Category Archives: Daily Devotionals

We Are the Saints of Our Living God

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“Salute every saint in Christ Jesus. The brethren which are with me greet you. All the saints salute you, chiefly they that are of Caesar’s household.” (Philippians 4:21-22)

The apostle Paul typically began and ended most of his church epistles with greetings to and from “the saints.” The context in each case shows that this term was applied to all those who were “in Christ Jesus”—that is, all true Christians. The Greek word hagios meant essentially those people or things that are set aside or consecrated to the Lord. It is frequently translated “holy” and can be applied to objects dedicated to the Lord, as in Hebrews 9:24 (“holy places made with hands”).

The term is applied also to Old Testament believers. At the time of Christ’s resurrection, we are told that “many bodies of the saints which slept arose” (Matthew 27:52).

Some of these latter have been given the supposedly exclusive right to be called saints by the Catholic church. This is simply not true as the bible makes it very clear that all whom are born of the Spirit are the Saints of God! (I Corinthians 1:2)

Editor’s commentary note

Other than “St. Mary” and “St. Peter,” the best known of these may be “St. Patrick,” the so-called “patron saint” of Ireland. Patrick was certainly a very zealous missionary, largely responsible for the conversion of the Irish from paganism back in the early fifth century, and all we know about him would confirm that he was indeed a “saint” in the true biblical sense.

Although “saints” should be altogether godly and righteous as well as set aside to the Lord, that is not necessarily always how they act. Thus, special men have been called by God (i.e., pastors, teachers, etc.) “for the perfecting of the saints” (Ephesians 4:12).

Since the sole biblical criterion to be classed as “His saints” is “them that believe,” that includes us! That being the case, should we not be zealous to see that our lives are such as “becometh saints” (Ephesians 5:3)? HMM

The Incarnate Wisdom

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“The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.” (Proverbs 8:22-23)

The book of Proverbs repeatedly extols the virtues of true wisdom, founded on the fear of the Lord. In the eighth chapter, however, beginning at verse 22, the theme changes, retreating far back in time to creation itself, and even before.

The statements in the next ten verses, especially, must be of an actual divine Person. From the New Testament perspective, especially with John 1:1-14 as the definitive exposition, it becomes clear that the divine wisdom of Proverbs 8:22-31 is none other than the incarnate Word of John’s prologue.

The Lord Jesus Christ, indeed, fits perfectly all the statements in this particular section of Proverbs, which then gives marvelous new insight into the events of creation and the divine fellowship in the Godhead before the creation.

Note that in these first two verses, the Lord’s “ways” were prior to His “works” and that He “possessed” His Son “from everlasting.” This is the profound doctrine of “eternal generations,” whereby the Son is “brought forth” continually from the Father, forever manifesting Him in His creation.

The New Testament makes it plain that Jesus Christ is, indeed, the incarnate wisdom of God. He is the “Word” by whom all things were made (John 1:1-3). He is “the truth” (John 14:6) and “the light” (John 8:12) by whom alone men can come to God and follow Him. He is called “the power of God, and the wisdom of God” in 1 Corinthians 1:24, and He called Himself “the wisdom of God” in Luke 11:49.

All of the vaunted knowledge of the world’s thinkers and scientists is empty and futile apart from the Lord Jesus Christ, the living Word of God, for in Him alone are found “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:3). HMM

Sin’s Scars

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“But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house.” (Judges 16:21)

The sad end of mighty Samson, who once had been so greatly energized and utilized by the Lord, is also an allegory and a grave warning to every Christian. “But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death” (James 1:14-15).

Satan knows our individual weaknesses and tempts us accordingly. Many Christians have fallen into sin through some Delilah, but probably many more have fallen into sin through pride, or covetousness, or compromise, or apathy.

First, sin blinds. We are commanded to grow in Christ, adding to our initial faith the attributes of virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, kindness, and love (2 Peter 1:5-7). Otherwise, “he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins” (2 Peter 1:9).

Then, sin binds. It may not be with chains, as with Samson, but unconfessed sin quickly enslaves its practitioners. “While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage” (2 Peter 2:19).

Finally, sin grinds. Instead of the promised freedom from restraint, a sinful life soon becomes a “grind,” tedious and tasteless, like “the dog turned to his own vomit again” (2 Peter 2:22).

Samson did return to God again before his death, but he was still blind, and bound, and grinding. God forgives, but the effects of sin are not easily removed.

How much better it would be never to yield to the temptation at all. HMM

A Bag with Holes

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“Ye have sown much, and bring in little; ye eat, but ye have not enough; ye drink, but ye are not filled with drink; ye clothe you, but there is none warm; and he that earneth wages earneth wages to put it into a bag with holes.” (Haggai 1:6)

This biting description of a frustrating lifestyle, penned by one of the Jewish post-exilic prophets, is both preceded and followed by this appropriate admonition:

“Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways” (Haggai 1:5-7).

When a professing believer somehow never seems to have enough and his money bag seems filled with holes, it is time for him to consider carefully his ways before the Lord. After all, our God owns the cattle on a thousand hills and is well able to supply all our needs.

In context, Haggai is rebuking the people of Judah for tending to their own welfare and neglecting the work of God. “Is it time for you, O ye, to dwell in your cieled [paneled] houses, and this house [that is, the unfinished temple in Jerusalem] lie waste?” (Haggai 1:4).

Herein is an eternal principle. Jesus said, “Your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things [that is, food and drink and clothing]. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:32-33).

If these necessities of life are not being provided, we urgently need to consider our ways. Are God’s kingdom and His righteousness really our first concerns?

We often quote the wonderful promise “my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19). But we must remember that this promise was given to a group of Christians whose “deep poverty abounded unto the riches of their liberality,” because they “first gave their own selves to the Lord” (2 Corinthians 8:2, 5). HMM

Song of the Rock

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“And David spake unto the Lord the words of this song in the day that the Lord had delivered him out of the hand of all his enemies, and out of the hand of Saul.” (2 Samuel 22:1)

This is the first verse of a remarkable poem inserted here near the end of 2 Samuel. With certain significant exceptions, it is the same as the 18th Psalm. David wrote many wonderful psalms, but this is the only one also found in the historical books and so must have special significance. In view of 2 Samuel 23:1-2 (“these be the last words of David”), it may even be David’s last psalm, as slightly modified by him from Psalm 18, just before his death.

In 2 Samuel 22:2-3, he ascribed nine wonderful names to God: rock, fortress, deliverer, God of my rock, shield, horn of my salvation, high tower, refuge, Savior. In the midst of this unique list of metaphors appears his statement of faith: “In him will I trust.” Although this psalm flows from David’s personal experiences, these words are quoted in Hebrews 2:13 as coming from the lips of Christ in His human incarnation. Thus, the song is actually also a Messianic psalm. Its testimonies go far beyond the experiences of David, reflecting the mighty events of Christ in creation, at the judgment of the great Flood, and His work as our Redeemer. It is significant that the concluding name in David’s list is Savior, which is the Hebrew yasha — essentially the same as “Jesus.”

Two of the names (Hebrew cela and tsur) are translated “rock,” but refer to different kinds of rock. They are the same words used for the rocks from which God provided water for His people in the wilderness (Exodus 17:6; Numbers 20:11), except that the order is reversed. One is the great rock of provision, the other the smitten rock of judgment.

Our God of creation, Jesus Christ, is our daily sustenance but first must also be our sin-bearing Savior. HMM

Living in the Land of Mercy

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“The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy.” (Psalm 145:8)

Not one of us deserves God’s mercy, for “we have turned every one to his own way” (Isaiah 53:6), and “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). What we deserve is death and eternal separation from the God who made us. Nevertheless, “it is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not” (Lamentations 3:22). “He hath not dealt with us after our sins. . . . For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him” (Psalm 103:10-11).

It is by His mercy, not our merit, that we are saved. “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us” (Titus 3:5). “God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)” (Ephesians 2:4-5). It is “according to his abundant mercy” that He has “begotten us again unto a lively hope” (1 Peter 1:3).

In fact, one of the very titles of God is “the Father of mercies” (2 Corinthians 1:3). Over and over the psalmist assures us that “his mercy endureth for ever” (26 times in Psalm 136:1-26; also Psalm 106:1; 107:1; 118:1; etc.).

His mercy is not only infinite, but eternal.

How can one possibly reject His mercy? “Despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering?” (Romans 2:4). Sadly, most do. Instead, the divine challenge is:

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:1-2). T

his is our logical response to God’s great mercy! HMM

Have the Mind of Christ

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“For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? but we have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2:16)

The mind of the natural man is “a reprobate mind” (Romans 1:28), a “carnal mind” (Romans 8:7), and a “defiled” mind (Titus 1:15), characterized by a daily walk “in the vanity of their mind, Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart” (Ephesians 4:17-18).

When a person is born again through faith in Christ, however, he should be “transformed by the renewing of [his] mind” (Romans 12:2) and should henceforth seek to conform to the mind of Christ in every attitude and every decision.

But what is the mind of Christ? As our text says: “Who hath known the mind of the Lord?” Paul echoed the same question to the Romans: “For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counselor?” (Romans 11:34).

There are many aspects to His infinite mind, of course, but the key is undoubtedly the great attribute of sacrificial love. “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who . . . became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:5-6, 8).

Thus, following His example, we should “in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves” (Philippians 2:3). We should constantly “consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest [we] be wearied and faint in [our] minds” (Hebrews 12:3). We should receive “the word with all readiness of mind” and serve “the Lord with all humility of mind” (Acts 17:11; 20:19). Herein is the mind of Christ. HMM

Is Young Earth Crazy

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🎓 A creation-believing friend of mine attended a dinner with various scientists. One of them who favored intelligent design said that any scientist who believed in a young earth was “crazy.” Then, remembering one in his audience, he turned to my friend and said, “No offense.” The reply came, “None taken!” This brief banter illustrates popular scorn for belief in a 6,000-year-old world. Can recent creation sound remotely rational in a climate so soaked in millions-of-years thinking?

The 6,000-year estimate comes from counting the number of years the Bible gives between various events from creation to Christ. This view of history is called recent creation. In contrast, the world’s way of thinking denies creation from the get-go. It needs millions of years, called deep time, to imagine creatures evolving from goo to you.

Many trails lead toward recent creation. Take the limits of science, for example. Some scientists think that science can firmly answer questions about the past. But it can’t. Science directly tests only that which is observable and repeatable. History is neither. The best science can do is weed out unlikely scenarios.

For example, scientists can measure isotope ratios in a rock, but those numbers must be cranked through a formula that includes unknown, unmeasurable variables to output a time estimate. Secularists make sure those variables receive deep-time-friendly values. They assume the rock’s starting state and that no outside process tinkered with the ratio since the rock hardened long ago. Then in a crazy twist, they often invoke special starting states of rocks or outside tinkering to explain out-of-place isotope-based age estimates.1

Since science fails to pinpoint historical events, how can we know when past events happened? Simple—we consult those who were there. We read what they wrote.2 And it turns out the Bible is the ultimate history book. Not only did eyewitnesses write or help write it, but God Himself carried the prophets and apostles along as they or their associates penned the Word of God.3 Recent creation isn’t crazy. It uses the most reliable record around. Trusting in science to answer all our questions about the past is the crazy option.

Lousy logic in secular approaches to ancient history offers another trail that leads to recent creation. Deep-time defenders resort to circular arguments instead of observation. They say things like “Science has proved the Bible is wrong, so the world must be billions of years old.” Ask them what they mean by “science” and they often equate science with billions of years. Thus, they reason in a circle. It’s like saying “The world is billions of years old, therefore the world must be billions of years old.” Science cannot verify such a claim since science deals strictly with the observable here and now. Only by first refusing to include the Bible’s history do they then declare the Bible unfit to convey history. Now that’s crazy.

If one digs deeper into science and history, the evidence points to the young earth described in Genesis. Tweet: If one digs deeper into science and history, the evidence points to the young earth described in Genesis.

Besides all this, natural time clocks from many disciplines help confirm biblical creation. ICR.org has dozens of articles that describe everything from an abundance of blue stars,4 helium in minerals,5 and soft tissues in fossils,6 to a scarcity of creature mutations.7 Even these science-based observations cannot pinpoint history, but they do weed out deep-time options. Misplaced faith in science, a lack of logic in secular arguments, natural time clocks, and the very Word of the Creator all lead to recent creation.

References

Woodmorappe, J. 1999. The Mythology of Modern Dating Methods. El Cajon, CA: Institute for Creation Research.
Thus, historians find no certain dates for events for which eyewitnesses left no documentation like court records or coins.
2 Peter 1:21.
Lisle, J. 2012. Blue Stars Confirm Recent Creation. Acts & Facts. 41 (9): 16.
Cupps, V. R. 2019. Helium Retention in Zircons Demonstrates a Young Earth. Acts & Facts. 48 (1): 10-13.
Thomas, B. 2014. Original-Tissue Fossils: Creation’s Silent Advocates. Acts & Facts. 43 (8): 5-9.
Jeanson, N. T. 2014. New Genetic-Clock Research Challenges Millions of Years. Acts & Facts. 43 (4): 5-8.

  • Mr. Thomas is Science Writer at the Institute for Creation Research and earned his M.S. in biotechnology from Stephen F. Austin State University.
  • Is Young Earth Creation Crazy? https://www.icr.org/article/is-young-earth-creation-crazy/

Author: Brian Thomas, M.S. 2019. Is Young Earth Creation Crazy?. Acts & Facts. 48 (2).

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