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Thursday, November 25, 2010

For the Beauty of The Earth: A Thanksgiving of First Importance

Today, I would normally be telling you all of the people, things, and places for which I am thankful...

But thanks to Francis Chan, that won't be happening...sort of.

You see, I began reading his book, Crazy Love, this week. In the first chapter, Chan says that where we should began is to stop praying. In other words, stop talking at God and see him for who he really is as he has revealed himself through the created order of the universe (Romans 1:20). I began to think on this quite a bit. Then I ran across this passage:

"Or what about the simple fact that plants take in carbon dioxide (which is harmful to us) and produce oxygen (which we need to survive)? I'm sure you knew that, but have you ever marveled at it? And these same poison-swallowing, life-giving plants came from tiny seeds that were placed in the dirt...Whatever the reasons for such diversity, creativity, and sophistication in the universe, on earth, and in our own bodies, the point of it all is His glory. God's art speaks of Himself, reflecting who He is and what He is like." (Psalm 19:1-4)

Never would have expected what happened next to happen; I was struck by the profundity of God's act of mercy and redemption via a junior high science lesson. Not only that, but also how little do I truly understand worship. I was given this body as an instrument of worship (Romans 12:1), and yet many times my senses are barely engaged in the endeavor (at least as much as they could or should be). I say all of this because it leads back to gratitude. If I have a low idea about the world around me and what its function and purpose is, then I can almost with absolute certainty guarantee that I'm not going to be able to see the Creator for who he is. Once I had read the statement by Mr. Chan and engaged my whole body in the observation of both images and words, I became so struck with amazement that I made this notation:

"Plants point us to the Savior; the attributes of a merciful God shown through his creation (Isaiah 53:1-12; 2 Corinthians 5:21)".

There are so many distractions in life that can cause us to lose our focus. Like crazy kids at Christmas time, we receive gifts only to run off and play while taking for granted the magnitude of the sacrifices that were made in order for us to have said things in the first place. So, my goal is to encourage us all to thank God for the friends and family, our jobs, homes, our health, etc.

But most importantly, we should thank God for Himself. For it is through all of these things that he reveals himself to us (John 1:14; James 1:17; Hebrews 1:1-2).

Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth!
Serve the LORD with gladness!
Come into his presence with singing!
Know that the LORD, he is God!
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise!
Give thanks to him; bless his name!
For the LORD is good;
his steadfast love endures forever,
and his faithfulness to all generations.
- Psalm 100

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Soli Deo Gloria,

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