Published: Wednesday, 29 November 2017 18:08
Written by Don Goulding
It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, and it is the glory of a king to search out a matter. Proverbs 25:2 (NETFull)
When it was introduced, I was skeptical of the Hubble Space Telescope. Scientists wanted to find out how the universe began—a question already resolved by the Bible. The money was sorely needed elsewhere.
I’m glad no one called me before they pushed the launch button, because now I look at the Hubble photographs and I go limp. New images of the Sombrero Galaxy reveal millions of stars like our sun, spread as white grains of flour over black velvet. My veneration of God jumps.
In the 1800’s we thought our Milky Way Galaxy was the whole universe. In the 1920’s we realized the number of galaxies was tens of thousands, in 1999 it went to 125 billion, and a current estimate is 176 billion and growing. My awe of the Maker keeps stretching.
God doesn’t need me to protect his existence by nay-saying scientific endeavor. I need science to carry me past my undersized notions of God.
There are untold billions of celestial bodies, subatomic structures, life processes, and physical laws that God is anxious for us to discover, for in the reflection of his vast creation is the wonder of him. It is his joy that we reach into both the macro and the micro to explore the breadth of his power.
Science can carry me toward God but, because it only addresses the physical, it dumps me outside his doorstep. I cannot resolve my greatest need with science alone. I need a supernatural removal of sin and that feat is only accomplished through faith in the cross of Christ. Nevertheless, as an increasing number of scientists are discovering, their trade expands my understanding of our breathtaking Creator-Savior.
Prayer: Mighty God, oh the depths of the wonder of you I see about me.
Published: Monday, 20 November 2017 16:07
Written by Don Goulding
Be careful not to allow anyone to captivate you through an empty, deceitful philosophy that is according to human traditions and the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. Colossians 2:8
“But he doesn't have anything on," a child announced in Hans Christian Andersen's classic, The Emperor’s New Clothes.
Charlatans had convinced the emperor and townspeople that the cloth of the royal suit was invisible to those who were foolish. No one, not even the emperor, wanted to admit they couldn’t see the clothes. It required the innocence of a child to expose the scandal.
We need a child to expose the con perpetrated today concerning doctrinal knowledge.
When I train foreign pastors they ask many questions. Should we give Christian burial to un-baptized believers? Where did Cane’s wife come from? Was Jesus made divine at birth or at his baptism? Is there a pre-tribulation rapture? Honesty constrains me to admit intellectual nakedness on nearly every topic, except salvation in Jesus. In essentials—like the deity of Christ, the power of his blood, and the indwelling Spirit—we must have unity. In the hundreds of nonessentials, grace prevails.
Can we be child-like, drop the pretense, and admit that none of us is equipped to sort out non-core doctrine? There, I’ve said it—the emperor has no clothes on. We are all intellectually unclothed. On the issues that divide Christian denominations, no human has the acumen or contextual background to stand inerrant. The only recourse is to risk everything on Jesus. That leaves us free to love instead of argue and laugh at ourselves instead of pretend we’re all grown up.
Prayer: Gracious Jesus, thank you for covering my ineptitude.
Published: Monday, 13 November 2017 18:03
Written by Don Goulding
“Prophesy over these bones, and tell them: ʻDry bones, hear the word of the Lord. This is what the sovereign Lord says to these bones: Look, I am about to infuse breath into you and you will live.’” (Ezekiel 37:4-5 NET_FL)
“Holy God, we claim the space between these trees for your purposes today. We anoint the trunks with oil to represent your Holy Spirit and declare to the heavens that evil spirits and distractions against your truth are not permitted in this place.”
Several African brothers prayed with me to cordon off a meeting area in the middle of a village suffering from demonic attacks. That day, we challenged the tribals, “Burn your implements of witchcraft and see what God will do inside of one week.”
As we preached against charms and fetishes, I spied a chief slipping off his amulet. We then cleansed the village through prayer and God answered. The attacks ceased.
Why did we need to speak the words of God inside that village? Why not pray in silence from the mission station? Why did God take Ezekiel to the valley and tell him to prophesy so the bones would come to life? Could it be that our Father in heaven waits to work through the authoritative prayer warrior?
I get the false idea that prophecy is for guys with wild hair foretelling the future. In reality, to prophesy simply means to proclaim the truth of God against the dysfunction of the world. Every Christian is called to that ministry.
Where there is pain we are to lay hands on dry bones and pray for life. We are to call into existence the eternal healing that Jesus came to give. He could do it alone. Instead, he waits for the prophet to extend a hand, raise their voice, and proclaim, “Hear the word of the LORD. I am about to infuse breath into you, and you will live.”
Prayer: Holy Spirit, show me to whom I am to prophesy today.