A New Way of Thinking

We started this journey with a long look up at the stars. Step outside again, if you can. Look up once more. No matter how many stars you see, you know that there are many more you can’t see. Many, many more!

In the same way, perhaps this book has made you think about what else might be out there that you don’t see when you look around. The fact that all the stars aren’t visible when you look up doesn’t mean they aren’t there. The fact that God isn’t visible when you stare at the sky doesn’t mean that He isn’t there when you close your eyes and pray.

It’s clear that our world is filled with amazing creatures. Their ability to survive and reproduce is so remarkable that it’s hard to believe these could evolve accidently. But the abilities of humans are much more impressive. Our free will, our creativity, our problem-solving, our ability to speak and hear — they are unique in this world. These “gifts” have allowed humans to build civilizations, to create art and music, to rocket to the moon!

Perhaps the idea that a Creator God gave us these gifts is new to you. It does change the way you see the world. Now you can see that humans should be caring for the environment. Now you can see that we should be caring for each other.

Having God in our picture of the world explains why bad things happen. We’re trapped in a rebellion, a war against God. We have pain and sadness and death. But it also explains that this is not the life we were supposed to have. This is not what God created us to be.

Knowing that God has a plan to rescue us from this rebellion of sin changes the way we think as well. It doesn’t stop bad things from happening, but it does help us live with the pain. When we lose a loved one to death, we can hold on to the promise that we will see them again one day in God’s heaven.

This new way of thinking does answer the big questions that evolution does not.

  • Why are we here?
    Because God created a unique kind of being — humans.
  • Where are we going?
    In the end, we’re going to live with God forever.
  • What happens when we die?
    We wait on the resurrection that is promised.
  • Why is there so much suffering in the world?
    Because we are trapped in a rebellion. But it is coming to an end soon.

Aren’t you glad to know that there are answers to our questions, that there is a plan behind the scenes of the world? Aren’t you glad to know that the Person who made that plan cares about you?

“I call you friends”

One of the most amazing things Jesus said is written about in the Bible book of John. On the last night before He was arrested and led to His death, Jesus had a special dinner with His closest followers. He talked to them about His kingdom — about the kind of people He wanted them to be, and the perfect world He wanted them to live in someday.

“I love you,” He said to them, “just as the Father loves Me. I have obeyed my Father’s commands—followed His plan for Me—so I remain in His love. If you obey My commands—follow the way I have shown you—then you will remain in My love. I’m telling you this so you can have the joy I have, the greatest possible joy.”

And then He repeats something He had said earlier in the evening. In fact, this is something so important to Him that He said it three times that evening:

“This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you”.

(John 15:12)

You probably hear a lot of Christians talk about what other people are doing wrong. You might hear them talk about how society is wicked and sinful and how everyone needs to change. They might be right — maybe things do need to change. But if they’re not talking about caring for the people around them — especially those who need help, then they’re not really following Jesus.

Back in our discussion about creation, we talked about how God gave humans special gifts — gifts like free will, and creativity, and the ability to communicate. We said that He did those things because He is a God of relationships. He wanted to have a relationship with the humans He created.

Now we will see what kind of relationship He wanted to Jesus wants His followers to be His friends. have. God wasn’t looking for servants who would learn to do as they were told. Or robots who would automatically obey His every command. Listen to what Jesus said to His followers that night:

You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.

(John 15:14, 15)

Friends! Jesus wants His followers to be His friends. He created humans so that He would have more beings who would be happy, curious, thoughtful, loving, friends! He wasn’t creating a smarter monkey or an ape that could talk. He was creating something special, something unique in all the universe.

Beyond imagination

Think back to that tour of the universe we took. Can we believe that the same Being who created the 175 billion galaxies in our universe is interested in what happens on this little chunk of rock circling an unimpressive star? If there really are a billion planets in the Milky Way galaxy, what makes this one special?

It would be more than amazing if a Being who could think that big would think of humans at all. It would be astounding that a Creator God with that much power would make a plan to save humans if they rebelled. Now to make it more unimaginable: Not only did God have a plan to save humans—God Himself (Jesus) became a lowly human to do it.

But Jesus didn’t come to earth just to straighten out a mess or to teach those misbehaving humans right from wrong again. He didn’t come just to find more followers or to make His church of believers bigger than ever.

The God of a universe so vast we can barely begin to comprehend it came to find friends and show them the way back to happiness.

Jesus didn’t want creatures who obeyed as instructed. He wanted followers who understood why He came and why living His way was the only truly joyful way to live. Followers who understood those things wouldn’t be followers; they would be friends.

That’s still what He wants today. He wants to teach us, to open our hearts and minds so that in the end, He can call us “friends.”

So how about you? Has this journey given you something new to think about? If a new seed of thought has taken root, open your heart and learn more.

If the universe around us is too big to measure, if the wonders of life are too fantastic to explain, then the love of the Creator God for each one of us is truly beyond imagination.

The content of this post is taken from Beyond Imagination — There is more to life than we know, by John T. Baldwin, L. James Gibson and Jerry D. Thomas.

Previous chapters can be found here.

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