Archive for April, 2023

Design Reveals the Designer

Where there is a design there must be a designer. A clock has a design. The older design of a clock has a large hand that goes around the surface once every hour. Each time it does a smaller hand goes around the surface one-twelfth of the surface. Each time it does a much smaller hand goes around its cycle three hundred times. They each perform their cycles exactly day after day. They do it by design.

By removing the back of the clock and studying the operation one can see how a human being could have designed it.

A study of various designs in the universe ranging from that of an atom to a galaxy reveals no human effort could have made such a design. A designer is required.

Of Him it is said, “For every house is built by someone, but He who built all things is God.” (Hebrews 3:4) 

The changing foliage in Autumn reveals a design requiring a creative designer with a colorful palette.

Chlorophyll is the pigment that gives vegetation its green color. Only plants that are green have chlorophyll. These plants have red, yellow and orange pigmentation, but they are usually masked by greater amounts of green.

In the fall, due to the changes in temperature and changes in the daylight length, the leaves stop their food-making process (photosynthesis). The carotenoids and anthocyanin that are present in the leaf are then unmasked and show their colors. The chlorophyll breaks down – the green color disappears. This results in a clear, identifiable color of red, yellow, orange and occasionally brown.

Evergreens: pines, spruces, cedars, firs, and so on are able to survive winter because they have toughened up. Their needle-like or scale-like foliage is covered with a heavy wax coating and the fluid inside their cells contains substances that resist freezing. Thus the foliage of evergreens can safely withstand all but the severest winter conditions, such as those in the Arctic. Evergreen needles survive for some years but eventually fall because of old age. 

This designed complexity shouts there is a Designer. God had a purpose in establishing this design: “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.” (Romans 1:20)

If at all possible go outside, inhale, and revel at the blanket of color that wafts over your soul as you are blessed by the creative artistry of the divine Creator.

If He has done all of that by design He is surely able to refresh and renew His apex creation, the wonder and wonderful you.

Jesus, Who Is He?

Imagine, just imagine, Jesus is who the Bible says He is. Millions do believe He is, but just suppose you need a bit of help understanding who the Bible says He is. Likewise, those who are convinced He is do well to establish why they believe He is. For these and others the following is offered.        

Isaiah asked, “To whom, then, will you compare God? What image will you compare Him to? (Isaiah 40:18).

No human being or marble statue could represent God. However, God-in-the-flesh could represent Himself. To whom will you compare God? To Jesus for He is God.

Three times in the New Testament He is called “the image of God:”

“Christ who is the image of God” (II Cor. 4:4).

“He is the image of the invisible God” (Col. 1:15).

“His Son…the express image of His person” (Hebrews 1:2, 3)

In the Bible books of Corinthians and Colossians the Greek word, EIKON, is translated “image.”

In the Bible book of Hebrews, it is the Greek word, CHAKTER, which is translated “image.”

In both instances the word “image” has the meaning of an icon.

An icon is a precise copy or representation. A form of the word is the basis for our word, photograph. The word was also used for the official accurate legal description of a person. It was a means of identification.

“Chakter” in the Greek world referred to the sharply defined impression made in clay, wax or metal by a seal. Thus, it is used to illustrate Jesus as being “the expressed image of God,” or “the very stamp of His nature.” In other words  He was God.        

When He walked across the Judean sands He left the footprints of God. His shadow was the shadow of God. His blood shed on Calvary was the blood of God.

He was the God who created: “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.” (John 1: 3)

“For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible….” (Colossians 1: 16)

That is what He did, now more definitively who He was: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” (John 1: 1)

Jesus being God creator of all things loves His creation of humankind referred to as “whosoever” in John 3: 16). That is furthermore what He did and does. He loved us and died to prove it, to provide pardon for our sins and make  available the gift of everlasting life in heaven with Him. 

Now, who is He to you. To say He is God is little better than saying there is no God. Only when we say He is my God, I love Him, and commit to live for Him that He becomes personally our Lord and Savior. The God who created all there is can create in you a new creature. Affirm it now and live like it hereafter..

Faith That Gives Life Meaning

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. Romans 8: 1 – 6

Jesus offers hope to the hopeless. He gives a viable alternative to defeat, despair and depression. He is one worthy of our trust, one who offers us something in which to believe.

To people stripped of strength, robbed or reason, and void of victory He extends a loving hand of help. He who embodied truth shared truths that transform lives.

Upon passing Columbia University our guide gestured toward the bars across the street and said: “Each four years they have a new clientele. They come here their first year as Democrats, their second year they are Republicans, their third year they are Communists and by their fourth they are so confused they don’t know what they are. By the time they are 35 or 40 most of them have found something in which they can believe.” Have you?

One of our nation’s leading Founding Fathers, Alexander Hamilton, stated: “He who stands for nothing will fall for anything.” Currently this describes the plight of many. Have you ever paused and said to yourself, “This I believe.”

Regrettably all too many can say with American lyrical poet and playwright, and Pulitzer Prize winner Edward St. Vincent Benay confessed: “I must keep on living, but I forget just now why.” What is your purpose for living? 

Albert Schweitzer was a theologian, organist, musicologist, writer, humanitarian, and philosopher, yet he expressed the challenge of finding fulfillment in life before his commitment to Jesus: “Only in my quietest moments can I determine what life is all about.”

May these lives motivate you to personally review your life and conclude that there are certain basics worth living by and dying for. Thus, you can determine you have something in which to believe. It gives purpose to life.

Many adults are trying to do combat with the wiles of the devil with knowledge they gained in childhood. They compare their youthful knowledge gained through a juvenile reading of Scripture with their adult reading of false philosophies. It is necessary to give Christianity a mature adult reading.

You may own a Bible and hold it in your hand. Thus, to you it is a POSSESSION. As such, it may be nothing more than a status symbol. You may have read and memorized passages. Thus, to you it is a PRECEPT. That is good. “Thy Word have I hid in my heart…” By owning a copy and memorizing passages you are in a position to make it a PRACTICE.

Write your own statement of faith. Take your time and use the Bible in support of your confession.

With the dark clouds on the horizons of our tomorrows it is not safe to look into the future except through eyes of faith. Do you have a faith for living?


“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.” (John 15: 4)

What does it mean to “abide?” There are several Greek words in the Bible that are properly translated “abide.” By gaining the meaning of each depending on how it is used a fuller understanding can be gained about what it means. In Acts 11: 23 it is used metaphorically indicating persistent loyalty. 

The Greek word “meno” often translated abide indicates perseverance in continuing.      

Another Greek word “prosmeno” translated abide means to continue with.

Abiding is a combination of love and faithfulness.

An example of abiding in Jesus is the group of twenty-three South Korean missionaries who were captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan and sentenced to death. The group knew that the Taliban had decided to kill them, one at a time. One by one the missionaries surrendered their lives again to Jesus saying, “Lord, if you want me to die for your sake I’ll do it.” Then the pastor said, “I’ve talked to [the Taliban] because they are going to start killing us and I’ve told their leaders that if anyone dies, I die first because I am your pastor.”  Another said, “No, because I also am a pastor and I am your elder. I die first.” That is abiding in Jesus.

A Sudanese court sentenced a twenty-seven year old pregnant woman to death for refusing to recant her Christian faith. The court also convicted her of adultery and sentenced her to one hundred lashes because her marriage to a Christian man is considered void under sharia law. Mariam Yaha Ibrahim Ishag told the court: “I am a Christian and I will remain a Christian.”

She has since given birth to a baby girl and is allowed to care for her for two years before the sentence is implemented. Mariam was shackled in prison along with her new baby awaiting execution. That is an example of abiding in Jesus.

Hopefully no one reading this will ever suffer such persecution. However, there are daily examples all around us of people abiding in Jesus.    

There is a young business man who will not compromise and be a party to a scheme to defraud another company under the threat of losing his job if he doesn’t.

There is a teenager refusing to compromise sexually under the pressure of “everybody is doing it,” knowing popularity will be lost as a result of the decision.

There is the couple trying to sell their house unwilling to hide a flaw that will result in losing the sale or not getting the asking price.

There is the builder who will not use compromised building material and cheating the owner for whom the house is being built.

There is the person when alone won’t compromise and watch sexually explicit material.

You fill in the blank. “There is the ….”

What the above text means is Jesus will be loyal to us (abide). We should be loyal (abide in) Him.

On Your Mark, Get Set, Go

“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before you.”  Hebrews 12: 1

This metaphor is often used to describe living saints as being on a playing field with the stands filled with Old Testament people of faith and those who have since died with faith watching to see how we perform.

That misses the point. The Greek for witnesses is “martyres,” which at the time meant a witness. A witness is a person who testifies of what they have heard or seen. Therefore, the cloud of witnesses are people of faith who have preceded us testifying of the sufficiencies of the Lord. They are there to encourage us. In chorus they shout “HE IS ABLE.”

“Every weight” spoken of as applied to an athlete was to take off anything that would hinder the race. There are certain attitudes and actions we must put aside if we are to spiritually compete in the race of faith.

There is a sin …”which does so easily beset us …. (Hebrews 12: 1) That is, a “ sin that so easily entangles,” meaning we all have an area of weakness. Knowing ours we should stay off the plane if we are not going on the flight. More clearly put, if you don’t want to sin, flee it at the first hint of temptation. Avoid those situations and circumstances that furnish an occasion for sinning.

The sin which so easily ensnares us or besets us, is the one that is most appealing and enticing to an individual. Satan is no less a strategist than a brilliant military general who scouts his opponent to find the weakest point to attack. Satan knows yours, do you? Pause and contemplate that question.

Lay aside that sin. The illustration might be to a runner who refused to put off a garment which the crowd admired, though such an encumbrance must cause him to fail of the prize. This depicts a person’s sin the crowd approves of, actually admires. It gaining the wearer popularity makes it difficult to abandon. It is a you approve of my sin, I will applaud yours. Approval by others is a strong enticement not to abandon the popular sin.

The race that is set before you, not that race of someone else.  In a competitive race, each runner runs in his own lane and never looks to see how other competitors are doing. They keep their eyes on the goal. We should not look around at others, and compare ourselves, just accept Jesus’ charge to Peter to follow me. 

Our example for running the race set before us is found in the next verse: “looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12: 2)