So, I’m back at school for my senior year! It has been quite the process moving in, getting settled, and starting classes again. It is so great to be back. David and I are back at wedding planning together (a summer apart isn’t so wonderful for planning purposes). Apparently we need each other to decide on flowers, the cake, the pastor, and important things like that. Who knew?!
Anyways, I thought I would post something new to kick start the semester. The other day I was discussing a theological topic at a staff meeting. While being the only girl in the meeting talking about theology with 3 men probably doesn’t work to my advantage, I managed to get some words in. I really enjoyed listening to the guys talk, though, because I sometimes I don’t know enough about the topic to give my opinion. This time I did know enough about the topic, and I didn’t let the opportunity pass to share my views.
The topic we were talking about was sin, and if there were different levels or degrees of sin. The conclusion we came to was that, in God’s eyes, sin is sin. On the other hand, to the world (and the justice system) there are different degrees of sin. Even though this is a juicy topic, I won’t be writing much about it in this post.
What I do want to write about is the fact that God’s position and hatred of sin has not changed. God has hated sin ever since the Fall. However, the one thing that has changed is that Jesus is now in the middle, between God and us. He is literally in between God and His children. We are cleansed from unrighteousness because God looks through Jesus and sees us as holy. And the only reason we are holy is because the blood of Jesus was the one sacrifice that could satisfy the wrath of God. A thousand lambs sacrificed to God could never have completely cleansed us of the filth of sin that covered us before we accepted Jesus.
The point I’m trying to make is that God has always hated sin and He still does, but He was merciful enough to send His only Son as the ultimate atoning sacrifice. I think that is the most loving and selfless act He could ever make for people who could never repay Him. That’s who God is. And that’s who Jesus is. The One Who sent, and the One Who was sent to bring us back into a relationship with Him.
I don’t want to stir up any debates, theological arguments, or scientific lessons. I’m not trying to attack, put down, or diminish other people’s views. But I have a few thoughts on science and God. A lot of people think that we can’t use science to prove that God exists. It’s true that God is a Spiritual Being, he is unseen, and that science is based on what we can see. Ok, let me back up. I looked up the term “science” in my handy Macbook Pro dictionary, and it gave me this definition:
science |ˈsīəns|noun the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment: the world of science and technology.
The definition made sense to me, after re-reading it 5 times. What I got from it was that science is based on observation and experiment. We observe what we see, we test what we know, and we record the results. God has revealed Himself to us through creation. His handiwork is spread across the sky day and night (Psalm 19). His imagination has invented every colour we see, and even more that we can’t see. His hands have sculpted the human body, and He knits us together in the womb (Psalm 139). If you look at the sky at night, you know there has to be Someone bigger than you holding this universe together.
One of my favourite Christian speakers is Louie Giglio. He speaks on many different things, but my favourites are his messages about Earth and space. He speaks about the planets, the stars, and the galaxies. I don’t think I have watched one of his sermons without tearing up in awe of God.
What if God uses science as a way for us to get a better look at His glory? What if He is watching and waiting for us to discover things we could never have imagined? And what if He wants us to use science as a way of evangelism, like Louie Giglio does?
I really think science shows us how glorious and creative our God is. We just have to look around and see it.
The other day I was doing some deep thinking (in the shower, naturally), when I had a realization. Everyone has at least one thing that prevents them from doing something in life. This one thing could be a fear, a physical problem, an emotional problem, or a spiritual issue they haven’t dealt with. And then I realized that almost everyone compares themselves to other people. We envy people who don’t have the same “one thing” as we do.
So for example, let’s say someone has a fear of heights and they talk to someone who is pretty fearless and jumps off cliffs (this may or may not have happened to me lately…). The fearful person might walk away thinking, “Wow, I wish I was that brave. I would love to jump off cliffs if I didn’t think something terrible would happen.”
If that example wasn’t good enough, imagine a young girl who doesn’t like a part of her body. It could be her nose, her eyes, or her weight. And then she sees other girls who have pretty noses, eyes, and who look pretty fit. This young girl with this insecurity (planted there by the Enemy through other people or magazines), if she is not careful, will become jealous of these other girls. But the truth is, these other girls who seem to have it all together, have their own “one thing” that they are dealing with.
Theodore Roosevelt said that “Comparison is the thief of joy.” I definitely agree. It’s hard to be joyful when all you’re doing is looking at yourself negatively. Comparison only brings you to the realization that no one is perfect. Comparison won’t get you a new body, different coloured eyes, a fearless spirit, or a growing faith. The one thing that will get me to love my body, my eyes, and help me to conquer my fears and grow my faith is a deep relationship with Jesus Christ. The only Person we should compare ourselves to is Christ, because He is the standard, and He is perfect. Jesus doesn’t have that “one thing,” but He can help us to look past our “one thing” and we can overcome our insecurities with His strength.
I have been reading through Acts lately, and I have found some things that I had never known before. We think we know the Bible because we have 5 verses memorized, and we know where to find the book of Amos, which is right after the book of Joel (and it probably took us a while to find that one, too). But when you decide to read through a whole book, you learn things that you never noticed before.
I got to Acts 9, where Saul’s conversion happens. He is literally on his way to go oppress anyone who preaches the Good News, when Jesus stops him with His blinding glory. Fast forward to Acts 9:20, and Saul immediately started to preach The Word of God after he had gotten his sight back. I think it is so cool that Jesus chose to reveal His glory to Saul because He knew Saul was meant for more than oppressing Christians. In Acts 9:20-22 it says that the people knew that Saul wanted to take anyone who preached in Jesus’ name to the chief priests. What a complete 180!
It amazes me that in just one encounter with Jesus, Saul (now called Paul) completely turned and followed Him. He devoted his entire life to preaching and visiting those who needed to hear the Good News. It makes me think about how much I hold back from God everyday. But I have let go of a lot, and I can truthfully say that stepping out in faith is better than cowering back in fear. I know this is super cheesy, but in Man of Steel there was one quote that really stuck out to me. One of the characters said to Clark, “Sometimes you have to take a leap of faith first. The trust part comes later.” This is so true because that’s what every Christian had to do when they chose to follow Christ.
That’s what anyone who ever did anything for the first time had to do. The best part about it is that once you take a step of faith, the next step isn’t too far away, and eventually you’re “Walking by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7). I’m so glad I’m learning this, because walking by faith is a lot more fulfilling than walking by human sight. How can you fail when the One who made the universe is walking right beside you?