Friday, October 23, 2015

The God of Life

     When I take my morning walk with Murphy, I never fail to be amazed at all the beauty of God's creation.  The variety, color, intricacy and design I see around me makes me stand in awe of a Creator who has made Himself known to us.  From the very beginning of the Bible, we learn that God created the heavens and the earth out of nothing.  He spoke it into being.  Therefore, He is the God of life not of death.  Death came into this world when the crown of His creation (man) openly rebelled against the only instruction that God gave to Adam and Eve.  They were the ones that introduced death into this world.  Before that, everything was perfect, beautiful and untouched by decay.  Can you picture this environment?  It was unscathed by pollution of any sort, and man had the privilege of walking and talking with God every day.  Then sin entered the picture, and with it came death.
     Our daily newspapers and T.V. reports are filled with the consequences of living in a fallen world. The Bible tells us in John 10:10:  "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."  Here is the contrast between Satan and God.  Satan was given dominion over the earth when man chose to rebel and follow his path rather than obeying God.  With Satan came slavery to sin which comes to steal, kill and destroy.
      In the news the other day, I saw an example of the evil that comes with sin.  A father murdered his nine week old baby boy and buried his body in a field.  Why would anyone do that?  Or why would a father beat a nineteen year old son to death in the name of God in order to make him confess sins?  Both cases represent that thief that comes to kill, steal and destroy.
     Jesus, on the other hand, came to bring life.  He came to set us free once again so that we might walk with God on a daily basis as Adam and Eve did in the garden.  God is in favor of life!  All life is  sacred to Him:  the aged, the child in the womb, the special needs person, the poor, the sick, and on and on.  Even more than just physical life, God wants us to be alive again in our spirit not bound by sin. The Lord expressed this in Ezekiel 36:26-27:  "26"Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27"I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.…"  Through Jesus Christ and His sacrifice for our sins on the cross, God has done just this.  He has made a way where there was no way that we, on our own, could accomplish this.
     When we read the Scriptures in both the Old and New Testament, we can clearly see that God is the Lord of life, light, peace, joy, holiness and righteousness.  In Him, there is no darkness.  This is why Christians often find themselves persecuted because we live in a culture bound by death and sin.
A decaying world does not like to be reminded that its pattern of living leads to destruction.  John 3:19 tells us:  "And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil."  I know it is hard to believe but some prefer the darkness.
     Just the other day, I was having a discussion with a person in our office and we were discussing a meat market that had some good deals.  A co-worker told the gentleman that I would not be interested in this market since I have adopted a plant based diet.  When questioned,  I told the fellow that I no longer eat meat or dairy since I have been diagnosed with heart disease.  I want to live a healthier lifestyle so that I might take better care of my body.  This fellow went on to say that he had received a new heart valve, had bypass surgery and now had COPD, but he still enjoy eating meat and smoking. He had no intention of quitting either.  Here is an example of someone who, despite the facts on how to improve his health, had no plan to change.  He enjoyed his lifestyle.   There are many in this world just like this fellow.  Lost in self pleasure and unwilling to view the consequences of their actions.  In fact, all of us were like this at one time.  If, however, we confess our sins and call upon the Lord Jesus Christ, we will be saved.  It is a promise.  We pass out of the culture of death and into the light.
More than that, we will forever live in the presence of the Lord of life.
     When I consider all that God has said in His Word and all that He has created, I find it hard to understand those who choose to terminate a life either by abortion or euthanasia.  God, alone, is sovereign over life and death.  He has not made a mouth He cannot feed nor suffering that He cannot alleviate.  In addition, He has called us to be bearers of the light and life that are found in Christ.
What we must realize is that we will be opposed because we live in contrast to the culture of sin and death.  Therefore, we must put on the full armor of God daily (Ephesians 6:10-18).  Likewise, we must remember that Jesus said He will come again to rule and reign  When He does, paradise lost will become paradise again for those who trust in Him. We will see a new heaven and a new earth. May we live and dwell on this thought!  Selah!  

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