“Prepared Beforehand” ( Ephesians 2:10, LEB ) by Carley Evans


The Word of God is clear – all people are created by God in His image. The Word is equally clear that people are created a second time “in Christ Jesus for good works.” ( Hence Jesus’ mention to Nicodemus that he must be born again. ) These good works are ones designed specifically for us as individuals; they are “prepared beforehand, so that we may walk in them.” If even our good works are planned, how is it that we are not planned? Of course we are. What creator doesn’t mold his or her work according to plan? Nevertheless, as an artist renders his or her work, spontaneity surely plays its part. Perhaps God, the ultimate Creator, shows a touch of His own creative spontaneity when He allows His creations to stray off plan. Ever played with your car; ever taken your hands off the wheel briefly to see which way it might head? Ever dropped the reins on a horse and allowed it to go whichever direction it will? Yet, you remain in control of your car or your horse. The steering wheel is right there; so are the reins. God is in control; never fear.

For we are his creation, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, so that we may walk in them.

“At The Beginning” ( John 1:1-2, 14; WYC ) by Carley Evans


Interesting how the Bible refers to God at the beginning as “the word.” “God was the word,” says John. God was a voice speaking in the emptiness surrounding the word. As God spoke, things came into existence so that we recognize that God’s spoken word is all powerful and the creative force inside as well as outside the universe as we know it. The Big Bang may very well have been the voice of God speaking – for something can not be made from nothing. Of course, the particle sparking the mighty explosion that began our universe must have been God’s word.

The Bible also tells us – through John – that God’s word at the beginning was God’s Son so that we understand God’s creative force, the word, is “the glory of the one begotten Son of the Father.”

Later, inside time and space, this word “is made flesh, or man” so as to live among us. In this way, “we have seen the glory of him, the glory as of the one begotten of the Father, the Son full of grace and truth.”

Therefore, grace and truth created the universe. “The word was at God.”

“In the beginning was the word, and the word was at God, and God was the word. [In the beginning was the word, that is, God’s Son, and the word was at God, and God was the word.] This was in the beginning at God. And the word was made man, and dwelled among us, and we have seen the glory of him, as the glory of the one begotten Son of the Father, full of grace and of truth. [And the word, that is, God’s Son, is made flesh, or man, and hath dwelled in us, and we have seen the glory of him, the glory as of the one begotten of the Father, the Son full of grace and truth.]”

“Without Excuse” ( Romans 1:20, HCSB ) by Carley Evans


God’s creative force — His Spoken Word — is difficult to imagine much less comprehend. That God Speaks “Let there be light” and light appears; that He makes matter and energy from nothing is staggering. Even the Big Bang Theory of the creation of the universe does not explain how something came from nothing. Where did the energy originate if not from God?

“For His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what He has made. As a result, people are without excuse.”

God’s divine nature is apparent in the stark variety within His mighty creation — if you will, within His Intelligent Design we see not only His power but His creativity, a creativity beyond ours. If you’ve any doubt, watch BBC America’s PLANET EARTH and marvel at God’s world – of what little we know of it.

That we deny Him is bizarre!

“God’s Voice” ( Job 37: 5 – 6, NEB ) by Carley Evans


“God’s voice is marvellous in its working; He does great deeds that pass our knowledge. For He says to the snow, ‘Fall to earth’, and to the rainstorms, ‘Be fierce.’ ”

 

“Listen, listen to the thunder of God’s voice and the rumbling of His utterance.” (Job 37: 2)

 

With His voice, God brings forth all that is — the entire universe. He speaks, and light comes forth. He speaks and light is separated from dark. He speaks and heaven and earth spring into existence. God speaks and plants emerge. He speaks and stars exist. He speaks and animals come forth. God speaks and creates man, male and female. On the last day, God rests “from all the work He has set Himself to do.” (Genesis 2: 3)

 

With the power of His Word, we ask: “can any man dictate to God when He is to speak? or command Him to make proclamation?” (Job 37: 20)

 

Often it seems we get an idea that we are able — somehow — to manipulate God into doing for us, almost as if God is Santa Claus.

 

Job does not attempt to manipulate God. Instead, Job hopes to be “cut off,” “snatched away,” “crushed” by God. (Job 6: 8, 9) He cries out, “Oh how shall I find help within myself? The power to aid myself is put out of my reach.” (Job 6: 13) Job is desperate under the weight of God’s attention. Sometimes, His attention is overwhelming; and the struggle is indeed against Him — against His way, against His thought, against His will.

 

God’s voice thunders in the ears — all His power evident to those who listen. Like Job, the best response is awe, humility, repentance, obedience.

“Plain Before Our Eyes” (Romans 1: 19, NEB) by Carley Evans


All that we may know of God “lies plain before [our] eyes,” writes Paul. “Indeed God Himself discloses it to [us.]” “His invisible attributes, that is to say His everlasting power and deity, are visible, ever since the world began, to the eye of reason, in the things He has made.” (Romans 1: 20)

God is visible to the eye of reason in the intelligent design of the universe. I love the explanation that from an infinitely tiny compressed “something” the entire universe sprang into existence in a huge explosion oft called “the big bang.” Stephen Hawking offers this as the way the universe came to be. What no one ever seems to ask is from where did that tiny compressed “something” originate? When I hear Mr. Hawking describe the “big bang,” I always imagine God’s voice as that compressed “something” from which the universe emerged in much less than a second. God opened His mouth and spoke and the Word created that “something” from which all else was created by Him as He spoke again and again. He still speaks, still creates. His Word never returns void.

Therefore, we are without excuse; for God is “plain before our eyes” in His creation.

“Without Excuse” (Romans 1: 20, HCSB) by Carley Evans


Paul writes, “People are without excuse.”

We are without excuse because God’s existence and “His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what He has made.”

We know God exists, yet we choose not to “glorify Him as God or show gratitude.” (Romans 1: 21) Instead, we create our own gods — worshiping self, money, power, even “images resembling mortal man, birds, four-footed animals, and reptiles.” (Romans 1: 23)

“All who make idols are nothing, and what they treasure does not profit. Their witnesses do not see or know anything, so they will be put to shame. Who makes a god or casts a metal image for no profit? Look, all its worshipers will be put to shame.” (Isaiah 44: 9 – 11)

God says, “I Am the Lord, and there is no other. I form light and create darkness, I make success and create disaster; I, the Lord, do all these things.” (Isaiah 45: 6 – 7)

“I sweep away your transgressions like a cloud, and your sins like a mist. Return to Me, for I redeem you. Rejoice, heavens, for the Lord acts; shout, depths of the earth. Break out into singing, mountains, forest, and every tree in it. For the Lord redeems.” (Isaiah 44: 22 – 23)

“Therefore, any one of you who judges is without excuse. For when you judge another, you condemn yourself, since you, the judge, do the same things.” (Romans 2: 1)

We are without excuse, for God reveals Himself in His creation. Worship not the creation, but its Creator.