TEEN TREE       OF LIFE

Trusting God, The Creator

Part 1 - February 20, 2022

 

Before you begin, ask yourself a very important question: Do you believe that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins? If you answered yes, you will need to be sure that you are filled with The Holy Spirit. How do you do this? You name your sins to God The Father in His Son’s Name. This is called Rebound. As a Christian, you must rebound any time you sin. This is taught in 1 JOH 1:9: If we confess [name] our sins [directly to God], He [God] is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins andto cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Now, if you have never believed that Jesus Christ died on The Cross for all of your sins, all you have to do is say to yourself that you believe in Him and you are saved! The Bible verse which teaches us this is ACTS 16:31: “Believe on The Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved.”

 

Righteousness is the Attribute of God that describes the Absolute Perfection of His Character and Person. Being persecuted for standing up for righteousness is nothing new. It’s recorded throughout history on the pages of the Scriptures. Jesus gave several warnings about it while also giving us comfort for when we face persecution. Look at what Our Lord and Savior said to His disciples in JOH 16:31-33 (The Message Bible)Jesus answered them, “Do you finally believe? In fact, you’re about to make a run for it—saving your own skins and abandoning me. But I’m not abandoned. The Father is with me. I’ve told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I’ve conquered the world.” Now, here’s the takeaway here: His Tools are our tools. Because we believed in Jesus Christ as Our Lord and Savior, we have the same power as He does and we, too, will be “unshakable” and “deeply at peace” in times of persecution and adversity. And like Him, God The Father is with each and every one of us!

 

While we do not face the level of persecution so many believers around the world are already experiencing, it is already here and showing its ugly head in a nation in which Christianity and Christian thought and virtues had once dominated society. Our only hope is in God Himself and in His Promises. The only true hope for any society is found in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is only as people’s hearts are changed by turning from their sin and placing their faith in Our Savior that their lives and values will change as they walk with Him.

 

2 TIM 3:12 (New International Reader’s Version) is part of a reminder of the reality of what Christians can expect in this life: In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be treated badly. In the previous verses, Paul had reminded Timothy of some of the persecutions and sufferings he had endured, which Timothy had witnessed: But you know all about my teaching. You know how I live and what I live for. You know about my faith and love. You know how patient I am. You know I haven’t given up. You know that I was treated badly. You know that I suffered greatly. You know what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra. You know how badly I have been treated. But the Lord saved me from all my troubles. (2 TIM 3:10-11 New International Reader’s Version) And The Lord will save you from all of your troubles!

 

Paul then continues to say this: Evil people and pretenders will go from bad to worse. They will fool others, and others will fool them. But I want you to continue to follow what you have learned and are sure about. You know the people you learned it from. You have known the Holy Scriptures ever since you were a little child. They are able to teach you how to be saved by believing in Christ Jesus. God has breathed life into all Scripture. It is useful for teaching us what is true. It is useful for correcting our mistakes. It is useful for making our lives whole again. It is useful for training us to do what is right. By using Scripture, the servant of God can be completely prepared to do every good thing. (2 TIM 3:13-17 New International Reader’s Version) That’s quite a message!! In those few sentences, Paul describes the importance of God’s Word in our lives. Can you see how unfortunate and lost those people who do not study Bible doctrine are?

 

Paul’s point is simple. Don’t be surprised at increasing evil among men. People are evil and imposters – so expect it. Overcome evil by going back to the Truth revealed in the Scriptures. God gave us His Word to teach us, to reprove us, to correct us and to train us in righteousness in order to equip us for every good work. The better you know God and His Promises, the better able you’ll be at finding courage and gaining comfort in the midst of any adversity you might face. The better you know God, the better you’ll be able to continue to move forward in living in righteousness and serving The Lord.

 

A key truth in being able to face the adversities of life – regardless of their origin (which could be your own sin, the sin of others or just the consequences of living in a sin- cursed world) – is that the better you know God and His Promises, the better able you will be to handle the tribulations that come upon you. And the only way you can know God and His Promises is to do what you’re doing right now: studying His Word!

 

The starting point of knowing and trusting God, and in fact the starting point of everything, is GEN 1:1 (New International Reader’s Version): In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The rest of the chapter continues to summarize what God created on each of the six successive days of creation and His resting from His Creative Work on the seventh day. Though GEN 1:1 is a simple sentence, it is extremely powerful in what it means. Let’s break it apart a little.

 

In the beginning” denies the eternity of time for there was a point at which time began. “In the beginning God” denies atheism’s doctrine that there is no God. It also denies polytheism’s doctrine of many gods. “In the beginning God created” includes the Hebrew word bara (created). It’s used exclusively for God’s Work because only He can call into existence what had no existence. Man can “form,” “make” and “fashion” something from what already exists, but only God can create out of nothing. This denies fatalism’s doctrine of chance for it was a direct and purposeful action of God.

 

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. This denies pantheism the belief that God and the universe are identical. As believers, we know that God is the creator of the universe and not a part of it. It also denies the eternity of matter upon which evolution is based. God not only created matter at a point in time, but He also created matter in differentiated forms which is also contrary to evolution. While the earth contains matter of the same type that exists in the heavens, it also contains additional matter – elements – that do not exist in the heavens.

 

GEN 1:1, in its entirety, places God outside the time-box of creation. He existed prior to it and time starts at the beginning of creation. Time has always been defined in relationship to some movement within creation whether it is the rotation of the earth relative to the Sun (day, night, and sundials); the orbit of the moon around the earth (a lunar month); the orbit of the earth around the sun (seasons and a year); the measured flow of sand in an hour glass; the movement of gears under a steady pressure (watch); or the vibrations of a crystal at a constant voltage (quartz crystal watches). Time is a measurement within creation, but God existed before time for He existed before matter. God is a spirit, not a material being.

 

That God is The Creator is critical in our understanding of both Who He is and our ability to trust Him. The fact that God is The Creator is declared numerous times throughout the scriptures. Here is a sampling of some of them:

 

EX 20:11 (The Message Bible): For in six days God made Heaven, Earth, and sea, and everything in them; he rested on the seventh day. Therefore God blessed the Sabbath day; he set it apart as a holy day.

 

PSA 33:6 (New International Reader’s Version): The heavens were made when the Lord commanded it to happen. All the stars were created by the breath of his mouth.

 

ISA 45:18 (New International Reader’s Version): The Lord created the heavens. He is God. He formed the earth and made it. He set it firmly in place. He didn’t create it to be empty. Instead, he formed it for people to live on. He says, “I am the Lord. There is no other Lord.

 

JER 32:17 (New International Reader’s Version): Lord and King, you have reached out your great and powerful arm. You have made the heavens and the earth. Nothing is too hard for you.’”

 

NEH 9:6 (New International Reader’s Version): You are the one and only Lord. You made the heavens. You made even the highest heavens. You created all the stars in the sky. You created the earth and everything on it. And you made the oceans and everything in them. You give life to everything. Every living being in heaven worships you.

JOH 1:1–3 (New International Reader’s Version):: In the beginning, the Word was already there. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was with God in the beginning. All things were made through him. Nothing that has been made was made without him.

 

ACTS 17:24 (New International Reader’s Version): “He is the God who made the world. He also made everything in it. He is the Lord of heaven and earth. He doesn’t live in temples built by human hands.”

 

COL 1:16–17 (New International Reader’s Version): All things were created in him. He created everything in heaven and on earth. He created everything that can be seen and everything that can’t be seen. He created kings, powers, rulers and authorities. All things have been created by him and for him. Before anything was created, he was already there. He holds everything together.

 

HEB 11:3 (New International Reader’s Version)We have faith. So, we understand that everything was made when God commanded it. That’s why we believe that what we see was not made out of what could be seen.

 

REV 10:5–6 (New International Reader’s Version): I had seen an angel standing on the sea and on the land. This angel raised his right hand to heaven. He made a promise in the name of the God who lives for ever and ever. This is the God who created the sky, earth and sea and all that is in them.

 

That is only a brief sampling. Passage after passage reflects on the fact that God is the creator as the basis for believing, trusting, and obeying Him. The slide into depravity begins with man turning from this fact and its immediate ramification that God is to be honored, worshiped, and thanked – rather than the alternatives of false worship, worshiping created things, and culminating in no longer even acknowledging God.

 

{to be continued}

 

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