Wednesday, August 31, 2011

God As Big As A Universe

When I consider your heavens,
   the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
   which you have set in place,
4 what is mankind that you are mindful of them,
   human beings that you care for them?  Psalm 8:3-4

A week ago, twenty-one million light-years away in the general direction of the Big Dipper a star went supernova. (Click here for the article.)   
The distance involved in 21 million light-years is quite frankly beyond our ability to comprehend.  It's odd to realize that over 21 million years ago a star was fine one day and the next it blew up and the light of that explosion is just now arriving here where we can see it.  As the sequence of pictures show, looking back through all those years we have captured in time the exact moment the star blew up.  Yet, even the enormity of the universe is small to God.  God is bigger than a supernova, and at the same time is mindful of humanity; is mindful of you and I.  This same God who is so encompassing of everything is the same One who made the covenant with Abraham and remade it again in the covenant through Jesus Christ - to love us in our entirety.  This enormous God walks with us and carries us when times are tough, bringing us more meaningful and significant prizes as rewards for the trials we go through than we are ever capable of imagining.  Think of the supernova 21 million light-years away and know that God's arms reach that far to embrace you!

Monday, August 29, 2011

The Ripple Effect of A Life Well LIved

That night the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham. Do not be afraid, for I am with you; I will bless you and will increase the number of your descendants for the sake of my servant Abraham.”  Isaac built an altar there and called on the name of the LORD.  Genesis 26:24-25a

In this section of Genesis from verses 17-29 Abraham's son, Isaac is grown and on his own living in the land of the Philistines.  Isaac is quite wealthy revealed by the fact that his herds need more and more water.  Water is a valuable, limited commodity in the dry environs of the Middle East.  When Isaac starts reopening the wells it would affect the water table of the other wells in the area and it raises the ire of the other herdsmen. Historically, in the majority of water conflicts of this type it boils over into war and violence.  Isaac, on the other hand, has a gift of firm perseverance that did not exacerbate the conflict.  The first well he digs he names "Dispute," the second "Opposition", but by the third peace is winning and he names it "Space."  Over the course of his well-building Isaac demonstrated two things.  First, he showed it was possible in that locale to share the water.  The second thing Isaac demonstrated by his peaceful, yet firm demeanor was that he was blessed by God.

How can you go about demonstrating that God is with you in your daily conflicts or difficulties, such that it is a testimony to the God who blesses?  Living out your life as a testimony of your relationship with God has positive effects in all of your relationships. Like a pebble dropped in a lake the ripples affect everyone around you; even those with whom you are not getting along.  Do not be afraid.  Live peacefully but firmly.  Be blessed.  Don't forget to visit the altar and show your gratitude.