Hidden Treasures

The Bible is much more than a book of religion.

Atheism

My watch just happened. The bits of metal just came together by chance and evolved into wheels, and springs and hands. The face of the watch just appeared with number one through twelve spaced exactly right so that the watch can register accurate time. By chance, the hour hand swings clockwise making a complete revolution twice a day; not a minute less nor a minute more. The minute hand swings clockwise; a complete revolution once every hour; not a second more nor a second less. Then when the watch parts all fell into place so that it could keep accurate time, a plastic case came out of nowhere and fit itself perfectly on the watch to keep the parts clean so that I could have an accurate timepiece. Then lo and behold, an expansion band appeared and fit itself on to the watch. It just so happens that the band fits my wrist and by looking at the watch I can know exactly what time it is to the nearest second. It keeps accurate time second by second, minute by minute, day by day, year by year and I don’t even give it a moment of thought or care.

If I argued with you that this is how my watch was made, you would call me a crazy fool. You know it didn’t happen that way. You know intelligent, skilled watchmakers designed and made the watch? But you never saw it happen did you? You never met the watch maker. So it just had to be by chance, didn’t it? Since it couldn’t have possibly happened over a period of days or months or years, it had to have happened over a period of billions of years.

A more unlikely story

If you believe that story, I will tell you another- infinitely more unlikely than the watch story. We human beings just evolved. We showed up by chance with every organ of our body working perfectly. We are composed of billions of cells. Each cell is composed of billions of atoms. Each atom is composed of electrons and protons whirling around a nucleus. Each cell and each organ knows exactly what its purpose is in our bodies.

Our lungs take into our bodies just the right combination of gasses in the air we breathe. Our blood cells, traveling through miles of veins and arteries and capillaries, feed every cell of our body with just the right nutrients.

Our brains are more complicated and more amazing than the most sophisticated computer.

These bodies of ours live on an earth that is just the right distance from the sun. We are not too close or we would burn up and we’re not too far away or we would freeze to death. All the stars, our sun, moon and planets are constantly moving at various rates of speed, all in their own orbits; yet the sun, moon and stars have faithfully stayed in their positions relative to our earth, day by day, century after century, millennium after millennium. God is faithful. He does not change.

If you wish to believe all of this came about by chance and believe that animal and human life just evolved by chance over billions of years, that’s your choice. Believe that you are the product of random chance if you wish, but you have much more faith than I do. In fact it takes much more faith to believe the evolution of man than it does than to believe the biblical account that man was created by the direct act of God on the sixth day of creation.

You’re no atheist!

Personally, I don’t think you are an atheist. You would have to be a fool to be an atheist (Psalm 14:1), and I don’t believe you are a fool or you would not have read this far. The only reason you claim to be an atheist and an evolutionist is because you don’t want to believe in a God who made you for His glory. The reason you do not want to believe in God is because you love your sins and you know that some day you will have to face God and be judged for your sins. So you reason that it is much more comfortable to claim to be an atheist. You are like a scared kid walking through a cemetery in the middle of the night, whistling in the dark.

Wake up, my friend! Admit the creation of the universe and mankind is totally reasonable. God created you. He made you for His glory. You are accountable to Him. As a sinner, you will one day answer to Him for your sins and be condemned to hell.

But thank God, He loves you and has provided salvation through the sacrifice of His Son on Calvary’s cross. Jesus died and rose again so that you could be saved and live with Him in Heaven forever. Trust Him now and discover peace with God. Start reading the Bible and discover the truth about life now and discover a personal, eternal relationship with God who created you and the universe in which you live.

April 10, 2006 Posted by | Atheism | Comments Off on Atheism

Stress

A lecturer, when explaining stress management to an audience, raised a glass of water and asked, "How heavy is this glass of water?"  Answers called out ranged from 20g to 500g. The lecturer replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter.  It depends how long you try to hold it.  If  I  hold it for a minute, that's not a problem.  If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my right arm.  If I hold it for a day, you'll have to call an ambulance.  In each case it's the same weight,  but the longer I  hold it, the heavier it becomes." 

Are you living under stress?  I realize I don't know what you are going through.    And you don't know  what I'm going through, but guess what?  I'm not living under stress. Let me tell you why.

I don't hold that glass of water in my hand beyond my endurance. I've learned to put it down on the table before I am exhausted.  Here are some ideas for living a stress free life and avoiding burn out.

1. Commit yourself and your day to God. Ask for His help and for His blessing on your day.   Throughout the day as you come up against a seeming impossibility, just cry out to Him, "HELP!"  He is right there to give you wisdom to solve the problem and His strength to help you carry the load.  As I grow older God's promise in Isaiah 40:28-31 becomes more precious to me. It's one of my favorite. Read it, meditate on it and rejoice.  It is God's promise to YOU!

2. Stay ahead on your schedule.  It has always been my habit to stay ahead on my schedule. I would never make a good boss, because as my wife says, "I want things done yesterday."   I have known of pastors who begin working on their messages for Sunday on Saturday evening- less then fifteen hours before they are to preach.   I don't know how they stand that kind of pressure.  Perhaps they have no stress at all, but I doubt that I would want to sit under their ministry.   I am usually working on messages three to five weeks in advance.  Thank God for computers.  I can work on different messages throughout the week and can store them and go back to them day after day, changing, rearranging, adding and deleting- all without having to rip a sheet of paper out of my typewriter and starting all over again.  That's the way I did it for years.  It's so much simpler today.   The files in my computer sure beat the four door file cabinets, filled with manila folders and stacks of material. By Monday morning each week my message for the following Sunday is finished and almost ready to preach.  Oh, sometimes during the week I will make a few minor changes.  On a few occasions I have totally rearranged a sermon on Saturday evening, but that is rare. The point I make is that I do not allow anything on my schedule to give me stress.

You see, the thing that brings stress is not the assignment or the responsibility, but it  is procrastination and putting off doing what needs to be done. It's having a deadline fast approaching and not being ready for the event.  When you start an assignment early, weeks before it is due, there is no stress at all. Students, if your teacher gives you a term paper to write and it is due in one month or at the end of the semester, get started on it immediately and get it out of the way as quickly as possible. That way you avoid the stress of that unfinished assignment hanging over your head.  The longer you hold it unfinished, the heavier it gets.

3. Cast your burden on the Lord.  Stress is brought on by trying to carry out an assignment or responsibility that is almost more than you can bear. We're all called upon to bear our own burdens.  Galatians 6:5 Often multiple responsibilities coming together only add to the stress.  In such times, I simply lean and rest  on Jesus. He supports me and infuses me with His strength to meet the responsibilities.  Each night as I prepare for bed, I cast my burden on the Lord, close my eyes and go to sleep.  Next morning, after a good night's sleep, I pick up that burden again and do what I can to carry out the responsibility or complete the assignment.

4. Each morning I make a list of things I must do. I check my calendar and list what needs to be done that day.  Then I do what needs to be done and as I finish an assignment I take pleasure in checking it off. Each time I make that check mark, I am relieved of  some of the weight that would eventually cause stress.

Here are some of the passages of Scripture that I have learned to lean on in times of great pressure. This is just a sampling of God's promises scattered throughout the Bible.  Read them, memorize them and  draw on them when you find yourself under pressure. God will strengthen you, encourage you and keep you from burn-out. I am approaching 72.   By  His grace and strength, I'm still going strong in my pastorate and am enjoying  some of the best years of my life.   Will the burdens grow heavier in the years ahead?  I expect they will, but He has promised to sustain me and He will sustain you.

RESTING PILLS   Here's a sampling. Take as needed and meditate on them.  No chance of overdosing. 

Deuteronomy 33:27,  Joshua 1:1-9,   II Chronicles 20:15-22,   Job 19:25-27, 

Read the Psalms daily to keep your heart in tune with God.

Read Proverbs daily to keep from getting into stressful situations with others.

Isaiah 40:28-31,  41:10-20,   42:1-4,   43:1,  44:3  45:2-3,   46:3-4,   53:5-6,  54:1-17, 55:1-13,   58:3-14,   61:1-3,   

Jeremiah 1:4-10,  17:5-8,  18:1-4,  33:3     Lamentations 3:21-27

Matthew 6:25-34,  11:28-30   John 14:1-18,  14:27,  15:1-8,   16:24, 

Romans 5:1-5,    6:14,   8:22-39,  I Corinthians 15:50-58, 

II Corinthians 1:3-4,  2:14,  12:9   Philippians 4:6-7,   4:19

I Thessalonians 4:13-18    Hebrews 4:14-16    James 1:2-12,  5:13-16

I Peter 1:3-8    II Peter 1:2-11   3:8-15    I John 3:1-3    5:11-13

Revelation 21:1-4,  22:17

April 10, 2006 Posted by | Encouragment | Comments Off on Stress