There is something very special about families. God designed families. When He created Adam and Eve and put them in the Garden of Eden, He wanted them to live forever in happiness together. It was a very sad day when Adam and Eve had to leave their beautiful home because they had disobeyed God. Ever since then, living together happily has been a little difficult to do.
Why do you think it is hard? Do you have a best friend? You know, someone that you always like to be around? Well, do you ever fight with that friend? Sooner or later, it is bound to happen. Why? Because even though you and your friend like many of the same things, you do have some differences. You disagree. You misunderstand. Sometimes you just outright fight.
That happens in families too. Thankfully, God designed families to last. Even when things go terribly wrong, families can stay together because God puts them together with something stronger than the best glue that people have ever invented! Love.
A little over thirty-five years ago, NASA launched two spacecraft designed to travel to parts of our universe never before reached my any man-made craft. For thirty-five years Voyager 1 and Voyager 2 have been powering through outer space, pushing toward the edge of what we know.
For thirty-five years, scientists have been listening to and looking at every scrap of information these two travellers have sent back. So much knowledge has been gained!
And so much perspective. Can you believe that humanity once believed planet Earth was the central point and largest mass of the universe? It seems like a ridiculous notion now.
But then, humanity has also often tended toward self-centeredness. Once, many years ago, a thirty-something-year-old Man who knew just how small Earth is compared to the rest of the Universe.
Yet He came. He came because God is bigger. Bigger than the universe. Bigger even than all the smallness in the universe.
That is how big God is.
Do you believe that any human being can be saved from the bondage of sin? Do you believe that Jesus’ blood covers a multitude of sins? Do you believe that even the vilest of offenders can be redeemed?
Are you sure? Sure enough to pray for those caught in the bondage of sin? Sure enough to try to lead someone to the cleansing blood? Sure enough to pray for the vile offenders?
Take some time with your answer. It has great implications.
Perhaps a historical look at the question will help.
In the first half of the last century there was a man who rose high in the political circles of a great country. He was proclaimed by Winston Churchill as a brilliant politician. He would restore the unity and pride of his nation. By the middle of the century, he was dead. Buried in the rubble of an empire he could not build.
His name was Adolph Hitler.
In the final half of that same century a brutal dictator made his way to a throne by very different methods. There was no bowing and scraping on his way to the top; it was a bloody path. For twenty-four years he ruled by destroying his real or alleged opposition. In 2006 he was sentenced to death by his own countrymen.
That was Saddam Hussein.
Imagine how history might have differed had their hearts been touched.
During the Nazi occupation of Poland, a bright young doctor was imprisoned for his Jewish ancestry. All liberty and dignity was stripped away. His family was destroyed. His education and experience suddenly meant nothing. Yet even in that horrific place, he discovered, “Man can preserve a vestige of spiritual freedom, of independence of mind, even in such terrible conditions of psychic and physical stress.” How? “Every day, every hour, offered the opportunity to make a decision, a decision which determined whether you would or would not submit to those powers which threatened to rob you of your very self, your inner freedom; which determined whether or not you would become the plaything of circumstance, renouncing freedom and dignity to become molded into the form of the typical inmate.”
He found freedom even without liberty.
What a great measure of gratitude we own to those who have gained both for us!
Joshua led the people in circles around a powerful city for days on end.
Jonah was swallowed by a giant fish.
Peter had a habit of saying and doing anything that came to mind.
Saul was so well trained in religion that he hated Christians.
What was God thinking?
God gave Aaron the words to speak for Moses.
God made the walls fall down.
God took Jonah – still in the fish – to his destination.
God perfected Peter’s mind.
God changed Saul so much He even changed his name.
Well, what do you know? God seems to know what He is doing after all.
In the mid-1400s, the thrilling Renaissance Period, an imposing summer residence was erected for the Archbishop of Salzburg. A beautiful and lasting castle.
Since then it has been captured, confiscated, sold, rented, and auctioned. That marvelous building was intended to bring honor to important men. Today it serves as a novel vacation spot for tourists.
“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal” (Matthew 6:19, 20).
Archimedes, a Greek mathematician of the second century before Christ, said, “Give me a place to stand, and I shall move the world.”
When a king demanded a demonstration, Archimedes had a huge ship brought ashore; then, using a series of pulleys and a carefully placed fulcrum, with the one-handed turn of a lever, he moved the ship.
Jesus once gave His disciples a promise like that. He said, “If you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove, and nothing shall be impossible unto you” (Matt. 17:20).
In other words, faith is our fulcrum. So where is our place to stand? “Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting” (v. 21). We stand on prayer and move the world through faith.