Thursday, September 5, 2013

An Unusual Miracle

An Unusual Miracle

“And God worked special miracles by the hands of Paul.”  Acts 19:11

We live in a 2-story house. There is an air-conditioning unit for upstairs and one for downstairs. Last year our upstairs unit went out and had to be replaced. This was an expensive undertaking and beyond our means at the time, and we were grateful for the Lord’s merciful provision that came when we needed it.
Then this past June the downstairs unit quit working. I was at my desk upstairs when Laurel and our daughter Mary called up to me saying it was getting hot downstairs. We discovered there was no cold air coming through the vents.
We had two different Heating and Air technicians look at it. The diagnosis was that the Freon had leaked out, and that the unit needed to be replaced. That would be a huge expense. We did not have the funds to replace it. The service tech, therefore, informed us that we could get a temporary repair that would cost about $1900, but which would not have any guarantee beyond another year. We did not have the money even for the temporary fix.
So we began the summer with family and friends downstairs having to suffer and endure the heat. We were advised to run the air-conditioning upstairs, but only the fan downstairs. The fan would help circulate the air. But of course, it was circulating hot air, especially on these 90 degree summer days.
It became a regular part of our daily prayer life to ask the Lord for provision so we could get that air-conditioner fixed. Then this past weekend we experienced a miracle, an unusual miracle. Laurel went downstairs to the kitchen Monday morning and noticed that the air-conditioner was running on “fan” as usual, and the downstairs was hot, as usual.  She went back upstairs for a while and later returned downstairs to find that the air-conditioner was turned to “on” and that the house was cooling.  She made inquiry into who had turned the air-conditioner on and found that no one had touched it.  Laurel, our daughters Mary and Claire, and I were in the house, and not one of us had touched it. Now it was turned on and cooling the house better than it had before.
It was a miracle. “Someone” had fixed the air-conditioner. We had gone to bed the night before with it hot and running on “fan.” Now it was filled with Freon, turned “on,” and working better than ever and cooling the whole downstairs. We have been enjoying the cool house this week and thanking the Lord for his mercy and kindness to us in this matter. We acknowledge Him and give Him the glory. May this be to the praise of the glory of His grace.
The early Christians were accustomed to God’s intimate and miraculous presence among them. It was normal for them to witness lives changed by the power of God, healings, supernatural prophetic words, casting out demons, etc… But they also experienced what the Bible calls unusual, extraordinary, or special miracles. At Jesus’ instructions the disciples found a coin the mouth of a fish. He multiplied food. Paul shook a viper off of his hand and was unhurt. Prison doors opened for the apostles and chains fell off their hands and feet. Philip was caught away by the Holy Spirit and moved instantly from one location to another.
I heard a missionary share how he had been protected by angels sent from God to watch over him one night when he was travelling alone and followed by thieves who had planned to rob and kill him. One of them later asked him, “Who were those large, armed men who stood around your camp that night?”
There are other unusual and extraordinary miracles throughout the Bible: miracles of food, provision, protection, supernatural guidance, and healings. We also are entering unusual and difficult times in our nation. I believe we will once again need God’s active presence and help as we navigate the troubled waters in our society. As the darkness grows, so will the glory of God upon His people. These are days in which to reach out to God and expect Him to fulfill Jesus’ promises to manifest Himself, be with us, work with us, and confirm His word with signs following.


Monday, September 2, 2013

LOOK AT YOUR NOSE

LOOK AT YOUR NOSE

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…” -Genesis 1:1.
"For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead..." -Romans 1: 20.
"The heavens declare the glory of God; and the expanse of heaven His handiwork. Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge. There is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. Their sound has gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world." -Psalm 19: 1-4.


Life is infinitely too complex to have come into being randomly and by itself. There are so many interdependent systems that are necessary for the existence of life on earth; and the degree of refinement, accuracy, and perfection in the coordinated performance of all these operations necessary for life are too complex to exist apart from design. They are independent yet dependent and interdependent, and their functions must be exactly precise and with perfect timing. These dynamics testify to the existence and reality of God.

I see the reality of God in many simple, subtle, and yet so obvious aspects of life that we often take for granted. For example, look at your nose. It is located in a most beneficial and practical place on your body. The nostrils point down so you don’t have to cover them to keep rain from falling into your sinuses. It is just above your mouth so that the sense of smell can work together with your sense of taste to help you enjoy your food. I can think of other more unpleasant places your nose could have been located. Your ears have their own little “satellite dishes” on the sides of your head to help capture sound. Your eyes are in recessed sockets to help protect them. They are located in the front of your head so you can see where you are going. Your feet point in the same direction as your eyes. The size of our moon, its distance from the earth, the tilt of the earth’s axis, the distance of the earth from the sun: If you change any of these in the smallest degree you will end life on earth. This is also true of the numerous systems that operate in the human body: Skeletal, circulatory, reproductive, pulmonary, muscular, neurological, etc.
Life is just too orderly to have come into being without design. Everywhere you look you see evidence of design. The necessary interacting, interdependent, and coordinated operations of the systems required for life, from biological to geological to astronomical are so exact and precise that it is impossible for life to have developed on its own by chance.

And what about sex? I could rest my case on that point, but will continue my thoughts. Male and female. In terms of species development the world could not have seen reproduction without the complete and fully developed male and female. If you could have reproduction without these, then there would have been no need for male and female. So how could this have possibly evolved---two separate systems made to be completely separate and absolutely compatible, and yet totally interdependent with neither being able to carry out the reproductive function without the other? There would have been no births, no reproduction without fully developed reproductive systems. “SOMEBODY” had to design this, and it had to begin fully functional.

This law of “irreduceable minimums” eliminates the possibility of evolution. Scientists have discovered that there is no such thing as a “simple cell” to start with. [Just get a scientist to explain the complexity of the DNA in any single cell]. I recently saw a documentary on TV in which a scientist described the complexity even in the single-celled amoeba. Too many complex, separate, yet interdependent systems have to be in operation at the same time for life to exist. If you eliminate any one of them, life would cease to exist. In other words, for life to exist, all of these systems would have to be created simultaneously.

Evolution is a very awkward and yet convenient way for people to try to avoid God. Evolution itself is foolish, but if you do away with God, evolution is about the only thing you are left with to explain how we got here. So the very concept of “evolution” is a product of intellectual “devolution,” i.e., what you arrive at by default when you reject the reality of God. A few years ago I was reading a book in which the author had recorded his conversation with a prominent evolutionist. The evolutionist told him, “We did not evolve from anything. Life is too complex to have evolved, but I prefer to believe in evolution than to believe in God.”

I prefer to believe in God. It is more comforting to believe in God, that there is a power beyond and greater than our comprehension who created us as finite beings with limited capacity to understand the created universe, and who created us with no capacity within ourselves to comprehend or grasp the infinite realities beyond our created universe, but Who also desires to introduce us to Himself and take us beyond what we see and know. As the Bible says, "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things that God has prepared for those who love Him."

If there is no God, then we face the most depressing prospects, a meaningless procession of people heading into an eternal oblivion. But there is a God and this gives us hope for eternal life. The very issues raised in the paragraphs above echo the words of the psalmist who tells us that the heavens, the earth, and all creation testify to the glory and existence of God. This means that there is more to life than this life. This is only the beginning, not the end. To see and understand this, one must look up to the One who is the beginning and the end, the Alpha and Omega, our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ our Lord who brings us to the Father.
"For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities. All things were created through Him and for Him." -Colossians 1: 16.
"For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen. -Romans 11: 36.


[You can go to the comment page to write a response by clicking "comments" below, or you can write me an email atblong8@sccoast.net ].