Archive for the ‘Creation’ Category

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“CYNICISM OF THE RULED” – May 22

May 22, 2013

“But who are you, O man, to answer back to God?  Will what is molded say to the molder, “Why have you made me like this?  Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honored use and another for dishonorable use?”  Romans 9:20

Official photographic portrait of US President...

Scandal and politics seem to go together.  I don’t know if there has ever been a US President that did not have to battle some sort of charges of wrong-doing or abuse of power during their administration.   Several political scandals are currently rocking the US Presidential Administration of President Obama.  President Obama will be making the case over that next several months that he can still be trusted despite these accusations of impropriety.  President Obama will have to make the case to his supporters that these wrong-doings were isolated instances and that they can still trust their government to protect their interests and rights.  The president has to make the case that he can be trusted with power.

We will see how successful he is in the next several months.

The US government was created with checks and balances to curb the abuse of power by the government.  Have you thought about why these checks and balances are needed?  They are needed for the very reason that there are political scandals in every presidential administration.  They are needed because a government places the governing into a position of authority over the governed.  The very nature of that authority is ripe for lording over those subjected to the laws of the land.  There is no cornucopia of trustworthy leaders in history who have handled this authority well.  That is why we need checks and balances between the various branches of government.  That is why we need a free press.  That is why we need free and open elections.  We need all these mechanisms because our leaders are mere men and women and we can be corrupted by power.

Richard Milhous Nixon, 37th President of the U...

Men and women cannot be blindly trusted with authority.  It does not matter how wise, intelligent or great they may seem to be.  I am cynical of any politician or leader who tries to persuade me to just trust them.  However, what if they were completely trustworthy?  What if they were completely good?  What if they were completely loving?  What if they were completely honest?

Absolute power in the hands of someone like that would not be corrupting. 

I think that our correct cynicism of human rulers has a tendency to corrupt our view of God.  We want some sort of checks or balances in God’s power over the ruled.  I don’t find Paul’s explanation of God loving Jacob but hating Esau, before they were born, very satisfying in my human mind.

What shall we say then?  Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means!  For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion. Romans 9:14-15

Many people are unsettled with this concept of  “if God does it, that means it is not illegal.”  However, this is when we need to fight against putting our human characteristics and flaws upon God.  We only need checks and balances when the one in authority is corruptible.  That does not define God:

God is good;

God is trustworthy;

God is faithful:

God is honest;

God is love.

It is by faith in the character of God that we can drop our cynicism of his rule.  If God does it then that does mean that it is good, right, legal, fair, and loving.

I know that this is a very simplistic answer to a very difficult passage.  There have been many books written on the implications of Romans 9.  I think the study of the sovereignty of God and man’s free will is good and beneficial.  However, we can over-complicate the issue in pursuit of an answer that will satisfy our sense of fairness.  Our sense of fairness is built upon the premise that the ruler is corruptible.

There are particularly difficult doctrines that require a child’s faith. 

I don’t like the thought of those “vessels of wrath prepared for destruction.”  However, I accept that with the faith as of a child.  If God has done that then it is not against His character; it is not unfair; it is not wrong.  This world is not about us.  It is not about the creature.  This whole world was created to make much of the Creator.

God can do whatever He wants and that does not make him a tyrant.

He is not a tyrant because of who He is.

He is the Creator who is not corruptible by absolute power.  He does not need His power checked.

We just need to learn to trust Him in all things…as a child.

PRAYER: Lord, there are a lot of things that I do not fully understand.  Help me to be faithful to who you are as I wrestle with the deep truths about You.  Father, keep me firmly fixed on the foundation of your Son as I seek to know you more.  Lord, keep me from arrogance in the doctrines that I believe to be true.  Give me the faith of a Child.  Preserve that child-like faith throughout all aspects of my life.  I pray this in the precious name of your Son, Jesus Christ.   Amen.

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GOD IS (NOT) MY BUDDY – Nov. 22th

November 22, 2012

“By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host. He gathers the waters of the sea as a heap; he puts the deeps in storehouses. Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him! Psalm 33:4

It seems like most people have a very similar tendency.  If we are shown an image enough times we begin to accept it as real even when we know it is a caricature. Caricatures are used all the time to help communicate a point. I have seen characteristics exaggerated to highlight what can be overlooked. I have also seen caricatures used to simplify that which is hard to fathom.  The problem is when the caricature becomes so engrained that we begin to believe the distortion.

Most of us are familiar with maps of the United States like this one:

What is the largest US state?  Most of us know that Alaska is the largest state, followed by Texas. However, I think many people fail to grasp the true size of Alaska. We become so familiar with this common map of the United States that our perception of Alaska is that it is just a little bit bigger than Texas. The reason Alaska has to be shown at the scale it is on the map is in order to get it to fit. This map puts Alaska into scale for us.

Alaska is big. It is really, really big.  I mean no offence to my friends in Texas but y’all need to come up with a new slogan.

Our God is like this. God is so big that we have to use caricatures to simplify Him, so that we can explain and understand Him. The scale of God is indescribable. Louie Giglio does a great job in this video, giving us a perspective of the indescribable-ness of God.  It is so important to occasionally take our eyes off of our God caricatures and behold the true scale of the Almighty.

This is the Milky Way. Just consider that God made this with the breath of his mouth; our small, little, insignificant, backwater of the Universe that still contains billions of stars just like our own.  God not only created that but the entire Universe, with a word.  Let that sink in – with a word!

We get so familiar with the caricatures of Jesus holding us, carrying us, comforting us, defending us; all of which are very true and demonstrate wonderful characteristics of our God. However, there is a gigantic scale distortion in those images. We may begin to think that we are on God’s scale if those images are all that we behold. We can default into thinking that our glory is almost as important as God’s glory. It is so very important to take our eyes off our caricature aids and behold the grandeur of our God.  Behold the scale of the universe…that is just a word of God Almighty.

How does your glory stack up against that?

PRAYER: Lord, … wow … you truly are awesome. You know that I have a hard time even understanding your grandeur. Thank you for helping me grasp just a small portion of it. Thank you for showing me how absurd it is to worship myself or anything else on this small little planet that you have given us. Lord, give me perspective to live my in awe of you. You are great beyond my understanding. I give you all the praise and glory that I am capable of giving.   Amen

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