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.
As I sit down to write this little article, I’ve just come from a hospital room visiting one of our long time members at Calvary. In addition to the circumstances that caused him to be admitted, he has been battling a serious health condition for many years.
We continue to study the 400 year history of God’s covenant people, the Israelites, as found in the books of first and second Kings, but as seen through the eyes of Yahweh’s prophets. Our most current study? The prophet Amos, and his poetry, sermons, and oracles.
Child Dedications May 2017
Six children were dedicated this past Sunday. We pray God's blessings upon these children and their parents!
The main aim of the sermon series we are currently in, The Whole Story, is to inspire you to read through the whole Bible over the course of about eighteen months, which began in January 2018. A foundational reason for this is that we believe that on this journey we will experience, week by week, the exciting truth that the Bible is a unified story that points us to Jesus.
The book of the prophet Hosea. Honestly, in first reading, it can be difficult to grasp. There are quite a few movements and shifts in thinking, and our author mixes various styles of writing and a multitude of images and themes. So as I spent time over the course of a week with this book as a reader, and studier, what struck me was that I needed to process and meditate on Hosea as a whole. To step back and see the larger picture. To not get lost in the details. And I kept asking the question, “Is there a major theme here that you are trying to communicate, Father?”
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.