Genesis 2 – Is the Bible Trustworthy?

This week’s Devotion Theme – God Created!

Today’s Bible Reading – Genesis 17-18 and Matthew 9

I’ve covered quite a lot this past week about the truth of the Bible, especially in contrast to what some scientists say about certain matters.  My goal has been to try to steer folks back to a belief in what the Bible plainly says and to also demonstrate that scientific observation actually supports what the Bible says.  I have seen too many cases of believers who start to question if the Bible is accurate in a certain area, and then begin to question at what point you can actually trust scripture.

I believe we can trust the Bible for many reasons, not the least of which is that real world evidence supports it.  Theologian John Wycliffe once said, “On all domains of doctrine and in life, the authority of scripture is to be placed higher than all human understanding, for it is God’s word and as such the highest authority.”

 Some people point out that the Bible is not a science textbook and so we shouldn’t put too much stock into what it says on science-related topics.  My first response is usually, “Thank goodness it’s not a science textbook.  Those are always being corrected and updated but the Bible has stood the test of time.” 

There is one particular issue that I hear brought up time and time again in regards to the Bible not being trustworthy, and that is an apparent contradiction in Genesis chapter two, in the detailed account of Adam and Eve.

If you will recall, Genesis chapter one states that God created vegetation on day three, but did not create man until day six.  But chapter two seems to indicate a different order.

Genesis 2:4-7 (NIV) – This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, when the Lord God made the earth and the heavens. Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground, but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground. Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. 

So which came first the chicken or the egg, or in this case, the man or the brussel sprouts?

Let’s read the passage in the New King James version to see if it sheds any light on this apparent contradiction.

This is the history of the heavens and the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the heavens, before any plant of the field was in the earth and before any herb of the field had grown. For the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the earth, and there was no man to till the ground; but a mist went up from the earth and watered the whole face of the ground. And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

 Aha!  So it wasn’t that there were no plants when Adam was created, in the more detailed chapter two summary, it’s that certain types of plants were not created until after Adam was created.   Specifically, what we would consider crop-like plants.  That is made clear when it says part of the reason the plants had not been created yet is that there was no man to work or till the ground, so it should be clear these were crops.  Soon after God created Adam, He created the Garden of Eden to place Adam and Eve in, and there God finally created these edible plants for them.

But doesn’t it say in Genesis chapter 1 that God created EVERY plant on day three?  In fact it does not say that.

Genesis 1:11-13 – Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb that yields seed, and the fruit tree that yields fruit according to its kind, whose seed is in itself, on the earth”; and it was so. 12 And the earth brought forth grass, the herb that yields seed according to its kind, and the tree that yields fruit, whose seed is in itself according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 13 So the evening and the morning were the third day.

Nowhere does it suggest that God created EVERY plant on day three.  Contrast that with:

Genesis 1:20-25 – Then God said, “Let the waters abound with an abundance of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the face of the firmament of the heavens.” 21 So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23 So the evening and the morning were the fifth day.

24 Then God said, “Let the earth bring forth the living creature according to its kind: cattle and creeping thing and beast of the earth, each according to its kind”; and it was so. 25 And God made the beast of the earth according to its kind, cattle according to its kind, and everything that creeps on the earth according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

It seems clear to me that there is no contradiction. Not all of the plants were created on day three. Instead God waited to create the plants intended for human consumption until after He created humankind.  Those plants were created as part of the Garden of Eden, where God placed Adam and Eve.

Why does talking about Creation matter?  Primarily, because studies have shown that anywhere between 70 and 88% of kids that were active in youth groups leave the church within a couple of years of graduating. 

When we teach our kids that either the Bible is wrong in places, or tell them the Bible despite what some scientists claim, but then do not back that up with good reasons, we are setting them up to question their faith.  Or when we try to fit millions of years and evolution into scripture, as many well-meaning Christians try to do, eventually many young people come to the conclusion that it doesn’t actually fit, and then they also find themselves questioning their faith.

But when kids are given the evidence that actually supports what scripture says, wow, what a difference that makes!  I have seen it first hand many times.

My wife wrote a wonderful blog post on this very idea.  I encourage you to read it if you have the time.  https://thesparrowshome.com/biblical-worldview-creation/?fbclid=IwAR3eEqpKYpTmMfWJHURyN5pJT3traX-orCTPIARokqCcVg_FL7dqXg75G7M

-Greg Landry

If anyone has any questions or comments regarding the devotions dealing with creation, please reach out to me at gregrlandry@gmail.com.

SeekGrowLove Editor: We thank Greg for giving us all a week of devotions on creation and God’s reliable Scriptures. We can benefit greatly from the many years Greg has studied and analyzed the creation and evolution arguments. As we reaffirm the truth of God’s Word and understand the errors of some scientific theories that attempt to strip God of His power, might and even existence, we develop a deeper love for God, His Almighty power, and truth. As supposed inconsistencies with God’s Word are explained logically, we are reminded that God is right – again and again and forever and ever. May we love Him and trust Him more and more.

This coming week we will hear from Steve Mattison as he connects with God’s word in Genesis and guides us in continuing to SeekGrowLove. If you got behind on your Bible reading at all now is a great time to get caught up.

Genesis 6-9 – The Great Flood!

This Week’s Devotion Theme – God Created – and Destroyed!

Today’s Bible Reading – Genesis 15-16 and Matthew 8

This world is a wicked place.  We see evidence of that every day.  It is so wicked, that one day, God is going to destroy this world with fire.  But it will not be the first time that God has destroyed the Earth because of wickedness, or will it?

Sadly, many Christians think that the story of Noah’s flood is a myth, or at most was just a local flood, questioning the accuracy of scripture.

Let’s look at exactly what scripture says, and then take a look at real world evidence for a global flood.   

Genesis 6:6-7 – The Lord regretted that he had made human beings on the earth, and his heart was deeply troubled. So the Lord said, “I will wipe from the face of the earth the human race I have created—and with them the animals, the birds and the creatures that move along the ground—for I regret that I have made them.”

Genesis 6:13 – So God said to Noah, “I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth.

Genesis 6:18 – I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish.

Genesis 7:4 – Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.”

Genesis 7:23 – Every living thing on the face of the earth was wiped out; people and animals and the creatures that move along the ground and the birds were wiped from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those with him in the ark.

These verses make it clear that it was more than just a local flood, declaring that humans and all animals on the face of the earth would be destroyed and the earth itself would be destroyed.

If that were not enough, in Genesis 9:11 God said, “I establish my covenant with you: Never again will all life be destroyed by the waters of a flood; never again will there be a flood to destroy the earth.”  If Noah’s flood was just a local flood, then God has broken His promise, because we have had thousands of local floods that have taken life since that time.  But God is not a promise breaker.

Finally, both Peter and Jesus make reference to Noah’s flood as a historical event, thus tossing out the theory of it being a myth.

But what about real-world evidence?  Can we point to real world evidence that there actually was a world-wide flood that destroyed all life on the Earth?

As a famous creationist likes to say, “If there truly was a global flood, what would we expect to find?  Billions of dead things buried in rock layers, laid down by water all over the earth.  And what do we find?  Billions of dead things buried in rock layers, laid down by water all over the earth.”

You are probably all familiar with seeing rock layers like the ones below.

Many geologists claim these layers prove an old earth because they argue it should take a long time, millions of years in some cases for so many layers to build up. They also claim these layers are not evidence of a global flood (which has led many Christians to doubt the flood.)

But actually, the opposite is true.  What you typically observe is a clear delineation between layers.  If the layers took a very long time to accumulate, you should see evidence of erosion between the layers.  But that is not the case

The varied colors of layers indicate different types of sediment.  But there is no known justification for uniformity of sediment supposedly for millions of years and then switching to another type.  The truth is that these multiple layers were very obviously laid down quickly as a result of a large flood. 

All over the world are examples of a phenomenon called folded strata, seen below. 

Hard rock does not fold over like a blanket, it breaks instead.  The only explanation for multiple layers being folded together like this is that the multiple layers were still soft.  In other words, multiple layers were all laid down quickly, together, in order for them to all still be soft and pliable. 

Lastly, there is another phenomena called polystrate fossils, meaning many strata.  See below.

These are fossilized that stand upright through many rock layers.  But the tree would rot and collapse waiting millions of years for the layers to build up around it.  The only possibility is that the tree and all of the layers were quickly deposited together in short order. 

As for the billions of dead things, mentioned earlier, which would have resulted from the global flood, that is precisely what we find in the rock layers, whether it be plant and animal fossils, or fossil fuels that were once various living things.   

The fact that we find so many fossils is itself evidence of a great flood, because fossils are only able to be formed when an organism is quickly buried, before it has time to decay or be scavenged.  And in fact, any of the fossil beds found around the globe contain mixtures of many types of creatures all in one place, even mixtures of land and sea creatures.

There are many other objections to Noah’s flood such as the ark not being big enough to house and maintain the animals (research shows that it was) or that the ark wasn’t seaworthy (research again shows that it was).  Some also argue there isn’t enough water to cover the face of the earth, but researchers believe they have recently discovered a vast ocean 400 miles beneath our feet that could fill our oceans three times over.

I hope you are beginning to see a pattern this week.  What you read in scripture is reliable and is backed up by what we observe in the world around us.  None of the alternate ideas of origins are able to stand up under scrutiny.  And the great Biblical event of Noah’s flood, which should have left a lasting mark on our planet, actually did!  The evidence is all around us.

2 Peter 3:3-6 – Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. They will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.” But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water. By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed.

Don’t be a scoffer!

-Greg Landry

If anyone has any questions or comments they would like me to address on any of the devotions dealing with creation this week, please reach out to me at gregrlandry@gmail.com

Genesis 1 – Let there be life!

This Week’s Devotion Theme – God Created!

Today’s Daily Bible Reading – Genesis 13-14 and Matthew 7

This conversation can be a great jumping off place for reaching non-believers.  I hope you have an opportunity to use it for that purpose.

According to Genesis, God created the first life on Earth, in the form of plant life, on the third day of creation.  Then He created sea creatures and birds on the fifth day of creation, and finally, He created land animals and then man on the sixth day of creation.

Christians certainly believe that God created life.  But not everyone believes in a creator, so how do those folks, especially scientists, propose that life got started here on Earth?  The image below, from the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History gives a clue:

The first part, about living things being made up of organic compounds, is not disputed.  But how those organic compounds, known as the building blocks of life first appeared, is really not clear to scientists.  That is clear from the language used in this sign – “may have formed” and “may have been carried to Earth”.

But then, students are presented with a misleading experiment in their textbooks, known as the Miller-Urey experiment.  In 1953, Stanley Miller reported that he had conducted an experiment which replicated the primeval conditions on Earth and had produced the chemicals that were essential for life to begin.  The point being made to students to this day is that if the building blocks of life could start on their own, as this experiment demonstrates, then certainly life could eventually follow.

Even if the building blocks of life were there, to say that life could begin from non-life is actually a non-starter.  It has never been observed and is not even remotely possible.  There is something called the Law of Biogenesis which is the principle stating that life only arises from pre-existing life, not from nonliving material.

But the Miller experiment was actually a failure, and did not create the correct kinds of amino acids, which was the experiment’s goal.  Also, the fake environment created for the experiment lacked oxygen, because Miller knew it would prevent the molecular bonds from forming, though scientists believe the early Earth had higher oxygen levels than today’s atmosphere.

But let’s pretend for a moment that amino acids were actually able to come about completely by chance.  What then?  They would have to form into proteins, which are the building blocks of living cells.  This is no small feat however.  The law of probability states that an event with a chance higher than 10 to the 50th power (that’s 10 with 50 zeroes behind it or 10⁵⁰ in scientific notation shorthand) will never happen.  It has been estimated that the chance of a single protein arising by chance is 10 to the 191st power!  And cells are made up of millions of proteins.  The possibility of an entire cell arising by chance is estimated to be 10 to the 40,000th power!

The idea that a single cell is somehow simple in composition is a fallacy that has lived on well after the truth of its complexity has been discovered.  One scientist described a single cell as, “a high-tech factory, complete with artificial languages and their decoding systems, memory banks for information storage and retrieval, elegant control systems regulating the automated assembly of parts and components, error fail-safe and proof-reading devices utilized for quality control, assembly processes involving the principle of prefabrication and modular construction… and a capacity not equaled in any of our own most advanced machines, for it would be capable of replicating its entire structure within a matter of a few hours.”  That does not sound like something that could have arisen completely by chance.

Even biochemist and spiritual skeptic Francis Crick, who shared the Nobel Prize for discovering the molecular structure of DNA, said, “an honest man, armed with all the knowledge available to us now, could only state that in some sense, the origin of life appears at the moment to be almost a miracle, so many are the conditions which would have had to have been satisfied to get it going.”

He’s right of course.  Secular science is missing the most important parts of how life begins.  A Creator, and the breath of life.

Genesis 2:7 – Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

Secular science will never be able to explain or demonstrate how life began on its own, because it is an impossibility.  But the fact that you exist is proof that we have an amazing Creator God.  And the fact that you are able to read this is also pretty incredible.  Why?  Because of the design that enables you to see.  There are 100 million light sensitive cells in the human eye, which send signals to the brain through the 1 million nerve fibers of the optic nerve!  The visual process culminates in our brain which contains 100 billion nerve cells connected by 150,000 kilometers of nerve fibers.  It is estimated that there are 100 trillion connections between nerve cells in the human brain!  All of that, just so you can see.  And that is only one small but miraculous part of the equally miraculous rest of your body.

Indeed, we have a great God!  And indeed, you are fearfully and wonderfully made!

-Greg Landry

If anyone has any questions or comments they would like me to address on any of the devotions dealing with creation this week, please reach out to me at gregrlandry@gmail.com

Keep Seeking God – in his Scriptures and with the brain He has created for you. Your faith will Grow. Then Love someone else enough to share what God is teaching you.

Genesis 1 – Made in God’s Image

This Week’s Devotion Theme: God Created!

Today’s Bible Reading: Genesis 11-12 and Matthew 6

The final piece in God’s creation, on day 6, is humankind.  Man stands out in all of creation, having been made in God’s own image.

Genesis 1:26-28 – Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

27 So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.

28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”

Adam and Eve were the first humans, as recorded in Genesis and other places such as in Timothy 2:13 – For Adam was formed first, then Eve.  Adam is mentioned quite a few times throughout scripture, including in the genealogy of Jesus in Luke chapter 3.  But there are many Christians who question if Adam and Eve were even real people.  Why?  Primarily because of Darwinian Evolution.  If Darwinian Evolution is true, then there really were no exact pair of first humans per se, because humans would have evolved slowly from an ape-like ancestor.  For Christians who believe Darwinian Evolution to be true, it has led some to question how there could have been an actual Adam and Eve in that scenario.

But Darwinian Evolution is not possible, as I shared in yesterday’s devotion, and so there is no reason to try to explain away all of the references to Adam in scripture.  Doing so creates the need to start discounting the veracity of a lot of scripture.  Another reason to toss the idea that man evolved is that if you allowed one random step in evolution to occur every hour on the hour (much, much faster than evolutionists suggest it happens), it would take around 6.8 billion years for man to evolve from a single cell, which is too much time, even given the incorrect ancient age of the earth.

The supposed evolution of humans is full of a history of hoaxes, exaggerations, and errors.  For example, you may have heard it reported that humans and chimpanzees have anywhere from 95% to 99% genetic similarity, as this image from the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History claims.

  This is intended to support the idea that humans and chimps share a common ancestor.  But the truth is that that percentage is arrived upon because researchers only compared the most similar sections of the genomes.  But if you compare the entire genomes, it is more akin to a 70% similarity.  And still, there are over 900 million DNA differences that divide humans and chimps!  This is known to be true, but misleading information that states otherwise still appears in museums and in textbooks today.  No wonder so many Christians believe it. 

“There is no encompassing theory of human evolution,” concedes Berkeley evolutionary biologist F. Clark Howell.  “Alas, there never really has been.”

Is there any evidence that points to an actual Adam or Eve?  Yes!  Using comparisons of mitochondrial DNA, which is only passed on from the mother, creation scientists, and many secular scientists agree that evidence indicates all humans are descended from a single pair of humans that lived in the relatively recent past.  (This study was published in the journal Human Evolution in May 2018.)

Another recent study published in Science Magazine (337, p.64-69) suggests that humans haven’t been around very long.  Regarding human genetic diversity, the study concluded, “The maximum likelihood time for accelerated growth was 5,115 years ago.”  This time frame aligns rather closely with scripture, and specifically the time that Adam would have been created.

It is exciting for me to see that real world observation continually confirms the Bible.  As more and more Christians learn these truths, I hope it leads to an abandonment of attempts to throw out or twist sections of scripture that are not compatible with some scientific claims.  In regards to human evolution, you should feel confident that you did not evolve from an ape-like ancestor.  You were specially designed, created in the image of God, just as Adam was, in the beginning.  Jesus confirmed as much in Matthew 18:4 when he said, “at the beginning, the creator made them (Adam and Eve) male and female.”

-Greg Landry

If anyone has any questions or comments they would like me to address on any of the devotions dealing with creation this week, please reach out to me at gregrlandry@gmail.com

Editor: Do you know someone who could benefit from reading today’s devotion? Pass it on. I believe it could really save a life – an eternal life! Evolution has been used to distort God’s truth and lead youth and adults to question God’s existence, power, and love. It’s time to fight back. And how encouraging to know that Science Really IS on God’s side!

And, keep going on your daily Bible reading. Lots of good stuff in Genesis and Matthew!

Genesis 1 – The Heavenly Bodies

This Week’s Devotion Theme: God Created!

Today’s Bible reading: Genesis 7-8 and Matthew 4

Have you ever been in an outdoor area away from city lights and marveled at the starry night sky?  If not, what are you waiting for?  The beauty and sheer number of the stars and other heavenly bodies in the night sky are simply amazing.  About 3,000 stars are visible to the naked eye on a clear, moonless night, but it is estimated that there are about 100 billion stars in just our galaxy alone.  It is estimated that there are about 10 billion trillion stars in the universe.  That is 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000.  That’s a lot of stars.  And if you ever want to feel truly insignificant, search for a video that compares the size of our closest star, the sun, to Earth and  to the other stars.  But then, while feeling truly insignificant, remember that the same God who created all of those stars also created you and loves you! 

How do we know God created the heavenly bodies?

Genesis 1:14-19 – And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. 16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.

Isaiah 45:12 – I made the earth and created man on it; it was my hands that stretched out the heavens, and I commanded all their host.

Psalm 33:6 – By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host.

Scripture seems pretty clear about this.  But you may have heard about something called The Big Bang Theory.  No, not the television show.  The Big Bang Theory claims that the universe came into being about 13.8 billion years ago with an explosion, all on its own, for no reason at all.  Though it is tempting to take the angle that the theory is essentially attempting to scientifically describe what God created, that is not the real intent of the theory.  It is an attempt to explain how the universe came into being, without the hand of a Creator God.

“Spontaneous creation is the reason there is something rather than nothing, why the Universe exists, why we exist.  It is not necessary to invoke God to…set the Universe going.”Stephen Hawking.

It is understandable that some scientists would not invoke a Creator or the miraculous nature of the creation of the universe in their explanation of the origin of the universe.  And yet, there is no choice but to invoke miracles as part of an explanation of how something can come from nothing, as is the case with the Big Bang Theory.

  “[The big bang] represents instantaneous suspension of physical laws, the sudden abrupt flash of lawlessness that allowed something to come out of nothing.  It represents a true miracle…” – Paul Davies – physicist and evolutionistThe Edge of Infinity.

Keep quotes like these in mind when defending your faith.  Whether it is the universe starting from “spontaneous creation” or life starting from non-life, scientists will often rely on miracles to try to explain the world around us.  We as believers certainly accept miracles, but the difference is, we also believe in a Miracle-maker.  

Other than the Big Bang Theory not allowing for a Creator, the theory also does not fit with the creation account in Genesis because the creation account says that the earth was created before the stars, whereas the Big Bang theory claims the opposite.

The Big Bang Theory is truly not compatible with scripture, but moreover, it is now a crumbling theory, scientifically, as well.

There are numerous problems with the theory as it stands today.  Many things that we observe in the universe around us, both near and far, are simply impossible if the universe started with an explosion billions of years ago.

Without going into multiple explanations, a few of the problems include:

  1. We should find magnetic monopoles, but we don’t.
  2. There should be equal amounts matter and anti-matter, but it’s not even close.
  3. Only about 7,000 years worth of supernovas have been discovered.
  4. Distant galaxies appear far too young.
  5. Galaxies as we know them shouldn’t even exist.
  6. There are millions of years of missing collisions.
  7. The echo for the Big Bang is missing.
  8. Dark matter and dark energy are needed for the Big Bang model, but there is no evidence that either exists.
  9. Mercury shouldn’t be dense, but it is.  And it shouldn’t still have a magnetic field, but it does.
  10. The surface of Venus is too young, and it should not be rotating sideways or have a magnetic field.
  11. The Earth shouldn’t have any water, and its magnetic field is too young.
  12. Stars shouldn’t exist.
  13. Our moon’s origin and geologic activity are unexplainable.
  14. Saturn’s magnetic field shouldn’t be there.
  15. Neptune appears too young and shouldn’t even exist.
  16. Uranus should not still have a magnetic field and gives off too much energy.
  17. Jupiter also still gives off too much energy.
  18. Comets should no longer exist.

“Big Bang cosmology is probably as widely believed as has been any theory of the universe in the history of Western civilization.  It rests, however, on many untested, and in some cases untestable assumptions.  Indeed, big bang cosmology has become a bandwagon of thought that reflects faith as much as objective truth.” – G. Burbridge, Why only one big bang? Scientific American, 266 (2):96.

Either the universe started on its own, breaking multiple laws of physics in the process, and somehow resulted in many phenomena that indicate it didn’t begin as they say, billions of years ago, or our amazing God created all the stars and heavenly bodies that we see in the beautiful night sky just as scripture tells us.

-Greg Landry

If anyone has any questions or comments they would like me to address on any of the devotions dealing with creation this week, please reach out to me at gregrlandry@gmail.com

SeekGrowLove Editor: We thank Greg for tackling the job of discussing creation and the Bible during our devotions this week. Too often Godly kids have turned away from the truths of Scripture when faced with “smart” college professors teaching evolution. Greg has studied much and presents the truth of Scripture as well as the errors and inconsistencies of evolution. So, this week we offer a deeper look at creation than could be covered in one day of devotions. Dig in with us – and keep reading from the Bible reading plan as well. Print your copy below and mark off those passages as you go. God bless your journey with Him – from beginning to end!

Genesis 1 – In the Beginning

This Week’s Devotion Theme: God Created!

Today’s Bible Reading: Genesis 5-6 and Matthew 3

Last month, I did a devotion on Romans chapters 1-3, where I discussed the fact that we do not have a blind faith, owing in part to the abundance of evidence all around us that there is indeed a creator.  The key verses were Romans 1:18-20 – The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

To kick off the SeekGrowLove Devotion’s new topic-based option, what better place to start the new year than the book of Genesis?  For those that enjoyed the creation devotion from Romans last month, I hope you will be glad to learn that creation will be the daily devotion topic throughout this week.  Let’s start at the very beginning:

Genesis 1:1-5 – In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

There is a lot of disagreement, among Christians in particular, whether the six days of creation were actual 24 hour periods, or longer periods.  Why is that?  I believe it’s because if you do a little study, taking the genealogies found in Genesis chapters 5 and 11, which indicate there was approximately 2,000 years between Adam and Abraham (and archaeological evidence indicates Abraham lived about 2,000 B.C.), you would discover that scripture points to the Earth being relatively young.  That is, if you agree that the Creation week which ended with the creation of Adam was a literal week, instead of a much longer period of time.

But of course that young earth idea flies in the face of what many scientists believe (and many, perhaps most, Christians have adopted as well), namely that the earth is billions of years old.  Thus, there are many theories on how one should understand Genesis chapters 1 and 2, given the widely accepted age of the Earth.  One theory is that the word day in Genesis doesn’t actually mean a 24 hour period.  It has been suggested that day in Genesis represents a much longer time period.  But we should dig a bit deeper into the original language of Genesis to get a better understanding of what was meant by the word day, when used in phrases like “the first day.”

The Hebrew word for day in Genesis is yom.  It can have several meanings (much like our own word for day) – a period of time, a specific period of time, a year, the time of day when it is light out, and a 24 hour period of time.  However, the Hebrew yom is used with a number (such as the first day) 359 times in the Old Testament outside of Genesis 1, and every single time, it is clear that it means a 24 hour period.  Genesis is the only place where the meaning of yom is questioned.

There are other Hebrew words that mean time or an indefinite period, but they were not used.  The only Hebrew word that can represent a 24 hour period is the one that was used in Genesis to describe the creation days.  I don’t believe that was an accident.

Another theory, known as the gap theory, is that the Earth appears old because God created the Earth, as described in Genesis 1:1, then paused a very long time, before continuing with the rest of creation, beginning as described in Genesis 1:2.  But there is a verse outside of Genesis that sheds heavy doubt on that theory. 

Exodus 20:8-11 – Remember the Sabbath by keeping it holy.  …For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day.  Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

If, as this passage says, God created the Earth (as it says in Genesis 1:1) AND everything in it in six days, then clearly there is no possibility of a gap as the gap theory posits.  Furthermore, when the plural form of yom, yamim, is used, as it is over 700 times in the Old Testament, including here in Exodus, it always means a literal 24 hour period.

Isaiah 45:18 – For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens (he is God!), who formed the earth and made it (he established it; he did not create it empty, he formed it to be inhabited!): “I am the Lord, and there is no other.   Again, scripture outside of Genesis indicates that the Earth was designed to be inhabited from the beginning, not to remain empty for any long period, before life was added.

Additionally, the word remember in Hebrew, when used as a command, as it is in Exodus 20:8, always refers back to a real historical event.  This is especially important because there are multiple theories out there that the creation account is simply a myth or a metaphor.

I believe that when you take the entirety of scripture into account, it clearly supports that the creation week was a historical event, and took 6 literal 24 hour days to complete.

But what about the evidence that the Earth appears very old?  After all, without this idea, I doubt that people would actually question the veracity of the creation account.  Well, in my studies of that evidence, I have found it to be inconclusive at best, and often fraudulent or intentionally misleading.  Perhaps the biggest issue is the fact that radiometric dating methods have been proven unreliable, inconsistent, and return vast age ranges from which scientists cherry pick the dates that suit their narrative.  For example, lava that had hardened into igneous rock after the Mt. St Helens eruption in Washington State in 1980 was radiometrically dated to be 300,000 – 400,000 years old.

The following quote illuminates the problem.

The troubles of the radiocarbon dating method are undeniably deep and serious.  Despite 35 years of technological refinement and better understanding, the underlying assumptions have been strongly challenged… It should be no surprise, then, that fully half of the dates are rejected.  The wonder is, surely, that the remaining half come to be accepted. 

Radiocarbon, Ages in Error,” Anthropological Journal of Canada, Vol 19, No 3, p.9 illuminates the problem.

There is much more to say about the evidence of errors within dating methods, but a daily Bible devotion is not the best place to expand further on those ideas.

If anyone has any questions or comments they would like me to address on any of the devotions dealing with creation this week, please reach out to me at gregrlandry@gmail.com

-Greg Landry

SeekGrowLove Editor: We thank Greg for tackling the job of discussing creation and the Bible during our devotions this week. Too often Godly kids have turned away from the truths of Scripture when faced with “smart” college professors teaching evolution. Greg has studied much and presents the truth of Scripture as well as the errors and inconsistencies of evolution. So, this week we offer a deeper look at creation than could be covered in one day of devotions. Dig in with us – and keep reading from the Bible reading plan as well. Print your copy below and mark off those passages as you go. God bless your journey with Him – from beginning to end!

Planting Seeds

Acts 24-26

Throughout today’s reading and yesterday’s reading as well, we are told of the arrest and imprisonment of the apostle Paul while in Israel.  He testifies before several different people in authority before eventually being sent to Rome to presumably face Caesar.  He spends as much as two years in jail under Felix’s watch. 

Why did God allow Paul to be in chains for so long before ultimately going to Rome to spend even more time in jail until his death?  I am certain this time was not without purpose.  One key from this passage that stands out to me is found in chapter 26, beginning in verse 25:

“I am not insane, most excellent Festus,” Paul replied. “What I am saying is true and reasonable. The king is familiar with these things, and I can speak freely to him. I am convinced that none of this has escaped his notice, because it was not done in a corner. King Agrippa, do you believe the prophets? I know you do.”

Then Agrippa said to Paul, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?”

Paul was afforded opportunities to influence high ranking officials that he likely would not have had were it not for him ending up in chains.  He had those same opportunities in Rome.  And as we know, Rome eventually became the center of the Christian world.  It wasn’t until 313 AD, however, that the Emperor Constantine issued the Edict of Milan, which accepted Christianity: 10 years later, it became the official religion of the Roman Empire.  So it took a while after the death of Paul (approximately 62-64 AD), but I believe the two are linked.

 We have had many opportunities ourselves to influence people by our actions and by our words.  Some of these times have been very intentional, as when we try to minister to someone, or very unintentional, as when perhaps someone we don’t even know notices something different about us because of our faith. 

Sometimes, if we are lucky, we get to see some of the impact we can have on others.  But more often than not, we will never know what fruit our actions and words will bear in others. 

But that’s OK.  All we can do, much like Paul, is to do the best we can, and then allow God to develop the seeds that we have spread.  One thing is certain though.  You have to plant seeds in order for them to grow.  What are you doing to plant seeds in others?  Do something!  Be an encourager.  Share your faith.  Or just be really kind to others.  You never know what kind of amazing impact you can have, even if you don’t see it.

-Greg Landry

Today’s Bible reading passage can be read or listened to at BibleGateway here – Acts 24-26.

Tomorrow, we finish Acts – chapters 27-28.

Humility

Romans 11-13

I am a fairly humble fellow.  I do not stand out in a crowd.  I do not try to draw attention to myself.  In fact I don’t like attention.  I don’t consider myself arrogant and  I am very aware of my flaws.  And yet, there are still times when I allow myself to feel superior to others.  Maybe we all do that at times?

No matter how many flaws we have, all of us are better at something than someone else.  And in those moments where we take notice of that, it is easy to allow our egos to puff up a bit, isn’t it?  Maybe that is even especially true for those, like me, that are more keenly aware of our shortcomings than our triumphs.

Paul touches on humility several times in chapter 12, and typically when I read these passages, I instantly think about people that are very arrogant, and think, “this doesn’t really apply to me,” or “I’m doing fine in this area.”  But then (sometimes) I think about the thoughts that I opened with.

Beginning in verse 3, Paul says, “For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.”

 There you have it.  Each of us should NOT think of ourselves more highly than we ought.  Well then how highly SHOULD we think of ourselves?  Frankly, I would say pretty high, because we are each pretty incredible creations of God.  And we have each been blessed with many abilities and talents.  But as Paul points out, we have all been given DIFFERENT abilities.  And it is key to remember that we have been given those abilities.  We didn’t do anything ourselves to acquire natural abilities.  Some people are born with great musical talent.  Others with sharp intellect.  Still others with amazing athletic skill.  Paul here is speaking primarily of spiritual gifts, but all abilities and talents are indeed granted by our Creator.  I really appreciate when I see gifted athletes giving credit to God for their abilities during post-game interviews.  I am not always sure how sincere they are, but the message is true regardless.

In verse 10, Paul says to Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one other above yourselves.  This is an outward extension of humility, and here, should be motivated by love.  How often do you honor others above yourself?

Finally, Paul comes back to humility again in verse 16.

“Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.  Do not be conceited.”

We should not just be showing humility to the people we are comfortable being with, or the people that are “our kind of crowd.”  We should be showing humility to, and honoring above us those whom we would consider to be of low position. 

Again, this is the example Jesus left for us, and it is a humility that is motivated by love, which Paul sums up perfectly in verses 9-21.

So, think of yourselves very highly, as an amazing creation, but do not think of yourself more highly than someone else.  That is when you are thinking of yourself more highly than you ought.  It’s about recognizing that God has given each of us different gifts, to be used to His glory.

-Greg Landry

Today’s Bible reading passage can be read or listened to at BibleGateway here – Romans 11-13.

Tomorrow we will finish the book of Romans (chapters 14-16).

If God is for you…

Romans 8-10

I think Romans chapter 8 is one of the most encouraging sections of scripture.  And boy can we use some encouragement right now.

It is so sad to see so many suffering from the effects of the Covid virus.  Many, many people have lost work and income.  Many children are not able to attend school in person.  Abuse has increased.  And many people have died or have otherwise physically suffered from this virus.  It is very easy and very natural to be discouraged and worried right now.  But for Christians at least, we need to cling to the fact that present circumstances do not alter the future promise that God has made.

One day, there will be no need to fear death from a virus or anything else.  We will be made perfect in the coming Kingdom!  That is the hope talked about in Chapter 8, and it is a hope that can not be taken from us. 

Until that day comes, be encouraged, fellow believers, in the words Paul shares here.  Verse 28 says, And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. That’s encouraging!  That doesn’t mean everything will be perfect as we want it to be, but God, in His infinite wisdom knows what is best for our own good even if we do not.

Verse 31b – If God is for us, who can be against us?  That is a great statement.  What God has put in motion is unstoppable.  No one will stop God’s plans, and God’s plans include YOU!

Yes, this pandemic stinks.  And it doesn’t seem the end of it is super soon.  But we have a certain hope in that coming day, and nothing can take that hope away or prevent that day from coming.  Likewise, these momentary troubles can not separate us from the love of Christ.  Paul tells us  in verse 37 that in regards to these troubles we are “more than conquerors.”  We WILL get through these momentary troubles.  For that is all they are, in the bigger picture.

Finally, chapter 8 concludes with more incredible encouragement:

38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I hope that is as encouraging for you as it is for me.  Take these passages to heart.  Remember them when the world seems to be against you or, as now, the world seems to be falling apart.  Remember that your creator, your Father, your God is FOR YOU!  And nothing can take that, or His future promise for you, away.

-Greg Landry

Today’s Bible reading passage can be read or listened to at BibleGateway here – Romans 8-10.

Tomorrow we continue with Romans 11-13.

My Sinful Nature

Romans 4-7

I’m skipping right to the end of chapter seven, to a dilemma that many Christians wrestle with.

Starting in verse 15, Paul says, I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.  And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me. For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

So then, I myself in my mind am a slave to God’s law, but in my sinful nature a slave to the law of sin.

Paul really nails what I and so many other Christians struggle with – the question of why do I continue to sin if I have turned my life over to Christ?  Certainly all Christians still sin.  I know my sins, and you know yours.  But why do we continue to repeat certain sins over and over, if we know they are wrong, and we want to change our behavior?  It’s frustrating.  Many new Christians especially think they have left sin behind once they have accepted Christ as their Lord and Savior, only to be discouraged to discover that their sin nature is alive and well within them, as Paul points out.

I cannot begin to attempt to explain or examine every facet of sin, and why Christians still find themselves caught up in various sins, but I can offer at least one strategy that has worked for me, dealing with a specific sin.  We should all have strategies for overcoming our biggest sin obstacles. 

The following is an excerpt from the marriage book From This Day Forward by Craig and Amy Groeschel.

-“I have a special software installed that, although it allows me to get on the internet when I need to, filters what sites I can get to.  And it sends reports of everything I see to my accountability partners.  Maybe this sounds extreme to you (which doesn’t bother me at all).  Maybe it sounds like a lot of trouble.  It is.   An obvious question might be, “So are you really that weak and vulnerable Craig?  That if nobody was watching, you’d look at things that were immoral or impure?”  I can honestly say the answer is, “No, not really.”  Right now as I’m writing this, and as I’m thinking about these things, I’m in a really good place.  My resolve is strong.  I’m confident in my relationship with Christ, and everything is going really well.  So why bother?  Because if you are honest, you know that not every single moment of your life looks like that.  Sometimes I get tired.  Sometimes my feelings get hurt, or I get angry, or I feel like I’m not getting everything I deserve.  And then, in those fleeting moments of weakness, every door to temptation that I might otherwise try to turn to is completely, thoroughly, securely locked.  Strong Craig of this moment is looking out for weak Craig of those other moments.”

This is great advice.  (By the way, the software he is speaking of is likely called Covenant Eyes, which we use in our house).  When we are strong, we often don’t think about our weaknesses.  But that is the best time to acknowledge them and plan what to do in case they return.  If we can cut off access to committing some of the sins we have struggled with, then do it, if at all possible.

But when we do sin, whether large or small, habitual sin or not, we need not be discouraged to the point of giving up.  Remember that Christ died for us while we were still sinners.  And Paul humbly acknowledged that even he struggled with continuing to commit sins after accepting Christ.   Our sin nature will not be completely shed until, Christ returns, and he delivers us from it.  Until that day, we should be working to sin less and less.  There are certainly strategies we can employ to try to accomplish that, as mentioned already.  But thanks be to God that Christ’s blood covers us, despite our sins. 

-Greg Landry


Today’s Bible passage can be read or listened to at BibleGateway here – Romans 4-7.

Tomorrow we continue with Romans 8-10.