January 23, 2015
Genesis is the book of beginnings. God knew we would naturally try to discover our history and so He wrote it down for us in the simplest possible terms.
He made the world and all that is in it. Therefore, He owns it all and we owe our existence (and our worship) to Him. End of story. Genesis is intended to be studied to bring us to this conclusion.
If there is a Divine Designer, then there is a Divine design, a plan for everything that has been made. Again, God knew that this one question would drive men. ""Why am I here and what am I to do? What is my purpose?"" Every man has wrestled with this driving issue.
And so, right in the beginning of the record of human history, God tells us. The words are so simple it seems unreal. You would think there would be more, but when you look at the rest of the Bible, you discover the absolute perfection of this plan, as you would expect from a perfect God.
Three simple purposes are outlined in 3 verses.
Then God said, ""Let us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness..."" (Genesis 1:26)
When we try to describe what God is like, we are given a simple word to encompass His image. Glory. We speak of God’s ""glory"" to mean who He is and what He is like. ""The heavens declare the glory of God"" the Psalmist would later record. All of His creation reflects His nature.
Man is the apex of God's creative activity and genius. Above all of creation, we are crowned with God’s glory and intended to reflect the nature of God.
The problem, we will see, is that sin entered the picture and now ""all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) And the whole unfolding story of God's redemption of man is to bring us back to this reflection. To restore us to the image of God so the world can see and we can understand what a glorious God He is.
""...and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping that creeps on the earth."" (Genesis 1:27)
God rules over everything everywhere. He has created man in His image not only to look like Him but to do what He does under His leadership. It follows that we would rule and He has given us a domain in which this is to occur. We are to rule over the earth. This is preparation for the ultimate domain we will inhabit (the new heaven and new earth that Revelation describes).
And, true to his nature, our great Enemy has attacked this as well. Instead of us ruling over the things of this earth, he has tempted and worked so that the things of the world will rule over us.
Take money or our appetites or any other thing, for instance. We should rule over these things, but Satan deceives us with alternate routes and we blindly take his paths. Slowly over time, these things begin to dominate us. We become a slave to and not a master of our possessions, for instance. In every case where we deviate from God’s plan and are not fulfilling our purpose, the results are destructive and miserable.
But once again, redemption changes this. God has provided a way through Christ and attention to His directives to bring things back into order if we will follow Him. When we come under God's rule once again, we began to handle the elements of this life in a way that subdues them. Our passions, our possessions, etc. come under control and find their proper place. We are not ruled by, but we rule over these things.
""God blessed them and said to them, 'be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it, and rule..."" (Genesis 1:28)
To insure the continuation of this plan, God made man with the capacity to reproduce. This is His first and most basic command to us and it has never been revoked.
Satan has tried to divert us from this purpose, of course. One of his most glaring (and effective) alternatives is presented under the seemingly innocuous title of “family planning.” We are taught that we are to make the decisions of when to have children and whether or not to have children at all. We place ourselves in God’s position.
People who do this without God’s direction, of course, always make the wrong choices because we can be horribly self-centered. France, as a current illustration, has chosen not to have children or abort those they conceive in large measure. To sustain a nation takes a birthrate of 2.1. France has so lowered the birthrate that they cannot sustain their society (as have many nations). In comes a group of people with a completely heretical view of God, but Satan has convinced them to have as many children as possible. In almost one generation, France has become an Islamic nation with all that means.
And then there is abortion. We must remember that everything that God has designed, Satan wants to destroy. Therefore, he has great campaigns to keep people from having children and then, if a child happens to be conceived, to kill this child made in God's image before it has a chance to grown and fulfill God's purpose: to reflect Gods image, rule over creation, and reproduce others who will do the same.
God's intent, of course, is not only to physically reproduce, but to disciple and develop those in our care so that there will be spiritual reproduction also. We are to ""make disciples of all the nations, teaching them to observe all that (Christ) has commanded us."" (Matthew 28:19-20) so that in the ultimate heavens and earth there will be a people reflecting God's glory from every tribe and nation and people on earth.
KNOW YOUR PURPOSE
If we miss this in the beginning, we miss everything. This is precisely why, in the first chapter of the story, God tells us why we are here. Only through Christ and surrender to His rule can we enter into the glory of this plan. But everything is now available to us to fulfill our purpose.
Today and for the rest of your life you are designed by a perfect Creator to reflect His image, rule over the sphere of His creation that He has placed around you, and reproduce people who do the same.
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June 08, 2019
June 07, 2019
… with most of us modern Christians is that we are stoppable. A little discomfort, a turn from our desired daily routine, or a little resistance from those to whom we’re witnessing throws us off. We have not settled the issue that our greatest joy and highest purpose comes from our witness, and so we are unwilling to push through in sharing Christ with others every day, even in the mildest environments. Even when persecution is not present.
June 03, 2019
These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer (Acts 1:14)
Prayer is the foundation for all of life. Imagine the emotions and sense of fear and expectancy when Christ had been resurrected, appeared to His disciples, and then ascended. They were instructed to merely wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit who would endue them with power to be witnesses to Christ all across the world (Acts 1:8).
So, what did they do?