put our faith in God!” Because of the noticeable change in his wife, he is now considering the good news of Jesus.

People will watch our walk before listening to our talk. The best witness combines good behavior with appropriate words, reflecting the difference Christ makes in our lives.

This was the apostle Peter’s instruction to the first-century believers, and to us, on how we can introduce Jesus to a hostile world. He challenged his readers to be “eager to do good” (1 Peter 3:13), to live obediently in Christ, to have a good conscience, and to be prepared to explain to others why we have such hope (v. 15). If we do this, we have no reason to fear or be ashamed when people mistreat or slander us because of our beliefs.

Whatever our situation, let’s shine for Jesus where we are. He can provide the grace we need to reach even those who don’t agree with us.

Lord, we tend to react defensively when people shun us or attack us for our faith. Give us Your courage to offer wise and gentle responses when we are mistreated.

The more we live like Jesus, the more others will be drawn to Him.

By Poh Fang Chia
—-
Fellowship in the Gospel
man water sunset

…fellow laborer in the gospel of Christ… —1 Thessalonians 3:2

After sanctification, it is difficult to state what your purpose in life is, because God has moved you into His purpose through the Holy Spirit. He is using you now for His purposes throughout the world as He used His Son for the purpose of our salvation. If you seek great things for yourself, thinking, “God has called me for this and for that,” you barricade God from using you. As long as you maintain your own personal interests and ambitions, you cannot be completely aligned or identified with God’s interests. This can only be accomplished by giving up all of your personal plans once and for all, and by allowing God to take you directly into His purpose for the world. Your understanding of your ways must also be surrendered, because they are now the ways of the Lord.

I must learn that the purpose of my life belongs to God, not me. God is using me from His great personal perspective, and all He asks of me is that I trust Him. I should never say, “Lord, this causes me such heartache.” To talk that way makes me a stumbling block. When I stop telling God what I want, He can freely work His will in me without any hindrance. He can crush me, exalt me, or do anything else He chooses. He simply asks me to have absolute faith in Him and His goodness. Self-pity is of the devil, and if I wallow in it I cannot be used by God for His purpose in the world. Doing this creates for me my own cozy “world within the world,” and God will not be allowed to move me from it because of my fear of being “frost-bitten.”

Am I getting nobler, better, more helpful, more humble, as I get older? Am I exhibiting the life that men take knowledge of as having been with Jesus, or am I getting more self-assertive, more deliberately determined to have my own way? It is a great thing to tell yourself the truth. The Place of Help

Oswald Chambers

Grace to Keep Going

2 Corinthians 12:7-10

When you listen to someone speak, what gives his or her words weight? How do you decide to listen to what’s being said? Most often, we measure a person’s message against his or her experience, dismissing words that don’t match the speaker’s story.

Therefore, when we come to the apostle Paul’s discussion of God’s sufficiency, we ask, “Is this something Paul can really talk about?” And we are able to read the Word and see that the answer is a resounding yes.

Paul’s personal testimony recounts some of the hardships that confronted him (2 Cor. 11:22-28). He was imprisoned, beaten, threatened, stoned, ship-wrecked, robbed, and chased throughout his entire ministry. On top of all this, he had a persistent, unrelenting “thorn” oppressing his body (2 Cor. 12:7-8).

You’d think that God would keep His best servants in perfect condition and optimal health. Yet, here we see that although Paul prayed for relief, God’s answer was not what he expected. Rather than receiving a grand, sweeping cure, Paul was given a deeper answer: “My grace is sufficient for you” (2 Cor. 12:9).

Through that difficulty, God taught Paul a vital lesson: It does not matter how weak we think we are, or how oppressed or downtrodden. In God’s hands, our weakness makes room for His strength. And it is through His power—and His power alone—that we can do amazing things.

Perhaps you struggle with your own “thorn.” If so, instead of praying for a quick fix, ask God what He wants to accomplish through your weakness. Your human frailty just may be the vessel through which God can display His unlimited power to the world.

Family Structure: Wives

“Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as it is fit in the Lord.” (Colossians 3:18)

This instruction has created an undue amount of “interpretation” over the past century. The terminology is not unclear, but the culture (particularly in the Western world) has resisted the idea that God has specifically designed the structure of the family—beginning with the role of the wife and mother in the home.

She is to “submit” to her husband. The Greek word is hupotasso, a compound term that simply describes an “orderly arrangement.” Obviously, the instructions assume obedience to the design for human procreation “from the beginning of the creation” (Mark 10:6-7) and an understanding of the judgment handed down to humanity in Genesis 3.

That sentence on women (through Eve) is placed on all women, since “Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression” (1 Timothy 2:14). Also included in the description in Genesis 3:16 is that the woman will “long” (Hebrew teshuqateh) for her husband, and her husband will “have power” (Hebrew mashal) over her.

The arrangement, therefore, is designed to prevent further debility and to protect the woman through the man’s willing obedience to love her sacrificially and unconditionally, as “Christ loved the church.”

Ultimately, of course, all obedience is voluntary. Wives are to “arrange” themselves under their husband’s authority, knowing that the instructions are given by an omnipotent and omniscient heavenly Father whose care for each of us is greater than we can imagine.

This basic family structure is “fit in the Lord,” promising us that our obedience will insure His care and blessing within the most intimate of all human relationships. HMM III

Preparation Is Vital

David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. —1 Samuel 17:37

The whole Bible and all past history unite to teach that battles are always won before the armies take the field. The critical moment for any army is not the day it engages the foe in actual combat; it is the day before or the month before or the year before….

Preparation is vital. The rule is, prepare or fail. Luck and bluster will do for a while, but the law will catch up with us sooner or later, usually sooner….

It did not take Moses long to lead the children of Israel out through the Red Sea to deliverance and freedom; but his fittedness to lead them out was the result of years of hard discipline. It took David only a few minutes to dispose of Goliath; but he had beaten the giant long before in the person of the lion and the bear….

Preparation is vital. Let this be noted by everyone. We can seek God today and get prepared to meet temptation tomorrow; but if we meet the enemy without first having met God, the outcome is not conjectural; the issue is already decided. We can only
lose.

Lord, quiet my heart this morning and feed me from Your Word. I can’t enter the battle of today without this vital preparation. Help me even in the busiest of days to maintain this discipline of preparation. Amen.

Would You Settle for an Absentee God?

Hear now this, O foolish people, and without understanding; which have eyes and see not, which have ears and hear not; Fear ye not me? saith the Lord: will ye not tremble at my presence?… Jeremiah 5:21, 22

“There are over many who have much knowledge and little virtue,” said the blind saint, Malaval, “and who often speak of God while rarely speaking to Him.”

The Bible teaches plainly enough the doctrine of the divine omnipresence, but for the masses of professed Christians this is the era of the Absentee God. Most Christians speak of God in the manner usually reserved for a departed loved one, rarely as of one present; but they do not often speak to Him.

Truth is always better than error, and with the inspired Scriptures before us we need not think wrongly about such an important matter as this. We can know the truth if we will.

An Absentee God is among other things inadequate!

He does not meet the needs of the being called man. As a baby is not satisfied away from its mother, and as life on earth is impossible without the sun, so human beings need a present God, and they can be neither healthy nor satisfied without Him.

Surely God would not have created us to be satisfied with nothing less than His presence if He had intended that we should get on with nothing more than His absence.

No. The Scriptures and moral reason agree that God is present!

Moral Determination

He… was glad, and exhorted them all, that with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord. ACTS 11:23

Though we do not have much of it in this age of spineless religion, there is nevertheless much in the Bible about the place of moral determination in the service of the Lord.

The Old Testament tells us that “Jacob vowed a vow,” (Genesis 28:20) and Daniel “purposed in his heart” (Daniel 1:8). Paul determined “not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and Him crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2). Above all, we have the example of the Lord Jesus “setting His face like a flint” (Isaiah 50:7) and walking straight toward the cross. These and many others have left us a record of spiritual greatness born out of a will firmly set to do the will of God!

They did not try to float to heaven on a perfumed cloud, but cheerfully accepted the fact that “with purpose of heart they would cleave unto the Lord” (Acts 11:23).

We must surrender—and in that terrible, wonderful moment we may feel that our will has been forever broken, but such is not the case. In His conquest of the soul, God purges the will and brings it into union with His own, but He never breaks it!

Lord, I may not have the kind of high and lofty calling as did several biblical personalities, but I surrender myself to Your will and purpose for my life.