7 Wonders Most Of Us Wonder

Years ago I addressed some common questions we all tend to wade through in life. Recently I had a conversation with somebody that reminded me of this material so I thought I’d blog and share it.

  1. I WONDER IF THERE’S REALLY A GOD?
  2. I WONDER IF THE BIBLE IS REALLY TRUE?
  3. I WONDER IF WE EVOLVED FROM APES?
  4. I WONDER ABOUT DINOSAURS IN THE BIBLE?
  5. I WONDER WHY LIFE IS SO UNFAIR?
  6. I WONDER WHY I EVEN EXIST?
  7. I WONDER WHY I DON’T DO WHAT I SHOULD?

Every believer comes to a place in their life where questions flood their soul. This occurred in my life just a few years after accepting Christ as my personal Savior in college. Surrounded by intellectualism I began to question everything I believed. Much of the information presented in this series simply came from deep questions that existed in my heart as I frantically searched for truth.

Jesus set the example by never running from questions but engaging in some of the most heated discussions as he faced accusation from a premise of truth. This series will address many questions in areas that many “intellectuals” have determined have no valid Christian response. Every believer must be prepared to give a reason for the hope which they have in Christ Jesus, the Word of God and the foundational belief structure from both. Every believer has this opportunity if they choose to consider and study the facts.

7 WONDERS: I WONDER ABOUT GOD & THE BIBLE?

 

We will give three considerations in the evaluation of these first two wonders.

  1. Prophecy – the foretelling of that which is to come must obviously be of divine origin suggesting a “higher being” who knows all.
  1. Testimony – The testimony of men and women who’s lives have been completely changed by the presence of God almighty and the power of God’s Word in their lives.
  2. Nature – The Bible clearly reveals that God has revealed himself through his creation.

Isa 44 & 45 tell how God inspired a man named Isaiah to declare in 700 B.C. that a man named Cyrus would give a command to rebuild the temple. There were two main problems with this declaration.

  1. The temple was standing when this was spoken! It wasn’t until 114 years later, 586 B.C that King Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the temple.
  2. This reveals the second problem with this prophecy coming forth in 700 B.C. Cyrus, the one who would give the command for the temple to be rebuilt had not yet even been born. It wasn’t until 539 that King Cyrus would give the command prophesied about 161 years before to rebuild the temple.

The Bible is filled with hundreds of examples just as fascinating as this one. HOW CAN THIS BE?!? Even the most skeptical person must admit that there is an unexplainable and supernatural element to prophetic evidence.

We read an amazing testimony of a man infamously known by his nickname, “Doubting Thomas.” In John 20:25 The other disciples therefore were saying to him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I shall see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” NAS

Jesus never scolded Thomas for asking questions. He simply responded to the fact that Thomas needed answers and Jesus had the scars. Thomas simply needed his own experience rather than to merely believe what others told him. Many people live their entire lives based on information that came from others rather than developing their own experience with God. God desires for you to have your own experience and testimony about his faithfulness in your life.

Another amazing testimony we find in Scripture that has caused skeptics to scramble for explanations is that fascinating conversion of Saul of Tarsus. This man underwent one of the most amazing transformations in the history of the world. Saul was a devoted Jew who had given his life to the destruction of Christians. In an instance he was radically converted to follow Jesus and be used mightily by God.

Time has silenced many skeptics who were dead wrong in their accusations against Bible. The earth was considered to be flat when the Holy Spirit inspired the prophet to write about the “circle of the Earth” in Isaiah 40:22. Surely skeptics of that day raved about such nonsense. Over the course of time science has revealed that the skeptical opinions were wrong and the Bible’s perspective was right. The fact is that no Science or History book ever remains credible for any length of time. Having been a former Principle this was a constant issue to remain current and credible with our curriculum especially in these two fields of study and education. The Bible is neither a science or history book but is scientifically and historically accurate after all these years.   Nelson Glueck, renowned Archaeologist, “It may be stated categorically that no archaeological discovery has ever controverted a biblical reference.”

The Bible was written over a period of 1500 years, over forty generations, by more than 40 different authors, composed on three different continents (Asia, Africa & Europe), and in three different languages (Hebrew, Aramaic & Greek). Various authors wrote from varying circumstances of life some in places of great joy while others in places of imprisonment. The amazing thing is that the Bible, filled with controversial subjects, is written with complete harmony and agreement. Just a few people writing on one controversial subject who speak the same language from the same continent would have difficulty writing in agreement.

The Bible is God’s wonderful word to mankind. The eternal God of the universe has authored and preserved his wonderful Word for us to read, study and possess. Some of our founding fathers to America have eloquently stated the validity of God’s Word:

George Washington: “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.”

Thomas Jefferson: “A studious perusal of the sacred volume will make better citizens, better fathers, and better husbands.”

Andrew Jackson: “It is the rock on which our Republic rests.”

Woodrow Wilson: “A man has deprived himself of the best there is in the world who has deprived himself of this.” (Referencing the knowledge of the Bible)

 

I WONDER ABOUT EVOLUTION

The Theory of Evolution suggests that about 3 ½ to 4 ½ billion years ago amino acids arose from a large inorganic ocean to form protein molecules. This inorganic matter finally rose upward to become living matter. It continued to spiral upward to become conscious matter. Conscious matter continued to spiral upward to become subconscious matter. Subconscious matter continued to spiral upward to greater complexity of life until it gained ethics and values.

This theory teaches that everything spirals upward to greater and greater complexity and organization. The reason it is known as a “theory” is simple. It has never been proven. Many people attempt to refer to “Evolution” but it is “The Theory Of Evolution.” Let’s consider what God’s Word says about the origin of the universe.

Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (NIV)

If there is a bang in our past it’s because God spoke and bang the earth existed. The idea of the world coming into existence by chance is actually preposterous and has rarely been defined more accurately than by evolutionist Sir Fred Hoyle. Sir Fred Hoyle is one of the leading Astronomers and Mathematicians in our world today. Speaking to his evolutionary colleagues he said, “let’s be intellectually honest. As scientists, we all know that the probability of life arising by chance through evolution is the same probability as throwing a six on a dice 5,000,000 consecutive times…The probability of life evolving to greater and greater complexity and organization by chance is the same probability of having a tornado tear through a junk yard and form at the other end a Boeing 747 jetliner.” Not only does this remain a theory but even those who adhere to the theory must conclude that it’s a very unlikely theory.

The University of Central Oklahoma invited me to participate in a debate with Dr. Darion Debolt in a televised forum before a live audience of students. I was the Creationist and Dr. Debolt was the Evolutionist. These are the primary arguments I brought to the conversation emphasizing the evidence of science.There are four premises, or assumptions, upon which the theory stands:

  1. The earth is 4 ½ billion years old,
  2. The geological column found in textbooks written by Charles Lyell (father of modern day Geology) supports Darwinism.
  3. Evidence of transitional men like Nebraska man, Neanderthal Man, Java Man, etc
  4. Scientific evidence supporting the theory.

Creation suggests that about 6,000 years ago God created earth and mankind. To get an idea of how incredible of a difference this is consider two stacks of thin pages taken from a Bible. 6,000 pages would be about a knee high stack. 4.5 billion pages would be 114 miles high into the atmosphere. There is a vast difference between these two ways of thinking.

QUESTION #1: IS THE EARTH 4 BILLION YEARS OLD?

The world is full of geological clocks. These clocks are geological indications and considerations to provide information about how old the earth truly is. If the Biblical Flood occurred about 5,000 years ago and destroyed all dry-land plant life, then we would not expect to find plants that could be accurately dated at older than about 5,000 years. The bristle-cone pine tree has been called the oldest living organism on earth. It appears that all these trees were planted on a virgin Earth just 5,000 years ago.

The Poynting-Robertson effect deals with the gravitational pull of the sun and stars pulling cosmic dust toward them.   Our solar system is full of these particles! According to reliable and scientific calculations based on The Poynting-Robertson effect the charts demand a sun and solar system that is less than 10,000 years of age.   Every year the Mississippi River carries tons and tons of eroded dirt into the Gulf of Mexico. Scientists have been measuring the growth of the Mississippi delta for many years. “At the present rate the entire Mississippi River delta would have accumulated in only 5,000 years.

In the early sixties NASA developed the first lunar landers. Large pods were placed on the feet of the lunar landers because the evolutionists that worked for NASA all believed the moon was the same age as the Earth, 4 1/2 billion years old. They’d measured the amount of cosmic dust in space. Based upon the gravitational pull of the moon over this course of time the fine dust that should have settled on the moon should have been over 100 feet deep. Mr. Armstrong bounced across the surface of the moon kicking up a thin layer of dust. After reliable and scientific calculations it has been determined that the average depth of cosmic dust is about 1 inch. This proves scientifically that the moon cannot be over 6,000 years old.

QUESTION #2: WHAT ABOUT THE GEOLOGICAL COLUMN & CHARLES LYELL:

Sir Charles Lyell (1797-1875) was the founding father of modern geology. Lyell was a lawyer without any genuine knowledge about geology. He was a friend of Charles Darwin and his 12 column chart coincides with Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. Lyell and Darwin in partnership gave us the modern geological column, upon which is based the modern world-view of both geology and evolution. The Geological column is on the front page of virtually every Geology textbook in universities and is usually on the front page of every Earth Science textbook in high schools. The chart displays a 4 1/2 billion year old earth which is divided into twelve earth ages. The problem is that there is no evidence in the world to support such suppositions as described in the geological column by a man who knew very little about Geology. Not even the Grand Canyon supports the information displayed in this chart.

Many times I’ve read articles about amazing artifacts that have been discovered which are millions of years old. The fact is that the dating of these items is extremely uncertain and confusing. Many times there will be reference to Carbon 14 dating which is very ineffective at assessing any accurate date, especially on porous materials such as bones, beyond 500 years old. Another confusing factor involved in dating fossils is termed “Circular Reasoning”. The World Book Encyclopedia, Volume 7, page 422 explains that scientists determine when fossils were formed by finding out the age of the rocks in which they lie.   The problem is that Volume 15, page 102 on Paleontology explains that the age of the rocks are based upon the age of the fossils found in the rocks. If you’re basing the age of the earth on the age of the fossil and the age of the fossil on the age of the earth you have no basis for accurate measurement. The age is then determined without any scientific evidence and is based on the guess of the evolutionist making the guess, many times evaluating the Geological Column to make that determination.

QUESTION #3: WHAT ABOUT ALL THE EVIDENCE FOR TRANSITIONAL APE-MEN?:

We will briefly look at the finest evidence for transitional men. Ramapithecus Man had been ruled out by many in the late 1960’s as the jaw of a true ape. Piltdown Man was a hoax exposed in 1953 based on a sad joke as someone had filed teeth and stained bone to make it appear as transitional evidence. As late as 1967, the prestigious Harvard University Press was still promoting the Piltdown Hoax as a possible “..missing link between man and the apes”, when it had been proven a sham nearly fifteen years earlier.

Nebraska man was formed from a single tooth found in 1922 and maintained credibility for a total of 5 years until 1927 when the tooth was found to be that of a pig! Professor Henry Osbourne’s ape- man was constructed from the tooth of a pig. Nebraska Man is still used in some modern text- books, despite the fact that Osbourne himself admitted his findings were really that of a pig. Neanderthal man is a man which appears to be a man who was simply heavier-boned than the average person today. Many scientists concur that Neanderthal man could be dressed in a suit and carry on normal life in today’s world. Peking Man now has no evidence in existence as evolutionists claim the bones did exist at one time but they cannot be found today.

Java Man was a man based on a skullcap and leg-bone. The top of the skull cap was actually discovered to be a knee cap. Australopithecus, or “Lucy” as is commonly called, is based on a human-like knee joint 60 – 80 meters deeper in the rock strata and almost a mile from a partial animal skeleton. A computerized analysis of the Australapithecines carried out in the seventies has substantiated the opinion of another evolutionist, Dr. Solly Zuckerman, as he concludes that Australopithecus is an ape.

The fact is that every bone or bone particle discovered so far has been classified by one evolution expert or another as ape, monkey, or man — not ape-man or man-ape. If evolution had indeed occurred through the process of genetic mutation and then natural selection, it follows that millions upon millions of transitional plant and animal fossils of millions and millions of different species – should exist.

WE HAVE YET TO FIND JUST ONE SINGLE IRREFUTABLE CASE TO SUPPORT THIS. The reason is found in God’s Word where we clearly see that god created living creatures to produce after their own kind. There never has nor will there ever be transitional species.

Gen 1:24 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind”; and it was so. (NAS)

QUESTION #4: WHAT ABOUT ALL THE SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE?

DNA, the basic information system of the cell, contains the blue prints needed to manufacture twenty or more different proteins. Each of these proteins is manufactured in little “cell-factories” at the direction of the DNA and is essential for the maintenance of life. So, which came first? If DNA is essential in the manufacturing process of proteins, and the manufacturing process produces the proteins essential to DNA, then you can’t have one without the other. This means they both must have been created fully functional and at exactly the same point in time. In other words, God must have created the information system of all cells at a point in time and fully functional.

The evolutionists are frantically searching for the smallest hint that something will evolve and prove their theory to be true. A few years ago the evolutionary community presented to the public their best example of evolution in progress. It was a guppy family that had been separated from their old friends for several years. When the guppies were reunited they would not mate. Evolutionists consider a life-form to be a new species when it will no longer mate with its old friends. Maybe the guppy didn’t smell good when it came back from its temporary environment.

It is fitting to discuss two scientific laws in conclusion. A scientific law is a scientific principle that has gone beyond the state of a theory to a provable position. When a scientific law violates a scientific theory the intellectually credible thing to do is to abandon the position of the theory.

The Law of Entropy is the second Law of Thermodynamics. Entropy basically states that everything is running down. We are spiraling downward to less and less complexity and organization. Perhaps the best modern-day illustration for this would be a new car after fifteen years. The problem is that the Theory of Evolution teaches that everything spirals upward to greater and greater complexity and organization.   Remember the suggestion of the theory is that 3 ½ to 4 ½ billion years ago amino acids arose from a large inorganic ocean to form protein molecules. This inorganic matter finally rose upward to become living matter. It continued to spiral upward to become conscious matter. Conscious matter continued to spiral upward to become subconscious matter. Subconscious matter continued to spiral upward to greater complexity of life until it gained ethics and values. This theory violates the Law of Entropy!

Another interesting Law of Science is The Law of Biogenesis. This law simply states that life only arises from living matter. It has been scientifically proven that life only arises from life. The Law of Biogenesis emphatically states as a scientific law that it is impossible to get life from non-living matter. The Theory of Evolution requires that life has arisen from non-living matter.

A GREAT QUESTION TO ASK EVOLUTIONISTS: If a scientific theory, which has remained a theory for more than a century because of a lack of evidence, violates scientific laws isn’t it intellectually credible to abandon the theory and believe in something else?

When a scientific theory violates a scientific Law only the deeply confused continue to adhere to the theory regardless of the scientifically obvious. Again we see how Evolution is a feeble attempt to deny that God exists.

The final argument that can not be debated is simple. If a person lives his/her life applying God’s principles found in God’s Word then this person will be more likely to have a happy family not having cheated on their spouse. The person will be more likely not to have STD’s because of their abstinent behavior.   The person will not wake up hung over wondering where they spent all their money after weekends lacking self control and discipline of truth. This person will have had a better life and after it’s all said and done simply die if he/she was wrong. The person who denies God will live life however they choose to live with all the problems that come from living life with not boundaries. At the end of their life after living through the complications of disobedience they will die and be separated from God spending all eternity in hell if they were wrong. Is there really any question which position is foolish?

DINOSAURS:

Many Christians shrink back from discussions dealing with dinosaurs. The only reason for this would simply be ignorance on the part of the Christian. There is certainly no lack of evidence or information in the Bible. We will discuss this in detail. To begin this discussion I will again point out a major problem with believing in the THEORY of Evolution which is related to dinosaurs.

In Glen Rose, Texas human and dinosaur footprints have been found crisscrossing each other in the Paluxey river bottom. The theory of evolution requires the extinction of dinosaurs before mankind. Dinosaur footprints and human footprints cross each other and human footprints become imposed on dinosaur footprints. Geologists previously explained this by saying that human footprints must have been carved by Indians. It is an inadequate explanation and it has now been rejected further to a later discovery. More proof is available for the co-existence of men & dinosaurs as cave drawings of dinosaurs have been found.

The observable evidence at every dinosaur field where dinosaurs have been found is that dinosaurs died from a massive flood. Rarely is there an evolutionist who has the intellectual or scientific integrity to face the fact that a flood killed the dinosaurs. Many theories exist that would contradict a massive flood as described in the Bible. Evolutionists simply choose a belief structure that enables them to avoid being accountable to the God who created the Universe. Gen 7:11… – 5,000 years ago, 3,000 B.C. the flood took place.

The earth existed in an entirely different atmospheric environment before the flood. Even secular scientists agree that the earth was once surrounded by a canopy of vapor that sheltered out the harmful ultraviolet rays, producing a greenhouse effect here on this earth, the perfect environment. The is scientifically evidenced by the fossilized tropical plants and ferns at both the North and the South poles. They were once tropical regions.

In this canopy environment, life was sustained for many years. This is a very significant bit of information when you consider that reptiles grow as long as they live. When Adam and Eve sinned the law of entropy kicked in and life began deteriorating violating God’s plan for man to live eternally. The effects of sin rarely are immediate and this was the case during this catastrophic time. The average life of man was over 900 years before sin took it’s full effect. Dinosaur in the Greek, translates “terrible lizard” or “large reptile”. These large dinosaur fossils that we see today are simply reptiles that continued to grow for years and years. A modern day example of this phenomenal reptilian growth is found in the Indonesia Kimodo Dragon lizard. After only ten years of life and growth this reptile is 15 feet long weighing 450 lbs. If you were take a 450 pound Kimono lizard and allowed it to grow for 900 plus years, which it would have done in the day of Adam and Eve, you would have one huge lizard or a dinosaur.

The interesting fact about dinosaur fossils is that more than 90% of all dinosaur fossils in existence today are under two feet tall. This gives explanation for how Noah could have taken dinosaurs on the ark. Surely Noah took the small dinosaurs two by two.

So where do we find dinosaurs in the Bible?

Gen 1:20 And God said, Let the waters bring forth abundantly the moving creature that hath life, and fowl that may fly above the earth in the open firmament of heaven. (KJV)

“fowl” – “owph = any winged creature, especially birds, but not restricted to feathered fliers; includes flying mammals (bats) and flying reptiles.

Gen 1:21 And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good. (KJV)

“whales” – “tann(i/y)(m/n) = any large marine creatures/sea monsters including whales, mosasaurs, plesiosaurs, etc. This word also translates in the KJV as “dragon” and “sea monster”

Ps 148:7 Praise the LORD from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps: (KJV)

Glowing, flying reptiles really aren’t so far-fetched. Even today we have lightning bugs which fly around generating their own God-given light. The Bombardier Beetle is another modern day example of an animal possessing characteristics defined in dinosaurs and revealed in Scripture. This beetle shoots a gaseous explosion that is over 200 degrees Fahrenheit which can be aimed and directed strategically at predators. The fact is that fire-breathing reptiles aren’t so far-fetched after all. And there is Biblical support for these creatures:

Ps 104:26 There go the ships: there is that leviathan, whom thou hast made to play therein. (KJV)

“Leviathan” – tortuous/twisted/wreathed (Heb. livyah) + (Heb. tan) monster; one of the “tannim” created on day five found in Genesis 1:20-23.

Notice all the amazing questions being posed about this particular reptilian beast which was obviously an incredibly ferocious and intimidating animal:

Job 41:1-2 “Can you draw out Leviathan with a fishhook? Or press down his tongue with a cord? “Can you put a rope in his nose? Or pierce his jaw with a hook? (NAS)

Job 41:7 “Can you fill his skin with harpoons, or his head with fishing spears?

Job 41:13-14 “Who can strip off his outer armor? Who can come within his

double mail? 14 “Who can open the doors of his face? Around his teeth there is terror.

Job 41:18-20 “His sneezes flash forth light, and his eyes are like the eyelids of

the morning. 19 “Out of his mouth go burning torches; Sparks of fire leap forth. 20 “Out of his nostrils smoke goes forth, as {from} a boiling pot and {burning} rushes.

Job 41:26 The sword that reaches him has no effect, nor does the spear or dart or javelin.

Job 41:29 A club seems to him but a piece of straw; he laughs at the rattling of the lance.

Job 41:33 Nothing on earth is his equal   a creature without fear. (NIV)

The conclusion of all this is simple. God has made provision in every way for us to have informed faith. The fact is that information actually strengthens our faith when we are diligent to study and consider all information from a perspective of truth. God’s provision is so fascinating even down to the most intricate and life-sustaining details of His wonderful creation. For our lives to be maintained we must have exactly the correct amounts of oxygen, hydrogen, carbon dioxide, sunlight, magnetic field, speed of rotation and revolution of earth, distance from the moon, distance from the sun, ozone, water, gravity, etc., etc., etc. All of these factors must be in the correct amounts, in the right places, at the right times, and in the exact relationships with each other. For instance, if our earth’s gravity was weaker, our atmosphere would thin out and be unable to support life. If gravity was stronger, undesirable gases such as ammonia gas would held in higher concentrations and be detrimental to life.

That means our earth has to have been made exactly the right size to generate the perfect amount of gravity to support our atmosphere. But it also had to be the right size to hold our moon in orbit — that means the moon had to be made the right size so it wouldn’t drift off into space or crash into earth –

and the moon also had to be the right size so that the ocean tides stay under control. God, the God of the Bible, is to be praised and He, alone, is to receive the glory and the honor.

 

WHY IS LIFE SO UNFAIR / WHY DO I EXIST?

With such a focus on “Destiny” at our church this message is extremely significant. The fact is that everyone of us have had something unfair happen to us which we did not “deserve.” People respond in different ways to unfair situations. It is critically important that we learn to respond in a way that is consistent with God’s Word. Understanding why bad things happen will help us to deal with and overcome those bad things.

The fact is that we live in a fallen world. The fall of mankind produced complications and problems that God never intended for us to have to face. The Bible offers wonderful insight for us to consider about how the fall of mankind has affected our world.

Gen 3:17-19   To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. 18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, & you will eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” (NIV)

Verse 17 states that it was because of the sin of Adam and Eve that the ground was cursed. This produced “painful toil” which was not God’s original plan. Work in itself suddenly became very painful and unfulfilling. This is not to say that we cannot find fulfillment in our careers. However, the only true fulfillment in your work is that of fulfilling God’s will by working there. Obedience to God is the only way to reverse the curse of disobedience.

Notice that verse 18 says that the land will “produce thorns and thistles for you”   The land, which did not produce thorns or thistles before, now produces thorns and thistles for man. This is expressing the frustration of life which tends to come our way in various circumstances. We can be walking the pathway that we know we should be walking and suddenly encounter a thorn or thistle which can disrupt and delay the journeys of life. Nobody likes to be delayed.

Verse 19 gives the understanding that existence is futile. From dust you came and to dust you will go. Everything in between is work and survival. This is an accurate description of the life a person who is lost. Without the purposes of God in our lives we are absolutely empty and unfulfilled. It is a lack of purpose that enables us to be so quickly offended and sifted by the devil when difficult circumstances come our way.

A woman was cooking in her kitchen one afternoon when a knock came at the door. Her granddaughter came in and began explaining a terrible situation which she had encountered. Truly she had become the victim of somebody else’s neglect and the full price would have to be paid out of her pocket. Warmly the grandmother listened as her precious heritage spilled out heavy statements of anger and bitter expressions. Finally the wise lady pulled out three pots and three items for the pots. Filling the pots with water she said, “Sweetheart I’d like to show you something.”

In the first pot she began boiling carrots. The second pot boiled eggs and the third, coffee beans. After the boiling ended she began to share how when the fire was turned up the carrots became soft drawing a parallel to how many people become soft in the midst of life’s fires. The second lesson came from the egg and how many people become hard. The third lesson was a rich-smelling cup of coffee. Life will bring hardship and this is unfortunate for all of us. But when hardship comes we can make the choice to get better instead of getting bitter. As so many have stated, “When life gives you lemons make lemonaide”.

Paul exhorted the Thessalonian Church to constantly give thanks to God. A thankful heart rarely has time to complain. Paul’s exhortation was not one of thanking God for bad things for God is not the author of confusion or wickedness. He declared that “in” all circumstances we should give thanks to God. The Bible does not say anywhere that we are to give thanks to God “for” all circumstances.

1Thes 5:18 give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

A very important part of having a healthy attitude is to learn to focus on others. When life becomes all about you, you will never be fulfilled. THE GREATEST POVERTY IS THE INABILITY TO GIVE INTO THE LIVES OF PEOPLE AROUND YOU! A study at the University of Michigan showed that men who volunteered were two-and-a-half times more likely to live longer than men who did not.   Women who volunteer are 16 percent less likely to experience a major illness during the course of their lifetime than those who do not.

The University of California-Berkeley scientists who studied eight thousand men and women found that death rates were two to three times lower for those who invested themselves in relationships with others.   RELATIONSHIPS TAKE WORK!!!!!! AND – This requires a willingness to focus on somebody other than yourself.

Studies have shown that volunteering to give into the lives of others reduces stress levels & boosts our immune systems. People who volunteer learn lessons of gratitude that add important dimensions to emotional, mental, and spiritual well-being.

Cornell University published results of research that showed that adults (between the ages of 50 and 72) who volunteer experience an enhanced sense of self-esteem. They are better able to maintain ongoing social networks than their peers who do not volunteer are. Volunteering gives folks important reasons to get up in the morning, which helps ward off depression and feelings of uselessness. Results revealed that teenage girls who volunteer are 50% less likely to get pregnant than peers who do not volunteer are. Volunteering as a family creates wonderful memories and strengthens important intergenerational relationships.

There was a movie written about a man named Glen Holland. He is a man with a vision to write an orchestral piece that would lead him to fame and prosperity. His plans did not include teaching highschool but an opportunity came along and he found such a place of fulfillment that he remained there for 30 years. After 30 years the county cut funding which meant he no longer had a job. He thinks his life has been worth nothing and is making his final departure from the school feeling defeated and worthless. The question in his mind, “Why have I wasted my life so frivously?” The movie concludes with an amazing celebration of appreciation surprising this retiring man who felt useless. He never discovered fame and fortune on Broadway. His fame and fortune were discovered in the lives of those he had impacted in an amazing

Truly, the key to Giving is receiving. This is all about Him not you! He gave you gifts, strengths and talents. Surrender them to him and let him spend you freely so that the blessing of God will come upon you.

I WONDER WHY I DON’T DO WHAT I SHOULD?:

We’ve been bombarded by news of people who have had great intentions, amazing vision and phenomenal spotlights providing vast amounts of influence around the world. What seems to be suddenly and in an instant all of their influence is shifted into a negative light as their sin is exposed. How can these people, these leaders in the faith, make such poor decisions that impact so many? The answer is simply that nobody is above temptation in this life and we must remain honest, vulnerable and accountable if we are to remain free.

The truth is that in every believer there is a conflict of the heart resulting from a war of two natures that battle within. Paul refers to this in his letter to the Galatian Church:

Gal 5:17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. (NAS)

Paul makes a statement that is incredibly liberating, especially to those who’ve been in bondage to religion feeling like they had to pretend they didn’t ever experience ungodly desires. His divinely inspired statements clearly reveal that in every believer the nature of the spirit and the nature of the flesh coexist. The struggle in the believer’s life does not indicate that the person is not a good Christian. The question is how the person deals with the thoughts and struggles.

Jesus never spent time with good people in his day. He spent time with real people. When lost people acknowledge their sin and become real people who want help the church tends to work at making them good people. When lost people become real people they tend to become happy people. When real people start trying to be good people they tend to be confused people. The element in all of this that keeps us on the right path is that of being real, being open and being honest about the battle that sometimes rages within each one of us which the Bible clearly explains:

Gen 3:17-19   To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. 18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. 19 By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” (NIV)

Notice that the ground became cursed as a result of the sin of mankind. In verse 19 we see where our bodies came from, the ground. Isn’t it interesting that the curse of sin came upon the earth from which our bodies are built.   It’s no longer a mystery why a person gets saved and their body tries not to cooperate. When a person receives Christ their spirit is saved and completely renewed (2 Cor 5:17) however, their body is not saved and will remain under the curse until the resurrection. The only way to rise above the curse of the flesh is to make the choice to live by the spirit and we can all make this choice if we are willing to be real and honest with God and each other.

Notice in following verses in Genesis we see an interesting additional complication. Not only is your body made from dirt which is under the curse but notice what the devil now feeds on:

Gen 3:9-14 Then the LORD God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 And he said, “I heard the sound of Thee in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” 11 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 And the man said, “The woman whom Thou gavest {to be} with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the LORD God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” 14 And the LORD God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; On your belly shall you go, and dust shall you eat all the days of your life; (NAS)

According to Gen 2:7 you are made from the same stuff that the devil eats. Your flesh is devil food.

Gen 2:7 the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

When people get saved and begin being bombarded with religious requirements it quickly becomes extremely unhealthy. Well-intentioned men and women begin forcing them into places of presentation as they become trained in the “ways Christians ought to act”. These people find themselves working to present something that is actually contrary to the reality of a struggle that is going on inside of them. A struggle that is Biblically endorsed.

Inside every believer 2 natures exist. When you give your heart to Christ you become a new creation according to 2 Cor 5:17. The problem is the fact that your spirit is saved and desiring righteousness but your body is not saved and desires unrighteousness.

Gal 5:17 For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. (NAS)

This does not mean that we give up or throw in the towel. It means we must be honest about the struggles that are going on inside. Honesty and accountability with trusted Christians who are honest and accountable themselves brings about amazing strength and healing.

James 5:16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed… (KJV)

Unfortunately religious spirits have created the perfect atmosphere for hypocrisy in the church. People tend to show up acting like they aren’t having any struggles in some effort to gain the religious respect of their Christian peers. The problem is that this breeds confusion, especially among the newly saved. The key is not pretending the struggles are not there. The key is to admit it and get help from people who care about you.

Further Biblical endorsement of obvious issues in mankind are as follows:

Jer 17:9 “The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; who can understand it? (NAS)

Gen 8:21 …Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood… (NIV)

Before you give up and decide to go back to your old ways you must realize that this place of honesty, though very painful at times, is the only way to true righteousness through Jesus Christ. Paul makes the connection for us to plainly see as he discusses this very issue in Romans:

Rom 7:18-25 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the wishing is present in me, but the doing of the good {is} not. For the good that I wish, I do not do; but I practice the very evil that I do not wish. But if I am doing the very thing I do not wish, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me. I find then the principle that evil is present in me, the one who wishes to do good. For I joyfully concur with the law of God in the inner man, but I see a different law in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind, and making me a prisoner of the law of sin which is in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will set me free from the body of this death? THANKS BE TO GOD THROUGH JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD! So then, on the one hand I myself with my mind am serving the law of God, but on the other, with my flesh the law of sin.

Rom 8:1-4 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death. For what the Law could not do, weak as it was through the flesh, God {did:} sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and {as an offering} for sin, He condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. (NAS)

The only hope any of us have is through Jesus Christ. This is how you get saved and this is how your life is kept pleasing before the Lord. The truth is that it’s a matter of honesty and willingness to obey as the Lord reveals areas He wants to work on. After forty years, He’ll still be speaking to you about areas He wants you to surrender. To live by the spirit is to simply respond to the altar call every day of your life. The same way you got saved is the way you live by the Spirit.

Col 2:6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, (NIV)

You sensed God’s working in your life, this is called conviction. You responded to the desires you sensed from God above your own, this is called repentance. You stood in a place of humility giving God all the glory because you knew there was nothing you could do to earn what God was giving you, this is called grace. Living by the spirit is the same progression every day of your life: conviction, repentance and grace. If you could earn it you’d brag about it so God set the whole deal up to be something you had to rely on Him for. Be very careful to always rely upon Him and give Him all the glory for His work in your life.

Eph 2:8-9 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, {it is} the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast.   (NAS)

 

 

 

One Comment on “7 Wonders Most Of Us Wonder”

  1. THANK YOU FOR SHARING!

    Wow, the whole discussion regarding dust; our origin and devil food!

    On the topic of evolution, this is of course all over my head, but I’m fascinated by it in that nature and SCIENCE has always pointed me to god.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_H4ntRloGWU

    Jim Tour is such a humble and generous man.

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