August 27, 2017

God Numbers Everything – Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

By Don R. Patton

“Does He not see my ways And number all my steps?” (Job 31:4)

I always found math interesting but was going to preach and foolishly considered it irrelevant. When eventually I began to focus on a science education, I found myself far behind and working hard to catch up. Once I did I found a fascinating new world.

I began to appreciate that God is the ultimate source of all mathematical concepts. All the intricacies of structure and process of His fascinating ordered cosmos are capable of being described mathematically, and it a critical goal of science to do just that. This astoundingly precise intelligibility of the universe inevitably points to a marvelous intelligence as its Creator.

We thought we had a pretty good rough estimate of the number of stars that exist in the heavens. Then, a report in the Astrophysical Journal, last October, demonstrated that our arrogant guesstimate was ridiculously silly.

“The ‘observable’ universe contains 10 to 20 times as many galaxies than previous estimates. That raises the total to somewhere between one and two trillion galaxies, which is up from the previous best estimate of 100 billion galaxies. Consequently, this means we also have to update the number of stars in the observable universe, which now numbers around 700 sextillion (that’s a 7 with 23 zeros behind it, or 700 thousand billion billion).”

Then, with a little more humility they add…

“The researchers say there must be a further 90 percent of galaxies in the observable universe that are too dim and far away for us to see using current telescopes.”

If that doesn’t boggle your mind, you are un-boggleable. But, while you are trying to get your mind around that, remember that God has counted and identified each one!

“He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them. Great is our Lord and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite,” (Psalm 147:4-5).

We wonder, “Why such an unfathomably vast creation?” David explains that the heavens are designed to give us a glimmer of insight into His glory.

“The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, And night to night reveals knowledge,” (Psalms 19:1-2).

Jesus makes a similar point from the opposite direction:

“…the host of heaven cannot be counted and the sand of the sea cannot be measured,…” (Jeremiah 22:33).

God has also created… “an innumerable company of angels” (Hebrews 12:22 NKJV).

The shepherd, David, spent a lot of time looking at the heavens. He saw and comprehended more than the foolish, atheistic astronomers with multimillion dollar telescopes.

“Many, O LORD my God, are the wonders which You have done, And Your thoughts toward us; There is none to compare with You. If I would declare and speak of them, They would be too numerous to count.” (Psalm 40:5).

Job’s faith expresses the practical application of these concepts.

“Does He not see my ways And number all my steps?” (Job 31:4)

If He has numbered each hair on our heads, and counted every star, we can be certain He numbers our steps along the way, and guides them all.

“The steps of a man are established by the LORD, And He delights in his way.” (Psalms 37:23).

Adapted from an article by Henry Morris

 

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August 20, 2017

Our Relentless Enemy – Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

“The LORD said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” And Satan answered the LORD, “From roving about on the earth, and from walking back and forth across it.” (Job 1:7 NET)

Would you like to hear a conversation between God and the devil? What would they have to say to each other? Bible students know all about at least one such conversation. The book of Job records it and reveals an amazing picture of Satan at work. It illustrates the fact that the devil opposes God and His work at every opportunity. It depicts Satan’s constant, relentless determined effort to obstruct and defeat. It indicates that he never rests.

The Devil is not a divine, like God. He is super-human, as angels are; a finite (though very powerful and brilliant) created being. To accomplish his goal, therefore, he persistently keeps going from place to place, back and forth, working deception after deception, bringing everyone he can under His influence.

“Be sober and alert. Your enemy the devil, like a roaring lion, is on the prowl looking for someone to devour.” (I Peter 5:8 NET)

He does his best work undercover. “…Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.” (II Cor.11: 14). The same is true of the demons who have followed the devil in his rebellion against God, the ones James describes, who know the truth about Christ. “…the demons also believe, and shudder,” (James 2:10). These deceptive demons influence men to serve as “deceitful workers” (II Cor.11:13). Paul says they are “his servants,” who “disguise themselves as servants of righteousness.”

Sadly, many foolishly think Satan and his servants have laid down and gone to sleep or have forgotten their most effective tactics, such as deceitful disguises, appearing to be servants of righteousness, and the relentless drumbeat of claims about sincerity. Far too many smugly insist on accepting all religions. Satan is thrilled that so many have determined to be “Pluralistic” and tolerant of the “blasphemy by those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan,” (Revelation 2:9); “those of the synagogue of Satan, who say that they are Jews and are not, but lie…” (Revelation 3:9).

John knows better and warns of the terrible danger of those who don’t teach the truth.

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” (I John 4:2).

John commands that we test and specifies the “how to.”

“We are from God; he who knows God listens to us; he who is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.” (I John 4:6).

By inspiration, John says we can know truth from error. Does it conform to what God has revealed or not. If the word contradicts, look out. The roaring lion has his mouth open. and his servants are “on the prowl,” “roving about on the earth…walking back and forth across it.” Ironically, their continual, relentless conduct is like the eternal state of those who yield to the deceit. “…they have no rest day and night…” (Revelation 14:11).

True rest is found only in Christ, with His forgiveness, cleansing, and guidance:

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. “Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and YOU WILL FIND REST FOR YOUR SOULS.” (Matthew 11:28-29).

Adapted from an article by Henry Morris

 

August 13, 2017

Word of His Grace – Don R. Patton

Posted in Uncategorized at 6:00 am by sranderson0103

“And now I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified.” (Acts 20:32)

Paul was leaving his beloved brothers in the faith, likely never to see them again. He would not be there to chase away the wolves, but they would not be left without protection.

God would always be with them. Paul uses the same expression Jesus used on the cross when He placed His spirit into His Fathers hands. To “commend” to God is to place them into His care and keeping.

And, they had God’s Word. Was that enough? If they would fill themselves with it, they would be strong. It had the power to protect them, to strengthen them, to build them up, to guarantee their inheritance, to secure their place among all those who are sanctified, set apart for God’s service. Wow! Yes, that is enough, “that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (II Timothy 3:17).

Paul had done all he could do. Now they would be able to stand on their own, by the power of God administered through the “word of His grace.”

It is interesting and instructive to consider the expressions the Holy Spirit uses to describe the crucial role and the powers of God’s word.

Jesus was the expression of the will of God and He, Himself, is called “the Word of life (I John 1:1).

Christians at Philippi were told that they, themselves, “appear as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life,” (Philippians 2:15-16).

Jesus explains the role of Scripture in the parable of the sower, describing it as theword of the kingdom,(Matthew 13:19).

Paul speaks of the nearness of God’s Word when he called it, theword of faith, which we preach,” (Romans 10:8).

Paul established the fact that Christians today are the “children of promise,” by means of theword of promise, (Romans 9:9).

Paul speaks of the marvelous work of God, reconciling the world to Himself,” which our Calvinistic friends attribute to the direct operation of the Holy Spirit, relegating the Word to relative irrelevance. Paul indicates it accomplished by means of the “word of reconciliation” (II Corinthians 5:19).

Similarly, asserting the role of “the word of truth,” in salvation, he equates it with “the gospel of your salvation;” (Ephesians 1:13).

The writer of Hebrews referred to the admonitions of his inspired epistle as the “word of exhortation,” (Hebrews 13:22).

The Lord Jesus described the faithful church at Philadelphia as those who had “kept My word, and have not denied My name.” He promised them “Because you have kept the word of My perseverance, I also will keep you from the hour of testing,” (Revelation 3:10).

The metaphor of our text is also found when Paul was “speaking boldly with reliance upon the Lord, who was testifying to the word of His grace, granting that signs and wonders be done by their hands.” (Acts 14:3).

Grace is the grand theme of the New Testament. It’s great significance warped the pendulum thinking of Calvin and Luther, who swung from the Catholic error of salvation by works, all the way past the truth to salvation without responsible accountability to conditions specified in the Word. Would that their followers, and all Christians today, learn to appreciate the great significance, the central, primary role of “the word of His grace.”