Friday, April 29, 2005

Genesis 1:4,5

Genesis 1:4,5: And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. And God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.

God as creator of all has the right to “name” things He creates. In the ancient world around the time Genesis was written, oftentimes the action of ‘naming’ something implied ownership. How fitting for a God that creates, to also name His creation thus identifying it as His very own. As a believer, I have to be astounded at the power of God to create, own (this world was not a commissioned piece of artwork) and enjoy His creation.

Furthermore, God specializes in the creation of entities which when joined together become more than the sum of each. Light is one thing and darkness is another, but when combined into a paired sequence, light followed by darkness becomes a whole “day” and ultimately the means by which we measure the dimension of time. Even from the time He had only created two things, light and darkness, God had intended that all His creation work in synchronization with each other to achieve the intended masterpiece. Every plant, every animal, every fish, every fowl, every person is part of that.

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Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Genesis 1:3

Genesis 1:3: Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.

Everything that I can see in the natural world is as a result of “light” and my God simply spoke the command and this “light” appeared. There were no negotiations involved. There was no indication of difficulty or barriers that had to be overcome. He simply talked “light” into existence. The immensity of that kind of power often escapes us unless we focus on it intentionally. We can best capture it the next time we find ourselves delighting in some beautiful landscape like the Grand Canyon, or a field of poppies swaying in the sunlit wind. Or as we watch a beautiful animal run in the meadow or a hummingbird dartfrom flower to flower. It is then we need to stop and reflect on the God that not only created all of the objects of our visual delight but also the very milieu by which we can see them – light itself.

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Check our firm out at Accord Consulting.

Finally, if you like what you read here, you may want to donate to my favourite charity, SCA International, by clicking on the logo below. Ken.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

Genesis 1:2

Genesis 1:2: And the earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters.

In Genesis 1:1 we are informed that God always was and that he created things. Now in verse two, we are informed that God either is a ‘spirit’ or has a spirit. But since in the New Testament, we read in John chapter 4, verse 24, that God is Spirit, we must go with the former choice.[1] The God we worship is in fact a “spirit”.

From the beginning, it has been God’s nature, as the New International Version says, to ‘hover’ over the waters, which at the time of verse 2 described the entire earth. The God that I believe in who was in the beginning and who created the heaven(s) and the earth, also walks upon the earth He created. He did so at the time of creation and there is nothing to indicate that He doesn’t do so now. God didn’t just create and abandon. He created and walked therein.

So, my God is not only infinite in His existence, He is a creator who is present in spirit-form.
[1] Whenever there appears a choice in the Scriptures or for that matter an apparent contradiction, I have always tried to apply the principle of ‘scripture answers scripture’. So, while by using the phrase “spirit of God”, Genesis 1:2 appears to allow the option that God has a spirit as well as just being one, John 4:24 eliminates that possibility.

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Finally, if you like what you read here, you may want to donate to my favourite charity, SCA International, by clicking on the logo below. Ken.

Number Crunching and Ministry

There has always been some disagreement among those in various Ministries, especially Christians, as to whether or not we should be worrying about numbers, and numerical growth, etc. I, for one, value numbers. I see it as a measure of 'how we're doing' or 'are we on track'?

I also believe that 'numbers' do not represent the total picture. I value qualitative measures as well. My difficulty is with those that only look at the latter, with no regard whatsoever for quantification. In fact, nothing irks me more than when they say "God doesn't care about numbers."

Well, I finally found someone who agrees. Ed Young of Fellowship Church in Dallas. Here is what an October 2003 article in VISION magazine said: 'Although many church leaders may not like to talk about it, Ed says that it's really all about the "numbers". He asks, "How did the shepherd know there were only 99 sheep in the sheepfold if he didn't count them?"'

Because people vote with their feet and their wallets, it's imporant to evaluate your church's effectiveness by asking the following questions and knowing answers to them:
  1. How many people chose to show up?
  2. Are we growing?
  3. Are lives being changed and can you hear the difference when you listen?
  4. How many people are involved in ministry?
  5. Are people giving?
  6. How many people are involved in small groups?
  7. Are people being baptized?
  8. How many people are going to the newcomers class or the discipleship class?

If you don't care about numbers, and you don't worry about the answers to these questions, then you'll never know what needs to be done in order to do it, and you'll never reach your potential as part of the body of Christ.

Sign up (on the right) to receive free updates. We bring you relevant information from all sorts of sources. Subscribe for free to this blog or follow us by clicking on the appropriate link in the right side bar. And please share this blog with your friends and while you’re here, why not check out some more of our recent blogs shown in the right hand column.

Also, I’ve read some good books and make some great recommendations for you at http://astore.amazon.com/accorconsu-20 which you can purchase right from there.

Check our firm out at Accord Consulting.

Finally, if you like what you read here, you may want to donate to my favourite charity, SCA International, by clicking on the logo below. Ken.