Sixth And Final Day Of Creation

Sixth And Final Day Of Creation

Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was good. So the evening and the morning were the sixth day.”–Genesis 1:31

The sixth day of Creation—the final day of creation—has ended and God has decided it was a good day. Beyond that, He reviewed all He had made and determined everything He created was very good. The obvious take away from this verse is everything God created was good, but we see so much more than that. God is giving us another example of how we should view what we do in His name.

By looking at completion of all He created, He is teaching us to focus on the present. Read over today’s verse again and take note of the first sentence. “Then God saw everything He had made, and indeed it was very good.” At no time does the Bible say, “for now”, or “but things were going to get worse”. God already knew what mankind was going to do and had made plans to deal with what would take place. Instead, He is focusing on what He has just created.

Too often, we become jaded by the world around us and the people we must deal with. Take, for example, someone with an addiction. You can, with the noblest of intentions, do all within your power to help them overcome. Once they are clean, you feel the sacrifices you made were worth it, but before you know it, the addict returns to his or her addiction. Out of love, or the sense of responsibility, you, again, do what you can. Again, success, and, again, a return to the addiction. You begin to see the inevitable return to addiction before they ever set foot on the path to sobriety. And this is just one example; talk about disheartening.

This is why we need to follow God’s example. Do good for the sake of good. Even if you know things will go wrong in the future, focus on the present. When we begin to question why we even bother to do good, we forget what God can do with the good we’ve done. Reconsider the addiction scenario. When we help someone for the fifth or sixth time—wondering why we still bother to help at all—we forget God is helping us. If we give up after the fourth intervention, we rob the addict of the chance to find God after the fifth intervention. Just because there is a pattern of reverting back to the old ways, it doesn’t mean God can’t break that pattern.

Regardless of how many times you help someone, or do good in your own life, focus on that. We know the future is in God’s hands so let’s trust Him to take care of it. Continue to do what you can and do it in God’s name, He will see that good comes from your efforts.

Cattle, Creeping Things, And Beasts

Cattle, Creeping Things, And Beasts

Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beasts of the earth, each according to its kind”: and it was so.”–Genesis 1:24

With the birds of the air and water creatures now finished, God turns His attention to populating the land. While avian and aquatic creatures were an important part of Creation, God was already looking to the future. So far, God has built upon His earlier works, and day six is no different. When He made the waters, He filled them with things that could survive therein; it was the same with the heavens. He is now prepared to populate the dry parts of the earth.

In this verse, God prepares to bring forth all other creatures with the exception of man. While only three types are listed—cattle, creeping thing, and beasts of the earth—they represent all others. The cattle are a representation of the domesticate animals, while the beasts of the earth are the wild animals. Of the three, the creeping things are the largest and most varied. This group encompasses everything from insects and arachnids to reptiles and snakes. Some scholars even believe rodents and burrowing creatures would be included. Regardless of whether they are or not, or if they are a part of the beasts of the earth, all land creatures are represented. And each will reproduce according to its kind.

Watch any nature show and you will see that, even in the harshest environment, life can be found. Before He spoke them into existence, God knew what each creature would need to survive. He also gave each creature the ability to adapt to its environment knowing what the future held.

As Christians, we often find ourselves in situations where we see no hope of survival. One of my failings is to constantly ask God, “Why? Why does it feel like You are continually piling the problems on me?” I have even accused God of over-estimating my strength…which, of course, is ridiculous. Much like the creatures He created before man, He has made it possible for us to survive any situation we find ourselves in. As sinners, He prepared our salvation through mercy and grace; as Christians, He prepared our deliverance through grace and hope. Just as the creatures of the earth must prepare for the changing seasons, we, too must prepare for what lies ahead.

For us to survive the things we must face, we must pray without ceasing and hold firmly to God. We must accept both His love and His chastisement, for both of these help us to grow closer to Him. If God allows a situation to come upon you, then, rejoice in knowing He made a way to get through it.

Ring The Bells By Nannie R. Glass

Ring The Bells By Nannie R. Glass

Ring out the bells of heaven!
Obey the great command,
That all may hear their melody
On mountain, sea, and land,
The chimes of glory sounding,
Ascending to the sky;
Jesus our Savior reigneth
Forever more on high.

Ring how he bore our trials
And sorrows here below;
Of his lamb-like, sinless nature,
Purer than falling snow;
How he gave his life to banish
The clouds of midnight gloom
That brooded o’er creation
And o’er the dreary tomb.

Ring of the well of Sichar
And the everlasting tide,
With which its sparkling waters
His imagery supplied.
Ring of his mighty power
To comfort and to heal,
His gentleness and sympathy
In either woe or weal.

Ring of his blood that speaketh
Than Abel’s, better things,
And to the guilty conscience
Sweet peace and pardon brings.
Ring how he burst death’s fetters
In rising from the grave,
And from its lasting bondage
Will all his people save.

Ring how he intercedeth
And ever lives above
For all who trust and serve him,
Rejoicing in his love;
Of the many mansions he’s prepared
Of everlasting rest,
Whose joys no tongue can utter
Nor tell how glad and blest.

Awake, then, to your duty,
O church of Christ, awake!
Behold the beauty of their feet
Who the glad tidings take!
Reach out and ring the bells of heaven;
Blest be the hands that give
The truth, that all who listen
May hope and joy and live!
Ah, ’tis a wondrous story!
Good news to all the world!
The gospel means glad tidings
Wherever ’tis unfurled.

Great God, impart thy Spirit
That all who love their Lord
May see in life a flitting hour
To obey and speak his word.

Fifth Day Of Earth’s Creation

Fifth Day Of Earth’s Creation

So the evening and the morning were the fifth day.”–Genesis 1:23

God spent four days preparing the planet for this glorious moment. The fifth day of Creation is complete and the planet now holds life. A blessing is upon the birds of the air and the creatures in the waters to be fruitful and multiply. Even though our look at Creation is not finished, we see the initial fulfillment of God’s intentions.

Our thoughts today go to the preparations and end results of God’s plans. Let us, for a moment, examine our lives up to this point. For most of us, the paths we have followed haven’t been completely smooth; we have all faced adversity of some sort. While we were never promised an easy path, God did promise never to leave us or forsake us. At times, however, doubt makes us forget this. While we are on our life’s path, it is hard to see past the obstacles we face. As a result, we find ourselves filled with a false sense of hopelessness. (I say “false sense” because—when facing these obstacles—we forget His promises).

Looking back at the first four days of Creation, a question comes to mind. Why didn’t Genesis begin with “God created the world and everything in it”? It was to show us the preparation is as important as the end result.

Everything we have gone through so far has been to prepare us for what is to come. More often than not, we cannot see past our troubles; they blind us to God’s end result for us. God has never put an obstacle in our path without making a way to overcome it. Overcoming our obstacles comes down to two simple words: trust God. Perhaps it is mankind’s conceit which prevents us from trusting Someone greater than ourselves. To do so requires us to admit our weaknesses, yet God promised in our weakness we would find strength. It might be because man sees trusting God as foolish: He uses the foolish to shame and confound the wise. He always makes a way.

Whatever we face, be it sickness, death, unemployment, or whatever else you can imagine, God is trying to make us stronger. When we go to our knees and ask for help, we aren’t showing weakness, we are showing wisdom. When we turn everything over to Him, we are admitting to ourselves and the world that He is greater than we are. This is all intended to get us to where we need to be, and that is closer to Him. The things we go through make us who we are. Are we going to trust in our own abilities and fail, or are we going to trust in God and be what we are supposed to be?

Management Of The Universe

Management Of The Universe

“You find no difficulty in trusting the Lord with the management of the universe and all the outward creation, and can your case be any more complex or difficult than these, that you need to be anxious or troubled about His management of it?”–Hannah Whitall Smith

Fourth Day Of Creation Has Passed

Fourth Day Of Creation Has Passed

So the evening and the morning were the fourth day.”–Genesis 1:19

We have come, again, to another of what I call “skip over verses”. When we read these, we tend to give them only the briefest notice because they seem to have no meaning or value. We often see this attitude whenever we read the Biblical genealogies; upon seeing the word “begat”, people tend to cringe. Yet all of these verses, no matter how insignificant they seem to us, are an important part of God’s Word. So, you might ask, what is the significance of this verse? This verse is important because it shows us both an ending and a beginning.

The obvious ending—and one of the reasons it’s value seems lessened—is it tells us the fourth day is completed. God completed three days of creation before this, so it is just following a pattern…right? Wrong. The end of this particular day means that God has finished preparing the world to support life. He has provided the food, light, guidance, and protection the living will need to survive. With all of these things set in place, it is the beginning of our world as God intended for it to be.

Every day God gives us is important, whether it is our first day of life, or our thirty-five thousand, two hundred and sixty-second day of life. (This is not a random number. It is the number of days my grandmother lived, and on that last day, she finally got to see her Savior face to face.) Each day is given to us by God, so no matter what it brings, we need to treasure it.

If you are lost, today is your fourth day. Everything has been prepared; even the price for your sins has been paid. All you need to do is confess your sins to God, ask for His forgiveness, and accept Jesus as your savior. Only then will you see the life that awaits you.

Signs, Seasons, Days, And Years

Signs, Seasons, Days, And Years

“Then God said, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years;”–Genesis 1:14

Up until this point in Creation we have had only light and darkness. This darkness was the literal silence of God, while the light was His breaking that silence. When He said, “Let there be light,” He didn’t create the sun, moon, and stars, He created pure light. The purpose of this light was to simply illuminate; it was to illuminate the works of His hands. As He began to prepare the world for life, He knew we would need more than just food to survive. We were going to need guidance—signs—and He was preparing nature to help in our physical guidance. For our sake, He put the lights in the firmament.

The question arises: if, on day four, everything is being made perfect, why would we need signs for guidance? Because God already knew mankind would turn from Him and lean unto our own understanding. This is why He gave us the stars and the planets, to help guide us when we no longer listened to Him. Stars and planets have been used for navigation ever since man decided to start traveling. Farms have, for thousands of years, used the positions of the stars to know when it was time to plant read. (It is even possible to use the North Star and the Big Dipper to tell time—in the northern hemisphere, at least.)

Relating this verse to our Christian lives, God reminds us we are not alone. Just as He knew we were going to fail, He also knew we—as Christians—were going to need help. While His Word (that pure light) is our main source of guidance, He knew we would need stars in our lives as well. These are our brothers and sisters in Christ. They are those who have gone before and left examples. Those who trained you up in the way you should go are among the stars in your life. When we are sick, we are to call upon the elders; they are also stars. Our preachers, Sunday School teachers, and youth leaders are all stars in our firmament.

When we pray, we always thank God for all He has done for us. Let us thank Him, too, for the people He has placed in our lives. Let us be grateful for those who offer encouragement, or a loving reprimand. There is an expression that says, “Give flowers to others while they are alive to enjoy them”. Don’t wait until it is too late to show the guiding stars in your life how much you appreciate all they have done for you.

Third Day Blessings Repeated

Third Day Blessings Repeated

“So the evening and the morning were the third day.”–Genesis 1:13

Each verse in the Bible has a purpose, even when they are repeated. Today’s verse is no different. Another day has come and gone, marking the end of the third day of creation: it was a good day. But why go through the trouble of telling us each time a day ends? First, it shows that God wants us to know and remember each day of creation. We keep track of important historical dates (i.e. Christmas, Easter, etc.) as well as days of personal importance—birthdays, anniversaries, and so forth. In God’s eyes, the creation of the fruit tree was an important day. Were the individual days of creation not important, the Bible would say, “God created everything,” then move on to Adam and Eve.

The second reason is because everything God does is applicable to our lives. On day three, He gave us the grasses, the herbs, and the trees; the food we would need to live. This includes wheat, barley, rye, and so forth. The third day gave us apples, oranges, grapes, etc. If it grows (and isn’t something recently bio-engineered), God gave it to us on this day. From the aforementioned grasses, we make flour and, following that, our bread. From the fruits, we produce jams, jellies, and even wine once it ferments. You may be beginning to see where this is going.

The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus was, in a sense, a spiritual affirmation of the Creation. He was born to be the Light of the World, but a darkness kept the whole world from seeing Him. On the day of His death, the temple veil ripped in two from top to bottom. The darkness of tradition no longer hid the Light, He was now available to all men. Some believe that on the second day, He descended into Hell, while others (based on His promise to the repentant thief) believe He was in Paradise. Regardless, Christ became our firmament, our protection against the forces of darkness. He became the barrier that, with the confession of our sins, keeps our soul safe.

Over the past couple weeks, we focused on how God created the food to sustain life once it appeared. On that third day, when Jesus rose from the dead, it was as if the seed bearing grasses, herbs, and trees burst forth from the ground once again. He is our True Vine, our Bread of Life, and our New Wine. Jesus is the Firstfruits and the Living Bread. He is the spiritual food we need to live—not just in the here and now, but eternally.

In Psalm 78:19, a question arose; “Can God prepare a table in the wilderness?” In truth, it is the wilderness of our lives that He sets the table before us. Christ is all these things and more, all we need to do is come to the table and accept what is put before us.

Heaven On The Second Day

Heaven On The Second Day

“And God called the firmament Heaven. So the evening and the morning were the second day.”–Genesis 1:8

We see that before God declares another day complete, He takes the time to name the firmament. God has set the barrier of protection in place and called it Heaven. This heaven that separates earth from space, however, is not the Heaven where the saved go where we die. What God has done is put into place a representation of our final home. As individuals, it is above us; as a world, it surrounds us. All we have to do is look up and it is there. It is a visible reminder that He is watching over us.

As believers, God uses his creation to remind us how important we are and what He has in store. He also uses the things made by His hands to remind us of His many promises. We all look to heaven as our final destination, but oftentimes we lose sight of that goal. How do we see the sky? How do we see the sun, the moon, clouds, and stars? We have to look up. We know these things are above us, but unless we lift our eyes towards the heavens we won’t see their exact location. It is the same with God. If we don’t lift up our eyes—our spiritual eyes—we will lose track of God.

On August 21, 2017, a large swath of America witnessed a solar eclipse. People were encouraged to view this event, but only after taking certain precautions. When we lift up our eyes to God, certain precautions must be taken. We must humble our heart and not just set our pride aside, but we must remove it all together. When we do this, we fulfill the sacrifice of a broken heart and a contrite spirit. We are not broken down to show our failures, but to receive our strength. It is in this moment of brokenness, when we are looking toward heaven, we see our protection. It is then that we see God’s mercy and grace.

We see, again, that God didn’t wait until our lives were bright and cheery to put His protection in place. Our God begins working when we are in the darkest, and lowest, point of our lives. He doesn’t wait until there is no hope to create it; the hope is already waiting for us to look up and see it. Look up, see God’s protection, and thank Him for another day.

Waters Divided Above And Below

Waters Divided Above And Below

“Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so.”–Genesis 1:7

As we see once again, what God has promised, He has fulfilled. Thus far, God creates and declares it to be good, then moves on to His next task. In this verse, however, we see that a new phrase has been added…”and it was so”. The question this brings up is, “Why now?”. What separates this moment of creation from those that have gone before? It is because this is the fulfillment of the promise of protection. The firmament purpose is to protect the earth, its atmosphere, and everything He was about to populate the planet with.

In 1987, a science fiction television show debuted and ran until 1994; it even spawned a few movies. During the course of the series, the captain of the spacecraft would often indicate a given command by saying, “Make it so,” to his crew. That meant there was no option but to obey. When God created the firmament, He did not intended it as a temporary fix. It was a command that kept the protective barrier in place.

We hear of natural disasters all across the globe almost on a weekly basis. Floods, tornadoes, earthquakes, and a dozen other such events strike without warning. Within our atmosphere are the weather patterns that brew up the storms, while tectonic plates shift to cause earthquakes. Some might question where God’s protection is. Rest assured it is still in place. Everything the populated earth needs to survive is safe from the harshness of space and the things it holds. For example, 90 to 95% of all meteorites never make it through the firmament to strike the earth. And there is a lesson in those that do.

People are much like the earth. We are all beset by personal tragedies at one time or another. Sickness, death, violence, and a host of others, come upon us when we least expect it. Again, people question where God’s protection is. It, like the firmament surrounding the earth, is still there. When God established His grace, He made it so it would be sufficient enough to help us through our troubles. It was also a command to Satan that said he could only do so much in our lives. As it was with Job, our souls are off limits to Satan.

Like the meteorites that make it through the atmosphere, however, things do reach us despite being surrounded by God’s grace…but only because we allow them to. How often could we avoid sickness, or even death, if we ate right and exercised? Couldn’t we avoid acts of violence against us if we were more aware of our surroundings? Wouldn’t it be so much easier to resist temptation if we prayed and read our Bible more? No matter how much protection God affords us, it doesn’t mean a thing if we don’t put our trust in Him.