Tuesday Devotional: Ezra 5


bibleRead Ezra 5

God is a creator, and, if we were designed in His image, we are creators as well. We were designed to design and create beautiful things worthy of a Holy God, reflective of His perfection. The issue is not that we have an inherent gift and desire to create. The issue is why we create. Sin makes us want to create so that we can become to focal point of worship. We create so that WE can make a name for ourselves, so that we can be remembered, so that we can obtain approval and value. Sin drives us to create a new thing, something that can add to something that already exists.

Ultimately this approach to creation tends to reveal the worst in us. Creation in the hands of sin leads to competition, rivalry, bitterness, pride, winners and losers, life and death. Creation in the hands of sin says, “Look what I did.” Creation in the hands of God says, “Look what God HAS done and IS doing.” Creation with the heart of God never seeks to glorify the self, but seeks to restore what has been lost.

The heart of God gives us an awareness of past, present and future in regards to His creation and reveals our place in that design. We become aware of how things used to be, how things should be and how we can create in order to bring this world back to God, not further distance from Him. A Christian with the heart of the Gospel is always restoring the world to Jesus Christ. Every creation should redirect people to what was lost by the first man and what was gloriously restored in the second man.

45 So it is written: “The first man Adam became a living being the last Adam, a life-giving spirit. 46 The spiritual did not come first, but the natural, and after that the spiritual. 47 The first man was of the dust of the earth; the second man is of heaven. 48 As was the earthly man, so are those who are of the earth; and as is the heavenly man, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 And just as we have borne the image of the earthly man, so shall we bear the image of the heavenly man. (1 Corinthians 15:45-49)

It is undeniable that we were designed to create and we have all been blessed with different skills and gifts in order to create. Creation is of God. Self-glorification is not. We cannot create for our own glory and simultaneously glorify the living God. This is impossible. Creation of God and for God reflects what HE created and lost through the sin of man and what lengths He went to in order to restore the sight to the blind. Until we create as a process of restoration we will never create anything worthy of the resurrection.

Tuesday Devotional: Deuteronomy 29


bibleRead Deuteronomy 29

The human mind is inquisitive and logical. It seeks answers and explanations and is suspicious of any committed action made without any reasonable explanation. Before we make any decision we want to make sure that we have all of the necessary facts and that we are well aware of why we are making the decision we make. While these decisions are not exclusively correct, we rarely make any decision without a justifiable reason to do so. There are reasons behind every decision we commit ourselves to. To make a decision without any explainable reason would be foolish, and contradictory to the operations of the human mind. Thus, with the questions of life and death hanging in the balance in relation to faith in God or total rejection of him, why would the human mind choose to operate any differently?

In fact, God himself reminds us repeatedly that we are to use our brilliant minds to reach the conclusion that he has saved us and that he has a plan for us. With such a monumental issue, compared to the countless trivial problems and deliberations that pepper our days, it is surprising that we spend relatively little time pondering the secrets of this profound mystery of God. While many choose to settle for the simple conclusion that the God of the Bible is a mystery, desires to be a mystery and will forever be a mystery, this conclusion contradicts the account of God about himself in the Bible. The truth is that God has absolutely nothing to hide and has nothing to fear in the face of his creation. As surprising it is for us to assume that the creator of the Heavens and the Earth chooses to remain silent, it is exponentially more surprising to God that we have not found or seen him yet in the face of all of his work. Daily we are enveloped by the beauty and glory of his handiwork on this Earth. We live and breathe on a planet that daily sings his praises. When we reflect on the aspects of our life that bring us stress or burden, which of any of them have been created or revealed through God’s creation, and which have come as a result of man’s own creations?

The issue at hand is not the existence of a God that is too scared to be discovered as less than his claims and thus chooses to remain in the shadows. Rather, the issue at hand is a people that refuse to acknowledge a power greater and more capable than themselves. The issue at hand is a people that spend so much of their lives worrying about the meaning and purpose of life while never shifting beyond themselves to find an answer that doesn’t end with self. We are children who desperately want to learn a language in order to communicate, while never opening a book on language, all the while bemoaning the fact that we are unable to express ourselves. God makes it very clear on a daily basis that he is God. We, on the other hand, in our persistent falling short make it very clear on a daily basis that we are but man, and not God. In seeking the existence of God there comes a point where one cannot claim ignorance or charge God with secrecy. The facts have been revealed and we are left with only one decision. We can use our uniquely human ability to reason out our decisions and move toward the facts. Or, we can ourselves choose to defy our human instinct to reason and overwhelm our intelligence as humans all for the purpose of inflating our ever-fragile ego that allows us to remain in control and proved right by our own actions and not as a result of anyone else. God clearly states that one decision results in life and the other results in death. The pride of the human heart is so easily corrupted that many would prefer to choose death for the sake of being right.