REPOST Today’s AMI QT Devotional, provided by Pastor Ryun Chang (AMI Teaching Pastor), was first posted on October 22, 2014.
Devotional Thought for This Morning
“Naturalism and Theism”
Luke 24:11 (ESV)
“But these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them.”
No one likes to be called “insane”; but after the apostle Paul acknowledged his belief in Christ’s resurrection to the Roman governor Festus, he responded, “Your great learning is driving you insane” (Acts 26:24). That’s also what the New Atheist Richard Dawkins calls those who aren’t convinced of evolution on account of belief in God, saying, “Nobody who looks at [evolution] could possibly doubt that if they are sane and not stupid.” But the disciples’ initial reaction to the women’s claim of Jesus’ resurrection was also of unbelief: “Their words seemed to them like nonsense” (NIV). Like good skeptics, they demanded evidences to believe something so out of the ordinary.
John Lennox, of Oxford, is a world renowned mathematician who firmly believes in Christ’s resurrection.
Unconvinced of Dawkins’ assertion, he wrote, “. . . there is a very real [conflict], but it is not . . . between science and religion at all. For if that were so, elementary logic would dictate that one would find that scientists were all atheists and only non-scientists believed in God, and this . . . is simply not the case. No, the real conflict is between two diametrically opposed worldviews: naturalism (i.e., no God) and theism.” This is to say, both the believers and atheists are alike in accepting certain things to be true at the outset of their quest for truth. The believers agree with the Hebrews writer who declared, “Anyone who comes to [God] must believe that he exists” (11:6). The atheists would agree with Carl Sagan who once said, in faith, “The cosmos is all that is or ever was or ever will be.”
Ultimately, the disciples believed because of empirical evidence: they saw and touched the resurrected Christ. But Jesus said to them, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed” (Jn. 20:29). We believe that God is powerful enough to resurrect a dead body and create a universe out of nothing. We also believe that He is personally interested in our physical, emotional and spiritual welfare; therefore, we place our hope, faith and future on God. Now, have a great day!
Prayer: Heavenly Creator, how often we take this universe and our very existence for granted. We are here because You lovingly created us out of your infinite goodness. Even when we defy You, which must look both comical and insulting, You continue to shower us with your grace and mercy. Thank you. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Isaiah 27
Lunch Break Study
Read Ps. 19:1-4 (ESV): “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky aboveproclaims his handiwork.2 Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. 3 There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard. 4 Their voicegoes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them he has set a tent for the sun.”
Ps. 14:1 (ESV): “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’”
Heb. 11:1 (ESV): “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
Questions to Consider
1. What does the psalmist mean by, “The heavens declare the glory of God”?
2. In view of this, how would you appraise atheism?
3. This morning’s devotion was about faith: what is a key difference between a blind faith and a reasonable faith?
1. The psalmist is saying that the existence of God is self-evident because beauty and orderliness of the universe strongly indicates a Designer who is responsible for it. Also, the fact that a universe fine-tuned for life exists, as opposed to infinite alternatives that would have produced no universe or a universe unfriendly to life, should cause an atheist to wonder, “Why did it happen like that?”
2. Atheism is not a natural position; it is a position philosophically concocted to deny God’s existence for personal reasons (not wanting to live in submission to someone else’s will).
3. God has given us several implicit evidences that strongly suggest His existence that is invisible to the human eyes. Believing in such a God would require a reasonable faith, not a blind faith.
Did you come across an unbeliever today? What did you do? As you wrap up this day, behold God in His power and love that led to creating you, and then say a prayer for someone who needs the Lord.