Monday— For since the creation of the world God’s invisible attributes—his eternal power and divine nature—have been understood and observed by what he made, so that people are without excuse. Romans 1:20
“Sorry you missed the company picnic,” said Ronald as he settled himself at his desk. “Why didn’t you come?” Zane frowned and slammed an armful of files on his own desk. “Nobody told me about it and I’m ticked!” he said. Ronald shot him a quizzical look. “But there have been fliers up all over the office,” he said. “A memo came through last week, and a signup sheet for the golf tournament was right outside your door.” Zane frowned. “I expected a personal invitation,” he replied. “I shouldn’t have to look for those things. If you guys wanted me, you would ask me directly.” He turned away and refused to speak to anyone.
People do the same thing with God. “How am I supposed to know there’s a God?” they demand. “He can’t hold me responsible for seeking Him out. If He wanted me, He would ask me directly.” And they turn away and refuse to speak to Him. But let’s consider whether that’s accurate. First of all, God does not owe us a company picnic. But He chooses to invite us anyway and even paid the price so we could go. Then He wrote it all down in a bestseller. We have only to look into a baby’s eyes or through a telescope to see God’s designs all over the universe. Only a fool could study DNA or the complexity of the human eye and conclude that NOTHING became SOMETHING, that non-life evolved into life, order arose from chaos, and that everything came from nothing. God put a signup sheet right outside our doors and if we ignore it, we are without excuse.
Challenge: Do you have enough faith to be an atheist? (Hint: It takes more faith to DISbelieve God than to believe in Him.)
Prayer: Lord God, thank you for giving me all the proof I need by just looking around. Your designs are all over your universe. I have only to open my eyes. Thank you for color, beauty, complexity, and evidences of you in creation. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Tuesday— The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Psalm 19:1
On a Maui shoreline, gentle waves lap against sparkling sand. The sun is an orange lollipop, melting down the sky until it disappears behind the ocean, leaving purples, pinks, and yellows splattered across the blue sea. Lush foliage crowds the sand and flowers perfume the breeze. Nature’s paradise has a voice all its own. It stirs in us the overwhelming desire to thank the Creator of such beauty. But due to man’s desperate efforts to satisfy this desire apart from God, an enormous Buddha statue sits atop a rise, like a dark slash across ivory satin. Idolatry is Satan’s attempt to defy God by redirecting our thankfulness.
We hear echoes of this defiance in familiar terms such as Mother Nature or Science versus Creation. Satan has been at work since the Garden of Eden to divorce nature from nature’s God. He tempted Eve to focus on the fruit, not the Creator of the fruit. But God’s fingerprints are all over His world. We can’t view a sunset without seeing them. We know what they are. Everyone knows. We might deny we know, but that doesn’t change it. We may call Him something else, but that need to thank the Artist is carved into the human heart. God carved it. As a painter adds his mark to the bottom of a painting, so God has added His mark to every wonder in His world. That’s His sunset. His DNA. His world. And that’s His voice we hear rising up in our hearts.
Challenge: Don’t thank Mother Nature or the sunset. Thank the One who created it. That’s His voice you hear.
Prayer: Lord, have I let Satan convince me there are other explanations for the beauty and complexity in your world? Please forgive me for listening. Forgive me for enjoying your beautiful world without listening for your voice. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Wednesday— For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. Psalm 139:13
The pinnacle of God’s creation is humanity. While He simply spoke everything else into existence, He did something different when He created a man. He got down into the dirt He’d made and formed a body. Then, He breathed into that clay man’s nostrils the “breath of life, and man became a living soul” (Gen. 2:7). Human life is set apart from all other forms of life because God put part of Himself in mankind. Humans have an eternal soul, like God has, and that soul will live forever. Somewhere.
No one is an accident, unwanted, or useless because we each have God’s own life breath sustaining our existence. From the moment of conception, every human life is valuable to God. An unborn child is a workshop where He is crafting a masterpiece designed to reflect His glory unlike any other can do. When we take a life unjustly, we are destroying God’s masterpiece. Flaws and all, we are known intimately and loved by our Creator. And He gave each of us the freedom to choose good or evil, obedience or defiance, Him or Satan as our ruler. When we choose to be our own rulers, He lets us—but we also choose the eternal consequences that go with it. But when we choose to follow Him, He continues the artistry He began at conception.
Challenge: Do you consider every human life as precious as God does?
Prayer: Father, I want to have your heart, your views, and your love for your human masterpieces. Please forgive me for the times I’ve gone against you in doing that. Help me see your handiwork in every human being you created. Jesus’ name, amen.
Thursday— I have set my rainbow in the clouds…the sign of the covenant between me and the earth. Genesis 9:13
Rainbows. Beautiful, multi-colored arcs after or during a rainstorm. Are they simply refracted light, a natural phenomenon that can be explained scientifically—or are they something more? God says a rainbow is full of meaning, but not the one current culture has assigned it. God calls it “my rainbow.” So if it is already claimed by God as His personal symbol, what right do humans have to assign it another? God’s rainbow symbolized a covenant He was making with man that He would never again flood the entire earth. Culture’s rainbow symbolizes pride in the sins for which God flooded the earth in the first place.
Satan cannot create; he can only pervert. So he specializes in stealing the good things God creates and twisting them for his evil purposes. He’s done that with sexuality, with music, and with the rainbow. God created it as a symbol of His kindness and compassion. Satan stole it and convinced people to use it as a symbol of their sin. When we see rainbow colors these days, what comes to mind? See what Satan did? He took a godly creation and perverted it, twisting its meaning away from God and onto ourselves. Putting a rainbow frame around a profile picture does not glorify God, it cooperates with Satan. It’s not loving; it’s deceptive. Rainbows are God’s rainbows and Satan has no claim to them. So we shouldn’t be his lobbyists.
Challenge: How might you be cooperating with Satan’s agenda to steal glory and honor from God?
Prayer: Father, the last thing I want to do is cooperate with Satan against you. Show me areas of my life where I might be doing that without realizing it. If it is your rainbow, I will honor it as such and not let Satan steal it. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Friday— “I form light and create darkness, I make success and create disaster; I, Yahweh, do all these things.” Isaiah 45:7
If we’re going to see God in nature, we have to look at ALL of it. We do God a great disservice if we edit His word to include ONLY the nice parts we like. God is God and He makes no apologies for being God the way He wants to be God. We’re the ones who feel like we need to apologize for difficult truths spelled out in His word. Like an embarrassed mom of a bratty kid, we feel responsible for His reputation when He doesn’t behave as we think He should: “He’s not always like this. Look at the pretty picture he made!” We need to stop apologizing for God. The fact that we do means we have a skewered view of who He is.
God takes responsibility for natural events we’d rather call “acts of nature.” We don’t necessarily understand why things happen, but it’s bad theology to try to pretend God didn’t have anything to do with tornadoes, tsunamis, or hurricanes. If we credit Him for the good, we must also recognize that He authored the bad. He allows evil things for good purposes—but we may not know those purposes until heaven. If we’re going to be faithful to God’s word, we can’t skim over the places where He takes credit for disasters. It forces us to dig deeper. It strips us of our Sunday School Jesus-with-a lamb-on-His-shoulder view of God. Who is this Yahweh that “even the wind and the waves obey Him” (Mark 4:41). They do obey Him, which means if they’re acting up, God is letting it happen. True worship sees God as He is—even when we don’t understand—and bows in adoration.
Challenge: Does it make you uncomfortable to read verses like the one above? Dig in deeper and get to know Him as He is.
Prayer: Lord, it bothers me when I read that you create natural disasters. I don’t understand it. But you’re God, Creator of all. I’m not. You can do anything you want for your own reasons. I’ll trust and worship you anyway. In Jesus’ name, amen.