Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Declared Through The Universe...

A friend of mine who considers himself as a free-thinker once asked me, "How do you know that there is a God?"

This question is actually sensitive to most people. Yet, there a lot of people who like to debate about this topic. Is there a God? Is He real? In my faith and experience, I would definitely say YES to both questions. In fact, I can give my testimony and experience about God but you will never realize and understand my subjective experience.

So just let me share some facts that would surely give an impression that God exists even before you and I were born in this world.

Firstly, God is declared through the universe. Look at the night sky. Astronomers estimate that there are more than one hundred billions stars in our galaxy and that there may be billions of galaxies in the universe. Each star we see represents a solar system in the universe. Our own solar system has the sun as it's center, and it has nine planets revolving around it in a clock-like precision. The earth as one of the planets, speeds through space at 67,000 miles an hour and takes 365 days to circle the sun. Just imagine a train traveling at 1/1000 of this speed will many times miss it's schedule. But the rotation and revolution is at a very consistent and constant pace without a single miss.

The distances between the sun, the moon, and the earth provide a marvelous environment for life to exist. If the earth were to come 10% closer or farther away from the sun, all living beings on earth would be either scorched to death or frozen. If the moon were 50,000 miles from earth instead of 230,000 miles, all the ocean on earth would be sucked by the moon and land mass would be submerged. These are but a tiny fraction of the movement of the universe but all this precise distances and circulations tell us of a wonderful design that is in place.

The law of cause and effect tells us that for every phenomenon, there must be a cause. If a watch keeps time accurately, there must be a watchmaker who made it. If a house stands magnificently on a hill or cliff, there must be a builder who built it. If a garden is well-trimmed, then there must be a gardener who takes care of it. In the same way, the obvious design behind the universe speaks of a Creator who has caused these things to appear the way they are.

In physics, there is the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which says that any physical system left to itself will decay and become disorderly. Yet the whole universe and particularly on earth, remain highly organized. There is order and design in everything that we see. A former head of the nuclear physics department in the Institute of Physics in Kiev, Dr. Boris P. Dotsenko, who was taught in atheism, wrote in relation of the Second Law: "As I thought about all of that, it suddenly dawned on me that there must be a very powerful organizing force counteracting this disorganizing tendency within nature, keeping the universe controlled and in order. This force must not be material; otherwise, it too would become disordered. I concluded that this power must be both omnipotent and omniscient. There must be a God -- one God -- controlling everthing!"

Throughout history some people have at times opposed the idea of God. The very fact that they have opposed it means that God is there. The fact that some rebellious sons disown their fathers means that they do have a father. The fact that some people try to tear dow the family means that the family is a reality. The law of inference tells us that opposition to anything presupposes that the thing itself exists.

Consider what the universe tells us about God. Psalm 19:1 says that "the heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament proclaims the work of His hands." The universe speaks of God's glory and wisdom. The God who created the universe is powerful, glorious, and wise.

Likewise, if you wish to know the universe, you must know God. This is because the universe displays and declares "both his eternal and divine characteristics"(Rom 1:20). So how do I know that God exists? Because the universe exists to declare God!

Thoughts and fact taken from Crystallization Study of the Gospel of God, The Ministry of the Word Vol. 13, No. 7. July 2009, and There is God booklet, LSM

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Has the wine run dry so soon?

Has the wine run dry so soon?
I have barely tasted it;
Long before my tongue has quenched its thirst,
Has the wine run dry?
I have spent my final dime
On the thing I thought would last,
But as soon as I held it, it slipped away,
Now I’m still so dry.
I have climbed the highest peak;
Took me twenty years to train;
As I reach the top, I looked around and all I saw:
Vanity that’s all.
I have probed the greatest minds,
I’ve believed in every cause,
But my heart won’t hear philosophy or reasonings,
Left again dissatisfied.
Took me too, too long to see
That this world’s all vanity;
I’ve been through too much to just pretend it’s all okay;
Give me reality.
On my deepest, darkest night,
On my knees I cried aloud,
Someone came to me, he changed my
death to eternal life,
Gave me meaning, reason to live.
I will call upon His name,
I will draw this well and drink;
When I call His name, Jesus Lord, the waters flow;
That’s the name I love.
All this time it was just Him,
He has saved the best for last;
Now I’ve finally found the wine that won’t run dry.
And He’s the sweetest wine of all.

click title for mp3

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Paid In Full...

This is the first time that I wrote something about it. I want everyone, whether we've met in person or not, to know this. Though it has been many years since I received it, but now, I have the boldness to share that I had found something real. A treasure that I have not known to exist before. I didn't know that the dinner invitation i received from a classmate on the night of September 2001, will be the one invitation that I had been waiting all this time. An invitation that ultimately changed the course of my entire life.

Before that night, I have lived a life thinking about myself. Only me mattered. I cared only for me, for what I feel, what I want, and what I need. Only considered myself until I found Him. Until the Lord met me face to face. He is the treasure that I found. And I am just an earthen vessel holding this treasure. All that time, I was a vessel of no value, until I received that treasure.

I have heard so many times about how Jesus died for us, so that our sins can be forgiven. I have heard so many times that the verse John 3:16 can be recalled from my memory with just a blink of an eye. I grow up reading, and hearing that verse. But do we really know the real meaning of Jesus's death on the cross? I pray that this will give you a new revelation or understanding on the Lord's dying and resurrecting for us.

Christ, who is righteous, was judged on behalf of us, the unrighteous. So that He might remove the barrier of our sins and bring us to God. On the cross, He was made sin for us. And by dying on our behalf, He was able to fulfill God's righteous requirement. Now for the sake of righteousness, God must forgive us( 2 Corinthians 5:21, Romans 8:3, John 19:30).

God has no choice but to forgive us. Let me give an illustration with a landlord and a tenant. Suppose the tenant has not paid rent for twenty years, but one day a friend of his pays all the rent he owes on his behalf. Since the rent has been paid, the landlord cannot then demand any payment from the tenant; if he did, he would be unrighteous. The accumulation of the unpaid rent is like a sinner's "wages of sin" which is death and which MUST be paid. However, Christ paid the wages of sin by His death on the cross. He died on the cross to pay the wages of sin for all sinners. Therefore, by dying on our behalf, Christ fulfilled all God's righteous requirement from us.

Furthermore, not only did Christ die as our Substitute, paying the wages of sin for us but He also resurrected. Because the souls who sins must die, Christ had to die to pay the wages of sin as our Substitute. Moreover, every sinner who believes into Christ has also been crucified with Christ and is thereby dead to the demands of God's righteous requirement. We can tell the enemy, "Satan, do not accuse me. All my sins are forgiven. My debt has been paid. I am in Christ. I am crucified with Christ and have been resurrected with Him." In His resurrection, Christ became the "receipt" of the payment for our sins.

It is like when the rent is paid, the landlord issues a receipt as proof of payment. Likewise, the receipt that proves Christ's death has been accepted by God is the resurrected Christ Himself! He is the proof that we have been justified by God.

Being paid in full doesn't mean we don't do anything. There are two things we need to do right now if we haven't done so. We need repentance. To repent does not only mean we ask for forgiveness but it means a change in heart, a turn in our thinking and our mentality. Formerly, I was moving in a certain direction, with my back turned to God. After I heard the gospel, I turned around. This is the meaning of repentance. Then we need to believe. To believe in the Lord Jesus means to come back to our birthright. To come back to the enjoyment of God and to the expression of God! This is the meaning of repenting and believing in the Lord Jesus. It is just so wonderful! This gospel I'm sharing to everyone right now is not just some ordinance, or doctrine that I know. But the real gospel is a Person! The gospel is Christ Himself, who is real and living, and in whom we can experience and enjoy in all things!

Note: Italicized text are excerpts from Crystallization Study of the Gospel of God, The Ministry of the Word Vol. 13, No. 7. July 2009, LSM

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

A Dream... by Edgar Allan Poe

From neiloytz's picasa

In visions of the dark night
I have dreamed of joy departed-
But a waking dream of life and light
Hath left me broken-hearted.

Ah! what is not a dream by day
To him whose eyes are cast
On things around him with a ray
Turned back upon the past?

That holy dream- that holy dream,
While all the world were chiding,
Hath cheered me as a lovely beam
A lonely spirit guiding.

What though that light, thro' storm and night,
So trembled from afar-
What could there be more purely bright
In Truth's day-star?

This is one of my favorite poems from Edgar Allan Poe's collection when I was much younger. This poem has a very natural expression. It's like expressing some view and sharing it with a friend. Yes, this poem gives me an impression of a conversation with someone close to you. Sharing your feelings in an open but intimate manner.

-neiloytz- 08/09/2009