Wednesday, October 31, 2018


In the book of Genesis, we find that we were created in the image of God: “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Gen 1:27). There is no chance or mere happenstance here, but God crowned the work of creation with the creation of man and woman. We each bear that image. When you hold a newborn baby in your arms, we are all struck with wonder to see a child that was not and now is. What a marvelous thing this is! That birth is a reminder of God’s creative power. The same God who created the universe has just created a new human being that is unique from every other one that has been created.

Though we all lost something very valuable in the fall of man when Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden , we still retain that image. The image of God persists in sinful men and women, though marred we all have an eternal soul.

After God had created man and woman in his image, he spoke to them: “God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground” (Gen 1:28).

Not only are we image bearers, but we can also hear God’s word. God spoke to Adam and Eve, and he still speaks to everyone who will listen. We are the only creatures on the planet that can hear God’s words. Most importantly, it means that God has made us to be moral beings. Our morality comes from his word. It comes from God.

When God spoke in the book of Genesis, man heard God’s voice. This means we can hear God and know what he wants from us. God's Word is where our morality originates today. One of the reasons that the world is so messed up is that it has chosen its own morality and rejected God's morality. The world’s morality is an emotional morality—what is right and what is wrong is what I feel. The rules of our society are not anchored to any basis other than what happens to be the popular sentiment of the loudest voices.

For example, when God says “You Shall Not Kill,” he gives a basis for life. From this word, we learn to respect all life. This word becomes our morality concerning life. We see life as belonging to God, so we protect the life of the unborn child, and we protect the elderly from euthanasia.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018


We are living in a time of incredible instability in almost every area of life: financial markets, family relationships, broken lives, and threats to our security, but the most vulnerable area is truth. Truth is under attack today like never before. Like Pilate, our world is asking, “What is truth?” Some even argue there is no such thing as truth. They say truth is what you make of reality and there is no such thing as God. Secularists and materialists who reject the idea of God say that matter is God—what you can touch and see. For others of us, creation itself is evidence of a God of creation who is the origin of truth.

In the first book of the Bible, the very first verses tell us the origin of our world: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters” (Gen 1:1-2).

When Moses wrote these words, the world was full of polytheism (the belief in many gods) and pantheism (the idea that everything is God). Our world has not changed much. Even today, when we can see far into the universe and discover incredible and intricate design in our universe, people still believe it all happened without a God of creation. Every schoolchild learns that Darwinian evolution is an explanation of our beginning, but it is just a way to defend atheism. Never mind that Darwin’s theory continues to be shot full of holes by the intelligent design scientists. The story of creation as told in Genesis is about God from end to end. Absent are all the elaborate myths and love affairs of the gods of Egyptian mythology.

All of us long to know our origin and the origin of our universe—it is here in the first book of the Bible, Genesis, which means book beginnings. The opening lines “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen 1:1) give us a firm understanding about God, the universe, our planet, and even ourselves.

We need truth more than anything today. The truth about life, death, our purpose for being on the planet, and our future. It is all in the Bible, and it makes sense. The Bible gives us the most comprehensible explanation of evil that can be found anywhere. Most importantly, the Bible, right from the book of Genesis, introduces us to God’s grace. It points out that we are flawed and even sinful, but it does not leave us there, it offers hope and redemption. Darwin’s theory offers very little hope. It declares that there is nothing beyond the grave. For me, there is too much evidence in this world that supports the existence of the God of the Bible. I want that hope, and I need that redemption that God offers.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Salt & Light

What does it mean to be without hope? It means that life has become a complete drudgery and there is no joy in living. It is the place where you stop living and merely exist. Many of you know what this kind of existence is like. Over the years, I have seen many people without hope. I have been there when someone is dealing with the loss of a loved one who just took his life. I have met with families who just got the news that a family member has two months to live. All of these kinds of losses leave a person feeling hopeless, but none is so bad as the person who feels completely alone and without God. Paul reminded the Ephesians that each of us feels this way before we come to know God, “without hope and without God in the world” (Eph 2:12).

When we meet Jesus and invite him to live in us, he transforms us from the inside out. Not all at once, of course, but little by little as we are willing to love him and serve him. Luke describes when Jesus passed by Levi who was sitting at his accounting desk collecting taxes, most likely quite rich but without hope. Jesus invited him to come and follow him. Surprisingly, Levi got up and left everything and followed Jesus for the rest of his life.

People saw tax collectors as despicable in Jesus’ day. They overcharged and enforced payment with their thugs. People hated them, so it was no shock that when Jesus accepted an invitation to a banquet at Levi’s house, there was criticism. Jesus critics’ asked why Jesus was sitting in the company of sinners and tax collectors. Jesus’ answer is remarkable, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance" (Luke 6:31-32).

Jesus made it clear that he was looking for people who knew they were sinners and were not afraid to admit it. The same way a sick person seeks out a doctor, so sinners seek out a savior. Jesus was not interested in saving people who did not believe they needed saving. Jesus is still looking for sinners, and he will find you the way he found Levi if you want to be found.

Years later, Levi became Matthew, which means gift of God, and he wrote down Jesus’ words:
“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:13-16).

Once Jesus saves us and transforms us, we become salt and light. When those around see how we live, they praise God and are drawn to give their lives to Jesus.