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Praising the Creator’s goodness and power

Posted Mar 16, 2017

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Daily Scripture

Psalm 19:1-4

1 Heaven is declaring God’s glory;
    the sky is proclaiming his handiwork.
2 One day gushes the news to the next,
    and one night informs another what needs to be known.
3 Of course, there’s no speech, no words—
        their voices can’t be heard—
4     but their sound extends throughout the world;
        their words reach the ends of the earth.

Psalm 33:6-9, 12-15

6 The skies were made by the Lord’s word,
    all their starry multitude by the breath of his mouth.
7 He gathered the ocean waters into a heap;
    he put the deep seas into storerooms.
8 All the earth honors the Lord;
    all the earth’s inhabitants stand in awe of him.
9 Because when he spoke, it happened!
    When he commanded, there it was!

12 The nation whose God is the Lord,
    the people whom God has chosen as his possession,
    is truly happy!
13 The Lord looks down from heaven;
    he sees every human being.
14 From his dwelling place God observes
    all who live on earth.
15 God is the one who made all their hearts,
    the one who knows everything they do.

Reflection Questions

Owen Gingerich, Emeritus Professor of Astronomy at Harvard, wrote: “Rather than believe that the universe is simply meaningless, a macabre joke, I would prefer to accept a universe created with intention and purpose by a loving God, and perhaps created with just enough freedom that conscience and responsibility are part of the mix… the elements are just right, the environment is fit for life, and slowly life forms have populated the earth.”* His careful teacher’s prose echoed the poetry of the ancient psalmists.

  • Copernicus, Galileo and the Hubbell telescope (with many others) have expanded and altered the way we understand our planet and our universe (e.g. we no longer understand oceans the way Psalm 33:7 did). Does our increased knowledge of the universe lessen or deepen your appreciation and reverence for the Creator’s work?
  • Perhaps drawing on David’s outdoor life as a shepherd, Psalm 19:1, 3 said “Heaven is declaring God’s glory….Of course, there’s no speech, no words—their voices can’t be heard—but their sound extends throughout the world.” When has nature spoken most powerfully to you of God’s glory, goodness and power? When have you seen nature’s ability to “speak” spoiled by human carelessness or greed?

Prayer

O Lord, open my eyes to the signs of your creative power and beauty that can still be seen in our world. Fill my heart with wonder at the wisdom and grace reflected in so much I can see. Amen.


* Owen Gingerich, God’s Universe. Cambridge, Massachusetts: The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2006, p. 96-97.

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GPS Guide

Whether you’re just starting to explore the Christian faith, or you’re a long-time Christian, we want to do everything we can to help you on your journey to know, love and serve God. The GPS (Grow, Pray, Study) Guide provides scripture and insights to enhance your journey.

Chris Abel

Chris Abel

Chris Abel is the Young Adults Pastor at Resurrection, and he describes himself as a "Pastor/Creative-type/Adventurer." A former atheist turned passionate follower of Christ, he completed his seminary education in Washington, DC. Before coming to Resurrection, Chris was a campus pastor near St. Louis, MO.

I’ve come to the point in my faith life where I’m not as concerned with “proving” Christianity. After all, I don’t prove that the music I like relaxes me. I don’t have to prove that Chipotle is delicious and convenient (because everyone already knows this. Duh). I don’t have to prove that sleeping a full night leaves me feeling more balanced through the day.

Following Jesus has led me down a path of growth, friendships, wonders, and purpose. I don’t have to prove these things — I’ve lived them.

And yet I have Christian friends who love arguing for Jesus. There’s even a word for the logic behind this: Apologetics.

The dictionary calls this the “reasoned arguments or writings in justification of something, typically a theory or religious doctrine.” It’s when people try to prove God or the Christian faith.

And yet I’ve never left an apologetic conversation with a good taste in my mouth. I’m grateful for reason and logic—but every time someone logically tries to prove their faith it comes off as… forced. And they’re already preaching to the choir! It’s like a salesman proving to you how effective their cleaning spray works. Guaranteed to be the best, right? Except… it’s just cleaning spray. Why the forceful approach?

Maybe it’s the millennial in me. I’ve just been sold too many false truths. I’ve been the target of advertising my whole life. If your faith resembles a television advertisement more than a source of awe, I’m just going to be hesitant to trust you.

And so when I read a passage like today’s reading from the Psalms, it’s like a breath of fresh air. The author is relaxed. He’s not concerned with proving his argument. He’s savoring existence. He’s not concerned with doctrinal purity or worship styles. He’s just taking it in. His heart is celebrating the goodness of it all.

“Their voices can’t be heard—but their sound extends throughout the world.”

I’m convinced that the most convincing evangelists aren’t the ones with the best arguments, but the ones who can tap into the wonder of it all. The people who see the greatness of God all around us are usually the people who also make God visible to the rest of us. They embody “good news.” They make faith not just convincing—but desirable.

You don’t have to force God on others when you display Him with your life. 

So enjoy this day. Savor the sun and wind and seasons and breath and life. After all, it’s all proclaiming the glory of our Creator. You can too :).

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