Normal Christianity

February 19

“For God is the One working in you both to will and to work according to His good pleasure.” (Philippians 2:13)

I have always been a bit of an idealist (okay… a big-time idealist!), especially when it comes to matters of the Christian faith. I see things differently than most. I see things that ought to be… and wonder why they aren’t that way. Mostly, I see a vision for God’s people that is very different from the reality of most churches.

idealist

In general, I see Christianity as largely ineffective in today’s world (especially in Europe and the Americas). It seems to me that we are not making the impact that we should be making in our culture… or our world. This really bothers me… and maybe, you as well.

But it’s not from a lack of knowledge. Christians are often very well-educated in matters of the faith. We know our doctrine (generally). We know our creeds and traditions (mostly). We know our Bible stories. We know enough about the Bible to have a good sense of what God likes and dislikes – and about the importance of Jesus to our salvation.

In short, most Christians know enough to BE good Christians. And yet, for the most part, we seem so far away from what we ought to be. I look into the Book of Acts, when the Church was just beginning, and I see a “brand” of Christianity that seems far superior to what we see in our churches today. In comparison to the early Church (in all honesty) we don’t compare very well.

Acts

I’m the kind of person who wants to know why… and to know what is causing the great discrepancy between what we were called to be (as revealed in the book of Acts!) and what we are now (not very much like the Book of Acts).

All my study has led me to believe that what we see in Acts is NORMAL Christianity. After Jesus left, Jesus was still alive and apparent… working through His people. Miracles were happening. Lives were being changed. Whole cities and regions were being compelled to receive the truth of Christ. And the whole world was discovering the reality (and the wonder) of knowing and loving the Savior of the world (Acts 17). It’s like Jesus never left!

acts of apostles

What did they have that we don’t? Why were they able to “turn the whole world upside down” but we haven’t? Are we missing something? If so, what?

Over the next few days, I want to try to answer these questions and provide a challenge to Christians everywhere – to simply BE what we were made to be.

It’s really as simple as that.

Think about what we are claiming as Christians… we are saying that the Almighty God, the Creator of all things, Whose power is unlimited, Whose knowledge is incontrovertible, Whose love is immutable, and Whose Presence is inescapable… is actually living WITHIN us.

IF that is really true… that truth should be irrefutable as seen through our lives.

And that is the whole point. We say that Christianity is not about religion, but relationship. And no minor relationship at that… we are in a relationship with the Most Amazing Being to ever exist. Who lives within us. Who works through us.

And this is utterly and completely normal…

Christ thru us

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Posted in Daily devotional, Purpose in Life, Seeing God, True Christianity, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Psalm Six

1PS.jpg

February 18

anguish

Just a few brief thoughts about today’s Psalm…

David is weary and beaten down from worry… and from the constant threat of those who want to end his life.

He is also frustrated. Throughout his life, he has tried his best to honor God… and as king, to lead his people in a way that glorifies God – and God has blessed David and his people because of this.

Yet, he finds that all the good he has done is now neglected… forgotten… in the eyes of the people… and maybe (he feels) in the eyes of God.

But rather than turn against God in his season of anguish, he turns to God – pleading his case, pouring out his heart, openly longing for God to rescue and restore him.

Tough times always reveal what is really in our hearts. They are the true test of where we really are with God. In fact, we can never really know the quality of our faith until we are forced to stand on (and remain standing on) what we believe. Maybe that is why we are called, from time to time, to walk “through the valley of the shadow of death.” We need to know if our faith is genuine… or just intellectual pretense.

It is in those type of moments, when everything seems to be falling apart, that we must turn to the One Who has promised to stand with us – and Who has told us that He will be the Rock upon which we can truly stand!

David’s hope is the hope of everyone who makes God the God of their lives.

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“Just Right”

Speed of Particles

February 17

For each of the last two Saturdays, we have been talking about the fine-tuning of our universe necessary to create a proper habitat for life… especially human life.

In my research on this topic, I ran across an article published in COSMOS magazine that caught my attention. The article was titled: “A Universe Made for Me?” by Geraint Lewis, a professor of astrophysics at the Sydney Institute for Astronomy.

Prof. Lewis makes the case for the amazing fine-tuning of the universe, from the perspective of physics. He mentions how surprisingly few “parts” are involved – but how “those few parts are exquisitely machined. If we tinker with their settings, even slightly, the universe as we know it would cease to exist. Science now faces the question of why the universe appears to have been “fine-tuned” to allow the appearance of complex life…”

universe

After proposing some unique and imaginative solutions (including [surprisingly] the handiwork of God), Prof. Lewis concludes his article with these words: “The fine-tuning of our universe for life represents a true mystery of science, a mystery that appears to point to something profound lying at the heart of science. We may never find out why we are living in a “just right” universe, but if we ever do, the universe, and our place in it, will be changed forever.”

I couldn’t agree more.

But as is so often the case, our search for meaning to the questions of life can lead us to all the wrong places. We can be so consumed with finding answers that we can miss the obvious… right in front of us.

Missing in front of you.jpg

If we truly understood the degree to which the universe has been “tuned” to bring about the possibility of complex (and human) life here on this planet, our search would only lead us to one reasonable conclusion.

This level of precision, this magnitude of intricacy, this uncanny ability to make certain that things are “just right” could only lead to a Designer of infinite imagination, ability, and power.

Physicist Paul Davies came to the same conclusion: “Through my scientific work I have come to believe more and more strongly that the physical universe is put together with an ingenuity so astonishing that I cannot accept it merely as a brute fact, quirk of fate, or an accident of history.”

Walter Bradley, the author of The Mystery of Life’s Origin, agrees: “The universe cannot be reasonably explained as a cosmic accident. Evidence for an intelligent designer becomes more compelling the more we understand about our carefully crafted habitat.”

This is no longer just the dogma of Bible-thumping preachers. Davies also makes this assertion: “There is now broad agreement among physicists and cosmologists that the universe is in several respects… fine-tuned for the building blocks and environments that life requires.”

building-blocks-life

Even spiritual skeptics, like Martin Rees (author of Just Six Numbers: The Deep Forces that Shape the Universe), have followed the science to where it is leading. “If the six numbers that underlie the fundamental physical properties of the universe were altered even to the tiniest degree there would be no stars, no complex elements, no life. (These intricate parameters) seem to have been a prerequisite for the emergence of the hospitable cosmic habitat in which we live.”

Such is the impact upon those who take the time to see, that when it comes to our habitat for life, how “just right” our universe really is.

Prof. Lewis’ concluding observation is really at the heart of the matter. He speaks of the desire to “find out why we are living in a “just right” universe” and of the hope of doing so – and of how finding “our place in it (we) will be changed forever.”

It is interesting that this is exactly what Our Creator has put within us… the need to know… and the hope in the knowing. He wants us to find Him… and He has given us profound natural clues to His Presence and Existence. Not only does He want us to find Him, He wants us to really know Him – personally, intimately, deeply.

And it is in the knowing Him that actually changes us forever!

seek and find

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Broken and Ashamed

February 16

There may not be a worst-case scenario to “broken”… than busted. As in caught red-handed. Completely and undeniably guilty. No debate. No recourse. Just busted.

It is in that moment when your actions have caused the course of your life to take an abrupt change of direction – as you are filled with dread… and as you wait for the gavel to fall. You are surely guilty… and you will be met with swift judgment.

Whatever identity you were wearing up to this point is now replaced by the garment of unbearable shame. The only thing worse than the shame is knowing that you cannot go back and undo what you have done. If only you could… if only…

guilt

Case in point… John relates the fascinating account of the woman caught in the act of adultery. In Jesus’ day, this is one of the worst things that a woman could do. In a male-dominated society, there was no sympathy (or mercy) for a woman who cheated on her husband. And she was caught in the very act!

The Law was pretty clear on such matters… death by stoning was allowed (if not required) for her offense. Imagine her fear. She knew she was guilty. She knew what was in store for her. She knew there was no way out.

But for some odd reason, she found herself dragged in front of that New Teacher everyone had been talking about. She heard every word as they told the Teacher about her guilt and what the Law required. Yet, strangely, they wanted to hear what He had to say about these things.

woman in adultery

She watched through tear-filled eyes as He said not a word, but only knelt to the ground and started writing in the dust. She could not see what He wrote, but her accusers did. They continued to press the issue until finally, the Teacher stood up and simply said: “Let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” (John 8:7) And once more, he bent down and wrote on the ground.

She was overwhelmed with that sense of terrible anticipation when you are expecting the worst. She closed her eyes… she resigned herself that this would be her last day. The silence was only broken by her sobs.

But time passed… the stones never came. She opened her eyes. The Teacher was the only one who remained. She would never forget the next few moments for the rest of her life…

Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”

“No one, sir,” she said. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (John 8:10-11)

woman-caught-in-adultery-2

For all those who think that God is just all about the rules, and is always angry at us because of our sins, and is eager to pronounce judgment on our lives… Jesus came to give us another thought.

God takes no pleasure in judging the wicked, the sinful… or the guilty. It is not His desire to condemn… even those who rightly deserve His wrath. It is always His desire to redeem, to restore, to revive, to repair what is broken in us. It is His desire to love us into His arms. That’s what Jesus came to tell us. That’s what Jesus came to show us.

The woman of our story began her day with an act of terrible sin – but when Jesus entered her story, her day was completely changed… and will remain forever as a testimony of God’s compassionate love!

The “woman caught in adultery” learned, and gave us an eternal reminder, that even the busted and the guilty are not beyond the reach of His love.

Posted in Daily devotional, forgiveness, God's compassion, God's Heart, God's love for sinners', Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Broken… Not Measuring Up

February 15

Have you ever been told that you are not enough?

Not big enough. Not old enough. Not young enough. Not pretty enough. Not smart enough. Not assertive enough. Not good enough. Not enough like “one of us…”

lowselfesteem

Daily reminded that there are certain “standards” that you fail to meet… for a seemingly infinite number of reasons.

Of all things, this is the one issue that most us face. We live in a world that only seems to recognize a “privileged” few who have all the “right stuff” or the “right” connections or the “right” status that permits them to be accepted. Significant. Heralded… Enough.

In the Bible, we can relate to a man named Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10).

There are two words used by Luke to describe Zacchaeus… “short” and “rich.” Most likely, he was always “short.” He only became rich because he “sold out” to the Roman invaders and oppressed his own people in collecting Roman taxes.

But do we ever think about WHY Zacchaeus chose to link himself to the Romans and oppress his own people? It likely stems from the fact that, all his life, he was told he just didn’t measure up… to be included in what all the others were doing. He was too small. Maybe too frail. Rejected. The brunt of jokes and ridicule (you know how kids can be!).

He grew up with a chip on his shoulder… with resentment and anger simmering beneath the surface – just waiting for an opportunity to “turn the tables” on his antagonizers. Then he sees his opportunity – by becoming a Roman tax-collector…

taxcollector

Now he can (legally!) dole out misery to all those who had belittled him because of… his littleness. But revenge is bittersweet. In making his tormentors pay for their ill-treatment – he is further rejected by his own people. He is always torn…

But then, one day, Jesus shows up.

Zacchaeus has heard about him. Jesus does miracles. He makes dead people live. Zacchaeus just wants to get a glimpse of Him.

But he is so short. And no one in the crowd even wants to let him through. So he does the only thing he can think to do. He runs ahead, climbs a tree, and waits…

There’s Jesus! He’s coming your way. He’s right under your tree.

zaqueo

Now, he’s looking up at you – talking TO you! He knows your name. He wants to stay at your house today. You are filled with overwhelming joy! The Person Who is the talk of the world wants to spend time in your world… to share a meal at your table.

Imagine the feelings. In one fateful moment, your rejection, your smallness of stature and status… no longer matter. You are openly accepted by the only Person Who really matters.

We don’t know of the conversation between Zacchaeus and Jesus that day… but we do know how Zacchaeus was affected… and changed. Just because He was accepted by Jesus – his whole attitude about life was changed. His thoughts of revenge and retribution were gone… replaced by thoughts of blessing others… and of making things right with people he had cheated through the years.

zacchaeus-promise.jpg

Jesus was pleased: Salvation has come to this home today!” (Luke 19:9)

Zacchaeus reminds us that the only thing that takes away our hurt and our pain is an encounter with Jesus.

And Jesus reminds us of God’s Heart for all those who have been told that they don’t (or will never) measure up. He doesn’t come to “straighten out” the bent and twisted – He comes to accept them just as they are… and to commit His Own heart to theirs. He comes to OUR world… and allows His loving Presence to do its life-changing work.

Like Zacchaeus, we find… that is all we ever needed.

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Broken in Heart (Woman at the Well)

February 14

It is one of the most heart-rending of occurrences… Love found, love experienced, (but in the course of time)… love lost. Broken love relationships are one of the most commonly-shared human experiences. Nearly all of us have been touched by the devastation of the promise of love… broken. It can be the most painful of wounds.

sad-girl

Statistics say that one out of every two marriages ends in divorce. That’s 50%! That seems almost inconceivable – especially since love is supposed to be the most powerful force in the universe… the thing that conquers all. But so often what starts out as “’til death do us part” becomes short-lived – leaving broken, bitter hearts in its devastating wake.

divorce

That’s the hardest thing of all. The very thing that we so passionately seek (love!) to lift us up, to cause us to soar, to bring us happiness and joy – becomes the thing that sends us crashing to the ground, beaten, battered and bruised. Truly, love lost is one of the greatest losses of all.

Jesus encountered someone who was more beaten and battered than most.

One day, as He was sitting by a well, a woman came to draw water. Through the course of their conversation, Jesus rocks her world by revealing a fact He could not have known. She was the wife of five husbands and was now living with a man. She immediately recognizes that she was in the presence of a prophet – “who told me all I ever did.”

woman-at-the-well

We do not know the facts surrounding this woman’s history. Was she widowed five times? Was she divorced five times? Was it a combination of both? However you look at it, she was well-acquainted with the grief and sorrow of love found… love lost. Can you imagine her brokenness? Her heart was a shambles (probably why she chose just to live with a man – rather than commit her heart to love again).

This is where we truly see the heart of Jesus for the heartbroken. He doesn’t condemn her – He reaches out to her… speaks tenderly of offering her living water – that will truly satisfy what she has always longed to know.

Her problem is such a common problem. So many people are looking to love relationships to bring satisfaction to their souls. To get what they so desperately need from another human being. This is a problem because human love cannot quench our spirits… it cannot bring us a lasting satisfaction in our hearts. It will always leave us thirsty for more.

That’s why Jesus said: “Those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” (John 4:14)

never thirst again

Jesus words are not really about water… they are about the love of God, offered freely to those who long for the deeper experience of the kind of love we were all meant to receive… and thrive on! Jesus was speaking of the love of God – received only by receiving Him.

The best news of all is that the love of God always takes what is broken within us… and repurposes it. His love, within us, allows us to forgive those who have hurt us… it allows us to be free of all our chains of fear… it affords us the ability to truly connect (and help) those who are broken as well… and it enables our hearts to truly love again.

For those who may be broken and bitter with so much hurt in your heart, I give you the love of Jesus. As the woman at the well discovered… His love is healing. His love is unconditional. His love is permanent. His love restores. And His love will never leave your heart broken…

woman-at-the-well-5001.jpg

Posted in Acceptance, Daily devotional, God's Heart, God's love for sinners', Healing, Love, Restoration | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Jesus… Touching the Untouchable

February 13

“A leper came and knelt before (Jesus), saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” Jesus reached out His hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” He said, “be clean.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.” (Matthew 8:3)

a-lepers-story

Have you ever felt like you didn’t belong – that no one really wanted you around. That your mere presence ruined everybody’s party… or spoiled everyone’s day.

Welcome to the world of a leper in Jesus’ day. It was a life of rejection, ill-treatment, and of constantly being an outcast.

In part, it was because of fear. Lepers had a strange flesh-devastating disease – and nearly everyone thought it was contagious. The very thought of rubbing shoulders (let alone touching skin) of a leper was enough to send you into instant panic. It was akin to panic caused by the AIDS virus of our recent history. It was terrible. It was terrifying.

And through no real fault of their own, lepers became contemptible – even to their own family members. Can you imagine living with that kind of rejection… every day of your miserable life?

Matthew records this incident just after Jesus “wowed the crowds” with His most famous sermon (chapters 5-7). As He was coming down the mountain, He comes face to face with one who has totally lost face in his society. He can’t even legally seek Jesus’ help (according to the Law) – even approaching Jesus was a capital offense. But he has nothing left to lose – so he does what the desperate and helpless do… he comes and throws himself at Jesus’ feet.

leperhealing

Maybe it was the desperation in his words… or maybe it was the all-out hope, but Jesus did not treat the leper as he should – as He was required by the Levitical Law to do. He did the absolutely unthinkable… He reached out to touch the untouchable. And with the touch of Jesus, “immediately his leprosy was cleansed.”

It’s as if Jesus can’t help Himself. He just has to touch broken things. He just has to bring life to death, light to darkness, hope to those who have no hope. Jesus just has to give those who are rejected and outcast the one thing they need most… acceptance – to know that even they matter to God. To know that, although the whole world rejects them and sees them as a blight and a plague, the most important Person to ever walk this earth isn’t afraid to enter their world or embrace them at their point of deepest need.

Jesus touched the one who was despised and rejected and, in one precious moment, gave him a new identity… The one healed by the Living God!

Jesus-is-willing

If you struggle with rejection, I have some tremendous news… there is Someone Who is willing to touch you. To embrace you. To call you His beloved. To give you a new identity – as precious and treasured in His sight.

There is always hope for the hopeless – and that hope is the Hope of the whole world!

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Broken Treasures…

February 12

Back when we were first married, my wife had a collection of Precious Moments figurines. She has always had a soft spot in her heart for those little figures with the teardrop eyes and the Bible-based themes.

precious moments

When we had our first child, we decorated the nursery in Precious Moments décor and with many of the figurines she had collected through the years. They were all (pardon the pun) quite precious to her – and what better way to welcome her new precious gift (our son) than to surround him with her treasured collection… and the fond memories associated with each of them.

Fast forward a few years to a day that she will never forget. Our son, and a friend were playing in his room. There is the inevitable calm before the storm… when little minds are scheming something best kept as quiet as possible. Then comes the outburst… and the noise of shattered porcelain against hard nursery walls. My wife hurried to the scene only to find that many of her precious collectibles had been hurled against the walls… leaving only broken fragments… and the dust of so many fond memories, scattered across the floor.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Needless to say, it was not a good ending for our son.

But the few moments of destructive terror left an indelible impression on my wife. She cannot think of those broken figurines without feeling a tinge of deep sadness.

I hear from a lot of people who struggle with feeling broken and useless because of circumstances from their past. They are haunted by mistakes. Beaten unmercifully by regrets. Deeply bruised by their failures. Shattered by what has been done to them (often by people whom they trusted!). It is so hard for them to feel wanted or useful or valued because they are face to face with their shame or guilt or regrets daily. They would very much like to feel that God loves them… but they are never quite sure they are worthy of the love of Someone so holy, majestic and mighty. Why would Someone so great need to stoop so low as to give even a thought to ones so twisted and broken?

feeling-broken

It seems, for so many, the wonderful promise of God’s love is constantly overshadowed by their overpowering sense of brokenness. It’s so hard to come into the light when all you seem to feel is the grip of darkness.

If you have felt that way (or feel that way now) I have some good news for you…

First, you are not alone. Nearly everyone, to some degree, feels that way. It’s part of the inner knowledge in all of us… that we are SO undeserving of the attention (let alone the affection) of the Most High. Feeling broken is commonplace. And in some regard, we should feel that way… because it’s true: we really ARE broken.

broken_people

But second, the measure of God’s love for us is not based on human standards (where love is often conditional or earned by worthy behavior), it is based on God’s Own infinite standards. His love, because it is the way HE loves, has no limits, no boundaries, no conditions… ever. This means that when God chooses to love… nothing can deter or diminish that love. Once given, it can never be taken away.

And that’s how God loves us. He chose to love us. NOT because we are good or perfect or unbroken or without blemish… but just because He has made the choice to love us – and He can’t ever change His Mind.

How do we know that God loves us? Because when God came to live among us, that’s what He showed us. He just loved us… even though we may have been rejected by all others, He chose to show us profound acceptance. Jesus embraced the broken, the twisted, the rejected… those who were seen (by this world) only as worthy of the trash bin.

Woman-Caught-in-Adultery

All this week, I just want to look at Jesus and some of those He chose to love. We just might be surprised to discover that, of those someones, there may be some who are just like us

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Thoughts on Psalm 5

1PS

February 11

Psalm 5 is known as a song of lament. David is in dire straits (much as he was in Psalm 4) and takes his problems (and his feelings) to God (vs. 1-3).

The cool thing is that God actually wants to hear what we are feeling. He is not so high and mighty that He can’t be troubled with our problems. In fact, He delights in our honesty. Truly, God desires “truth in the innermost being…” (Ps. 51:6) God already knows what we are feeling – and is pleased when we feel free enough to come to Him and pour out our feelings.

There is a principle here… we do not have to “put on airs” or stir up some “holy pretense” to come before God – we just come as we are, expressing what we feel, and then trust in His care for us. When we withhold what we are truly feeling we are NOT being truly honest with God (or with ourselves) – and that leaves us open to other self-deceptions or falsehoods. God delights even in our ugly honesty – it is the only place where our healing, and His comfort, can begin.

be-honest-with-god

In verses 4-6 and 9, we have some very strong statements. David gives us a portrait of how God feels about wickedness and evil. We are told, quite clearly, that pride, dishonesty, deceit, and bloodthirstiness are things that God despises. David goes so far as to declare that God hates “all evildoers” that do such things.

We don’t like the term “hate.” We especially don’t like it when hate is associated with a God of love. If God loves people so much, why would he hate “all evildoers?”

hate-dictionary

We need to understand the root meaning of “hate,” when used in the Old Testament. The term means “to treat as an enemy.” It implies a disconnection of purpose and common bond. In short, it refers to all the qualities that are unlike God Himself – and is the focus of those who do not align themselves with God’s Heart and God’s ways.

To ignore God’s ways, and to choose your own ways instead, is to make yourself a god – and an enemy of the one true God. Those who make themselves the enemies of God, remove themselves from God’s favor and blessing – since they are choosing to be a god unto themselves. There can only be one God. Those who want to be their own gods become (by default) the enemies of God – and deserving of His wrath.

But here is the wonder of God’s love… even for His enemies! We were ALL sinners (Rom. 3:10-18) we were ALL deserving of wrath and destruction (John 3:36; Rom. 1:18; 2:5; Col. 3:6) – but God loved those who were His enemies so much that He sent His Own Son to suffer an enemy’s punishment. The Bible says…

romans-5-10.jpeg

This is another reason why Jesus is the ONLY way to God. Those who refuse to receive what Jesus has done for them are STILL the enemies of God – still deserving of His wrath and punishment… still under God’s condemnation (see John 3:17-18)

David closes his thoughts (in vs. 11-12) with the profound hope of all those who choose to honor God and take refuge in His care for them…

Shield-of-Gods-Favor

What David could only know in part, is something that all those who have received Jesus can know in full measure. God delights in those who have chosen to befriend His Son – and He eagerly desires to pour out His divine favor on all His friends.

Posted in Belonging to God, Daily devotional, Friendship with God, God's love for sinners', honesty | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Fish Tale

Speed of Particles

February 10

A few years back, my daughter had an earnest desire to buy some fish and keep them in her room. So we got a five gallon bucket (out of the garage), filled it with tap water (because fish need water), went to the Pet store, bought some tropical fish, brought them home and dumped them into the bucket, dropped in some worms (’cause that’s what fish eat, right?), and left them to get accustomed to their new home.

Much to our surprise, all the fish were dead in a couple of hours.

dead fish

Actually, that’s not what happened at all. Given my daughter’s desire to own fish, and our significant lack of knowledge about the subject, we spent a great deal of time researching about how to set up the proper habitat for fresh-water tropical fish – and how to best meet their particular needs on a daily basis. Knowing what to do, in any situation, is invaluable.

We ended up having to buy the right size aquarium, we had to fill it the right kind of aquarium rocks, and with water (which we had to buy an aquarium thermometer to make sure the temperature was always exactly right). We had to treat the water with a chemical to neutralize the “bad” chemicals in the water. We had to buy a water heater, a water pump (a good one), and the right kind of plants to help oxygenate the water. And the right kind of food for the type of fish we bought. Once we had (finally) set up the right environment, we had to buy the fish and introduce them carefully into their new surroundings. (Phew! Goldfish aren’t this hard!)

aquarium

In short, neither of us realized all the little specific details that had to be just right in order to provide a proper habitat for healthy, thriving tropical fish. But getting the proper knowledge afforded us the opportunity to set up the exact environment to keep our fish… and enjoy them (if that’s what you do with fish?).

Last Saturday, we talked about how the laws of the universe were fine-tuned to do exactly what they do… provide a hospitable habitat for life here on earth.

Stephen Hawking has said…

Hawking-laws of science

There are those who would have us believe that all this happened by pure luck – that the exact environment needed for life (especially human life) on this planet had nothing to do with knowledge or foresight or planning or intelligence… just chance… and time. “Here we are… we just got lucky!”

But Science says that we should be guided by what is observable. What can be tested. And what can be learned from what is observed and tested.

And what we observe by looking intently at the laws of nature, the laws of the universe, and the incredible exacting requirements for life on any planet – these things are best explained as the venue of knowledge, intellect, and the ability to provide what is necessary to achieve an intended result. Know-how, design, and function are always at work when proper environments are needed for living things.

Life here on earth is either a stroke of sheer miraculous luck or it is the idea of Someone Who had something in Mind – and the knowledge and ability to make it all happen – just as it was intended. Which is the best explanation?

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If they could, our fish would tell you: No proper aquarium ever happens by chance.

Posted in Creation, Daily devotional, Evolution, God as Creator, Science, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment