Made By God According To Kind

Made By God According To Kind

And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.”–Genesis 1:25

God made…”. There is something about these two simple words that amaze me. They are a wonderful example of how important all of God’s creations are to Him. When we see the words “God made”, we see the joy God has in His handiwork. Every creature on this planet was designed by the Creator. He made them perfect for their environment before the fall of mankind as well as what was to come after. Within each creature, God place the ability to change and adapt.

We need to remember at the time of Creation, there were no predators nor prey. The smaller creatures had no reason to defend themselves from other—larger, hungrier—creatures. For this reason, they had no need for the ability to camouflage themselves. The concept of predator and prey did not exist until the fall of mankind. There were also no deserts nor polar ice caps. The creatures that would eventually call these places home had no need for the ability to stay warm or cool. It would take the Flood and its receding to create such harsh environments. Yet God, in His omniscience, knew what everything would need to survive.

He also made it possible for these changes to occur in a matter of generations, not millions of years. The catalyst for these changes were there from the beginning. God did not have a moment where He smacked His forehead and said, “I should have…” and then changed everything. God knew the future.

In our lives, we also have the ability to experience change. God made man to serve Him and, in return, be loved by Him. Even before the foundation of the world, however, He knew we would not willingly choose that. To draw us back to Him, He filled us with a longing for something only He could give. We, of course, often try to fulfill that longing with things of this world, but to no avail. It is only when we accept Jesus as our Savior and God as our Master that we find fulfillment. At that moment, we realize the joy God had in creating us and how much He wants to bless us.

The greatest thing about this change we experience is that it doesn’t take millions of years, or even generations, it is instantaneous. The moment you surrender your heart to God, the change occurs. If you haven’t done so, why wait? If you feel that longing, like something is drawing you our of yourself, cry out to Jesus. Confess your sins to Him and He will make you a new creature in Him. It only takes a moment to change forever.

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.

Sea Creatures And Winged Birds

Sea Creatures And Winged Birds

So God created great sea creatures and every living things that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.”–Genesis 1:21

In the last verse, God called for the waters to be filled with an abundance of living creatures. This week’s focus verse is a little more specific concerning God’s creation saying He created “great sea creatures”. In addition to this,  the writer now refers to the birds as “winged birds”. It appears as if the writer has decided to make some clarifications concerning Genesis 1:20. First, he lets us know the size of certain of the sea creatures; then he differentiates between birds with or without wings. While a truly wingless bird seems preposterous today, such a creature did exist. The moa lived in what is now New Zealand up until around 1500 AD; the Maori hunted it to extinction

Looking more at the creatures that were abundant in the waters in the previous verse, we note the change in their description. It is a good example of how God made man; first, He made us, then He defined us. All men are born into sin. Until we reach the age of accountability, where we know right from wrong, God’s grace fully protects. Once we reach that age, then we realize we are sinners and desperately need a savior. At this point, we are like the sea creatures of verse 20. God does not define us when we are lost as preachers, deacons, ministers, or workers of any kind. It is only when we accept Jesus as our savior that God defines us.

As Christians, God defines as more than we were. He calls us to be apostles, prophets, preachers, teachers, evangelists, and pastors. Some are given a ministry of song, while others may be called to minister to the homeless and needy. Like the sea creatures, we become more when God works in our lives. We are also like the winged birds; God can help us to soar to great heights when we do His work. Without Him, we are like the moa; destined to never leave the ground, 

All it took was one verse for creatures that move in the waters to become great sea creatures. Let me leave you today with one verse (2nd Corinthians 6:2) that can make you more than you already are. “For He says, “In an acceptable time I have heard you, and in the day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the acceptable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.”

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.

Seed, Herb, And Fruit Tree

Seed, Herb, And Fruit Tree

“Then God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself’; and it was so.”–Genesis 1:11

Over the past couple weeks our focus has been on foundations, both physical and spiritual. God has been developing the earth for what begins to occur in this verse. He filled the void and shaped the world to best prepare it for its purpose, then set protections in place. Once this was done, He gathered the waters to reveal the earthen foundation upon which He would begin to build. The first thing He intended to place on the barren land was grass, herbs, and trees. This was to be the food for what was to come. He also made sure the herbs and the fruit contained seeds which would yield more herbs and fruit.

Looking back at verse 1, we saw how God created us with a purpose; He reiterates this here. If God had no intention of nurturing mankind, He would have had no reason to create self-replenishing food. What good is it to build a beautiful house, install state-of-the-art security, have children, but neglect supplying them with food to help them grow? God’s intention was to have everything ready when He began creating life. In addition to the dry land plant life, He placed vegetation beneath the waters. Every living thing would have a food supply.

God’s nurturing aspect extends into the lives of those who accept Jesus as their personal savior. As new Christians, we are viewed as children in the ways of the Lord. We require spiritual nutrition to grow in Him. God has given us His word as our main source of spiritual nutrition, but we have so much more available to us. We have prayer—for ourselves and others, fellowship, the singing of psalms and hymns, and charitable works. I’m sure if you examine your own lives, you will see other things that help you grow in God. If you do all these things to the glory of God, they, too, like the trees mentioned above, will bear fruit.

What we do in this life—the people we encounter, the places we go, the words we speak—determine the fruit we bear. If it is good fruit, if it is godly fruit, then seeds will be planted. When the seeds bear fruit in others, then we have truly begun to fulfill God’s great commission.

Forty Days And Forty Nights By George Hunt Smyttan

Forty Days And Forty Nights By George Hunt Smyttan

Forty days and forty nights
Thou wast fasting in the wild;
Forty days and forty nights
Tempted, and yet undefiled.

Should not we thy sorrow share
And from worldly joys abstain;
fasting with unceasing prayer,
Strong with thee to suffer pain?

Then if Satan on us press,
Jesus, Savior, hear our call!
Victor in the wilderness,
Grant we may not faint nor fall!

So shall we have peace divine:
Holier gladness ours shall be;
Round us, too, shall angels shine,
such as ministered to thee.

Keep, oh keep us, Savior dear,
Ever constant by thy side;
That with thee we may appear
At the eternal Eastertide.

Earth, Seas, And The Gift Of Foundation

Earth, Seas, And The Gift Of Foundation

“And God called the dry land Earth, and the gathering together of the waters He called Seas. And God saw that it was good.”–Genesis 1:10

In this verse, we have the naming of the land and the waters; “Earth” and “Seas”, respectively. According to http://www.listofseas.com, there are over 170 named seas and oceans. As we were taught in school, approximately 71 percent of the planet is covered in water. Earth’s oceans contain approximately 96 percent of all of Earth’s water. If you include glaciers, rivers, lakes, streams, etc., there are 326 million trillion gallons of water on our world. (In the United States, that would be 326,000,000,000,000,000,000.) Think about that for a moment and let it sink in. God gathered all this water together so land could provide the foundation to sustain life. Our lives.

As Christians, so often we place limitations on what God can and cannot do in our lives. This isn’t because we don’t believe He is all-powerful, we simply don’t grasp the full meaning of “all-powerful”. If God can—with nothing more than a command—move this much water to reveal land, why do we try to limit Him in our lives? There is no problem, no sickness, there is nothing He can’t handle in our lives. God forgive our unbelief. By not fully trusting God, the only limitations are the ones we place on ourselves.

While the location of dry land has changed on a minor scale over time, with one exception, there has always been dry land. By looking at any globe or world map, the first thing we notice is that the land doesn’t appear to be connected. Oceans divide continents, rivers separate states or countries, and islands seem isolated from every other land masses. Take away the water, however, and we would see everything is connected after all.

With the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ, we can see the basic foundation for Christianity. When we accept this as truth, and Christ as our Savior, God reveals a foundation within us that we are to build upon. Some build a ministry of preaching while others build a ministry of singing. We have teachers, prayer warriors, youth workers, and even bloggers. Even though we are all Christians, we are also individuals with individual callings. Regardless of what God calls us to do, as long as we keep Him in the center of it, we cannot fail. Remember, there are no limits to what God can help you build for Him. Don’t place them on Him, and don’t place them on yourself.

Day And Night, An Act Of Love

Day And Night, An Act Of Love

“God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night. So the evening and the morning were the first day.”–Genesis 1:5

The first words God spoke—the first recorded words God spoke—at the beginning were, “Let there be light”. Had He chosen, everything could have come into existence without Him saying a single word. Instead, He chose to name the events of creation. Have you ever wondered why, after creating the light then dividing it from the darkness, God didn’t continue to just call it light? It was an act of love. Think back to when you were younger. If you had a pet, a favorite doll, or stuffed animal, you probably gave it a name. Why? Because you loved it. God saw this newly created light the same way. It was good, and He loved it. He chose particular light to be called Day.

We know God loves us. He loved us enough to send His Son to die for our sins, to make us new. We are like the light in Genesis 1:3. When we accept Him as our Father through His Son, we leave the darkness and enter the light. God sees us from that point as He saw the light; we are good. In the book of Revelation, we read how our God has a new name waiting for us. Just as the light at that particular moment was called Day, we will also have a new name .

The second sentence of this verse says, “So the evening and the morning were the first day.” For us, a day consists of the morning first and then the evening, yet God saw it differently. It was the evening that came first; remember, the darkness was on the face of the deep. Afterwards, He created the light. As we all know, each new day begins at midnight. This is to remind us of that first moment of creation. It is also a message to us and our fellow man. Before we experience a new morning, we have to go through the evening. Before we become Christians, we are sinners.

God took a world that was without form and void and both shaped it and filled it. He surrounded it with a good light and gave it a new name. Why can we not realize He will do the same for us…if we let Him?

Epitaph Unwritten

Epitaph Unwritten

“I haven’t written my own epitaph, and I’m not sure I should. Whatever it is, I hope it will be simple, and that it will point people not to me, but to the One I served.”–Billy Graham

We want to honor Billy Graham who finally got to meet his Lord and Savior face to face yesterday. The honor isn’t for what he did, but for what he allowed God to do through him. May God bless his family with showers of joy at knowing his race has finally been run and he is now in the home he has dreamed of for so long.

William Franklin Graham Jr.

November 7, 1918-February 21, 2018.

May he rest in the joy of the Lord.