Gospel Gazette Online
Volume 20 Number 1 January 2018
Page 8

First Things First!

Mark N. Posey

Mark N. PoseyChrist revealed the need for setting proper priorities in Matthew 6:33. Putting first things last and last things first is far too easy and frequent. Therefore, consider four particulars from the words of Christ that will aid in putting first things first.

Obligation: “seek.” We must understand that Jesus issued a command—not an option. If we desire a heavenly home, we must follow this absolute imperative. Seeking requires a diligent effort on our part. Notice Hebrews 11:6, which reads, “but without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

Objects: “the kingdom of God and his righteousness.” The top priorities in a Christian’s life are the “kingdom” or the church (Matthew 16:18-19) and “his righteousness.” These are revealed in the Gospel of Jesus Christ (Romans 1:16-17).

Order: “first.” The emphasis is that the church which belongs to Christ must never take a back seat. In all we do, we must seek to put these things first in our hearts, minds, souls and strength! The concept of “seeking first” for the things of God is a predominant biblical concept that touches one’s motivation and priorities including how one spends his or her leisure time, the goals one sets in life and whether a person experiences spiritual growth.

Outcome: “all these things shall be added unto you.” This statement shows the blessings that will result if one’s priorities are right. The result for obediently seeking the kingdom and God’s righteousness will lead to every need being supplied in accordance with God Himself. What an awesome promise. This does not mean that all one’s wants will be granted. Without fail, God will surely take care of a Christian’s daily requirements. It is also a clear reminder that “So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:33).

One old recipe for preparing rabbit started out with this injunction, “First catch the rabbit.” The writer knew how to put first things first. That’s what we do when we establish priorities. We put the things that should be in first place in their proper order.

The Ancient Beetles

David P. Everson

David P. EversonNo, we are not talking about the “Lads from Liverpool” in later life, but the hard-shelled, creepy crawly and, for some gross, “bugs.” Beetles, the Order Coleoptera, comprise the largest order of any of all of the animals in God’s creation. There are 300,000 currently known beetles with some estimates of as many as 4-5 million unnamed species still to be discovered around the world. Some zoologists feel that beetles may make up over half of all animals on earth; so, they are very important in the natural world. Scientists are making news with some interpretations about the beetles that they had not predicted from their view of a gradual evolution of life. Of course, as creationists, we acknowledge that the creation of all living things occurred during the week-long creation event with all of the other life forms that have been discovered to date. Let’s take a general look at the beetles to see where the atheistic scientists of the world have erred in their interpretations.

The Order Coleoptera was named by Aristotle and means “sheath-winged,” which refers to part of the hard covering over the wings—part of the exoskeleton insects have. Beetles are insects as they have the characteristic six jointed legs of all animals in this group. As with many insects, beetles have complete metamorphoses, going through the egg, larva (several immature phases called instars), pupa and finally the adult stage.

Research into the beetles using fossils and DNA evidence of living beetles has led the atheistic worldview to now feel that the beetles are millions of years older than the dinosaurs. This changed the view of beetles from recent newcomers of 140 million years ago to 70 million years before the T-Rex at supposedly 300 million years ago, says a new report published in the December 21, 2007 journal Science. As Dave Mosher of LiveScience says, “New research hints that modern-day versions of the insects are far older than any tyrannosaur that trod the Earth.” So again, the assumptions of the gradual changes of living things over millions and millions of years by evolution appear not to be supported by the evidence. The beetles that appear in the fossil record are fully formed, modern appearing with no evidence from what they evolved. As Dave Mosher says, “The new genetic maps suggest that a common ancestor to beetles crept up well before its descendants showed up in the fossil record.” Maybe that is because there were no ancestors for them! God created them fully formed with the plants that they need to live and that they benefit.

Beetles provide food for many animals, a role which they share with most other insects, but the beetles play other important roles in the environment. Many are pollinators, helping to provide our food. Dung beetles feed on and reproduce in the dung of herbivores, thereby removing millions of tons of dung that would accumulate and destroy valuable pastureland. Burying beetles enter dead animal carcasses, which are then used as food by the adults and their growing offspring. This helps to get rid of carcasses that would otherwise contaminate and foul the environment. Various nest-dwellers and fur external parasites rid their bird and mammal hosts of parasitic insects, such as fleas, bed bugs and lice. Some beetles are effective as biological control agents, such as the ladybug beetles that feed on aphids. Carabid beetles, such as the “caterpillar-hunters” are often helpful in reducing populations of harmful caterpillars, such as gypsy moth caterpillars and firefly larvae called glowworms, and eat slugs and snails that damage such crops as tomatoes and lettuce. These are just a few examples of the beneficial aspects of beetles, in addition to the delight we can find in their beauty and remarkable diversity!

Beetles show tremendous strategies of defense using camouflage, mimicry, toxicity and even active mechanisms, which God created in them that are so complex as to cause many scientists to scratch their heads with wonder. So, as we observe the creation of the “creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so” (Genesis 1:24), let us always praise the Creator for His marvelous works.

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