It’s that time of year again when restoration from the frigid winter has finally come. I am always reminded of the grand narrative of the Bible in the Spring, when I look around and see new life budding and blooming all around.
It is quite a privilege to walk this earth and experience the beauty God has designed in it. Have you ever thought about that? We get to wander around this incredibly composed sphere and enjoy the fingerprints of our Creator. From the smallest of creation, to the largest, we’re made to enjoy and be amazed.
Have you ever taken the time to look at a blade of grass? A bug? A leaf? I mean really look at them? Now, I know you may be thinking, either this guy has too much time on his hands or he’s crazy (maybe you’re thinking both). Well maybe you’re right, but I bring this up because if we took the time to take in the intricacies of creation, I strongly believe it would increase our joy and worship.
Creation bears witness to God (Rom. 1:20). It reveals to humanity His existence and character. This is what we call general revelation. God gives us glimpses of His glory through His creation. We were meant to enjoy the beauty of His handiwork before our eyes simply because it points us to Him.
Steve DeWitt describes this well in his book Eyes Wide Open: Enjoying God in Everything. He writes:
“Beauty was created by God for a purpose: to give us the experience of wonder. And wonder, in turn, is intended to lead us to the ultimate human expression and privilege: worship. Beauty is both a gift and a map. It is a gift to be enjoyed and a map to be followed back to the source of the beauty with praise and thanksgiving.” (91)
Do you see that? The beauty of creation is intended to lead us to worship, which as DeWitt correctly describes, is the ultimate human expression and privilege. How great of a gift is that? All around you are expressions and reflections of God Himself. DeWitt states:
“Wouldn’t such beautiful and desirable reflections mean that their Source must be even more beautiful — and, ultimately, most desirable?” (8)
What an amazing truth! Do you think about this when you watch a sunset? Or as you bike on a trail through the woods, or as you fish on a lake? Creation is meant to point us to the glory of the Creator. He gets glory in our enjoyment of Him and we get satisfaction. What an amazing design of God.
I urge you to go outside and enjoy the beautiful weather we will be having in the upcoming months. I pray that you will find great joy in your Creator through the gifts of creation that He has graciously given us.
We are now making our way into the “Prophets Before the Exile” section of The Whole Story. I really like the way our Read Scripture plan breaks a bit here from the order of the books of the Old Testament in our common English translation of the bible. For the Read Scripture plan is more in line with how the story actually unfolded.
On Easter Sunday, the Calvary family got to witness God working in the lives of two men who publicly affirmed their faith through baptism. It was a joy to see!
As the Bible is an ancient text, it makes sense that much of it is a recording of history. But to respond by merely reading it as a textbook would be a mistake, for this is history written with a very particular purpose. Namely, it is a theological history — its authors, under the inspiration of God, make theological arguments by the way they tell the stories, and what they include in them.
King of My Heart (Samuel part two)
It’s a little hard to believe that we are already twelve sermons into our adventure through the Bible called The Whole Story. I have been very encouraged to hear from many of you how this pace of moving through the Scriptures week-by-week, book-by-book has helped you see things you’ve never seen before, and appreciate our Father and his Son, Jesus, so much more. Personally, I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed preaching as much as I have this year, discovering how, as our friends at The Bible Project say it, “The Bible is a unified story that leads to Jesus.”
Eight Acts of Service on Easter
We’ve arrived once again to the glory of Holy Week. And as Easter Sunday draws closer, it is good to remind ourselves of ways we can bless those who don’t normally attend Calvary on this highest attended service of the year.
Samuel Part One
As Douglas Wilson has observed, these are fragile times. And when a nation finds itself in the kind of mess we find ourselves in, there is a kind of widespread longing for a leader who has the qualities, vision, and ability to show the way out. That makes sense. Who doesn’t want to find their way out of a mess? But it’s a dangerous spot to be in. It can leave one vulnerable to charlatans and pipe dreams.
Two weeks ago, we spent our Sunday morning gathering in the book of the Judges. It describes a time in the nation of Israel of great darkness, disobedience, destruction, and dystopia. It was a time, states the last sentence in the story, when “there was no king in Israel, and everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 21:25). It was very disturbing.