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His Sacrifice

“All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.” 2 Corinthians 4:15

Gracious God this morning I rose thinking of the Son you sent to save us.  I remembered the pain He endured to show His everlasting and deep love for us.  You created this plan and He completed it.  In remembrance of that day I sit in awe and wonder at your glorious ways.  Amen

Over the course of 30 years a survey was undertaken asking high school and college students if they would first try to save their dog or a stranger.  I’m disturbed to report that 2/3 have always voted against saving the person.  In newer studies, adults now vote similarly.  How would you vote if asked the same question?

This study was posted online awhile back and I went to the comments section to see what people had to say.  I shouldn’t have.  It was more disturbing.  People condemning others for being “evil,” “cruel,” and “vile.”  Strangely enough, they didn’t put themselves in those categories!  The folks that would pick an animal over a human (now certainly there would be instances we all might do the same.  Say a person has just attacked you and your dog) fail to see their decision makes them complicit in devaluing human life.

What the surveyors have surmised is the lack of Judeo-Christian values in a person’s life or the watering down of those teachings increases making moral decisions based on our feelings.  In addition, a belief in God elevates human worth over that of animals.  Without that, we see the image of God brought down to having no more value than a squid.

“9 Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator.” Colossians 3:9-10

Throughout the Bible we are reminded that humans were God’s special creation.  So special that He gave us dominion over the earth.  The earth serves us, not the other way around as some would say.  When this understanding of the world’s creation is thrown out the window it’s no wonder the people of this world have turned everything upside down!

A number of my Christians friends have struggled with the fact that God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son.  We either secretly or out loud say we hope God never asks us to do something so difficult.  Yet every day parents see their children in the military risk their lives for us.  Police officers, firefighters, lifeguards and others put their lives on the line for strangers.  Because they believe we are worth saving.

The Bible is one of the most tested and proved documents in all history.  And God’s work is all around us to see proof of His ways.  There is little to no dispute that Jesus walked this earth.  Or even that He died a horrible death on the cross.  And whether or not a person believes He rose and ascended into heaven everyone should understand that He went to the cross that day for us.  He spoke over and over about the plan ahead for Him.  He didn’t die because He wanted fame.  He didn’t die to save the whales.  He didn’t die because of some terrible crime He committed.  The Father sent His Son to die to save us.  Because, thank God, He believes we are valuable. And just as our first verse reminds us, we aren’t saved just to be saved, but to spread the Word so that yes, even strangers are saved.

Friend, God in His glorious ways made us special.  I love my dog, Tucker, but he won’t seek justice for me and he won’t take up arms to protect me.  God made us in such a way that we can even ponder these moral thoughts.  He made us so when faced with difficult decisions we can decide on A, B or even A and B.  It depends on if you love God’s creation as much as He does.

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Egg-ceptional Gifts

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.” Genesis 1:28

My husband and I have four chickens on our little suburban farm.  They are our “Covid Babies.”  I’m not really sure why we decided to get the chickens back in March of 2020.  We knew nothing about taking care of farm animals.  But like starry-eyed parents carrying home their little bundle of joy from the hospital we eagerly packed up our four baby chicks in a box and left the dusty little farm store behind.  We got four, instead of the two we originally planned, because we aren’t allowed to have a rooster in the city.  It was our insurance plan. If one or two grew up to be roosters we’d have to “do away” with them.

And here we are more than a year later with four giant chickens in a fairly small coop.  Henny Penny, Mabel, Grandma and Goldie don’t seem to mind.  They grew up snuggled in close and seem to enjoy each other’s company.  Each day we go out to the nesting box in eager anticipation of fresh eggs and we are rewarded.  But what does that have to do with praising God?

Today, as I look out my “She Shed” window and watch my four egg making creatures peck and sleep I can’t help but be amazed at the plans and gifts of God.  In the beginning He created the animals and plants prior to man.  He prepared a place so perfect for us humans to grow and prosper.  The chicken is pretty much God’s perfect animal gift to us.  It is an egg laying machine.  Left to wander they drop eggs wherever they go – fertilized or not.  It’s a daily gift of food, not just for humans, but other animals should they be so lucky to encounter a free roamer.  

When we got our baby chicks we read all the books about how to care for chickens and how to train them up just right.  Having trained a puppy just a year prior I was ready for the task.  And yet, when the time came to put them out in their “Big Girl Coop” they needed no human intervention.  At night they headed to their protected beds.  By day they hid away in the appointed laying space.  All by instinct.  All by God’s design.  It’s pretty amazing.

When we remove the concept of God the Creator from our lives and look at the world from a random point of view the danger is in placing humans and animals on equal ground.  But since the beginning of recorded time humans were appointed by God as protectors and users of Earth’s resources.  God did not make a chicken to simply lay hundreds if not thousands of eggs in her lifetime just for them to be unused.

If you’ve ever been around a chicken in the midst of the egg laying process you’ll hear something interesting.  When the deed is done, she will often squawk loudly in triumph.  My chickens don’t hang around protecting that egg from me.  In fact, it’s almost like they are saying, “here, have another!”  And each warm egg I pull from the nest is a reminder of our God who has gifted us with all we need.