Daily Light – Jan 11, 2018

Your daily goal:

Philippians 3:14  “press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”   

(Monday-Friday, from my morning quiet time, I will write a short thought for that day which I pray God will use to motivate you to ‘GO’ for that day.  Your objective is simple…to GO…to GO OUT and share the love of Christ with someone in that day….to GO and bear fruit …to be light to the world.)

Today’s Daily Light

Confronting the Problem(s) of Evil (9 part series)

Biblical, Philosophical, and Emotional Reflections on a Perpetual Question

By:  Joe Rigney, Professor, Bethlehem College and Seminary

Confronting the Problem(s) of Evil     Part IV   

 

The Biblical Problem: God Is an Author, We Are His Characters

Here’s the basic claim: God is an Author. The World is his story. We are his characters.

Scripture points in this direction when it tells us that God preached the world into existence. “He spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm” (Ps 33:9). He is the God who “calls into existence the things that do not exist” (Rom 4:17).

Not only did God create the world from nothing, he also sustains it from nothing at every point of its existence. All things were created by Christ (Col 1:16), and all things hold together in Christ (1:17). This too happens at the point of speech. “He upholds the universe by the word of his power” (Heb 1:3, italics added). If he stopped speaking, we would stop being. As N.D. Wilson reminds us, “This is his spoken world” (Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl, 8).

Psalm 139 stresses that the speaking God is present everywhere, that there is no part of creation devoid of his presence:

“Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.”
(Ps 139:7–10)

No matter how high you go, no matter how low you go, no matter how far you go, God is present and active. Jonathan Edwards captures the extent of God’s presence and activity in the world in a wonderful section from a sermon on this passage.

God is present everywhere, whereas any other being is only so by His operation and influence. God is in the continual exercise of His infinite power and wisdom throughout the whole creation. Every moment takes a continual act of infinite power to uphold things in being. When we look upon anything that we can behold, we see the present operation of infinite power; for the same power that made things to be the first moment that they ever were is now exercised to make them to be this moment, and is continually exercised to make them to be every moment that they are.

God’s preservation of the world is nothing but a continued act of creation. We read that God created all things by the word of His power, and we read that He upholds all things by the word of His power (Heb 1:3)…. As it is the continual operation of God to uphold things in being, so it is the divine operation that keeps them in action. Whenever a body moves or a spirit thinks or wills, it is infinite power and wisdom that assists it. God has established the laws of nature, and He maintains them by his constant influence….With respect to ourselves, it is because God is in us that our blood runs, our pulse beats, our lungs play, our food digests, and our organs of sense perform their operation.

So when we look at the sun, moon, and stars above, or look upon the earth, or things below, if we look so much as upon the stones or under them, we see infinite power now in exercise at that place. If we look upon ourselves and see our hands or feet, these members have an existence now because God is there and by an act of infinite power upholds them. So God is not only everywhere, but He is everywhere working. (“God Is Everywhere Present”)

Father…I pray today, the 11th day of this new year…that we are making progress and staying resolute and steadfast in the things that are important:  #1 is seeking to honor and glorify you with our lives.  #2 is seeking to love deeper and farther, and #3 ‘so that’ we can produce eternal fruit for YOUR kingdom.   I repeat a favorite saying given to me by my mother when I was a child… “only one life..it will soon pass…only what is done for Christ will last.”  Amen

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