Heart to Heart

We pray that your summer has been a delightful one for you and your family. For us, this summer has been an extremely busy one as our family started a lawn business in addition to my (Jon’s) full-time job and expanded our home church to include many more families. But God in His great faithfulness always accomplishes in His great strength what He calls us to do, not by our might, but by His Holy Spirit. This holds true with everything God calls us to do, including homeschooling our children. We need to remember that He is the One we need to trust, for “faithful is He who calls, and it is He who will bring it to pass” (1 Thes. 5:24).     

In the May/June 2003 issue of our newsletter, we wrote an article encouraging fathers to heed God’s calling to lead their families so as to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. The following is really a companion article whereby we provide the tools to begin doing just that by using the lessons Candy and I have written for our church fathers. We hope and pray that these lessons bless you as much as they have our own family and our other church families.     

The very reason that we expanded our home church was to make ready a people prepared for the Lord. This we are doing by encouraging, supporting, and equipping fathers with weekly Bible lessons, which they can use with their own families. It has been such a blessing for Candy and myself to see our fathers gather together in front of their families, holding hands and praying for one another, to hear the whole congregation recite in unison the weekly scripture that we commit to memory, and to hear the hymns that we are learning together as well. But the greatest blessing for Candy and I is to hear from our fathers, and mothers, that their families’ lives are being transformed as fathers are making that daily commitment to lead their family in Bible study using the lessons that we provide them with each week. These lessons are based on my teaching each Friday, starting in Genesis, because our vision is for each family to have a thorough understanding of the entire Bible, line upon line, so that each of our families become Bible scholars according to God’s desire. “Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15).     

Since Genesis is the beginning, beginning meaning “to make ready,” and since our purpose in homeschooling our children is to make ready a people prepared for the Lord, Candy and I thought that our first two Bible lessons would be a great addition to the beginning of your school year by directing your children’s focus on the magnificence of our Lord and Saviour. For truly He is the author of parent-directed education and the only One who can perfect the good work that He began in each of us.     

It is my prayer that this will help all fathers realize that their most important responsibility and covenantal duty is to equip their children, and their children’s children, for serving God not only in this life, but also in the eternal life hereafter. May this be our prayer for all our CHEF fathers, which leads me to ask you to please join us for our monthly CHEF Fast and Prayer. Our CHEF leaders and families fast and pray the 4th Sunday of each month to ask God’s forgiveness and to seek His protection, wisdom, and guidance so that we may continue to walk in all His ways. Please consider making this a monthly priority for your family.     

The following is a letter George Washington Carver wrote in which he included his essay entitled “How to Search for Truth” taken from William Federer’s new book entitled George Washington Carver: His Life and Faith in His Own Words (look under “Recommended Reading” on page ?? for a review of this great book). Clearly Carver reveals the importance of studying God’s Word, and in this case, Genesis, for becoming more intimate with our divine, magnificent, majestic Creator.    

“I believe the Great Creator of the universe had young people in mind when the following beautiful passages were written: In the 12th chapter of Job and the 7th and 8th verses, we are urged thus: ‘But ask now the beasts and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee. Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee; and the fishes of the sea; shall declare unto thee.’ There is nothing more assuring, more inspiring, or more literally true than the above passage from Holy Writ.     

“We get closer to God as we get more intimately and understandingly acquainted with the things He has created. I know of nothing more inspiring than that of making discoveries for oneself.      “The study of nature is not only entertaining, but instructive and the only true method that leads up to the development of a creative mind and clear understanding of the great natural principles which surround every branch of business in which we may engage. Aside from this it encourages investigation, stimulates and develops originality in a way that helps the student to find himself more quickly and accurately than any plan yet worked out. The singing birds, the buzzing bees, the opening flower, and the budding trees, along with other forms of animate and inanimate matter, all have their marvelous creation story to tell each searcher for truth….     

“More and more as we come closer and closer in touch with nature and its teachings are we able to see the Divine and are therefore fitted to interpret correctly the various languages spoken by all forms of nature about us.     

“From the frail little mushroom, which seems to spring up in a night and perish ere the morning sun sinks to rest in the western horizon, to the giant redwoods of the Pacific slope that have stood the storms for centuries and vie with the snow-capped peaks of the loftiest mountains, in their magnificence and grandeur.     

“First, to me, my dear young friends, nature in the varied forms are the little windows through which God permits me to commune with Him, and to see much of His glory, majesty, and power by simply lifting the curtain and looking in.     

“Second, I love to think of nature as unlimited broadcasting stations, through which God speaks to us every day, every hour and every moment of our lives, if we will only tune in and remain so.      “Third, I am more and more convinced as I search for the truth that no ardent student of nature, can ‘Behold the lilies of the field’; or ‘Look unto the hills’; or study even the microscopic wonders of a stagnant pool of water, and honestly declare himself to be an Infidel.     

“To those who already love nature, I need only to say, pursue its truths with a new zest, and give to the world the value of the answers to the many questions you have asked the greatest of all teachers….     

“To those who have as yet not learned the secret of true happiness, which is the joy of coming into the closest relationship with the Maker and Preserver of all things: begin now to study the little things in your own door yard, going from the known to the nearest related unknown for indeed each new truth brings one nearer to God.” 

                         Fathers’ Prayer, Praise, and Lessons for His Family

                                   Genesis One: The Beginning (Part 1)

 

Day One

Prayer

Praise: How Great Thou Art

Memorize Thy Word: Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning God made the heavens and the earth.” Jeremiah 32:17: “Ah Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and by Your outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for You.” Colossians 1:16,17: “For in Him all things were created both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether throne or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.”

Memorize: The books of the Pentateuch and the names of the nine books of history in the Old TestamentLesson: Introduction to Genesis      

Genesis is the first book of the Old Testament. Testament is “a solemn authentic instrument in writing, by which a person declares his will.” Testament is the same as covenant. Covenant means “the commands, prohibitions, and promises of God; the promise of God to man, that man’s perfect obedience should entitle him to happiness.” This is the will of God for man.     

Genesis is the first of the five books of Moses—the Pentateuch. Genesis means “original—the creation; or generation—His story of the generations. It is a genealogy of the sons of man.”     

      1. God addressed His Word to us so that we may fully know Him. Psalm 111:2 says, “Great are the works of the Lord; they are studied by all who delight in them.” Genesis means “origin or beginning.” The whole Bible rests on the book of Genesis; it is the foundation of our faith and knowledge of God. If we cannot trust God’s Word about creation, we cannot trust God’s Word about salvation.      

      2. Read John 5:47 where Jesus says, “But if you do not believe his [Moses, the author of creation] writings, how will you believe My words?”      

      3. Sometimes we may think that if God would just talk out loud to our unsaved family or if He would just allow them a glimpse of heaven or hell, they would believe God and be saved; yet God has made Himself known through His magnificent creations and through His Word so that all are without excuse.     

      4. Read Romans 1:20-23.

      5. Read Psalm 14:1: “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’”

      6. Read Luke 16:22-31.

 

Day Two

Prayer, Praise, and Memory Work continue all week.Lesson: The First Day of Creation      

      1. Read Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”     

      2. The Hebrew word for God here is Elohim, which declares God’s power and strength. It also speaks of the plurality of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.     

      3. The Hebrew word for create here is bara, which means “to make out of nothing.” Only God has this unique power to create something out of nothing.

      4. Read Hebrews 11:3,6.

      5. Read Jeremiah 32:17: “Ah Lord God! Behold, Thou hast made the heavens and the earth by Thy great power and by Thine outstretched arm! Nothing is too difficult for Thee.”     

      6. Read Proverbs 3:19: “The Lord by wisdom founded the earth; by understanding He established the heavens.”     

      7. Read Psalm 104:24: “O Lord, how many are Thy works! In wisdom Thou hast made them all; the earth is full of Thy possessions.”     

      8. Read Proverbs 1:7: “The fear [reverence] of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge.”

      9. Read Genesis 1:2-5: “And the earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. And God called the light day, and the darkness He called night. And there was evening and there was morning, one day.”

      10. We must stand in awe of God who brings order out of chaos, fills the void with His magnificent presence, and speaks light into darkness. Truly, God is our El Shaddai – God Almighty!     

      11. The picture of the earth lying formless, void, empty, dark, and in waste until God’s Spirit moved and brought His good light to it is a perfect analogy of our lives without God, before God’s Spirit moved upon us and brought light and life into our lives. We were once dead, but now we are alive—filled with life and light and purpose.      

      12. Read Ezekiel 37:1-14.      13. Now we will discover that the three persons of God were at work in the creation: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Let’s talk first about the Word of God, which brings light.     

      14. Read Psalm 33:6-9. God’s Word puts His mighty power in force as it acts according to His purpose. He spoke and it was done; not over a period of millions of years; when our powerful God speaks, it is done! Remember when Jesus spoke and His Word calmed the raging sea—not after several hours or days, but immediately.      

      15. Who is God’s Word but Jesus Christ Himself? Read John 1:1-18.            

            A. Jesus was not made by God. “He was in the beginning with God.” Jesus is the second person of God—eternal, divine, and the power that brings about God’s purpose. The Word of God is Jesus Himself who accomplishes God’s purpose. “All things came into being through Him ... and the light shines in the darkness … and the world was made through Him…. He gave them the right to become children of God … He is in the bosom of the Father.”           

            B. There is no life without Him, and all life is given and kept by the Word, which is Jesus Christ Himself. “In Him was life and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness and enlightens every man.” When we have the Word, He enlightens us, and His light shines through us.           

            C. “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us.” The baby that was born in Bethlehem and dwelt among the living dead upon the earth was the Word of God, the second person of God, God Himself in the flesh.      

      16. Jesus is subject to the Father. Read John 12:49: “For I did not speak on My own initiative, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me commandment, what to say, and what to speak.”           

            A. Read the entire 17th chapter of John, which shows how the Son is subject to the Father. It is a precious testimony of His humble submission to His Father.      17. Read Colossians 1:16,17.     

      18. Read Hebrews 1:1-3.     

      19. Christ is the wisdom and power of God.           

            A. Read Colossians 2:2,3: “… Christ Himself, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.”           

            B. Read 1 Corinthians 1:18-31.           

            C. Read Proverbs 8:12-36.           

            D. Read Psalm 104:24: “O Lord, how many are Thy works! In wisdom Thou hast made them all; the earth is full of Thy possessions.”           

            E. Noah Webster defines light as “matter which makes objects perceptible to the sense of seeing, but the particles of which are separately invisible. Light is real matter existing independent of other substances, with properties peculiar to itself. Its velocity is astonishing, as it passes through a space of nearly twelve millions of miles in a minute. Life …instruction; knowledge. Means of knowing. Means of understanding. God, the source of knowledge. Christ—That was the true light that lighteth every man that cometh into the world. Joy; comfort … prosperity; happiness. Support; comfort; deliverance. The gospel. The understanding of judgment. The gifts and graces of Christians. A moral instructor. A true Christian. A good king.”     

      20. Now let’s discuss the Spirit of God, which was also there in the beginning who brings life, who teaches us all things, who reveals God’s wisdom, who guides us into all truth, whose role is to represent Christ with Christ’s authority, who is our Helper, who bears witness of Christ, and helps us bear witness of Christ.            

            A. Read John 6:63: “It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.”           

            B. Read John 14:16,26.           

            C. Read 1 Corinthians 2:10,12.           

            D. Read John 16:13,14.           

            E. Read John 15:26,27.           

            F. When we become God’s, the Spirit of God actually dwells within us. Read 1 Corinthians 3:16: “Do you not know that you are a temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”     

      21. At the end notice God makes a point to say, “And there was evening and there was morning, one day.” This is so there would be no mistake about the time it actually took God to create our world. 

Day Three

Prayer, Praise, and Memory Work continue all week.Lesson: The Second Day of Creation      

      1. Read Genesis 1:6-8: “Then God said, ‘Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.’ And God made the expanse, and separated the waters which were below the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse; and it was so. And God called the expanse heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, a second day.”

      2. The Hebrew for heavens is shamayim, which means “stretched out space.” To think that God even had to stretch out the space before He made everything else. Mayim means “water”; sham means “in it.”

            A. Scientists have just recently discovered that there is water in space even though David declared in Psalm 148:4: “Praise Him, highest heavens, and the waters that are above the heavens.”

            B. We now know that a dense canopy of water vapor surrounds Venus and also Saturn’s moon, Titan. This dense canopy of water had to cover our earth, too, because no rain had been mentioned until Genesis 7:11 where we are told, “The floodgates of the sky were opened [or also the windows of the heavens].” Also, in Genesis 9:13,14, God gives the first rainbow as a promise to His people. Genesis 2:6: “But a mist used to rise from the earth and water the whole surface of the ground.”            

            C. Job 26:8: “He wraps up the waters in His clouds; and the cloud does not burst under them.” This is amazing since there are 1,000,000 droplets of water in one raindrop and 100 to 1,000 tons of water in one cloud.           

            D. Read Job 28:24-28.           

            E. All living things need water to live—plants, animals, and man. Our bodies, for instance, need 2½ quarts of water per day because we are 65% water. This water carries nutrients where they need to go and carries the toxic waste out of our bodies.

      4. Our planet is the only heavenly body that we know of that can sustain life. Our atmosphere goes up 1,000 miles above our earth and remains there without floating off. God designed our earth so it had gravity, not only to hold us, and our belongings, from floating off into space, but to hold our atmosphere in place as well. Not only do we not need to worry about our air floating off, but we also need not worry about being crushed by the air around us. Yes, air has weight.

      5. Read Job 28:24,25: “For He looks to the ends of the earth, and sees everything under the heavens. When He imparted weight to the wind, and meted out the waters by measure.”            A. There is actually 1 ton of air pressing down on each of us right now. We don’t feel it because God made it to exert the same amount of pressure on us from all sides.           

            B. The air pressure is greatest closest to the earth. At sea level the air exerts 15 pounds of pressure per square inch; whereas, the higher up you go the less pressure there is and the less oxygen there is to breathe.     

      6. Read Ecclesiastes 1:6: “Blowing toward the south, then turning toward the north, the wind continues swirling along; and on its circular courses the wind returns.”           

            A. Being heated from the earth, as warm air rises, cooler, denser air rushes in to fill the low pressure places, making a continual flow of air. This causes wind. Wind in turn helps moderate the earth’s temperature, moves clouds to spread out the rain, blows pollen to help pollinate plants, and blows seeds to sow elsewhere.      

      7. The atmosphere also works as a shield to protect us from the sun’s heat and also keeps the earth warm at night by storing the heat from the day.      

      8. “And God called the expanse Heaven.” Heaven is “the expanse which surrounds the earth, and which appears above and around us, like an immense arch or vault…. Among Christians, the part of space in which the omnipresent Jehovah is supposed to afford a more sensible manifestation of His glory. Hence, this is called the habitation of God, and is represented as the residence of angels and blessed spirits.”

      9. Read Ezekiel 1:25-28.

      10. Read Deuteronomy 26:15: “Look down from Thy holy habitation, from heaven, and bless Thy people…”     

      11. Read Job 22:12-14.      12. When we look to the heavens, we should be reminded of God’s magnificence, His glory, His majesty, His infinite wisdom, His immensity. For our God is an awesome God!! 

Day Four

Prayer, Praise, and Memory Work continue all week.Lesson: The Third Day of Creation      

      1. Read Genesis 1:9,10: “Then God said, ‘Let the waters below the heavens be gathered into one place, and let the dry land appear’; and it was so. And God called the dry land earth, and the gathering of the waters He called seas; and God saw that it was good.”     

      2. The Earth: Before the astronauts ever saw the earth hanging in the heavens, God told us in Job 26:7: “He stretches out the north over empty space; and hangs the earth on nothing.”            

            A. The Hebrew word for earth is erets, which means “dirt or matter.”           

            B. The earth is traveling at an astounding speed of 66,000 miles per hour, yet not only do we not feel it, but isn’t it amazing that we do not fall off? This is due to the fact that God made gravitational force to hold us in place.           

            C. It was God who created rocks, precious gems, underground streams, and volcanoes. Read Job 28:1-11.     

      3. Read Psalm 95:1-4.

      4. Use a globe or map to show the continents. Man has named the large land masses continents. From largest to smallest, the continents are Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe, and Australia.

 

Day Five

Prayer, Praise, and Memory Work continue all week.Lesson: The Seas (Reread Genesis 1:9,10)      

      1. Read Psalm 95:5,6: “The sea is His, for it was He who made it; and His hands formed the dry land. Come, let us worship and bow down; Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker.”     

      2. Read Psalm 33:6-8.     

      3. God created the great and mighty sea, which covers three-fourths of the earth’s surface. Man has divided the sea into four oceans. The first and largest of these is the Pacific. It covers more than 1/3 of the earth’s surface and is also the deepest. Near the island of Guam, it has been measured to be at least 36,198 feet deep. The Atlantic Ocean is the next largest. It is the saltiest of the oceans and has the richest fishing areas. The Indian Ocean is the warmest ocean, while the Arctic is the coldest.     

      4. Read Ecclesiastes 1:7: “All the rivers flow into the sea, yet the sea is not full. To the place where the rivers flow, there they flow again.”      

      5. Considering that God placed about 340,000,000 cubic miles of water on the earth, isn’t it comforting to know that God will never send another devastating flood again so that even though all the rivers flow into the sea, the sea will not overflow the dry land? God gave us just the right amount of water, not too much that it will flood the earth and not too little that we thirst, but we are able to use the water He gave us over and over again.      

      6. The water on the earth evaporates into the atmosphere as water vapor or humidity. This then becomes precipitation—rain, sleet, snow, or hail—and falls back upon the earth. This process continues over and over again.     

      7. By His Word He controls the weather. Read Psalm 147:15-18.     

      8. There once lived a Christian man named Matthew Maury, who had been seriously injured in a stagecoach accident. Making the most of his time, he took this opportunity to read more of God’s Word and to pray. While reading in Psalms he came upon a verse in chapter 8 verse 8 that read “the paths of the seas.” Strongly believing God’s Word to be true led this man of God to make many important discoveries on wind patterns and ocean currents. These “paths of the seas,” which we call currents, are moved primarily by the wind. It is these very currents that continually move in paths from the equator to the poles and from the poles to the equator that help moderate the earth’s climate. While the currents from the equator bring warm water towards the poles, which helps warm that land area, the cold water from the poles moves towards the equator and helps cool that land area. God is so wise. 

Day Six

Prayer, Praise, and Memory Work continue all week.Lesson: Vegetation      

      1. Read Genesis 1:11-13: “Then God said, ‘Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit after their kind, with seed in them, on the earth’; and it was so. And the earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit, with seed in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, a third day.”           

      2. God created over 350,000 different kinds of plants for our benefit. For two-thirds of the food we eat comes from plants, while the other third comes from animals that depend on plants. Plants also provide us with the oxygen that is absolutely imperative for life. We can live a little over a month without food, several days without water, but only a few minutes without oxygen. Again, what a perfect design for all creation; and how balanced God makes even our environment. We inhale the oxygen that the plants give off, while we exhale the carbon dioxide that they need to exist.      

      3. Plants also give off water into the air. On a summer day, plants covering one square mile of land can give off 50,000 tons of water vapor. But not only do plants provide us with food, oxygen, and water, plants also provide us with shelter, clothing, medicine, fuel, rubber, and paper. They also limit erosion, help our climate, give shelter and food to the animals, and provide us with great beauty.     

      4. Isn’t it incredible to know that every plant is designed and preprogrammed to produce only its own seed; a kernel of corn will always produce corn, never cabbage, turnips, or eggplant. Here we can clearly see that even seeds are bound by God’s command, ever faithful to reproduce only after their own kind. Their roots always go down into the earth, while their stem and leaves always reach up to the sun. So once again we can count on God’s wisdom and faithfulness that when we plant our food, we know that we will get what we plant.     

      5. This also holds true with our spiritual lives as well. Read Galatians 6:7-9.     

      6. Read 2 Corinthians 9:6: “Now this I say, he who sows sparingly shall also reap sparingly; and he who sows bountifully shall also reap bountifully.” Consider that a tiny poppy seed has the potential of yielding tens of thousands of seeds—now that is a productive seed. God has given each of us great potential. Are we being productive? Are we sowing all that God has given us? Will we reap bountifully? Only those things done for the Lord will last. Are we making the most of our time by spending it according to God’s will? It is good for each of us to continually examine our lives to see if we are spending our time as God would have us spend it.     

      7. Read Matthew 6:19-33.     

      8. Think of how God provides for each plant as He gave each seed a storehouse of food to nourish each young plant until it is mature enough to produce its own food. The seed coat also protects the embryo until the seed sprouts. Then the seed coat dies, but the young plant is very much alive and able to grow and bring forth fruit. God uses this analogy of the fruitfulness of His own death and of our death to ourselves when we become a new man in Christ in John 12:24: “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains by itself alone; but if it dies it bears much fruit.” This is symbolic of Jesus’ death and resurrection. He died so that we may live eternally with Him, that we may have new life and live it abundantly.     

      9. Think of how amazing it is that God designed plants in such a way that they can make their own food. They take the carbon dioxide that we exhale, combine it with sunlight, water, and minerals and make the sugars they need to grow. This process is called photosynthesis.     

      10. Read Leviticus 26:1-5.     

      11. God also promises in Genesis 8:22 that “while the earth remains, seedtime and harvest … shall not cease.”     

      12. Read Psalm 65:9-13.     

      13. Again, we can trust in God’s consistency and faithfulness to His people. Furthermore, when we consider that Mercury’s year is just 88 days or that Mars’ year is a whopping 687 days, we can thank Him for providing us with the perfect amount of time for planting and harvesting.         

      14. Read Job 5:8-10.     

      15. Read Isaiah 55:10,11. 

                                  Fathers’ Prayer, Praise, and Lessons for His Family

                                             Genesis One: The Beginning (Part 2)

Day One

Prayer

Praise: Great Is Thy Faithfulness

Memorize Thy Word: Psalm 139:13-18: “For Thou didst form my inward parts; Thou didst weave me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Thy works, and my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from Thee, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth. Thine eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Thy book they were all written, the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them. How precious also are Thy thoughts to me, O God! How vast is the sum of them! If I should count them, they would outnumber the sand.”

Memorize: Books of PoetryLesson: God’s Glory      

Read Job Chapters 37-39. 

Day Two

Prayer, Praise, and Memory Work continue all week.Lesson: The Fourth Day of Creation 

      1. The heavens truly declare the glory of our God. Read Genesis 1:14-19: “Then God said, ‘Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth’; and it was so. And God made the two great lights; the greater light to govern the day, and the lesser light to govern the night; He made the stars also. And God placed them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, a fourth day.”

            A. It is very important to understand that it is God, and God alone who sustains life, not the sun. For in Psalm 104:29,30: “Thou dost take away their spirit, they expire, and return to their dust. Thou dost send forth Thy Spirit, they are created; and Thou dost renew the face of the ground.” This could very well be why He created the plants before the sun so that man in his limited wisdom would not make more of the sun’s role than what God intended. For surely, God’s illuminated presence lit up the earth before there was any sun or moon.

      2. The Sun: Read Psalm 19:1-6.

            A. Even though it is 93 million miles away, the sun is the closest star to the earth. In driving time, that means it would take us 200 years to get to the sun, yet the light from the sun shines upon us every day. How can this be? Well, we couldn’t be any closer to the sun, or we would burn up. God made the sun’s light to travel at an amazing speed of 186,000 miles per second so that the sun’s light could light our earth every day, always giving off the same amount of heat and light—a steady supply of energy.            

            B. Even the dawn and sunset praise God. Psalm 65:8: “And they who dwell in the ends of the earth stand in awe of Thy signs; Thou dost make the dawn and the sunset shout for joy.”           

            C. And to think that one day we will shine as bright as the sun. Matthew 13:43: “Then the righteous will shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.” Psalm 8:3: “When I consider Thy heavens, the work of Thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which Thou hast ordained.”           

            D. Why does the sun seem to rise in the east and set in the west? Because as the earth rotates around the sun, it also rotates from west to east, making a complete circle every 24 hours. This gives us day and night.            

            E. In our limited wisdom, all of us at one time or another have probably wished for longer days so we could have more time to get things done, yet God, in His infinite wisdom, gave us just the right amount of time in each day. We can understand this a little better when we consider that a day on the planet Mercury is equal to about 59 of our days, while Jupiter’s day is less than 10 hours. God is certainly all knowing to give us just what we needed—24 hours, so that we have 12 hours of day and 12 hours of night.            

            F. It takes the earth 365¼ days to orbit the sun once, which gives us our different seasons. This is due to the way the sun’s rays strike the earth at different times of the year, because sometimes we are closer to the sun, and sometimes we are farther away. Therefore, the distance we are from the sun’s heat and light determines our climate and seasons. Another amazing fact is that year after year the earth continues to orbit the sun instead of flying off into space. This is due to the boundaries God set. The sun’s gravity keeps the earth from spinning off into space. Get a ball rolling and see if you can keep it turning along the same path. Only God could do something so wonderful.

      3. The Moon: The moon is 240,000 miles away. Did you know that the moon does not shine on its own, but reflects the light from the sun? The moon’s temperature during the day is a very hot 216 degrees, while at night it becomes very cold with temperatures at -250 degrees. We certainly could not live on the moon.

            A. The moon revolves around the earth every 30 days. People years ago watched the phases of the moon to determine the time of the month.       4. The Stars: Read Psalm 147:4,5: “He counts the number of the stars; He gives names to all of them. Great is our Lord, and abundant in strength; His understanding is infinite.”

            A. Read Job 9:9,10: “Who alone stretches out the heavens…Who makes the Bear, Orion, and the Pleiades…Who does great things, unfathomable, and wondrous works without number.”

            B. Read Job 38:31-33. (Yes, man got the idea for satellites from God’s original satellites in His heavens.)           

            C. When we look up into the sky and see the Milky Way, we must realize that this huge group of stars is just one of the billions of galaxies that God created, yet not only does God count all the stars, but He has names for all of them as well. Our God is an awesome God.           

            D. Most stars are at least 6,000 light years away. A light year is over 5½ trillion miles.            

            E. Although the stars seem to move, it is really the earth that is moving that makes them appear that way. Long ago, people determined the months and the seasons by looking at the night skies because different constellations appear with each new season, one constellation per month. Farmers even planted particular crops by particular constellations. Even Solomon says in Ecclesiastes 3:1: “There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven.”           

            F. There are 12 important constellations that God placed in the sky called Mazzaroth. In Job 38:32, God asks Job, “Can you lead forth Mazzaroth in its season?” Mazzaroth is a Hebrew word meaning “the constellations of the Zodiac.” God created, ordered, numbered, and named all the stars, which He calls the host of heaven, and placed them in the heavens as signs pointing the way to salvation. The root word for zodiac is zoad, which comes from the Hebrew sodi meaning “a Way.” God used the stars to point man once again to salvation, whereas Satan has once again distorted the truth and deceived and corrupted man into believing that they can know their future by reading the skies.            

            G. Astrology is the pagan corruption of God’s original revelation and a false belief that the sun, the moon, and the stars order our lives. Astrologers claim to tell people’s future by reading their fortune in the stars. Horoscopes, which claim to tell people’s future and fortune, come from the Greek, which means “to observe the hour or the time.” A diviner is someone who divides things. Interestingly, Hitler used five astrologers to help him, and look where he ended up.            

            H. Read Deuteronomy 4:19: “And beware, lest you lift up your eyes to heaven and see the sun and the moon and the stars, all the host of heaven, and be drawn away and worship them and serve them, those which the Lord your God has allotted to all the peoples under the whole heaven.”            

            I. Read Isaiah 65:11,12.           

            J. Read Isaiah 47:13-15.           

            K. Read Jeremiah 8:7: “Even the stork in the sky knows her seasons; and the turtledove and the swift and the thrush observe the time of their migration; but My people do not know the ordinance of the Lord.”           

            L. Read Daniel 2, especially noting verses 20-23 and 27-28.           

            M. We should always think of God and His greatness when we look up into His heavens. There is no such thing as luck, nor is there any fortuneteller who can tell our fortunes. For “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path” (Psalm 119:105). Read Ezekiel 20:11: “And I gave them My statutes and informed them of My ordinances, by which, if a man observes them, he will live.”     

      5. God gave the stars for signs.           

            A. Read Matthew 2:2: “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east, and have come to worship Him.” Amazingly, this star stayed above the exact location of the baby Jesus for the wise men to find Him.            

            B. Read Matthew 16:1-3.           

            C. Read Acts 2:17-21.           

            D. Read Romans 1:20: “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.”           

            E. Read Revelation 8:12: “And … a third of the sun and a third of the moon and a third of the stars were smitten, so that a third of them might be darkened and the day might not shine for a third of it, and the night in the same way.”     

      6. Astronomy is the scientific study of all the heavenly bodies. 

Day Three

Prayer, Praise, and Memory Work continue all week.Lesson: The Fifth Day of Creation      

       1. Read Genesis 1:20-23: “Then God said, ‘Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens.’ And God created the great sea monsters, and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good. And God blessed them, saying, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the water in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.’ And there was evening and there was morning, a fifth day.”           

            A. It is very important for us to realize and impart to our children that God’s very first blessing was the ability to be fruitful and multiply.     

      2. “And God created the great sea monsters…” The whales are the largest of all animals. The Blue whale, for instance, weighs 200,000 pounds, which is as much as 33 elephants, and is 90-100 feet long, as tall as a ten-story building. God created such a magnificent animal.     

      3. Genesis 1:28 “…the fish of the sea…” And God said in Leviticus 11:9: “These you may eat, whatever is in the water; all that have fins and scales, those in the water, in the seas or in the rivers, you may eat.” Fish are very nourishing and healthy foods.     

      4. “And every winged bird…” Birds not only add beauty to the skies and melody to the wind, but also they help spread seeds, pollinate plants, and eat insects—many that if overpopulated would destroy our crops. God has brought order to our world.           

            A. Let’s consider how God created even the birds to fulfill His purpose. Some birds eat seeds, some drink nectar, some eat insects, some eat fish, while others even help clean up dead animals by eating their rotting flesh. For each particular task God gave birds, He designed their beaks in such a way as to help them with their task.           

            B. To the seed eaters, he gave short, hard, cone-shaped beaks to crush seeds. Study the finches, cardinals, and sparrows to see them at work crushing seeds.           

            C. So hummingbirds can reach deep into flowers for their nectar, He gave them long, slender needlelike bills.           

            D. Insect eaters have long slender beaks like the flycatchers or warblers so as to grab fleeting insects, while the swallows and whippoorwills have wide gaping mouths to grab the insects as they rapidly sweep through the air in flight.           

            E. Eagles and hawks have keen eyesight and sharp claws to grab their fish straight out of the water and sharp, hooked beaks to hold their slippery prey while they tear its flesh.            F. Herons and bitterns, on the other hand, have long dagger-like beaks so they can spear their fish. You can often see herons sitting on the edge of a pond or marsh area patiently waiting for a juicy fish to spear.           

            G. The woodpecker is also an insect eater, but God designed him differently from all other insect eaters because his job is to eat insects beneath the surface of tree bark. Because he is truly a living jackhammer, God gave the woodpecker an extra thick skull, with shock absorber tissue between the skull and beak to withstand the jolts from pecking into the hard bark. His tongue is 3 to 5 times longer than all other birds so it can reach the insects that are deep within the holes it drills. To accommodate this long tongue, God wrapped it around the skull. Instead of the long spindly legs God gave most other birds, He gave the woodpecker powerful short legs with claws to hold them vertically on the trunk of trees. His stiff tail feathers also help brace him as he climbs trees. Furthermore, God gave him a keen sense of smell and acutely tuned ears so that he could detect those insects under the tree bark.           

            H. Pelicans have large scoop-like bills to scoop fish out of the ocean. Many other waterfowl like ducks and flamingos have special strainers built into their bills to filter out the water and mud that they collect when they go after fish.            I. Finally, think of the bald vultures that eat carrion. God made these birds the disposers of dead animals that could otherwise spread disease.

            J. Have you ever wondered how God designed birds so they can fly? To keep them both light and balanced, God made birds’ bones hollow with some of the bones connected to air sacs. Birds also digest their food quickly so they do not have a lot of extra weight to carry around. Their food also quickly turns into energy, which gives them more energy to fly.

            K. How do birds stay warm in the winter? Their feathers trap layers of air next to their bodies, which helps insulate them from the cold. Waterfowl actually have even another extra protective covering of small, fluffy feathers called “down” to help them keep warm in freezing water.           

            L. Do you know why birds don’t fall off branches when they sleep? God designed their legs to lock in place so they won’t fall off their perch while they snooze. So if God takes care of each individual bird, how much more does He take care of us, His children? 

Day Four

Prayer, Praise, and Memory Work continue all week.Lesson: The Sixth Day of Creation      

Read Genesis 1:24-31: “Then God said, ‘Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind’; and it was so. And God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good. Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.’ And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. And God blessed them; and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.’ Then God said, ‘Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; and to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the sky and to every thing that moves on the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food’; and it was so. And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.”

      1. Man is the crowning glory of God’s creation: “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness” (Genesis 1:26). Here again we can confirm that God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit were all present at the beginning of creation. We are formed in the image of the triune God, being three parts: body, soul, and spirit.

      2. We were created in the image of God who is wise, righteous and holy. However, when Adam, desiring to be his own god, disobeyed His Father, God’s image was distorted through corruption.

      3. To be transformed once again into the image of our Father, we must “… lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth” (Ephesians 4:22-24). Read 2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.”     

      4. Read Philippians 3:20,21.     

      5. Read Psalm 139. 

Day Five

Prayer, Praise, and Memory Work continue all week.Lesson: God’s Majesty Is Displayed Through Creation      

      1. After studying creation, don’t you stand in awe of our great and powerful God? Like David, we are so awestruck by God’s magnificence and so humbled that He cares so much for us. To think that we are made in His image and that we were specifically made to have a personal, intimate relationship with Him. Our loving God created the perfect home for us, the crowning glory of His creation, and then entrusted all of creation in our hands to rule over it.     

      2. Read Psalm 8:1-9.     

      3. Take notice that when God talks with man, He is establishing fellowship with him, but also His first words establish His wisdom and His authority over man by commanding him to “be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; and rule over [all of creation].” Yet God starts out by showing that obedience is a blessing because He prefaces his command with, “And God blessed them.” Again, we must continue to reiterate to our children these commands God gave us, and impart to them and to their children, that children were God’s first blessing to man.      

      4. Read Psalm 115:16: “The heavens are the heavens of the Lord; but the earth He has given to the sons of men.”           

            A. For what? To take care of, to take dominion, and to rule over all creation.     

      5. Read Ephesians 2:10: “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”     

      6. Read Ephesians 4:22-24.     

      7. Read 1 Peter 1:14-16.      

      9. Read Ecclesiastes 3:14: “I know that everything God does will remain forever; there is nothing to add to it and there is nothing to take from it, for God has so worked that men should fear Him.”     

      10. Read Exodus 20:8,11: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy…. For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day…”            

            A. Make particular note that the Hebrew word for day here is yom, which is a literal day. Day means “twenty-four hours; the space of time between the rising and setting of the sun. The whole time or period of one revolution of the earth on its axis, or twenty-four hours.”            

            B. There are those who using their own reasoning think that God must have created the earth over a long period of time, but if they just use that same reasoning, long ages are impossible when they truly consider that the earth came before the sun, plants came before the sun, and man came before woman.           

            C. Read Psalm 33:6: “By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of His mouth all their host.”           

            D. Clearly, God could have created everything instantly, but instead set an example for us to follow.           

            E. Read Exodus 20:9-11.            

            F. In studying the genealogy lists in Genesis, we can compute the years of the earth to be about 6,000 years old. 

Day Six

Prayer, Praise, and Memory Work continue all week.Lesson: Our Creator Is Worthy of Our Praise      

God is King over the entire universe—He is sovereign over everything—By His Word everything is determined—He speaks, and it is done.

      1. Truly God is Omnipotent: “Almighty, possessing unlimited power; all powerful”; Omnipresence: “present in every place at the same time; unbounded; universal presence”; Omniscient: “having universal knowledge; knowledge of all things.” God is infinite: “having no beginning or end.” God is eternal. God is sovereign: “a supreme lord or ruler, one who possesses the highest authority without control.”

      2. Read Revelation 4:11: “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power: for Thou has created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.”     

      3. Read Psalm 148.

      4. Read Psalm 102:25-28.

      5. Read 1 Chronicles 16:30-36.

      6. Read Isaiah 55:12,13.

 

      Our love to all of you,

      Jon and Candy