24 Oct

Glory in the Heavens

The stars, sun, and moon are mentioned many times in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. Psalm 19:1 states: “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth His handiwork.” “Declare” is a strong verb in that it means to broadcast. To “declare” also emphasizes that the truth of a statement is so evident that it cannot be denied. The heavens (sun, moon, stars) declare the glory of God through their mystery, beauty, and constancy.

The mystery of the universe remains because of its vastness in size. Job asks: “Is God not in the height of the heavens?…Behold the height of the stars how high they are.”( Job22:12 ) The distance between the earth and the stars was not known until 1838, when the astronomer Bessel was able to calculate the distance from the earth to the stars to be more than one-hundred thousand times the diameter of our solar system. The sun is the size of an average star, yet the sun itself is over one million times as large as the earth. Today, man has made much progress in exploring space, but the vast size of the heavens cannot be comprehended.

Mystery also remains concerning two miracles in the Old Testament which God as ruler and sustainer of the universe performed. In Joshua 10:13 when Joshua was in a battle against the Amorites, he needed more daylight to finish the battle, so he called upon God, “And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed until the people had avenged themselves against their enemies.” The miracle in Isaiah 38:8 is just as glorious. Hezekiah the King of Israel who served God faithfully became ill and was facing death. He prayed and asked God to give him more years. God agreed to give him fifteen more years and to also deliver Israel out of the hands of the King of Assyria. As a sign that He would keep his promise, God caused the sun dial to move backwards ten degrees. Not only did the earth cease its rotation, but also reversed the earth’s rotation for a short time. The mystery of God’s power declares His glory.

Another mystery involves the star of Bethlehem which occurred at the time of Christ’s birth. Its brightness was most unusual. The star was not stationary but moved to guide the wisemen to the Christ Child. In Revelation 22:16, Christ calls Himself “the bright and morning star.”

Not only do the heavens declare the glory of God in their mystery, but also in the beauty which they produce. The stars, sun, and moon bring much beauty to the earth. How beautiful is the sky at night when the stars light up the world. They differ in size, color, height, and distance from the earth. How peaceful is the burst of color produced by the setting of the sun. The moon creates a changing beauty as it passes through its course each month. The seasons display their beauty as the earth rotates around the sun.

Finally, the constancy of the heavenly bodies declare the glory of God. We count on the time table of the universe. It is always on time. The sun rises in the morning; the moon appears always in the evening. The timing of the universe is so constant that scientists can predict when an eclipse of the sun or moon will appear.

In Psalm 8, David addresses the glory of God: “O Lord our Lord, how excellent is Thy name in all the earth! Who has set Thy glory above the heavens…. When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained, what is man that Thou art mindful of him? Christians too can declare God’s glory when we
allow His love to shine through our lives as we keep His commandments.

20 Oct

The Wellness Center for the Soul

Memories are a gift that connects us to the past. Recently, I was reminded of a memory that always brings a smile. However, this time as I recalled that memory, I immediately associated it with a spiritual truth for the times in which we live.

My husband was a sales representative for a pharmaceutical company. During one of his sales meetings, his manager was introducing the Wellness Centers that many hospitals were opening. The manager, who was from another country, spoke with an accent. As he began talking about the Wellness Center, he pronounced Wellness with a V sound, so it sounded as though he were talking about a Vellness Center. Finally, my husband, who could not imagine what a Vellness Center was, raised his hand and asked the manager: “Just what is a Vellness Center”? You can imagine the laughter this produced.

This story is a reminder that the world is seeking for a Wellness Center for the soul, but the answer has become distorted. The true answer is that the Wellness for the soul is in Christ and His finished work on the cross. How does one get to the Wellness Center? The journey begins when the individual realizes that he has a disease called sin. There is only one cure for this disease. The door to the Wellness Center for the soul is called faith, faith in God’s plan for salvation which He has described and prescribed in the Bible: that is to place one’s faith in Christ.

The Bible states: “There is none righteous, no not one.” (Romans 3:10) All are born sinners because Adam and Eve chose to sin. However, “God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) The belief that Christ died on the cross, and rose from the grave so that all sinners who believe in Him might have eternal life is the cure for sin. Salvation is eternal. The believer will never lose his/her salvation. However, because man will never be perfect in this life, God has also made provision for future sin. Christ not only died for our sins, but also He remains the Great High Priest who is always ready to forgive our sins. I John 1:8-9 reminds us: “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”

Thanks be to God for His great salvation, which even in the darkest hours gives cause for the redeemed to say: “It is well; it is well with my soul.”

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