John T. Willis

Sunday, April 22, 2012

I Know the Plans I Have for YOU--2

God's plans for his people and humankind begin with God's nature and mighty acts. It is a major mistake to begin with where anyone is right now on earth. God initiates and moves outward to reach all human beings. God ALWAYS functions as the subject of ACTIVE VERBS. Let us begin. God CREATED and continues to CREATE throughout the universe and on an individual level. Here are some of the verbs. 1. God CREATED. Throughout the Bible, the verb "create" appears ONLY with Yahweh as the subject. This does NOT mean that God created something out of nothing [although undoubtedly God created everything out of nothing, but this is not the biblical point]. The point is: God has done marvelous things that NO OTHER BEING could or can do. "In the beginning God CREATED the heavens and the earth." Genesis 1:1. "God CREATED the great monsters and every living creature that moves of every kind, with which the waters swarm, and every winged bird of every kind." Genesis 1:21. "God CREATED humankind in his image, in the image of God he CREATED them; male and female he CREATED them." Genesis 1:27. But according to Genesis 2:7, God formed man from the dust of the ground," showing that God used already existing material to CREATE." This was not out of nothing. "Thus says the Lord, he who CREATED you, O Jacob." Isaiah 43:1. This shows that God CREATED the Israelites--but obviously he did this through several generations beginning with Abraham, followed by Abraham's descendants. 2. God SAID--"Let there be light," and there was light. Genesis 1:3. This term occurs several times in Genesis 1. God SPOKE=SAID, and immediately this happened. Psalm 33:6, 9 makes this point clear: By the WORD OF THE LORD the heavens were made, and all their host by the BREATH OF HIS MOUTH. . . . For HE SPOKE, and IT CAME TO BE; HE COMMANDED, and IT STOOD FIRM. No human being or all human beings together could ever created the universe. But God is so powerful that without any sweat SPOKE or SAID and it came to be. 3. God MADE the universe. Genesis 1:31. "Sing, O heavens, for the Lord has DONE or MADE it." Isaiah 44:23. "May you be blessed by the Lord, who MADE heaven and earth." Psalm 115:15. The verb "make" means "manufacture." God functions metaphorically like a carpenter or a mason, who uses various types of material like wood and stone to MAKE or MANUFACTURE buildings of all kinds. 4. God SEPARATED the light from the darkness (Genesis 1:4, 18), the waters below from the waters above (Genesis 1:6-7), the day from the night (Genesis 1:14). We all experience this all the time, usually without realizing that this is a MIRACLE, something which is far beyond our abilities or capacities. Our God is an awesome God. 5. God SET the sun and the moon in the sky. Genesis 1:17. How the universe functions is beyond our abilities. We can describe all this, but cannot make this happen. This is a God thing. 6. God FORMED every animal and every bird out of the ground (Genesis 2:19) and God FORMED man from the dust of the ground (Genesis 2:7). The Hebrew word "form" means the work of a potter, who uses wet clay to shape a bowl or a cup or all other kinds of pottery. Jeremiah 18:1-11 is just one biblical text that describes this work. Our God is an artist, who is VERY CONCERNED about the aesthetics of all life in the heavens and on planet earth. We should daily appreciate all the creatures of all kinds around us. 7. God BREATHED into all creatures life. "God BREATHED into man's nostrils the breath of life; and the man became a LIVING being." Genesis 2:7. "Turn away from mortals, who have only BREATH in their nostrils, for of what account are they" Isaiah 2:22. Every moment, we MUST breathe whether we like it or not in order to survive. This is a marvelous gift of God. How can anyone reject the God who gave us life? In order to have any kind of VISION at all is to appreciate our God. God ACTIVELY WORKS constantly in the universe and in our lives. Without realizing and appreciating this, there is no real life. Share YOUR thoughts and insights and concerns and anxieties and cares and hopes with others. Let me hear from YOU. John Willis


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