Day 1 - You Are No Accident
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE Genesis 1:27
Where did I come from? Why am I here? What am I supposed to do? Where am I going? Throughout history, humans have searched for satisfactory answers to life’s most important questions. In truth, the way we answer each of these questions determines the course our lives will take.
The answer to where we came from has far-reaching implications. Currently, there are primarily two competing ideas about how humans came to be. According to the atheistic idea, humans are a product of random, chance processes that have been going on for eons. This idea says that a huge explosion brought our universe into ex- istence about 13 billion years ago, and in the distant future, our universe will su er a heat death in which all life will be exterminated. According to this view, there is no ultimate purpose for humanity, and there is no ultimate meaning in life. Humanity’s existence here is simply a blip on the cosmic radar.
The Bible, however, presents an entirely di erent view of our origins. In the begin- ning God created the heavens and the earth. His all-powerful might and all-know- ing intelligence cra ed a world specifically designed for humans to thrive. Humans are not some cosmic accident, but are the crowning achievement of God’s creation. The holy council of God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit purposefully made man in His own image.
Thus, God endowed humans, by the fact of their creation in His image, with value. The value of each human life does not depend on how intelligent, beautiful, athlet- ic, or useful he or she is. Instead, every human life is valuable because it bears the imprint of the loving Creator. As the Founding Fathers so eloquently stated in the Declaration of Independence: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights.” As the children’s saying goes, “I know I’m worth something, because God don’t make no junk.” You are valuable because you are God’s creation.
Today, I will...remember that all humans are created in God’s image. I will treat myself and others with the respect and kindness that a work of art cra ed by the Master’s hand deserves.
Day 2 - The CEO of All Creation
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE Colossians 1:15-17
In today’s world of international business, we are familiar with the term CEO, which stands for Chief Executive O icer. This person is the major decision maker behind the workings of a large business. In fact, this person o en is a super-intelligent mover and shaker who knows how to get things done and his or her multi-million dollar net worth speaks to this prowess.
The power and authority of CEOs in business, however, is limited to the company for which they work. The CEO of Apple Computers can’t make decisions for Face- book. And the CEO of US Bank does not determine the course that Goodyear Tire Company will take.
There is one CEO, however, who is not bound by such limitations. He is the Chief Ex- ecutive O icer who is “upholding all things by the word of His power” (Hebrews 1:3). There is no aspect of the entire created order that is not under His authority. He is “the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation” because “all things were created through Him and for Him” (Colossians 1:15-16). There is no “business” in the entire creation of the physical universe or the spiritual world that is out of His jurisdiction. Jesus Christ has “all authority” (Matthew 28:18-20). He does not have this authority because God created Him. On the contrary, He has it because He is a personality of the Creator God who brought all things into existence.
The importance of understanding Jesus’ position cannot be overstated. It means that His decisions will never be vetoed. No board will over turn any commandments or instructions He has given. And no power in the physical universe or spiritual world can ever negate or devalue a single one of His promises. Thus, when we read that He promised to always be with His followers, and when He promises that He has prepared a place in Heaven for His servants (John 14:2), we can know that there is not a force in all creation that can separate us from His love (Romans 8:37-39).
Today, I will...recognize the authority of Jesus. I will do what He tells me to do in His Word, and I will have confidence in the promises He has made.
Day 3 - Seeing an Invisible God
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE Romans 1:20
Currently in the United States, unbelief and non-religion are the fastest growing “religions” in the country. Skeptical organizations are popping up by the hundreds on our university campuses and atheistic writings are topping the best-seller list. In fact, more than 20 million U.S. citizens claim to be agnostics and atheists. The current generation who are teenagers now is dealing with unbelief on a scale that is unprecedented in the history of our country.
What is at the root of this epidemic of skepticism? We are told that modern sci- ence and critical thinking have finally done away with the obsolete concept of a divine Creator. Those who have been “enlightened” and follow the evidence where it leads (we are informed) have been forced to abandon the idea of God because there is not any “evidence” of His existence. So goes the party line of unbelief.
In truth, however, there is more than enough evidence to know for a fact that a di- vine creator exists. When we look at the universe and the things that we can touch, see, taste, hear, and smell, they force all honest-hearted people to the conclusion that there is a God. How is that the case?
When we see a laptop computer on a bench, we know intelligent men and women designed and manufactured it. Yet the human brain is the most advanced comput- ing system anyone has ever seen. When we see an artificial, prosthetic hand, we know brilliant engineers were behind its design. One look at a “regular” human hand, however, shows the superiority of it over any prosthesis. Just as fingerprints match a person to a scene, so the hallmarks and fingerprints of God’s design and power provide ample evidence of His existence.
Truly, “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handi- work” (Psalm 19:1).
Today, I will...pray for those who reject the knowledge of God. I will open my eyes to the evidence of God in the universe, and I will teach those in my sphere of influence to accept God as the Creator.
Day 4 - From “Very Good” to “Only Evil”
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE 2 Peter 3: 4-7
Take a moment right now to imagine what your life would be like if it were perfect. You would never be sick. There would be no threat of death in your future. Your relationships with others would not be plagued by envy or jealousy. You would be perfectly content, all your needs taken care of, and you would be at one with your Creator. The stress and strain of fear and loss would not exist for you.
If you have read Genesis chapters 1 and 2, you understand that the first two hu- mans God created were placed in a perfect environment like the one you were just thinking about. It was so perfect that Genesis 1:31 explains that “God saw every- thing that He had made, and behold it was very good.” Just a few short chapters later, however, something went dreadfully wrong. When we turn to Genesis 6:5, we read, “The Lord saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” What had happened to change the state of the world? In a word -- Sin.
From the beginning of Genesis to the end of the book of Revelation we see that sin destroys and corrupts God’s original creation. Sin destroys relationships, it wrecks homes, it brings illness and disease, and it is responsible for death.
In 2 Peter 3:4-7, the apostle informs us that sco ers will come and deny that Jesus is coming again to finally fix the sin problem. In fact, these naysayers will argue that all things continue as they were from the “beginning of creation.” They willfully for- get, however, that the original creation was corrupted and that God sent the flood to cleanse the world of its immeasurable sin.
We, too, should be reminded not only of the perfection of the original creation, but also of the destructive nature of sin. The flood is a promise to us that God will not allow sin to continue to destroy His creation. Instead of willfully forgetting the glob- al destruction of the creation, we should let it remind us that Jesus is coming again to right all wrongs and ultimately deal with sin.
Today, I will...live my life as if Jesus were coming back today. In each of my activi- ties I will ask myself, “If Jesus comes this very minute, would I want Him to find me doing this?”
Day 5 - A New Creation
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE 2 Corinthians 5:17
My second grade son loves to play with clay. His favorite figures to sculpt are su- per heroes such as Batman or Spiderman. In the course of his “work,” however, he sometimes shapes something that does not turn out the way he wants it. Instead of attempting to fix the figurine, he o en scraps the whole thing, smashes the clay into a ball, and starts again on a completely di erent figurine.
Thinking about this clay illustration, let us apply it to God and our lives. God cra ed each one of us in His image. He made us special, unique, and valuable. Through no fault of His own, however, something happened to His beautiful work of art. As humans with the freedom to choose, we invited sin into our lives and it destroyed God’s amazing handiwork. In fact, sin is so destructive that as long as it reigns in our lives, we become a useless mass of humanity not fit for any of God’s purposes.
What can be done to change this situation? When we respond in faith and obey the Gospel of Christ, something spiritually miraculous happens. God cleanses the sin from our lives and reforms us as an entirely new spiritual creature. Paul explains, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”
It is not as if God puts some kind of bandage over a wound caused by sin. It is not that He takes another piece of clay and smears it over the blackened crust of sin in our lives. He is not merely fixing a figurine that has been corrupted. Instead, He is making a perfect, new, fresh, sinless creature. You are not a better you as a Chris- tian; you are, quite literally, a new you. Leave the old you of sin, and embrace the new, sinless you that God made when you obeyed Christ.
Today, I will...remember the joy of being in Christ. I will think of at least one person who is not in Christ and is not a new creation. I will pray for that person and make an attempt to influence them for Christ.