September 1

Matthew 17-18, Psalm 89

In my almost 30 years in obstetrics I have delivered around 6000 babies. Each and every one is a marvelous creation, an everyday miracle. When people read books like, "What to expect when you are expecting", in their minds it almost seems like this week the heart forms, next week the brain, etc. But in reality God is like a conductor of a symphony where all the parts are being created simultaneously at different paces. The complexity of which screams, "Creator". Here is just one example. While in the uterus, the lungs of the baby serve no important function, since this role is carried out by the placenta. Due to this the baby's heart has a number of temporary structures to enable the circulation to bypass the lungs: ductus arteriosus, ductus venosis, and foramen ovale. With the newborn's first gasp of breath outside the mother, and the exposure to the higher concentration of oxygen, these temporary organs close immediately transitioning for life outside the uterus. The process is complete within 4 days. If it fails the baby is in trouble. This is just one of countless parts of God's symphony occurring simultaneously to result in a health baby. Despite the complexity, most worship this created being rather than the Creator.  Most expect a perfect child and are angry if anything is not perfect, rather than being speechless that this amazingly complex creation actually occurs. These common miracles are so often taken for granted and people miss the glory of God.

We read in Matthew 17:1-2, "Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John his brother, led them up on a high mountain by themselves; and He was transfigured before them. His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became white as the light." If that wasn't enough, Moses and Elijah next join Jesus. Next they actually see a bright cloud and hear a voice in the cloud saying in 17:5, "This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, Hear Him!" Despite this, along with all the miracles, teachings, and prophecies fulfilled, we see the disciples still struggling with unbelief as Jesus says in 17:20. Like so many of us they were unable to do what God desired because they trusted in their own strength and abilities, rather than God Himself. Jesus told them in 17:21, ""However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting."  These are tools that God gives us to get closer to Him and depend on Him. We next see the disciples arguing amongst themselves in Matthew 18, which is illuminated more in Mark 9:34, "But they kept silent, for on the road they had disputed among themselves who would be the greatest." It's hard to fathom this kind of conversation after three of them just saw Jesus in His glorified state. Yet, we would be guilty of the same.

God reveals His glory daily, but how easy it is for all of us to take it for granted. How easy it is to glorify the created, and miss the Creator. How many people couldn't wait to get outside to witness the eclipse and marveled over it, yet missed the Creator who sets all the planets in motion. Every sunrise, every breath in our lungs is a gift from Him, that is taken for granted. Paul writes in Romans 1:19-21, "because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God,...". People struggle with the concept that anyone would actually go to hell. In light of God's glory, we should be more amazed that any of us are actually allowed to share eternity with One so much greater than ourselves.  God's glory is all around us. Let's glorify Him, never take Him for granted and point others to Him daily.

Messages from Pastor Lloyd Pulley:

Marj Lancaster