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April 2012 Issue

The Gospel of John: New Creation, New Kingdom

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Question & Answer

In Genesis 1:3–5, God created light on His first day of creation. This light appears to have illuminated His creation from day one to day three, provided a separation of day from night, and was supported by what we know as the rotation of the earth (a day). In addition, to separating day from night it appears that (given our earthly perspective) the light was in a fixed stationary position as the earth rotated and experienced gravitational pull that allowed for all things to exist in their normal natural balance. Not until day four did God create the sun to rule the day. What was the light created by God on day one?

The Bible tells us that God commanded the light, and simply from the power of His word, it came into being. That’s the delight. God said it, and it happened. From nothing came something overwhelming, breathtaking, awe-inspiring. The very creation of the heavens and earth allowed for the earth’s rotation, the gravitational pull, and the existence of all things in their natural balance. But we don’t read about those things in Genesis 1. What we read is that God did it. While we accept the scientific principles regarding the sun and its position, the earth’s revolution, and the gravitational pull, we know most fundamentally that it is God who makes it possible.

God indeed spoke, “Light!” And light appeared, and God separated the light from darkness. I believe the divine Person speaking here is the Logos or Word of God, which was in the beginning with God, and was God, and who Himself is the light that illuminates every creature (see John 1). The light that God created came before the light bearers (the sun, moon, and stars) were called into being. But I believe the creation of that light on the first day is what made the existence of plant life possible on the fourth day.

Does God really care about each person individually? There are some days when I wonder if God has any idea of everything I am going through, the pain I’m suffering, and the burdens I’m under.

I think the words of Jesus are very explicit: He said of sparrows that none of them fall to the ground without God’s knowledge. And we are of more value than many sparrows (Matt. 10:29–31). That doesn’t mean that God promises to make us rich or keep us from sickness, but what He does say is that in our most trying days we can receive the strength to handle the tough times. Even those difficult moments are somehow working to make us the people He wants us to be. It would be silly to pray if we thought that God doesn’t care.

All of us are subject to the laws of the universe. A Christian man is just as capable of dying from a fall as an unsaved one. We can be subjected to vandalism or vicious storms just like the people of the world. There are days when we, like Job, wonder why the people of the world get away with murder while the people of God are going through hard days. God never tries to explain away those difficult times. What He wants us to do is have confidence in His care and trust Him that He will complete His good work in us (Phil. 1:6).

What is meant by the Bible telling us to lay aside every weight?

The passage referred to is Hebrews 12:1. This text has to do with living a disciplined, focused spiritual life. It’s talking about pushing away the things that would tempt you, and with divine help allowing the Lord to help you overcome the things of the flesh and worldliness. With God’s help we are to develop a godly character that will enable us to say no to the things of this world. This would include amusements that don’t really build up our faith, and companions whose desires are opposed to that of God.

Laying aside every weight also has to do with getting rid of grumpiness (which pushes people away from you), not letting worries overwhelm you, or trying to live for the approval of others. It would mean living a life with no guile, making sure we battle to conquer our tongues (see the book of James). Our highest desire as a child of God is to say no to anything that drags us down and away from growing closer to our Savior. This is something that can only be accomplished by submission to the power of God in your life.

Author - Mike Kellogg

By Mike Kellogg, Moody Radio Host

Mike Kellogg has been with the Institute in Moody Radio for more than 40 years, beginning in 1972. For many years he was the reader on Continued Story and began hosting Music Thru the Night in 1982. He also reads the Today in the Word devotional on air for Moody Radio. He is a graduate of Cedarville University, and has served as adjunct faculty in English and Speech Communications at Moody Bible Institute. He is married to Nancy, and they have 6 children and 16 grandchildren.