“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”
— Genesis 1:1
If we get the subject of origins (creation-evolution) wrong, what else do we miss? Nonetheless, the assumption of so many today is that science has somehow disproved God. Consider the testimony of the late Dr. Dick Lumsden, biology professor and former dean of Tulane Graduate School.
Dr. Lumsden dogmatically taught evolution to his classes until one day a student politely asked him a number of pointed questions. She asked him questions such as: “How does evolution fit with the fundamentals of information theory?” “Aren’t the odds of random assembly of genes mathematically impossible?” “Last month you showed us how mutations were genetic disasters. How, vis-à-vis natural selection, could they randomly produce new and better structures, improved species?” “Where exactly, in the fossil record—is the evidence for progressive evolution, the transitional forms between major groups?”
Initially Lumsden dogmatically defended evolution, trying his best to answer her questions. But after an honest evaluation of the issue, he concluded that evolution was scientifically bankrupt: “I realized that the origin and diversification of life by evolution was a mathematical, physical, and biochemical impossibility, that the evidence for it was at best circumstantial, and a lot of what we really knew about biology was outright contradictory to the hypothesis.” Dr. Lumsden became a reluctant creationist first and later a Christian. For those willing to look at the evidence, creation is the better explanation of origins.
The opening sentence of the Bible says it all. And if God did that, then can He not do the rest?
Lord, give me strength for today to be a witness for You. We praise You that all of creation shouts out, pointing to Your creative power. We praise You that You can transform even a skeptical college professor…
BY HIS STRENGTH, WE CAN RECOGNIZE
WHAT HIS HANDS HAVE MADE.
“He who was seated on the throne said, ‘Look! I am making all things new.’”
— Revelation 21:5
In the 19th century, in Britain, there was a skeptic who said to a converted drunkard, “Surely you don’t believe those Bible miracles, such as Christ turning water into wine.” The ex-drunkard replied, “If you think that’s a miracle, come to my home and I’ll show you how Christ changed beer into carpets, chairs and even a piano.” Christ had come to dwell in the heart of that converted drunkard and had transformed his inward life and his outward circumstances as well. From His time to the present, Jesus Christ has been active in the supernatural work of transforming human hearts.
In the Gospels alone, we see a few examples of lives changed by Jesus:
- Mary Magdalene, from whom Jesus had cast out seven demons (Luke 8:2), was privileged to be the first to see Jesus after He had been raised from the dead.
- The greedy Zaccheus, who gave away half of his income after meeting Jesus, had formerly been involved in a dubious but lucrative position, which he forsook for the sake of following Christ.
- Simon Peter, an impulsive man who often acted before he thought—was changed into a powerful Christian leader and the Lord used him despite his impetuous nature.
- Two brothers, John and James, known as “sons of thunder,” presumably because of their explosive tempers became loving disciples. So too, we become new creatures in Christ, who makes all things new.
Lord, give me strength for today to live fully committed to You. Thank You for the change You have made in my life. Help me to give You all the praise and glory for making all things new, including me…
BY HIS STRENGTH, WE CAN
EXPERIENCE NEW LIFE IN CHRIST.
“Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw yourselves from every brother who walks in idleness and not according to the tradition that he received from us.”
— 2 Thessalonians 3:6
After trillions and trillions of dollars in wealth transfers, was the result that there is not a single poor person left in this country? Would that that were so! The result was that millions of people who could work are no longer working. Millions of Americans are receiving food stamps.
Americans and Christians need to realize that there is no morality in the government’s coming with a gun and taking money from you and giving it to the poor. I am amazed at how many people speak about these things as if there were a moral and spiritual matter involved. Does anyone attempt to justify Robin Hood on spiritual and moral grounds?
God wants people who are willing to voluntarily give of their money to help the needy and not people who have it taken away at the point of a gun. But if you don’t think it is taken away at the point of a gun, just try and not give it, and you will find very quickly that you will end up in jail.
We have a very perverted sense in this country today, and I believe that it is going to result in the emasculation of the American civilization. I think we as Christians all too often have been more than willing to take anything we can get out of the government, and we have had our own complicity in this whole thing. It is destroying the moral fiber of the American people.
Lord, give me strength for today to provide for my family. Forgive me for ever being “generous” with other people’s money. Help us to be genuinely concerned about and generous toward the poor and the down and out…
BY HIS STRENGTH, WE CAN BE PART
OF THE SOLUTION, NOT THE PROBLEM.
“…This is what the Lord has said, ‘Tomorrow is the Sabbath, a holy Sabbath to the Lord. Bake that which you will bake today, and boil that which you will boil, and all that which remains over lay up for yourselves to be kept until the morning.’”
— Exodus 16:23
In the days of Moses, when His people were wandering in the wilderness, God provided for them daily bread in the form of manna. On the day before the Sabbath, however, they were to gather enough for two days. Then next day, on the Sabbath day, there was none on the ground. If the manna was left overnight on any of the other days, it would have worms and stink, but on that seventh day it would not corrupt or gather worms, and it would be good the next day.
How amazing God is! This reminds us of the fact that if we will remember His Sabbath, God will provide for us. Working on the Sabbath is something to avoid if at all possible. I think of one man who told me years ago that he had to work on the Lord’s Day to gather up money for some unusual expenses. I knew at the time that would not work out, and, lo and behold, the day came when he lost his primary job and had a severe financial setback. I believe that if he had obeyed God that would not have happened to him.
Jesus taught us that the Sabbath was made for our good. Indeed we do better when we rest for a day. The Sabbath day is a “day of sacred assembly,” according to Leviticus 23:3 (NIV). As much as is possible, we should set aside the Lord’s day for worship and for rest.
Lord, give me strength for today to rest on Your day, to gather with Your people and worship You in Spirit and in truth. Thank You for the gift of a day off, the gift of Your re-creation in our lives…
BY GOD’S STRENGTH, WE CAN HONOR
THE SABBATH AND BE REFRESHED.
“Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep—so will your poverty come upon you like a stalker, and your need as an armed man.”
— Proverbs 6:10-11
Proverbs contrasts the diligent one who will succeed with the sluggard who will fail. By a person’s diligence, his indefatigable keeping at his tasks, his lack of slothfulness, his rising early, and his attending to the minute details of his affairs, he gains for himself and for his family wealth.
The one who deals with a slack hand, one who by design is lazy, will not have what he needs. Now there are those that might look at some who are profligate in their great wealth and spend their money luxuriously and foolishly, but the Bible says that the poor man who is slothful is a brother to the man who is a great waster. The Bible says further that the sluggard will not plow by reason of the cold, therefore he shall beg in harvest and have nothing.
The desire of the slothful kills him for his hand refused to labor. The drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty and drowsiness shall clothe a man in rags. The slothful man says there is a lion in the streets, so he can’t work. As the door turns upon its hinges so does the slothful man upon his bed. Another thing about the slothful man we are told is that he obstinately refuses to be corrected and because he refuses to be corrected, he does not improve, and he continues in his poverty and his misery. May God give us the grace to work diligently to not only provide what we need and to generously provide for others. May he also make us teachable.
Lord, You told us to go to the ant and be wise. Like these little creatures we should work hard and plan for the future. Help me to be diligent today in all my tasks…
BY GOD’S STRENGTH, WE CAN PRAY FOR
THE FUTURE AND ENTRUST IT TO HIM.
“Yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he is offering a service to God.”
— John 16:2
Religion-wise, the greatest competitor to Christianity for hearts and souls for all eternity is Islam. Some people like to say we all worship the same God, just with different names. How naïve they are.
Islam has been violent for the bulk of its fourteen-centuries-long existence. From the very beginning, Islam gained much of its territory by wielding the sword. By about 1000 A.D. half of what had been Christendom was conquered by Islam.
All of the churches to which Christ sent letters in the book of Revelation were in territories now dominated by the Muslims. Much of the New Testament was written in and to places now in Muslim hands. This includes the books of Galatians, Ephesians, and Colossians. The Christians were first called Christians in a place (Antioch) now under complete Muslim control.
The radical follower of Islam does not represent the views, life, actions of all or of most Muslims. But taking jihad seriously is one of the teachings of the Koran, and those who do it are considered good Muslims.
The difference between Christianity and Islam is enormous. Mohammed said that people were to give their sons for Allah. The Bible says that God gave His son for you and me.
Oh Lord, as we see the spread of Islam and its violence and its persecution of Your saints, we tremble at the terror with which they are flooding the world. But we thank You that You only allow evil to seemingly triumph for a limited time…
BY GOD’S STRENGTH, WE
CAN STAND AGAINST EVIL.
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how shall it be made salty? It is from then on good for nothing but to be thrown out and to be trampled underfoot by men.”
— Matthew 5:13
The church needs to awaken after many decades of lethargy and sleep. When this happens, I believe we will see many of the most unfortunate and godless decisions that have been made in this country in the past few decades reversed, and America will be restored again to a godliness—the kind of godliness that made us great.
This isn’t going to happen overnight. Christians need to have far more influence in public elections. I believe that if we mobilized properly we could be the dominant force in elections in this nation. Those who would flaunt their disregard for moral and ethical standards would then find it increasingly difficult, and finally, impossible to be elected to high office in this nation.
I believe the church will also need to exercise more responsibility for the needy. As the nation retreats from the socialistic path it has been on for some time, the obligation will again be returned to local organizations and to the church. We will need to more fully exercise our responsibility and opportunity to minister to the poor, as the church at one time did. That will, indeed, give us the opportunity of bringing to them not only the physical needs of food and clothing, but also the Gospel of Christ, which can feed their souls and clothe them in the white robes of righteousness. Meanwhile, I am grateful for those already involved in this process. Take away the church and their feeding programs and a lot more people would do without.
Lord Jesus, give me strength for today to find a need and to fill it in Your name. Thank You for the incredible way Your people all over the world feed the hungry and clothe the naked. Lord, help us to make a difference for righteousness’ sake in this country…
BY GOD’S STRENGTH, THE CHURCH OF
CHRIST CAN BE TRUE SALT AND LIGHT.
“Wealth makes many friends, but the poor is separated from his neighbor.”
— Proverbs 19:4
Proverbs has much to say about practical living, including the advantages of wealth and the disadvantages of poverty. Saint Francis indeed might have taken poverty for his bride, but the wisdom of the book of Proverbs does not recommend it. For example, it says, “The rich man’s wealth is his strong city; the destruction of the poor is their poverty” (Proverbs 10:15).
Like Francis, there have been those of a more mystical bent who have glorified poverty, and yet this is not what wisdom would have us see. As far as this book of the Bible is concerned, the destruction of the poor is their poverty. Indeed, poverty can be a devastating thing, and there are those in our cities today who know full well the truthfulness of this ancient wisdom.
Proverbs tells us that the rich man gains many advantages through his power of giving gifts. It brings him before great men. It procures for him universal friendship, such as that friendship may be, and it enables him to pacify the anger of an adversary—for a gift given to an angry man pacifies anger, we are told. Not only does his wealth make for him many friends, but it also secures positions of influence and authority over those who are not wealthy. It enables him to rise to positions of prominence, to hold places in parliaments or obtain governorships or other such offices as this. Above all, the Bible says to trust in God and not in uncertain riches.
Lord, You give us what we have. Help us to be content and at the same time improve our income when we are able. Your kingdom goes forth through funding, including that from the affluent. Help us to use what we have for Your honor and glory…
BY GOD’S STRENGTH, WE CAN USE
OUR RICHES TO BUILD HIS KINGDOM.
“Woe to you, when all men speak well of you, for so their fathers spoke of the false prophets.”
— Luke 6:26
One purpose of the pulpit is actually to drive members right out of the church as part of the continuing purging. The operation of the keys of the kingdom of God is coordinated with the whole matter of church discipline.
As the truth is preached and some unregenerate church members hear the truth, it tromps on people’s toes. And their ungodliness and impenitence and wicked lies are exposed and their heresies are blasted. They leave and the church continues to be purified.
Of course, one of the tragedies of the church today is that too many preachers are afraid to step on anybody’s toes. They will have to answer to Christ for that.
As the truth is proclaimed, God’s own people will be drawn unto Him and the tares will be repulsed. That is the inevitable consequence of preaching the truth. Of course my greater desire is that everyone would repent and come to Christ and that none would be driven away.
Ah, my friends, but that shall never be—for we are a savor of life unto life for some and death unto death for others, and that is part of the calling of every minister and of everyone who names the name of Jesus Christ. What is true of me is true of you as well in your witness for Christ. We need to persevere unto the end, for those who persevere unto the end will be saved.
Pure and holy Lord, we wish that none would turn away from You, but we have promised to work for both the purity and the peace of the church. Help us to never water down Your Word or accept heresy because we want peace and unity…
BY GOD’S STRENGTH, THE
CHURCH CAN BE PURIFIED.
“And without faith it is impossible to please God, for he who comes to God must believe that He exists and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
— Hebrews 11:6
Faith in Jesus is the only ship that sails for Paradise. Faith is the only door to heaven. Faith is the only key that opens the mansions above. Faith is that upon which we rest our heads when we come to the end of this life. Surely it is sad that millions of people in America have never learned the great foundational truth that salvation is by faith alone. Consequently, they have never come to the place where they know assuredly that they are going to Paradise.
Some professing Christians do not realize that they can have the assurance of salvation. But the Bible says it emphatically of those who truly believe in the Son of God: “These things I have written … that you may know that you have eternal life” (I John 5:13) [Emphasis added]. You don’t need to guess, surmise, or speculate. You can know for sure. That is the wonder of faith, and that faith is faith in the crucified and risen Christ. It is faith in the only Redeemer of the world, the only One who has taken our sins and paid for them all, and now offers to receive us freely into His kingdom above.
Suicide bombers of radical Islamic groups blow themselves up and kill others because they think by doing so they will end up in paradise. They are wrong; they will end up in hell. But we as Christians should rejoice in the blessed assurance that we can know we have eternal life.
God of my salvation, thank You for the firm assurance of eternal life. Thank You that I belong to You both here on earth and later in heaven. This is a “foretaste of glory divine”…
BY GOD’S STRENGTH, WE ARE
SAVED FOR ALL ETERNITY.