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.
Samuel Johnson was born on September 18, 1709, and was an English writer who made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer.
How Can We Pursue A Long Repentance In The Same Direction?
This last Sunday, in Calvary’s morning gathering, we studied the book of Haggai together as part of God’s Whole Story. Together we heard God speak through his prophet to his people after the exile, challenging them to remain faithful and to rebuild the temple.
The book of Haggai is the second shortest book in the Old Testament. It has 4 oracles (think: sermons), 2 chapters, and about 1,100 words.
In the book of Jeremiah we read of God’s intention for Daniel and all of those with him who have been exiled from the land of promise.
We are in a sermon series called The Whole Story, so named because we started off with the assumption, and belief really, that the whole Bible is a unified story that leads to Jesus. Each and every book is a bit like a chapter that contributes to the overall story that God is telling.
We Are Calvary
To say that we live in times of rapid change may be the very height of understatement. Our culture, and its norms, is changing at an unprecedented rate, making it increasingly challenging for the church to remain relevant—and faithful—in proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God, in a way that will bring about the expansion of that kingdom.
This past Sunday we (finally) made it out of the weighty, dark, somber, and serious writings of the Prophets of the Exile, and stepped into the Return from Exile of the people of God. Our first look into this aspect of the redemptive drama comes via three courageous servants of Yahweh—Zerrubabel, Ezra, and Nehemiah. There story is found in the book of Ezra-Nehemiah (although our English Bibles separate them, through the centuries the Jewish people have always treated them as one book; so we will too.)
Especially When You Don't Feel Like It
Sunday is just about my favorite day of the week (“just about”…because my day off each week, our family’s Sabbath Saturday, is a tie or really close second). I love getting up that morning, making my smoothie, sitting in my favorite chair in our fireplace room, and pulling my Bible onto my lap. I relish the time spent listening to my Father speak, and I delight in those moments spent talking with him about the morning’s ministry, the people in our gathering that I hope he will transform, as well as the eleven other pastors (and their congregations) on whom I pray his blessing every Sunday.