Soul Food Sunday – Who is God (Part 3)

It seems so unpopular nowadays to talk about creation. If you mention you believe this world was ‘created’ you’re looked upon as an idiot. Why is the idea of a Creator any more stupid than the idea of everything just happened by chance. That seems less logical to me than there being Someone greater than myself out there. This is not an intellectual problem: it’s a spiritual problem. There’s no other way to explain such a departure from what makes sense. We just don’t want to admit that God exists because that would take the control out of our hands. That’s funny. We don’t have any control at all. Can you decide when it rains or when an earthquake hits?

God is our Father. He created man in His image. That’s why there are fathers, mothers and children. God made it that way. Did you ever wonder why there are males and females in every species? If there wasn’t, life wouldn’t continue on this earth. It takes a male and female to create new life.

He made Adam out of earth. We are dust. If you don’t believe that, just take a look at what’s left over after cremating a body. Ashes….dust. For dust we are and to dust we will return. Some ancient civilizations refer to their first ancestor as ‘dirt’. Our bodies are made up of the same elements that every other living thing on this earth are made of. Our physical bodies are no different from any other animal. The thing that makes man different from animals is that God breathed His life into man. Man was given dominion over the earth and his mandate was to fill the earth and subdue it. Man’s job, as given by God, is to take care of creation. How are we doing so far?

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Soul Food Sunday

The two blind men. Crying out to Jesus. The crowd tries to shut them up, they shout over them anyway, and they capture the Master’s attention. The parade stops. Jesus steps to the side of the road, and standing there before him are two men, nothing clearer than the fact that they are blind. “What do you want me to do for you?” Again the question. Again the obvious that must not be obvious after all.

The Samaritan woman whom Jesus meets at the well. She’s there in the heat of the day to draw water and they both know why. She’s not likely to run into anyone that way. She had a reputation. She succeeds in avoiding the women, but runs into God instead. What does he choose to talk to her about-her immorality? No, he speaks to her about her thirst: “If you knew the generosity of God and who I am, you would be asking me to a drink, and I would give you fresh, living water”. He doesn’t give a little sermon about purity, he doesn’t even mention it, except to say that he knows what her life has been like. “You’ve had five husbands, and the man you’re living with now isn’t even your husband”. In other words, now that we both know it, let’s talk about your heart’s real thirst, since the life you’ve chosen obviously isn’t working.

Come, all you who are thirsty,

come to the waters,

and you who have no money.

come, buy and eat!

Come, buy wine and milk

without money and without cost.

Why spend money on what is not bread,

and your labor on what does not satisfy?

Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,

and your soul will delight in the riches of fare.

(Isiah 55:1-2)

From the book Desire by John Eldredge p. 36, 37

Soul Food Sunday – Jesus Christ, the Creator

In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.

Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. (John 1:1-3)

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touch-this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared: we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. (1 John 1:1,2)

The Supremacy of Christ

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rules or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:15-17)

Soul Food Sunday – Creation

How can you look at this earth and not believe that there isn’t a Designer? All this happened by chance? No, no, it can not be. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)

In the beginning you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. Like clothing you will change them and they will be discarded. But you remain the same, and your years will never end. (Psalm 102:25-27)

By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible. (Hebrews 11:3)

Soul Food Sunday – Job, the man who was blessed through suffering

The oldest book in the Bible is arguably the book of Job. I love the story of Job because it gives us a rich view of what goes on behind the scenes of suffering. People often say, ‘Why does God allow these terrible things to happen on the earth?’ Job had terrible things happen to him, but this book gives us a glimpse into why terrible things happen to ‘good’ people.

There is more to this world than the physical. The first two chapters of Job tells us that Satan has a role in what happens on this earth. Satan is the leader of all fallen angels. He was not always that. The Bible doesn’t talk a whole lot about Satan’s origin but it does refer to him as evil. He hates humanity and wants to destroy every human on this earth. He is the author of all that is false and evil on this earth. One need only listen to the daily news to know that there is something very wrong with our planet.

For those who belong to the Father, the things that Satan is permitted to do are done for testing and refining faith. There is a cosmic battle that is for certain. We don’t know for sure what happened when Satan rebelled against God, but we do know that he did, and he wants to take down anyone and anything that he can with him. He is opposed to everything God is about. Why did God create Satan and then man when he foreknew all this would happen? Because he wanted to have created beings that he could share real fellowship with. He didn’t want robots to hang out with. He wanted a created being who could choose Him. He wanted people to trust Him and believe that He is good through there own free will. Satan was created pure, but he decided he wanted to be like God. That’s why he was cast down and for some reason a process was put in place that has to run its course in order to purge this place of the foulness that Satan has brought upon it. We don’t have all the answers because God wants us to trust Him. We don’t need to know all the answers. We just need to know He is good. He wants us to believe He is good and that His mercy endures forever. Satan wants to make us believe that God is not good and that He is the one causing all the bad stuff. That is not true. Read the book of Job and he will tell you that it’s not true.

One day the ‘angels’ came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them. (Job 1:6)

Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”

“Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied, “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But stretch out your hands and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.” 

The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” 

Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord. (Job 1:8-12)

At this point Satan goes about wreaking havoc on everything Job owns: his livestock is killed, his servants are killed, his sons and daughters are killed.

At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said:

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”

In all this, JOB DID NOT SIN BY CHARGING GOD WITH WRONGDOING. (Job 1:20-22)

Wow, Job really knew his God!

Soul Food Sunday

There is a reason Jesus chose lust and murder as examples of what happens when desire goes mad within us. He knw what our desperate hearts naturally do when our desires come into conflict. He knew to what lengths we would go to seek satisfaction of our soul’s hunger. For the battle of desire rages not only between us, but within us.

John Eldredge in Desire

Soul Food Sunday – the King in Exile

Should the king in exile pretend he’s happy there? Should he not seek his own country? His miseries are his ally; they urge him on. Let them grow, if need be. But do not forsake the secret life; do not despise those kingly desires. We abandon the most important journey of our lives when we abandon desire. We leave our hearts by the side of the road and head off in the direction of fitting in, getting by, being productive, what have you. Whatever we might gain-money, position, the approval of others, of just absence of the discontent itself- it’s not worth it. “What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul?” (Matt. 16:26)

John Eldredge – Desire

Soul Food Sunday

Man is so great that his greatness appears even in knowing himself to be miserable. A tree has no sense of its misery. It is true that to know we are miserable is to be miserable, but to know we are miserable is also to be great. Thus all the miseries of man prove his grandeur, they are the miseries of a dignified personage, the miseries of a dethroned monarch…What can this incessant craving, and this impotence of attainment mean, unless there was once a happiness belonging to man, of which only the faintest traces remain, in that void which he attempts to fill with everything within his reach?

– Blaise Pascal – Pensees (17th century)