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Children’s Bible Reading Plan

This week’s morning and evening reading plan in Word and pdf.

This week’s single reading plan for morning or evening in Word and pdf.

If you want to start at the beginning, this is the first 12 months of the children’s Morning and Evening Bible reading plan in Word and pdf.

And here’s the first 12 months of the Morning or Evening Bible reading plan in Word and pdf.

And here’s an explanation of the plan.


Can a creature create?

Is it right to speak of ourselves as creators? Isn’t God alone the creator of all things.

There are certainly some unique characteristics of our Creator and His creativity that we cannot copy; we can only admire and worship. There is one Hebrew word for creating (bara) that is used of God alone. However, there are two other words (asa and yatsar) that are used both of God’s creating and of ours. So, although in some ways we cannot create like God, in other ways we can.

In a few weeks I’ll return to this subject and suggest various ways that we can all create like God in our own little corner of the creation. But let’s finish this introduction to a Christian view of creativity by looking at what is unique and different about God’s creativity.

Our Creator is uncreated. No one created Him. He is the only uncreated One. This is what makes Him uniquely God, and exclusively worthy of our worship.

Our Creator did not need to create. He was under no obligation to make anything. He was happy in Himself. He didn’t need human beings to keep Him company, He didn’t need light, food, water, etc. Why did He make us? Grace! Every atom of creation is an atom full of grace. The life and relationships God enjoyed as a Trinity of infinite persons was all He needed.

Our Creator made everything out of nothing. This is the biggest difference between God’s creating and ours. It’s what distinguishes Him not just from us but from all idols too (Isa. 44:7, 24; 40:12, 13, 18; Ps. 96:5). We lack the power and the wisdom to make the smallest thing out of nothing.  But let’s just add some careful qualifications to this:

  • God did not make everything out of nothing in the same way. In some cases, He took the material He made out of nothing and shaped it into something else (e.g. man and woman).
  • Although He did not “create” computers, cars, etc., He did create all the materials, the forces, and the human brain cells that are brought together in the creation of a computer or a car.
  • He created the materials and processes that would produce other materials such as gas and oil.
  • He made not only the material world but also the immaterial, the spiritual world.

Our Creator made everything perfect. Everything was good and had a good purpose. After the Fall, some evil things entered the creation (e.g. thorns and thistles), other things multiplied beyond their original proportion and balance, and other things were perverted from their original good use to evil use. However, the original world came from God’s hands in perfect condition – perfect in its components, its balance, and its uses.

Our Creator made everything to display His glory [1]. This was not for selfish ends but also for the benefit of His creatures, especially in the calling forth of praise from their souls. Nothing promotes the well-being of creatures more than identifying, enjoying, and advancing the glory of God’s name

Our Creator made everything dependent upon Himself. The Creator/creature relationship implies dependency. All creatures wait upon Him.

And most amazingly of all…

Our Creator became a dependent creature! Jesus, the eternal, uncreated Son of God became man. He passed through the experience of being joined to a created human nature and living as a creature in the world. Our uncreated Creator became a creature in His creation to save His creatures and His creation.

And what creativity He displayed while here. Wouldn’t we have loved to see our Creator’s paintings, models, and crafts as He grew up from infancy through childhood. How much His friends must have enjoyed the games and activities their super-imaginative friend invented. What stories He could tell and write! And wouldn’t you give anything to have seen Him at work in His workshop, hammering, sawing, and chiseling away with such skill and ingenuity.

We also see His creativity of course, in His teaching style and methods. What a contrast His lively, gripping parables were compared to the stale, legalistic, clichés of the religious leaders.

We worship you, O Jesus, not only as our perfect Creator, but also as a perfect creature with perfect creativity in an imperfect creation!


[1] Isa. 43:7; 60:21; 61:3; Rom. 9:17; 11:36; 1 Cor. 15:28; Eph. 1:5,6,9; Col. 1:16

Image from BigStockPhoto.com

Previous Posts in Created to Create series
Competitive Creativity
“But I’m just a Mom!”
Creatorless Creativity
Creationist Quarterbacks
Concrete or Crocuses
Don’t kills Do
World Flight and World Fright
Our Calling to Christ-like Creativity

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Our Calling to Christ-like Creativity

Another block to studying the doctrine of creation and its implications for our lives is that it is not seen as a specifically Christian doctrine. After all, Jews and Muslims believe in creation, as do Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, etc. If it’s not a distinctively Christian doctrine, why write or read about it. Let’s move on to more Christ-centered, more Gospel-centered material.

But wait a minute. Although the Bible initially ascribes creation to God in general (Gen. 1:1; Isa. 40:12), the New Testament attributes the primary role in creation to Jesus (1 Cor. 8:6; Col. 1:15-17; John 1:1-3; Heb. 1:1-3). Although all three persons of the Godhead were involved, yet Jesus, the Son of God, is given the most prominent and productive role in creating the world and everything in it.

Which raises a question. We can all see a role for Christ in saving the world, or in re-creating it. But why involve Him in a perfect world that needed no redemption…yet?

Answer: Creation is part of Redemption.

As there was a plan to redeem the world before the world was created, creation was a redemptive act, in the sense that it was part of the plan of redemption, and done with a view to redemption.

In creating the world, Christ was setting the stage for the unfolding drama of redemption. He designed the props, the background, the lighting, the set, the actors, etc. He made sure that everything was suited to the redemption He planned to perform.

Created with a view to re-creating
When we begin to look at creation through the lens of redemption, we see not just Christ’s power, wisdom, sovereignty, etc. but we also see His mercy. The way He created was with a view to re-creating and to explaining re-creation. For example, salvation is portrayed as being re-made in the image of Christ, being lighted by Christ, of Sabbathing in Christ, of marrying Christ, etc., all “invented” at the original creation.

When Christ was making the sheep, the sparrows, the sun, the stars, the grass, the flowers, etc., He did so in the knowledge that He would use these to teach old creatures how to become new creatures.

Creation has a redeeming role
Looking at creation as made by Jesus with our salvation in view changes the way we look at creation. We’re used to speaking of redeeming creation, but we should also speak of redemptive creation. Creation itself has a redeeming role. Creation is Christ-ian. Now that should motivate study of creation, shouldn’t it?

And not only study, but it should also inspire creativity. Because if our creator is Christ, creativity is part of our calling to be Christ-like.

Previous Posts in Created to Create series
Competitive Creativity
“But I’m just a Mom!”
Creatorless Creativity
Creationist Quarterbacks
Concrete or Crocuses
Don’t kills Do
World Flight and World Fright

Check out and Tweets of the Day will be back on Monday.


3 Reasons for the Epidemic of Christophobia

One of the worst things you can be called today is “Homophobic,” often defined as “having an irrational fear and hatred of homosexuals.” However, while alleged homophobia (together with any opposition to homosexuality) is being aggressively intimidated out of existence by an ever-vigilant media and militant homosexuality, another phobia is growing, Christophobia, “an irrational fear and hatred of Christ and of Christians.” Indeed, often those who are most vigilant against homophobia are the most violent in their Christophobia.

Christophobia is not new; it’s as old as Luke 8:26-38, where, after Christ delivered a man from thousands of demons, people reacted not by rejoicing but by running away in terror, then urging Him to leave. Even the healed man seems to have felt the crowd’s hostility and begged the departing Jesus to take him too.

However, although Christophobia is not new, it does seem to be a reaching epidemic proportions in many places.  Last century, communist nations such as China, the Soviet Union, and North Korea waged a merciless and murderous war on harmless Christians. This century, while communist oppression has diminished, many Islamic countries have taken on the persecutor’s mantle. In January 2011, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, an atheist convert from Islam, wrote a Newsweek article on the “War on Christians” being waged across the Muslim world resulting in thousands of injuries and hundreds of deaths:

Fair-minded assessment of recent events and trends leads to the conclusion that the scale and severity of Islamophobia pales in comparison with the bloody Christophobia currently coursing through Muslim-majority nations from one end of the globe to the other. 

But we don’t need to look in the history books or to other nations for Christophobia. Even in America, there is a determined effort to remove Christianity from the public sphere and consciousness: Christian holidays and symbols are being extirpated, prayer is banned in public schools, the 10 Commandments have been removed from courts and classrooms, blasphemous art and a mocking media deride Christian values. We might ask, “What have we done to deserve this? What threat do we pose? Why is Christophobia the only acceptable bigotry that’s left?”

I offer three answers to these questions in my monthly article at Christianity.com

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World fright and World flight

We live in a sinful world. Therefore don’t touch the world.

That’s the attitude of many Christians.  Their hope for heaven seems to be founded upon having as little contact with this earth as possible.

Sometimes, this world-fright and world-flight is manifested very obviously in monasteries, convents, and communes. But usually it’s subtler, more camouflaged, more difficult to identify. Some of its disguises include thoughts and words along the following lines:

  • What’s the point in improving the world, it’s all going to be burned up very soon
  • I hope the world gets worse, so that people will see their need of Christ
  • Doing scientific (or theological) research would compromise my faith
  • Beauty = Vanity
  • Why should I try to make unbelievers’ lives better?
  • Inventors just want to make money
  • Politics is just worldly
  • Everything new is suspect

Multiple disguises, but one identity underneath them all – fear and flee the world. Don’t get too involved, discourage progress, dismiss beauty, denounce change, etc.

Stronger command?
Just because the world is fallen and characterized by sin, does not mean that we are to fear and flee it. The same command to fill and rule the perfect world that was given to pre-fall Adam and Eve was also given to post-fall Noah in a sinful world. In fact, given the post-fall decline of the world, should there not be an even greater commitment to filling and ruling it in creative ways?

If one of our children gets sick, it doesn’t reduce our love and commitment to her. If anything, it increases it; we will do virtually anything to alleviate the symptoms or cure her illness. If it’s a contagious disease, we will obviously take extra precautions in our care and treatment, but we’ll never abandon her.

Love and labor
Similarly, we must share God’s abiding love for the world He has created. Despite its sin-sickness, we should also share His desire to alleviate symptoms and cure the disease. Extra precautions are required due to the contagious nature of sin. However, like God, we will not give up on the work of His hands. We will love the world (though not its sin) and labor in it and for it. That’s part of living like our Creator and for our Creator.

That’s not to say that we give up the “pilgrim” outlook (Heb. 11:13; 1 Pet 2:11). This world is not the Christian’s “home.” We are to live as nomadic campers rather than long-term settlers.  However, we have work to do while we’re here. Just as God continues to preserve, protect, and provide for the world He will eventually burn with fire, so we are to continue to fill and rule the world we will all-too-soon have to leave.

Love the world?
In fact, surely Christians who are most conscious of how brief and tenuous their pilgrimage here is, will be the most zealous to make the most of their time and opportunities to serve their fellow pilgrims, many of whom are in total ignorance of what this world is all about and have no thought of preparing for the world to come.

Creativity will only flourish where there is a love for this material world, a positive involvement with this material world, and a commitment to live fully here while longing for our eternal home.

Previous Posts in Created to Create series
Competitive Creativity
“But I’m just a Mom!”
Creatorless Creativity
Creationist Quarterbacks
Concrete or Crocuses
Don’t kills Do

Check out and Tweets of the Day are on their way back from vacation