Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Revelation.1

"The time is come 
that the Son of Man 
be revealed 
and glorified." 

The apostle Paul keenly observed this fact about the revelation of Jesus: 
"For while we were still weak, 
at the right time 
Christ died for the ungodly." 
Romans 5:6 [emphasis added]

Hugh Ross, anthropological astrophysicist and founder of Reasons To Believe, a ministry devoted to describing the harmony of scripture and science, demonstrates that the Creator of the Universe is the God of the "Just-Right Time!"

In his most recent book, Improbable Planet: How Earth Became Humanity's Home, Ross makes the case that amazing discoveries in astronomy, physics, biology, paleontology, chemistry, geology and mathematics take us further from a naturalistic explanation of the Universe and toward a growing concensus that the evidence points to a Designer who carefully and precisely prepared a planet capable of abundantly sustaining billions of life-forms.  

Throughout his account of the uniqueness of our Milky Way Galaxy, our own solar system, and our special planet, he frequently refers to the "just-right" conditions for each step in the development of a habitable planet. Are these "just-right" conditions merely coincidental or do they help us solve the bigger questions of "Why?"

"Ongoing research tells us that Earth has been shaped not only by an intricately orchestrated interplay of physical forces and conditions, but also by its vast abundance and diversity of life-forms. By means that no depth and breadth of scientific research can explain, life arose early in Earth’s history under anything but the benign conditions it would seem to require and somehow persisted through multiple mass extinction events, always appearing or reappearing at just-right times and in just-right forms to meet the needs and demands of the revised environment.
The more thoroughly researchers investigate the history of our planet, the more astonishing the story of our existence becomes. The number and complexity of the astronomical, geological, chemical, and biological features recognized as essential to human existence have expanded explosively within the past decade.
The importance of this new information cannot be overstated. An understanding of what is required to make possible a large human population and advanced civilization has raised profound questions about life, especially about our purpose and destiny. In other words, discovering at this level of detail why the history of Earth looks the way it does impacts all discussion of why you and I are here."  Ross, Hugh. Improbable Planet: How Earth Became Humanity's Home (Kindle Locations 134-143). Baker Publishing Group. Kindle Edition. [Emphasis added]

Hugh Ross believes, as he makes clear in his ministry, that God's work of creation is primarily redemptive. While humans debate whether driving their SUVs is destroying the planet, the scientific record (which includes effervescing data from the fossil record, core samples, radio isotopes, and solar telescopes) and the remarkable human beings who can interpret it, informs us that this planet has undergone regular cycles of creation, extinction and re-creation with each layer building up the foundation for future habitation.

Ponder that the formation of fossil fuels, metal ores, limestone, and even rock formations like granite - the building blocks of advanced civilization - required mass extinction of living organisms and their decay to pave the way for the technology enabling modern man to communicate the Good News of God's love to the masses of people this world sustains!

Now ponder this: if the God who fine-tuned the universe to prepare the way for your existence with just-right demonstrations of His power & devotion, will He not give you the just-right circumstances to help you realize your potential to love?

A friend was pondering the painful last days of his beloved father and questioning why God allowed this faithful man to leave this world in such a way. As his story unfolded revealing layers of family friction and long-term resentment, he was glad to be reminded that God always works in just right ways to heal wounds, deepen love and grow unity.  Our suffering and even death may be a just-right condition for achieving such great good!  A small price to pay for eternal joy and a reflection of the Just-Right Nature of our Creator's Perfect Will!

Saturday, December 17, 2016

The Return.13

"Be always watchful; for you do not know the day or the hour when the Son of Man will return. 

Live your life in a prepared manner, your lights burning brightly; like those servants who wait with expectancy for the sound of the Lord’s approaching.

It is easier for heaven and earth to pass away, than for one of these words to fail." 

After reading these words of Jesus, I turned on my Christmas tree lights...

Oh, so you don't think that's what He means by letting "your lights burn brightly?"

Silly you say?

Maybe. Maybe not.  The vast array of Christmas lights and decorations, whatever the motivation - commercialism, paganism or real reverence - is a cheerful reminder that humanity deeply longs for something science can never give: Hope in The Unseen Hand that Heals and Helps us Heavenward.

God With Us. 
God Like Us. 
We like God. 
Oneness in Sacrificial love and giving.

"If the joy that alone makes life worth living, the joy that God our Maker is just like Christ, if it be a true thing in my heart, how can I not believe in Christmas?"
(adapted from a quote by George MacDonald)

For unto us a child is given, to us a King with the heart of childlike obedience and love! Until we can celebrate His physical return, this world-wide yearly return to the celebration of His birth is a grand reminder that love is the greatest gift of all!

A Merry Light-Filled Christmas to you!