Playing With Personhood — Denying Creation Dehumanizes People 

Deep Dive: Playing With Personhood — Denying Creation Dehumanizes People

Rudyard Kipling’s classic 1894 work, The Jungle Book, came to life onscreen in the very memorable 1967 Walt Disney animated film. It featured many popular characters like Baloo the bear, Bagheera the black panther, and of course Mowgli (an abandoned child raised by wolves), whose peaceful jungle existence is threatened by the return of the man-eating tiger Shere Khan.

But one of my favorites was always the kooky character King Louie, an ambitious orangutan with a bit of a chip on his shoulder, who wanted to move up in the world so to speak. And he had a specific way he thought he could do it.

You might remember some of the words to the song he sings to Mowgli after his minion monkeys capture and attempt to extract a special secret from him. Louie believes he’s at the top of the animal kingdom, but that’s not good enough—he wants to be a man and be recognized as one!

King Louie was depicted as a kind of scatter-brained, bebopping, jazz-singing character that Disney (according to their own disclaimers on the Disney+ streaming service) now considers an offensive caricature that utilized racist stereotypes of African Americans.

However, I want to use him to illustrate a variety of concepts that may also seem scatter-brained and disconnected initially (and I’ll be using a lot of rhetorical questions as well), but I will try to pull everything together toward the end of the article for a fuller understanding of our topic.

Evolutionary Personhood

You see, what King Louie (or rather the writer[s] of his song) was really getting at was the issue of personhood. He was tired of “monkeying around” and wanted his “cuz” (cousin) to give him the secret of how to become human. And what did he think was that secret? The ability to make and manipulate the use of fire.

Now, where did the writers get this idea? Was it just a whimsical notion thrown into the story’s amusing side-plot? Not at all, it was a very specific point made to promote the materialistic and atheistic story of evolution through a commonly taught idea.

This is the notion that the ability to master fire was one of the major transition points in the supposed evolution of our apelike ancestors as they turned into modern humans. As a 2016 Royal Society article stated, “It is plain that fire control has had a major impact in the course of human evolution.”

This notion has roots right back to the father of modern evolutionary thought, as the author makes the point that fire “was regarded by Darwin as the greatest discovery made by humanity, excepting only language” in his 1871 book, The Descent of Man. And so, the “fire drove evolution” notion persists, as this quote from a Smithsonian science article makes clear.

Harvard biologist Richard Wrangham . . . believes that fire is needed to fuel the organ that makes possible all the other products of culture, language included: the human brain.

And lest some skeptics want to downplay its inclusion in The Jungle Book as simply an innocent accident, this admission by a PMLA article published online by Cambridge University Press in 2020 makes the point that Kipling himself embraced Darwin’s ideas and expressed them in many of his works, including his controversial book White Man’s Burden, where his biological views of white superiority (as per Darwin’s conclusions) and Social Darwinism were front and center.

Scholars have long described Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Books as a Darwinian narrative. . . . This essay contextualizes Mowgli’s narrative within a fierce late-nineteenth-century debate about whether the Darwinian theory of natural selection or Lamarckian use inheritance was the main driver of evolutionary change.

The fact is, artists and authors often embed their own beliefs into their works, and Kipling was not immune to that tendency. And this can often influence others.

The Evolution of Disney

Now Walt Disney, although in the past it portrayed itself as a company promoting “traditional family values” (which used to include portraying biblical morality), has long promoted the story of evolution in many of its movies and in its theme park exhibits—sometimes with more subtlety like in King Louie’s lyrics, and sometimes more upfront, such as the entire pond-scum-to-people finale in the animated feature Fantasia.

Of course, the Disney of today is hardly family friendly in any traditional sense at all; rather, it has “evolved” far beyond such notions and seems willing to sacrifice billions of dollars of potential profit just to promote so-called progressive values by including themes and characters in their content that offend many conservative-minded people.

Disney’s 100th anniversary happens this year, and although many (especially older) folks may have a tug of nostalgia for the “old Disney” and what it supposedly used to stand for, they recognize it as extremely agenda-driven today in many ways that it never was before. Why such a big transformation in such a short time?

It seems like they are not just keeping up with society’s acceptance of naturalism and its inevitable consequences, but rather are at the forefront of endorsing all sorts of unbiblical nonsense, such as the idea that people can change their God-given identity by sheer force of will (i.e., a person born A can become Z simply by “deciding it is so”)!

Apparently, a majority of their decision makers are attempting to push their Marxist views of personhood through this entertainment giant now, whereas in the past, there were probably fewer with that bent, so it was less obvious.

What Is a Person?

Now what’s interesting is that up until the last few hundred years, everyone in the West seemed to know exactly what a person was. A human being was considered a special creation—different from and superior to the animals—made in the image of God. Why? Because that’s what the book of Genesis in the Bible plainly said about man’s origins, and the Bible was held in high esteem by most.

But that conceptualization of what a human being is and what personhood means began to change as the story of evolution began to take root among naturalistic influencers in the early 1800s. For example, as early as 1846, promotional material for a Barnum circus sideshow performer touted as a “man-monkey” (a man named Harvey Leech) asked,

Is it an animal? Is it human? . . . Or is it the long sought for link between man and the Ourang-Outang, which naturalists have for years decided does exist . . . ?

You see, this idea that humans are nothing more than hairless apes linked to our hominid forerunners began to be accepted, popularized, and taught as science in academia and eventually to the average child in public schools. Genesis became mythologized for many (even within the church), and this of course radically changed what people believed about what humans are and what personhood means.

No wonder King Louie eventually got the memo that all he needed to do to be like the “other humans” was to inch his way up on the evolutionary scale.

People Championing Personhood for Apes and Other Animals

And his message seems to have made an impact over the years, as at least one of his kind (an orangutan named Sandra) has attained what he was looking for (although not in the same way he’d been trying). An NBC News article reported,

Judge Elena Liberatori’s landmark ruling in 2015 declared that Sandra is legally not an animal, but a non-human person, thus entitled to some legal rights enjoyed by people, and better living conditions. “With that ruling I wanted to tell society something new, that animals are sentient beings and that the first right they have is our obligation to respect them. . . .”

Now (aside from the biblical notion that we should care for animals) this certainly is something new in Western society and puts us in a situation that raises the question, “What is a non-human person?” Is the qualifying factor for personhood being sentient (“able to perceive or feel things”)? Because lots of creatures could be considered sentient, and that’s likely why Sandra isn’t the only animal that people have tried elevating to human status.

For example, Happy the elephant (a resident of the Bronx Zoo) may have been denied personhood (in a recent New York court case testing the boundaries of applying human rights to animals) but the decision was arrived at by a 5-2 vote.

And that means 2 out of 7 of New York’s top court judges were in favor of assigning an elephant personhood and accompanying human rights. Let’s think about this from a modern societal view.

Evolutionists often argue that humans aren’t special in any true sense because we are just evolved animals. For example, a 2004 Australian Broadcasting Corporation TV production promoting the story of evolution had the following narration.

Once we believed we were unique, blessed with a soul and lovingly created by God in His image. Today, evolution says we are just a product of Natural Selection, the descendants of primitive bacteria, not the children of God.

However, if we’re ultimately just overgrown bacteria, why is it then that many want to give animals “human rights”? What makes our rights so special?

Back to Sandra the orangutan—she has now been declared not to be an animal; however, the reason is not because she’s a human, but because she’s a non-human person? But if she’s not an animal, and not a human, what is she then? And how can whatever she is be called a person with “human rights”?

Under this “new information” being doled out to society by this judge (and by the way, who gave her the authority to change the “old information”?), what then does the concept of humanity or personhood even mean? In the big picture of things, where did all of this word salad quackery we now have to deal with come from?

The Evolution of Personhood

Well, the adoption of the story of evolution (including how we supposedly became human) by many has changed the perception of personhood across the entire cultural landscape.

If everything we experience can be traced back to a cosmic explosion, then we are simply the result of random chance processes. And if everything is in a constant state of flux and change (despite us apparently not being able perceive it, because according to many, evolution supposedly takes place so slowly no one can see it), there can be no absolute and permanent definition of anything.

If there is no God who created male and female, cats and dogs, trees and flowers—each with a uniqueness about them—then everything is just a current form that flowed out of something else. So who knows what it may eventually become? And, without the concept of created norms, it seems that the concrete certainty of what personhood means may eventually slip away entirely.

An extreme example comes from my home country of Canada, with a 2022 National Geographic article titled “This Canadian river is now legally a person.”

“The Innu Council of Ekuanitshit and the Minganie Regional County Municipality declared the Mutuhekau Shipu a legal person in 2021. Now the river has nine rights, among them the right to flow, maintain biodiversity, be free from pollution, and to sue.”

Who Determines Personhood?

People need to understand this isn’t simply allusion or allegory—this is now part of Canadian law (as the article explains). But isn’t it astonishing that so-called modern culture has done away with the idea of legal personhood for actual persons (the unborn) and yet is willing to assign personhood to a body of flowing water?

You see, under Canadian law (in Section 223 of the Criminal Code), a child is only a person,

When it has completely proceeded, in a living state, from the body of its mother, whether or not it has breathed [or] . . . has an independent circulation, or the navel string is severed.

That’s right, in Canada, the person who cuts the umbilical cord somehow magically imbues personhood upon a human being. And yet preborn babies are self-aware, feel emotion, can hear Mom’s and Dad’s voices and respond to them, react to music, smile and cry, and do all of the things that babies outside of their moms do. So why is there this arbitrary assignment of personhood in this case?

Meanwhile, rivers aren’t even sentient beings like Sandra the orangutan—they don’t have a personality or emotions whatsoever. As a matter of fact, from minute to minute at any given location, they aren’t even the “same” thing, and the sand and dirt and wildlife and vegetation surrounding them can constantly change as well.

I guess one could suppose according to a naturalistic worldview that perhaps rivers (or portions of their constituent parts) could eventually change and become sentient beings over time—so why not give them “human rights” in advance?

However, again, if people (human beings) aren’t special, why should we be able to determine whether anything else is or if it should be assigned our own status—that of a person? And which people (based on what criteria) should be given the authority to do so? Because as new people with different ideas come and go, then the definition of what a person is could also constantly change.

Can you see how utterly absurd people’s thinking has become? It’s as Romans 1:21 describes: “For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened” (emphasis mine).

Nature Ruling Man

It has now become a Western-world phenomenon to have animals and nature elevated to a status above humans. In many countries, it is illegal and punishable by huge fines or imprisonment to kill or destroy the eggs of endangered species, pollute a specific area, emit a specific greenhouse gas, etc.

We are supposed to obsess over whether driving our cars might make the climate change (literally its job description!) because of the possible harm to “mother earth”; however, it is perfectly legal and acceptable to murder a human child in the womb, and in some cases, after they are born!

Why is it that millions of people are comfortable with supporting organizations and individuals committed to destroying actual living people through abortion, many of whom will also attend gala fundraisers and donate millions of dollars to preserve all sorts of plants, animals, and eco-systems?

Why, instead of placing a high value on all human life, has our culture shifted its focus to make animals and the environment the highest priority? It’s quite simple—it’s because of their spiritual condition. People have knowingly rejected God as Creator and have embraced the idea that nature itself is god by accepting the story of evolution. As Scripture describes,

Romans 1:20, 22-23, 25, 28 KJV – “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse… Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things… Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen… And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.”

Church, It’s Not “Just Science”!

Brothers and sisters in Christ, it’s time to come to terms with what is happening in our culture. Often, when looking at the utter clown show of sheer confusion we see in society today regarding personhood, identity, and morality, many Christians don’t seem to be able to connect the dots between what is going on out there and the fact that the majority of the church has abandoned its Genesis foundation and accepted the story of evolution.

As a matter of fact, many of our church leaders, Christian authors, Bible colleges, and seminaries have bought into evolution as the supposed “scientific” explanation for how God created us as well, which not only encourages people’s belief in the false story of evolution, but also signals to the world that the Bible can’t be taken as plainly written.

Adopting theistic evolution weakens the Christian’s ability to imitate our Lord Jesus in quoting Scripture as the final authority (remember his habit of saying, “It is written” or “Have you not read?”). Because let’s face it, the Bible makes no mention of millions of years or evolution but explicitly teaches that God created in six literal days ex nihilo—from nothing.

People naturally end up thinking, “If I can’t trust what’s plainly written in the Bible at the beginning, then why should I trust it anywhere else?”

No, the story of evolution is not “simply a scientific theory” as I have heard so many of my brethren say; rather, it is a concept that claims nature made everything and there’s no need for a Creator.

The Universal Acid of Darwinism

Spiritually and morally, it is a cocktail for utter chaos—and one that has been poured out and served through our schools and media outlets for years now, weakening the fabric of society in unimaginable ways.

As the atheist Daniel Dennet (in reference to the concept of a metaphorical “universal acid” that could conceptually disintegrate anything) once said,

Little did I realize that in a few years I would encounter an idea – Darwin’s idea – bearing an unmistakable likeness to universal acid: it eats through just about every traditional concept, and leaves in its wake a revolutionized world-view, with most of the old landmarks still recognizable, but transformed in fundamental ways.

And he was correct. Today—even with the remnant of church influence in society—many people’s understanding of the world has been turned upside down, including even the basic concept of what it means to be a person.

Who Has the Authority to Assign Personhood?

Even the average child understood what made King Louie’s brief appearance and performance so amusing in The Jungle Book. It was ultimately his autonomous decision to try to assign himself personhood, but as every child knows—apes aren’t people!

Or are they? Now many aren’t sure. Are humans animals? If we are, are we the only animals entitled to fundamental rights such as liberty, autonomy, equality, and fairness? If so, who decides? Who has the ability to define what a person is and give them rights?

Do elected officials that change from year to year have the authority to decide what personhood means for the rest of us? Because if they do, we might not be very happy with how the next one that comes along defines us based on their personal (pun intended) point of view.

As a matter of fact, almost all genocides committed against groups of people began with campaigns to dehumanize the victims to some extent, so that their eradication could be justified by their oppressors. If our standard of personhood is not absolute, there’s no guarantee any of us won’t fail to meet the criteria some other person later decides upon.

Only God Can Decide What a Person Is

One can try and point out specific attributes that separate us from the animals as a reason that we’re special, such as the fact that only humans can think abstractly, are able to use complex language to communicate, and use tools to make tools. But those characteristics alone are not what determines that humans have personhood.

Only God can define who and what we are (and what the rest of reality is), based on his sovereign authority as Creator and Sustainer of everything. And his written revelation to us shows he has created us separate from the animals and has given humans certain rights that he has not given to animals. And he also declared that we are called to care for creation and steward it kindly and correctly.

What makes us unique is described in Genesis 1:27:

Genesis 1:27 KJV – “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”

We are image bearers of God, distinct from animals and given dominion over them.

Genesis 1:28 KJV – “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”

The very idea that men would have the audacity to believe they should grant personhood to animals and even nonliving things like rivers while denying their own children that right is utter madness. But it’s the result of a degenerate culture that has turned its back on the Creator. As atheist Jeremy Rifkin once said,

We no longer feel ourselves to be guests in someone else’s home and therefore obliged to make our behavior conform with a set of pre-existing cosmic rules. It is our creation now. We make the rules. We establish the parameters of reality. We create the world, and because we do, we no longer have to justify our behavior, for we are now the architects of the universe. We are responsible to nothing outside ourselves, for we are the kingdom, the power, and the glory for ever and ever.

Biblical Creation: A Return to Reality

It is doubtful that most people watching The Jungle Book’s debut in 1967 would ever have imagined the implications King Louie’s idea of attempting to turn an ape into a man would have on society’s future. But the full weight of dismissing the idea of a created world with absolute meaning, structure, normality, and reality has finally hit home.

Christians, it is time to stop messing around with ideas like millions of years of supposed evolution and attempting to insert them into the Bible where they don’t belong and where they do great damage to biblical understanding.

People are watching reality unravel and will be looking for those who can provide a consistent worldview, which is what Bible believers have. Indeed, what we see in the world matches what we read in God’s Word when we view the world through the plain reading of Scripture.

However, we must stand on the authority of God’s Word from the very first verse and use it as the plumb line for all of our human experience lest the very meaning of personhood be washed away.


Source: Deep Dive: Playing With Personhood — Denying Creation Dehumanizes People | Harbingers Daily

For More Information into Origin of Life and Creation Science please check out some of our newest videos on the DDNI Video Library

Our Daily Bread — Lost, Found, Joy

Bible in a Year:

Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.

Luke 15:6

Today’s Scripture & Insight:

Luke 15:1–10

“They call me ‘the ringmaster.’ So far this year I’ve found 167 lost rings.”

During a walk on the beach with my wife, Cari, we struck up a conversation with an older man who was using a metal detector to scan an area just below the surf line. “Sometimes rings have names on them,” he explained, “and I love seeing their owners’ faces when I return them. I post online and check to see if anyone contacted lost and found. I’ve found rings missing for years.” When we mentioned that I enjoy metal detecting as well but didn’t do it frequently, his parting words were, “You never know unless you go!”           

We find another kind of “search and rescue” in Luke 15. Jesus was criticized for caring about people who were far from God (vv. 1–2). In reply, He told three stories about things that were lost and then found—a sheep, a coin, and a son. The man who finds the lost sheep “joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me’ ” (vv. 5–6). All the stories are ultimately about finding lost people for Christ, and the joy that comes as they’re found in Him.

Jesus came “to seek and to save the lost” (19:10), and He calls us to follow Him in loving people back to God (see Matthew 28:19). The joy of seeing others turn to Him awaits. We’ll never know unless we go.

By:  James Banks

Reflect & Pray

What joy have you seen when people turn to God? How will you point others to Jesus’ love today?

Thank You, Jesus, for finding and loving me! Please send me in Your joy to another who needs You today.

Grace to You; John MacArthur – The Effect of Patience

“Walk . . . with patience” (Ephesians 4:1-2).

Patience is crucial to our testimony.

The virtues of Ephesians 4:2-3 enable the church of Jesus Christ to have a powerful witness. Many think the key to evangelism is following a specific course or method, but according to Jesus, the greatest way to get people to believe the gospel is through our love and unity (John 17:21). Though evangelistic methods are important, often they aren’t as effective as they could be because of the church’s poor reputation among unbelievers. If the church were full of people who had genuine humility, gentleness, and patience, others would be more inclined to listen to what we say.

Sir Henry Stanley traveled to Africa in 1872 to find Dr. David Livingstone, the famous missionary and explorer, who had lost contact with the European community. After finding him, Stanley spent several months with Livingstone, who by that time was an old man. Apparently Livingstone didn’t say much to Stanley about spiritual things—he just continued about his business with the Africans. Stanley observed that throughout the months he watched him, Livingstone’s habits, especially his patience, were beyond his comprehension. Stanley could not understand Livingstone’s sympathy for the pagan Africans, who had wronged Livingstone many times. For the sake of Christ and His gospel David Livingstone was patient, untiring, and eager. He spent himself for his Master.

In his account How I Found Livingstone, Stanley wrote, “His religion is not of the theoretical kind, but is a constant, earnest, sincere practice. It is neither demonstrative nor loud, but manifests itself in a quiet practical way, and is always at work. . . . In him religion exhibits its loveliest features; it governs his conduct not only towards his servants but towards the natives . . . and all who come in contact with him.”

I’m not suggesting that you never talk about the gospel. But realize that what you say will have far greater effect when you live in harmony with what the gospel teaches. If the world could see a clear picture of Jesus Christ through the unity of the church and its humble, gentle, and patient people, our evangelism would be sped along on wings!

Suggestions for Prayer

Pray that you would live in a way that glorifies God and attracts others to the Savior.

For Further Study

Read Matthew 5:13-16.

  • What did Christ mean by being salt and light in the world?
  • Think of specific ways you can obey the command in verse 16.

From Strength for Today by John MacArthur

Joyce Meyer – Pray Prayers God Can Answer

Christ’s personal representatives] beg you for His sake to lay hold of the divine favor [now offered you] and be reconciled to God.

— 2 Corinthians 5:20 (AMPC)

Learning how to pray prayers God can answer is very important. I spent lots of years in my morning prayers telling the Lord what I needed Him to do for me, but finally I learned to also pray: “God, what can I do for You today?” We are Christ’s ambassadors, His partners in helping people and bringing them to know Him.

I would like to suggest something for you to add to your daily prayers. Each day, ask God what you can do for Him. Then as you go through your day, watch for opportunities to do what you believe Jesus would do if He were still on earth in bodily form. He lives in you now if you are a Christian, and you are His ambassador, so make sure you represent Him well.

Recently, I was asking God to help a friend who was going through a very difficult time. She needed something, so I asked God to provide it. To my surprise, His answer to me was, “Stop asking Me to meet the need; ask Me to show you what you can do.”

I have become aware that I often ask God to do things for me when He wants me to do those things myself. He doesn’t expect me to do anything without His help, but neither will He do everything for me while I sit idly by.

God wants us to be open to being involved. He wants us to use our resources to help people, and if what we have isn’t enough to meet their needs, then we can encourage others to get involved so that together we can do what needs to be done.

I encourage you to pray prayers God can answer. You and He are partners, and He wants to work with and through you.

Prayer of the Day: Father, please show me what I can do for You and help me trust in and depend on You to give me the creativity and the resources to do it, amen.

Truth for Life; Alistair Begg – Sovereign Over Suffering

His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.”

John 9:2-3

Sometimes God has something better for us than an answer to our questions.

When Jesus’ disciples saw “a man blind from birth” (John 9:1), they asked the probing question: Who is to blame? Yet Jesus’ answer indicates that the disciples were asking the wrong question. Rather than looking for someone to blame for the blind man’s state, they needed to learn a lesson about God’s sovereignty over suffering.

Their assumption was that sin and suffering are intimately connected. This assumption is generally true. Genesis 3 makes clear that it was the entry of sin into the world that disrupted the goodness of the world. All the thorns and thistles—the disharmony, mayhem, illnesses, and everything else—are a consequence of Adam and Eve’s disobedience. Yet while the disciples’ assumption is understandable, their belief that there was a connection between the sin and the sufferings of a particular individual put them on shaky ground.

It is encouraging to know that two millennia ago those closest to Jesus had questions about suffering. We, too, face these questions when the news from the doctor is the opposite of what we had hoped for, and perhaps most acutely of all when our loved ones face pain that we cannot remove. We face them, too, as we talk with those in our community.

When we search the Scriptures, we see that even though there is a cost to be paid for our sin, the suffering we experience is not the form of payment. God’s word doesn’t introduce us to a deity on a deckchair who is indifferent to our pain. Rather, it directs us to a God on a cross, who understands rejection, pain, and grief at the deepest level because He has experienced those things. Not only that, but He did it for us. He has “borne our griefs and carried our sorrows” (Isaiah 53:4) and, in bearing the crushing weight of our sin on Himself, has made it so that “this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” (2 Corinthians 4:17). The same Jesus who gave the man born blind his sight (John 9:6-7) has given you, born in sin as you are, your salvation. We may not understand why God leads us along the paths that He does in this life, but we have an eternity of pain-free joy in His presence to see how, through all of it, He was guiding us toward our heavenly home.

Have you been through something so difficult that it has caused you to lose your bearings? Have your circumstances left you looking for someone to blame? God suffered and died for you, and He has promised never to leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). He is not surprised by your situation or your struggle. He might not give you answers right now, but He has given you the cross, which assures you that there is no length to which He will not go to for your eternal good. Come to Him with all of your pain and confusion, and He will give you rest.


John 9:1-11

Topics: Affliction Sovereignty of God Suffering

Devotional material is taken from the Truth For Life daily devotional by Alistair Begg,

Kids4Truth Clubs Daily Devotional – God Made You

“I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.” (Psalm 139:14-15)

God made you. Before you were born – even long before your parents were even born – God had plans for you. The Bible says that in God’s book He had a record that told all that would happen to you. No matter what you look like or what talents or disabilities you might have been born with, God planned it all. He made you just the way you are for His own glory.

Sometimes you might be tempted to complain about how God made you. You may wish you looked like someone else, or maybe you wish you had a natural talent like one of your classmates. The Bible says that you were fearfully and wonderfully made and that God’s thoughts toward you are precious.

Although you should never think boastfully about yourself, you should recognize that God made you special and unique, and He has a special plan for your life that includes what you look like and what natural talents you have. Thank God today for making you just the way you are, and look for ways that you can bring glory to Him with your appearance and your talents.

God made me, and His thoughts toward me are precious.

My Response:
» Am I tempted to complain about the way I look or the disabilities I have?
» Do I thank God for everyone He’s made?

Denison Forum – Gunman kills ten after Lunar New Year celebration: A reflection on tragedy and hope

The Lunar New Year has begun. Celebrated by Asian cultures around the world, the holiday marks the first new moon of the year and continues for around fifteen days until the first full moon of the year. As National Geographic reports, the holiday focuses on themes of reunion and hope and is “a time for family reunions, plenty of food, and some very loud celebrations.”

It was therefore especially horrific that a gunman killed ten people and wounded ten others at a California ballroom dance club Saturday night following a Lunar New Year celebration. Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna identified the shooter as seventy-two-year-old Huu Can Tran and said he took his own life last night in a van after law enforcement surrounded the vehicle in a parking lot.

Authorities are still searching for a motive at this writing.

“Man is the noblest of all animals”

Aristotle noted, “At his best, man is the noblest of all animals; separated from law and justice he is the worst.”

Tragedies like this should convince us all that we need God, for at least four reasons:

  1. Clearly, human laws are not enough to restrain human evil—we need a transforming power beyond ourselves.
  2. When we lose someone we love, we seek help and hope we cannot produce or give.
  3. The fact that human lives can be taken by other humans demonstrates our finitude and mortality.
  4. The suddenness of such a tragedy illustrates the fact that tomorrow is promised to no one and that eternity is one day closer than ever.

These facts combine, we would think, to lead secular people to reconsider their secularity. And they often do, at least when the tragedy is fresh. Churches were crowded after 9/11. People, no matter their religiosity, often cry out to God in moments of distress. As the saying goes, there are no atheists in foxholes.

But over time, the pain and shock fade and we return to the “real” world in which religion is outdated and irrelevant.

Why is this?

Building a house of sand

Oswald Chambers observed, “Troubles nearly always make us look to God; his blessings are apt to make us look elsewhere.” It is a fact that the more prosperous a society becomes, the more irreligious it becomes.

The peril of prosperity conspires with the lure of self-reliance. If we think we achieved what we have, we will think we can continue to achieve what we need.

From Socrates’ dictum to “know thyself” to the present, Western society has been built on the individual. Our foundational premise is that we can discover truth and improve the world if we will only try hard enough for long enough.

God or the gods can certainly help, or so the Greeks and Romans thought. Thus they built altars to their various deities and engaged in transactional religion whereby they gave the god what it wanted so the god would give them what they wanted. We do the same when we go to church on Sunday so God will bless us on Monday.

However, secular Americans now “know” that all gods are myths. As Richard Dawkins notes in The God Delusion, “We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.”

So, when tragedy strikes, after we move past our initial religious reaction, we soon begin seeking human solutions. President Bill Clinton captured our cultural ethos when he declared in his 1993 inaugural address, “There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be cured by what is right with America.” When a shooting tragedy strikes, we turn to debates about gun laws. When natural disasters strike, we debate climate change.

Then the next wave hits and our house of sand is washed away. But before long, we start building it again.

“What’s wrong with the world today?”

As you and I know, the only One who can transform a sinful human heart is Jesus: “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Why, then, don’t more people learn from tragedy to turn to him?

The problem with Christianity is Christians.

The Times of London is said to have posed this question in the early 1900s to several prominent authors: “What’s wrong with the world today?” The well-known author G. K. Chesterton reportedly responded with a one sentence-essay:

Dear Sir,
I am.
Yours, G. K. Chesterton.

I could say the same. I cannot persuade secular people that Jesus can change their lives until he first changes me. Just as we will not believe an obese diet “expert” or a dentist with bad teeth, why would non-Christians want Christ if Christians are no different than anyone else?

Here’s the good news: when the living Lord Jesus transforms us, others will see the difference. If we are loving toward those who do not love us; if we are calm in the storm, courageous in the crisis, moral in an immoral age, others will see our light in the dark (Matthew 5:16). And they will be drawn to the One who is “the light of men” (John 1:4).

This is why, as Oswald Chambers noted, “The one thing for which we are all being disciplined is to know that God is real.” He is not just the subject of the sermon you heard yesterday or the article you are reading now, but he is alive, powerful, and transforming.

No one can truly experience the God of the universe in faith, prayer, Scripture, and worship and stay the same.

Has Jesus changed your life yet today?

Denison Forum

Hagee Ministries; John Hagee –  Daily Devotion

Psalm 23:5

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.

Our God is the God of yesterday, today and tomorrow. He’s the God who can go into your past and erase the pain. He’s the God who can make a way for you today. And He’s the God who’s already working out details in your future long before you arrive in your next conflict. God is the One who is there whenever and wherever You need Him.

You and I have a common enemy. Jesus called him a thief who comes to rob, kill and destroy. And whenever the devil comes against you, your family, your physical health or your finances, because God has already gone into your tomorrows, He pulls out a chair at a table of provision. He says, “Sit down and be blessed while I defeat your enemies, build your business, open the windows of heaven, and pour out blessings that you cannot contain.”

If you are going through a difficult time, recognize that God has already charted the course. He is not hemmed in by your wristwatch. He knew where you’d be today and was already working out the answer to your problem long before you knew the problem. So rather than worry about it, sit down at His table, be thankful and bless His name!

Today’s Blessing: 

Now may the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you and give you His peace. May you walk today, with a new dream, with the courage to face the fact that you cannot be defeated because God is with you. The Lord God will go before you. He will destroy your enemies before you. He will open the closed doors before you. The seas will part, and your vision will become a reality because you have divine persistence to reach the objective God has given. Go with this blessing and receive it with joy. Though it is delayed in coming, it most assuredly will come because God has promised it. In Jesus’ name, receive the blessing.

Today’s Bible Reading: 

Old Testament

Genesis 46:1-47:31

New Testament 

Matthew 15:1-28

Psalms & Proverbs

Psalm 19:1-14

Proverbs 4:14-19

Turning Point; David Jeremiah – Powerful Love

Nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Romans 8:39

 Recommended Reading: John 10:27-30

A recurring plot of romance movies is a couple separated after high school or college who are then unexpectedly reunited years later. Predictably, their love is rekindled, and their romance is restored.

What the pair discovers is that nothing had dampened their original love. Nothing—not time nor distance nor careers—had managed to separate them when it came to love. This theme is biblical at its core. In Romans 8:35, Paul asks, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” And in verse 39 he concludes, “[Nothing] shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” In verses 35-38 he provides a list of more than fifteen circumstances and events which might seem powerful enough to separate us from God’s love. But nothing is as powerful as the love of God.

Don’t ever think there is something that can come between you and God. Nothing is stronger than His love.

None walk so evenly with God as they that are assured of the love of God.
Thomas Manton

Harvest Ministries; Greg Laurie – Decisive Moments

But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.” 

—Luke 9:62

As we are looking forward in life, it is so important to put our hand to the plow and serve the Lord.

You might say, “I’m going to wait until I get a little bit older before I really start serving Jesus. Maybe when I’m around 95, I’ll really get serious. I want to have a little fun first. I still want to do some things that interest me personally. I believe in Jesus and want to follow Him, but I will get serious later.”

No, you need to do it now.

Jesus said, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God” (Luke 9:62 NKJV).

To appreciate the point Jesus was making, we have to understand the land in Israel. Putting your hand to the plow meant moving at the decisive moment. It meant moving when it rains.

Between May and October there is hardly any rain in Israel. The ground is dry and hard, and everyone would wait for the first rain. First-century farmers didn’t have the advanced irrigation systems that we have now.

So when the rain came, it was a decisive moment. Whether it was 3:00 PM or 3:00 AM, once it started raining, farmers had to go out with their plows and seed while the ground was still moist. And with their eyes on the furrow, they went forward.

In the same way, we must be aware of the danger and tragedy of the unseized moment. God will bring opportunities into our lives to go out and make a difference, and we have to seize them. If we wait or if we’re not paying attention, we might miss them. And we might become so set in our ways that we’ll have no interest whatsoever in the things of God.

Put your hand to the plow now—and don’t look back.