He counts the number of the stars; He calls them all by name. Psalm 147:4
Poor Pluto! Many of us remember when he was one of nine planets circling the sun. But the International Astronomical Union decided he wasn’t a full-sized planet after all, so now there are only eight. Yet mathematicians insist there are nine planets, so astronomers are searching day and night for “Planet X,” which is believed to be ten times the mass of earth and lurking in the outer reaches of our solar system.
God knows the number and names of the stars, and He also knows the planets. He created the universe with a precision that baffles the wisest scientist and with beauty that outstrips the greatest artist.
Don’t let the skeptics disturb you. False theories about the origin of the universe abound, and the psychological harm they inflict is appalling. They fill the minds of entire generations with despair. But the message of our Creator God is one of love. He made us. He knows us. He has a roadmap for our lives. And the more we learn of Him, the more we understand who we are and why we’re on earth.
The universe in its immensity was especially created for us humans so that we could see and appreciate the glory and the power of God. Werner Gitt
Psalm 147:4 (+ addl verses). How Big Is Your God? / Mike Orlando
If one part suffers, every part suffers with it. 1 Corinthians 12:26
In 2013, seventy-year-old James McConnell, a British Royal Marine veteran, died. McConnell had no family, and staff from his nursing home feared no one would attend his funeral. A man tapped to officiate McConnell’s memorial service posted a Facebook message: “In this day and age it is tragic enough that anyone has to leave this world with no one to mourn their passing, but this man was family. . . . If you can make it to the graveside . . . to pay your respects to a former brother in arms, then please try to be there.” Two hundred Royal Marines packed the pews!
These British compatriots exhibited a biblical truth: we’re tied to one another. “The body is not made up of one part, but of many,” Paul says (1 Corinthians 12:14). We’re not isolated. Just the opposite: we’re bound in Jesus. Scripture reveals organic interconnection: “If one member suffers, all the members suffer” (v. 26 nasb). As believers in Jesus, members of God’s new family, we move toward one another into the pain, into the sorrow, into those murky places where we would fear to go alone. But thankfully we do not go alone.
Perhaps the worst part of suffering is when we feel we’re drowning in the dark all by ourselves. God, however, creates a new community that suffers together. A new community where no one should be left in the dark.
Reflect & Pray
When have you felt most alone? How does God’s grace, kindness, and friendship help you deal with loneliness?
Is it true, God? Have You really placed me in a new community that knows and loves me in my suffering? Help me to believe this.
To learn more about suffering, visit ChristianUniversity.org/CA211.
We all love the idea of being free to make our own choices about what to do and where to go, but Christ offers a much greater liberty than this. It’s spiritual freedom from the power of Satan and the condemnation of sin. Jesus said the only way to be set free is to know the truth and become His disciple by believing in Him and continuing in His Word.
Are you standing firm in Christ’s freedom, or have you let sinful thought patterns, emotions, attitudes, and habits enslave you once again? Although believers have been granted freedom from the dominion of sin, we must fight to overcome our unrighteous impulses. This is done by taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ and putting to death fleshly desires and passions.
The good news is that we are not in this fight alone. When Christ set us free, His omnipotent Holy Spirit came to indwell and empower us. We also have God’s precious Word to guide and protect us. By His grace, we have everything we need to keep ourselves beyond sin’s control (Phil. 4:19). If you haven’t yet experienced what it is to be “free indeed” (John 8:36), put your trust in Jesus, the greatest liberator.
“Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” (2 Peter 1:4)
Scripture is full of promises, more than 2,800 in the Old Testament and more than 1,000 in the New. The first of these exceeding great and precious promises was the Protevangel (“first gospel”) of Genesis 3:15. Immediately after the fall of Adam and Eve through the temptation of Satan, God promised the coming Seed of the woman, the Savior: “And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; [He] shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”
The first New Testament promise, significantly, is this same primeval promise, now made far more specific: “And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins” (Matthew 1:21).
The last promise of the Old Testament speaks of a second coming of “Elijah the prophet,” who will “turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers” (Malachi 4:5-6). Then, the final promise of the Bible is the wonderful assurance of Christ concerning His glorious second coming: “Surely I come quickly” (Revelation 22:20).
Sandwiched between these great and precious promises are over 3,800 other promises. Some of these are in the form of promised warnings to the sinner, but promises nonetheless. Most promises, however, are to the obedient follower of God, and we know that “he is faithful that promised” (Hebrews 10:23). “For all the promises of God in him are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us” (2 Corinthians 1:20). HMM