Some Inspiring Photos of God’s Creation

Here are some incredible images from God’s creation, captured by NASA’s best technology of the Universe around us. Just wanted to share God’s Glory this Sunday evening… What an AMAZING GOD! Amen ~

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“Hand of God” X-Ray Nebula PSR B1509-58 – by NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observator

Genesis 1:1
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.

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“Eye of God” NGC 7293: The Helix Nebula 

Romans 1:20
For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.

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Milky Way over the Pinnacles in Australia 
Image Credit: Michael Goh

Colossians 1:16-17
For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

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Messier 43 
Image Credit & Copyright: Yuri Beletsky (Carnegie Las Campanas Obs.), Igor Chilingarian (Harvard-Smithsonian CfA)

Psalm 33:6
By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host.

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“Pillars of Creation” – Eagle Nebula

Psalm 8:3-4
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?

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GQ Magazine’s Assault on the Word of God

Three days ago the editors of GQ Magazine released an article
21 Books You Don’t have to Read” on their website. This was a list of mostly classic American literature that they deemed overrated.

On the list, in the number 12 position, was the Word of God…

12. The Bible
Instead: The Notebook by Agota Kristof

The Holy Bible is rated very highly by all the people who supposedly live by it but who in actuality have not read it. Those who have read it know there are some good parts, but overall it is certainly not the finest thing that man has ever produced. It is repetitive, self-contradictory, sententious, foolish, and even at times ill-intentioned.

Just an interesting note, the Koran didn’t make the list, perhaps for fear over the retribution that would be sure to follow? But I digress.

Not only do these people claim the Bible is overrated but they recommend no one reads it. Satan is doing a fine job isn’t he? The devil is working non-stop trying to win a battle where he has already been declared the L O S E R. His eternal destiny is already sealed, but he can still help seal the fate of countless non-believers.

It is most likely the case that this list was created strategically to generate a media firestorm for publicity… I mean, honestly I didn’t even know the magazine was still around… when is the last time you heard anything about GQ magazine??? This list was successful at creating headlines… here is Fox & Friends talking about it…

There is great irony in their statement that most Christians haven’t actually read it. Do you believe for one second that ANY of them have read the Bible they call overrated? If they did, they would never describe it as “self-contradictory, sententious, foolish, and even at times ill-intentioned”. Anyone who has spent considerable time with the Word of God knows it is living and breathing, it contains everything one needs to discover the truth in Jesus Christ and live a life of victory.

Now if you are lost in the world, lost in your sin, a lover of your sin or worse a denier of your sin and you approach the Bible as a reading exercise or project… just to proclaim “you read it”… then you will have a much different experience.

There is no other book written in the history of the world like the Bible… it is meticulously interwoven and magnificently held together with a common strand of truth. Jesus. Writers spanning many centuries, many continents and many stations in life, all guided by the Holy Spirit crafted this incredible work. It is life changing and countless people (billions upon billions) have found the amazing truth within its pages and have to come to have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

Do not let a lost, secular world convince you to put away your bible and pick up The Notebook (of all things). Do not fall victim to the lies of the Devil himself. Stay in the Word of God daily and build up your strength. There is a war being waged right now, and we are needed on the battlefield.

 

Note: Here are some interesting facts about the Bible…

 

  • The Bible is not ONE book, but a collection of 66 books written by over 40 authors in 3 languages spanning 1,500 years and 3 continents.
  • The entire Bible has been translated into 532 languages. Parts of the Bible have been translated into another 2,883 languages. [1]
  • Over 100 Million copies of the Bible are sold each year. [2]
  • The Bible is the best-selling book in the history of the world BAR NONE, with over 5 BILLION copies sold. Want to know number 2? Don Quixote : 500 Million copies sold.
  • The New Testament has been preserved in more manuscripts than any other ancient work, having over 5,800 complete or fragmented Greek manuscripts, 10,000 Latin manuscripts and 9,300 manuscripts in various other ancient languages including Syriac, Slavic, Gothic, Ethiopic, Coptic and Armenian. [3]
  • The life of Jesus Christ fulfilled dozens of Old Testament prophecies that were written hundreds of years before he was born. The mathematical probability of one man fulfilling just EIGHT of those prophecies is staggering. [4]

References:

  • Chilton, Bruce, et al. The Cambridge Companion to the Bible. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press, 1997.
  • Davis, Kenneth C. Don’t Know Much About the Bible: Everything You Need to Know about the Good Book but Never Learned. New York, NY: Eagle Brook, 1998.
  • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_manuscript
  • Peter Stoner, Chairman of the Departments of Mathematics and Astronomy at Pasadena College. Jesusfilm.org

 

Stay Strong & Stand Tall

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Rebuking a “Christian” Blogger

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Today as I was browsing WordPress I came across a post that upset me, if I am being honest. When I tried to comment on the article, I found the comments closed… so I decided to use my voice here to counter the lies within those writings.

Here is what I found…

During times when I have been immersed in Christian life and enthusiastically proclaiming the gospel message, there has been an urgency to my endeavors owing to a passion for Jesus and a fear that everyone who isn’t saved is going to hell. This is the basis for Christian evangelism, and this is why Christian evangelists can often seem pushy. It’s because they genuinely feel they have an exclusive claim to truth, and that the only way to avoid eternal punishment is by becoming a believer.

But if God is the omnipresent creator of the universe, then He has created every religion, not just Christianity. He is the creator of millions of Muslims, Jews, Mormons, Sikhs and Jehovah’s Witnesses. He is also the creator of all those people who are atheists, or agnostics. He has created literally billions of people who have lived and died outside of the Christian faith. Can it really be the case that all of these lives, with all their richness and diversity, are meaningless, because they are empty of Jesus Christ? 

What is troubling about this message, is that it comes from someone who claims to be a Christian, yet the post quickly descends into patently non-Christian beliefs.

So let’s start with the obvious… God did not create all of the religions in the world. What sort of nonsensical statement is this? The devil is responsible for most of the false religions and man the rest. God is perfectly Holy and incapable of deceit. Satan is the father of Lies. It is his theory then that God created one true religion and a few millions false ones, just to throw people off course.

Then the writer goes on to conflate… creating people, with creating religion. Of course God created all people that ever lived… what does that have to do with anything?? All through human history mankind has rejected God and chased after false idols… even the Israelites with all of the visible signs of God’s presence kept going back to idols.

He even states that Christians feel they have an exclusive claim to truth. Of course we do! If you have one religion teaching truth, and 1000 others teaching opposing ideas, you cannot have multiple truths. Islam and Christianity cannot be true simultaneously… neither can Buddhism and Hinduism… or any other pairing of religions you can think of. Truth cannot exist in two forms that diametrically oppose each other. So why do Christians believe they know the truth? Because the grave of Jesus Christ is empty.

A history of deception

This isn’t the first time this “Christian” blogger called into question the very nature of our Holy God. In another post he writes…

It does indeed seem foolish to me that God would judge people for their actions when He has caused those actions by His sovereign will in the first place. It seems irrational to me that because Adam and Eve ate some fruit, we are all sinners who deserve everlasting punishment in hell.

In this paragraph he claims that God “forces” us to sin, or that he “Causes” our actions by his sovereign will. Of course he could never provide ANY scriptural evidence to support his lunacy, he is simply relying on his failed human logic… which even by logical standards is sub-par.

Then he continues his assault on the nature of God by questioning the Lord’s divine justice and wrath towards sin, which Jesus taught about more than any other subject. So what we have in this Blogger is someone who is following a false god, because the descriptions and ideas he has about the nature of god run in direct conflict with the Bible.

He may claim to be a Christian (many do), he may say a lot of things that sound Christian-like, he may even attend a true Christian church. But the truth is not in him, and his notions of God border on heretical.

I am not writing this response to create some online war of words with this blogger, I am simply here to defend the faith. As Christians we have to be very discerning on who we listen to and what they teach… someone can sound great 99% of the time and then, in that 1% call into the question the deity of Christ for example. It happens all the time, and when it does happen I hope you are prepared to stand in defense of what you know to be true.

Note: In another article I wrote about the “Fairness of Hell”.

 

Stay Strong & Stand Tall

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What does it mean to Surrender?

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As a Christian one of the hardest concepts for me to put into action, is the idea of total surrender. On the surface it seems so simple, just let go and let God you may have heard… or take your hands off the wheel is another common phrase. But for me knowing what it means to surrender and not living it out every day can become incredibly frustrating.

Usually when I think of surrendering to Christ my first thoughts are about the hurts, habits and hangups we experience in life as Celebrate Recovery would describe them. Areas that clearly go against the very nature of God and areas we know we have to move past, whether it be pornography, drug addiction, alcoholism, cursing, stealing, lying, cheating, gambling or a myriad of other problems.

For me, lust of the flesh, pornography and lying are the areas I have been embattled the most. In those areas I have taken great steps and measures to help me stay the course, using accountability software and a small network of accountability partners as examples. These are areas that are “cut and dry” and I know they have no place in a Christ-centered life.

But what about the “other” areas of life? You know… the good ones… like perhaps your career or family. What does it mean to surrender to Christ in those areas? What sorts of decisions would I make each day, if I wasn’t the one making the decisions? You certainly remember the old question What Would Jesus Do? As often as I heard this growing up you would think it would have clicked in my brain a long time ago… this question of total surrender.

You see I have been a Christian now for 11 years. The first few years after my salvation were the darkest (most sinful) years of my life. Why? Because I wasn’t ready to accept the life changing experience the Holy Spirit was bringing… so I suppressed His urging and chased after my sinful desires in the world. It was only recently, the last few years, that I began the process of surrendering to Christ and even now today can honestly say there is so much more to give.

Matthew 16:24 (ESV)
Then Jesus told his disciples, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

In Matthew 16 Jesus tells His disciples that if you want to follow Him, you have to DENY yourself and take up your cross. This denying is referring to the lustful desires of the flesh and not just lust in relation to sexual matters. Lust of the flesh can be ANY desire that becomes more important than God in your life. We have to DENY what our flesh wants and live according to the Spirit, which always seeks after righteous things.

Romans 8:28 is one of the most popular and memorized verses in all of scripture. In this verse Paul writes that “we know that for those who love God all things work together for good” (emphasis mine). This sounds amazing, and this verse is used frequently to lift people up and encourage them when life seems to be one disappointment, let down or even tragedy after another. When I read this verse, I ask myself… do I love God? As a Christian it’s nearly impossible to say otherwise… I mean how can we be Christians and not love God? But beyond the words from my lips, does my life reflect a love for God? Does my daily thought life and the actions I take reflect a love for God? If I love God so much, why do I do so many things that He hates? Why do I hurt Him so often?

These are tough questions, but If I am ever going to reach a point of total surrender in my life, I have to be honest with myself when I examine my life. Today I want to encourage you to do the same. Get some alone time, away from the myriad of distractions in your daily life and examine yourself closely. If someone watched you go about your day, and was able to see into your mind and examine your thoughts… what would they find? Would they find someone who truly loves God and shows it every day? Or would they find someone who reports to love God with their lips, while secretly living a much different life.

If I am making you feel uncomfortable, my apologies. This article was written more to myself than anyone else. You see I struggle every day to grow more Christ-like and I know the reason that my struggle is so fierce is because I am trying to carry this burden under my own power.

In Matthew 11:28-30 Jesus tells us to come to Him, all who labor and are heavy laden and He will give us rest. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. You see Jesus knows exactly what it is like to live on Earth and the heavy burdens we will experience at different times. In fact, His life and ultimately His sacrifice on the cross was the greatest example of one man carrying all the burdens of the world on His shoulders.

His love for us is so vast, so extensive, so perfect that He never wants us to carry that weight on our own shoulders. When we fully surrender our lives to Christ, He takes that burden from us and we are finally free to live a life that more clearly reflects the love for God that lies deep within us.

So as I finish writing this article and go about my day, It is my hope and prayer that I can walk a life I just described to you. It is something I have wanted for a very long time, but have continually let my pride and selfishness stand in the way. When I make decisions, good or bad, large or small… one of the first things I want to ask myself?

What would Jesus do?

 

Stay Strong & Stand Tall

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