Monday, July 21, 2014

The Endurance of a Nation

I recently finished a book by Joel Rosenberg entitled, The Auschwitz Escape. I purchased the audio version of this novel so that I could listen to during my morning jog. Like most of this authors other titles, this novel is a work of historical fiction. Which simply means that although the characters in the story are fictional, many of the events are historically true. This particular account follows the life of a Jewish boy who was caught in the turmoil of Adolph Hitler’s rise to power during WWII. The details of his experience in the Nazi death camp in Aushwitz was deeply moving. As I finished the book this week, I was wiping tears from my face as I jogged through my neighborhood streets. It was a moving reminder of the plight of the Jewish people during such a tragic time in our history. And yet, it is just one of the stories involving God’s people. They suffered during their slavery to Egypt and the oppression of the Roman Empire. Even as we speak, the nation of Israel wakes up to a barrage of rockets fired from Gaza. The rhetoric of Muslim leaders around the world is a call to completely “eliminate the Zionist regime”. And yet God made a covenant promise that protects the enemies of Israel from ever accomplishing this threat. He will one day restore the nation of Israel under the rule of Jesus as their Messiah and King. Until that day, may we pray for the nation of Israel to see the hope of their salvation in their Messiah today.

Monday, July 14, 2014

The Beauty of God's Design

Let’s talk about rain… that’s something near and dear to us here in West Texas. And let’s go back to where the process begins - the ocean. This is the place where water that ultimately falls on our crops must begin its journey. This is where the sun causes the water in the ocean to evaporate… a process by which water stops being water for a while so that it can go up and not down. It rises as a vapor until it forms a cloud. And once in the sky, the clouds actually begin to remove all the salt from the ocean water, because saltwater on our crops would kill them. Once purified, these tiny droplets of water begin to form around microscopic particles of sand. This cloud of water then travels hundreds of miles carrying billions of pounds of water. In fact, one square inch of rain, which falls on one square mile of farmland, would be almost about 2 million gallons, or 1.6 billion lbs of water. So billions of pounds of water ascend from the earth, traveling hundreds of miles in the sky, and then it all falls back to the earth with a gentle tap of a rain drop… giving life to the fields, to the animals, and to us. Now let’s turn from a rain drop to a tear drop. Tears are the lubrication system for the eyes. Inside each tear drop is a thin layer of oil that keeps water in your eye from evaporating. That’s important because tears give clarity to your vision… which is why you blink in order to see more clearly. And have you ever started crying when you cut onions? Do you know why? It’s because onions release a chemical that turns to sulfuric acid when it comes in contact with the eye. But those tears make that sulfuric acid harmless… and even though it stings, your tears are actually keeping you from going blind. In fact, each teardrop is filled with all kinds of antibacterial agents that fight infection in your eye every second of every day. Even tears that are released when you’re sad have a purpose. How many of you have actually felt better after a good cry when you’re sad? There’s a reason for that! The chemicals that accumulate in your body during times of stress are released in incredibly high concentration through your tears. I give you these examples because I want you to see the deep complexity in the apparent simplicity of God’s design, because we are just scratching the surface. All we’re talking about is rain drops and tear drops. But even in them we see the miraculous beauty of God’s design guided by His infinite wisdom. You see, God understands how life is supposed to work because it was His idea to begin with. He wants us to live in the beauty of His design. And when we learn to walk in wisdom, guided by His Word and empowered by His Spirit, we experience more than we could ever ask or imagine. It is a profit that is greater than silver or gold and more precious than jewels. Nothing you desire could ever compare to the richness of who you are in Christ!