Hebrews 11:3

Verse of the Day Devotion:  Hebrews 11:3 

“By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things which are visible.” – Hebrews 11:3

In this world there are two different views of the universe.  One is that the universe has been here forever with no beginning, and the other is that the  universe has a beginning.   Logically, both of these statements cannot be true.  And as we look at the reality of existence, we will see that what the Bible states is far more plausible than what man has come up with.

Stephen Hawking, the most famous theoretical physicist in the world, said the following regarding the universe.  “So long as the universe had a beginning, we could suppose it had a creator. But if the universe is really completely self-contained, having no boundary or edge, it would have neither beginning nor end it would simply be. What place, then, for a creator?”  From here, we can see he believed that because the universe was eternal, both past and future, and that the universe has no boundaries, hence filling infinite space, there is no need for a God.  In his words, what place is there for a creator?

Today, science puts forth the idea that there is no need for a creator because modern science can explain everything.  Again, Stephen Hawking put it this way.  “Before we understand science, it is natural to believe that God created the universe. But now science offers a more convincing explanation. What I meant by ‘we would know the mind of God’ is, we would know everything that God would know, if there were a God, which there is not. I’m an atheist.”  This is a prevailing view of modern man, that God does not exist, and they strive to find evidence to prove this point.  However, there are several truths that show this view is improbable. 

First, The universe is running down, and something that is running down must have started at some point.  For is the universe is eternal, it would have already lost all energy.  The second law of thermodynamics states that the universe is running out of usable energy.  No matter how long it would take, a fixed amount of energy that is being depleted would eventually use up all energy, with the result being a dead universe.  And the universe is expanding.  How can something continually expand without at some point having a  beginning from which to expand fron? 

However, the Bible makes it clear that the universe is not eternal, that it does have a beginning.  In fact, the very first verse in the scriptures bring out.  “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1.  And as you read through chapter one of Genesis, we see that He also created everything in this universe.  Paul wrote to the Church of Colossae the following.  “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.” Colossians 1:16.  And John said in Revelation, “Worthy are You, our Lord and our God, to receive glory and honor and power; for You created all things, and because of Your will they existed, and were created.” Revelation 4:11. 

So, looking at the above, it actually makes complete sense that the universe had a beginning.  This then brings up the question, how did it come into existence.  Again, we have two choices.  The first is that it just came into existence, out of nothing, without the action of anyone or anything.  Or secondly, a supreme and eternal being brought it into existence.  And by faith, understanding that what exists could not have come into existence but for an eternal and intelligent being, God created everything just as stated in His word.  And it must be truth, for God spoke to John which he wrote in his gospel; “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.” John 17:17.  If anything came into existence, it had to be by an eternal being with infinite power to do anything He pleases.  And  I can see no other way for what is to exist.   

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries. 

Ephesians 2:10

Verse of the Day Devotion: Ephesians 2:10 

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” – Ephesians 2:10     

This focus verse opens our eyes to the truth that we had little to do regarding our salvation.  However, the one part we played in this was our choice to be saved.  “Peter said to them, “Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38.  And, “But what does it say? The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” Romans 10:8-10.  We need to repent of our sins, confess Him truthfully as Lord and believe Christ died for our sins and was raised from the dead so that we may also rise to life being once dead in our sins, then we will be saved.  And this must be from our very heart, and not simply through actions. However, from this point forward, there is nothing else we can do, it is totally God’s work that changes us from dead to living. 

Let us look at the flow of the beginning of this chapter.  “And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.  Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest.” Ephesians 2:1-3.  We were spiritually dead in our trespasses and sin, with no way of correcting our situation at all.  We were all destined for an eternity separated from God. 

However, by the incredible love and grace of God, we have the opportunity to repent and accept the forgiveness provided by the work of Christ.  “But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” Ephesians 2:4-7.  Because God loves us in a manner beyond our understanding, He provided a means by which we can be forgiven, making us no longer dead in our sins but alive in Christ.  And because of His incredible act of love, we have a future where we will be with Him for ages unending where we see His immense grace and love, in His amazing kindness through Christ. 

And all this is available to us only because of the work and grace of God.  “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9.  Our salvation has nothing to do with any works we may do.  For anything we attempt on our own regarding our salvation is fruitless, for it required a perfect sacrifice, which we could never be for we had sinned.  It is completely the work of God, for if we could address our sins, we could then save ourselves by works and thereby have a reason to boast.  “Where then is boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? Of works? No, but by a law of faith. For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law.” Romans 3:27-28. 

Therefore, with all that was said above, it is God who does everything.  “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10.  We are saved because of what Christ did, because He died to pay the penalty for our sins.  “Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.” Romans 6:3-4.  We are His workmanship, for it was through His death we died to sin, and it is through His resurrection that we are raised up as a new creation in Christ.  Always remember, we needed salvation because of what we did, but are saved because of what He did.  “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17.  And because we are new creatures, we are His workmanship created because of Christ.  “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10.  This new person was made, in love, to do the work of God which He prepared us to perform.  So let us step out and fulfill our calling which He prepared us to do for His glory.

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.

1 Corinthians 2:9

Verse of the Day Devotion: 1 Corinthians 2:9 

“But, as it is written, what no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him.” – 1 Corinthians 2:9           

This is an intriguing verse.  The idea is that God has plans for His people, things we have absolutely no idea about, for we have not seen or heard about all He has in mind.  I love the way Paul lays it out this idea.  “For who knows a person’s thoughts except the spirit of that person, which is in him? So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:11. No one can know what I am thinking unless I tell them, because they cannot read my mind.  In the same light, we cannot know what God has prepared for us unless He tells us.  Now he has told us some, and we can know them if we choose.  Unfortunately, there are some who close their minds to these truths, refusing the understand. We see an example of this above.  “None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.” 1 Corinthians 2:8. This verse speaks of the Jewish leadership, who had read God’s word, but did not understand because they felt they already knew.  And because they did not truly know, they crucified the promised Messiah.

Now, there are two ways we can look at this passage, and I believe both are valid.  The one does not negate the other.  First, that God prepared a way of salvation through His Son.  The Jews at that time only understood and followed the law.  They had seen it at work in the temple worship, ceremonies and traditions.  They were not focused on totally understanding the old testament, for if they were, they would have seen Jesus as the Messiah.  However, they chose not to.  And because they did not, unbeknownst to them, they killed the one sent to save them.  They chose not to see, hear or think in this way.

And second, our glorious eternal future.  All we have seen is what is here in this life.  For me, a wonderful and glorious life would be living in a cabin in the woods next to a creek where I can relax for eternity in peace with family and friends.  However, He has so much more for us.  Yes, my idea is great for me.  But His kingdom is so much greater than anything down here.  The Spirit has revealed certain pieces to us in His Word, however, there is infinitely more than we can imagine.  His mind is infinitely greater than ours, we cannot even begin to understand.

The main thing that combines both of these ideas is the love of God.  Because of this He sent His only begotten Son to pay the penalty for our sins through a completely righteous and sinless life ending in the perfect sacrifice, the only way we could be saved.  We see this, but unfortunately there are those who close their minds and hearts to this eternal truth.  They refuse to see and hear what God has done for them.  And because we, as Christians, understand and accept the work done on the cross, we have a future promised to us that goes well beyond what we could ever imagine.  Both ideas can be seen in our focus verse, “But, as it is written, what no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined, what God has prepared for those who love him” 1 Corinthians 2:9

William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.