For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him Who subjected it in hope; because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.
I love animals: warbling songbirds, soaring eagles, regal lions, noble horses, silly monkeys, funny stick bugs, friendly stingrays, painted parrots and giant dogs.*
I love God's wonders: colored sunsets, sudden rainbows, majestic views, moving water, foggy mornings, boundless flowers, collecting rocks and nature walks.
But our Lord's creations suffer. Animals fight with each other. Men treat animals brutally. Pollution pushes all limits, and the whole of our planet groans.**
Onto earth's stages come actors, models and talent for Christ, showing the glorious liberty of the children of God. You're a preview of Heaven: a place where all creation thrives.
Creatures don't bite or eat each other. Men don't covet, worry or attack. Children shepherd young lions around. Babies hang out by the cobra's hole. Toddlers stick their hands into snake dens. Animals speak
in worship of God.***
Imagine such a wonderful setting, because it's the home for which you were born. But in this mean time, you have a mission: a mission of love, hope, peace and good works. If you can walk in the freedom of Christ, in the midst of a despairing culture, then you can reveal the kingdom to come. Deliverance is the must-take first step.
To Be Continued...
* Previous AMTC Devotion, Animal Lovers: http://amtcdevotions.org/animal-lovers
** 'There is an impurity, deformity, and infirmity, which has come upon the creature by the fall of man. There is an enmity of one creature to another. And they are used, or abused rather, by men as instruments of sin. Yet this deplorable state of the creation is in hope. God will deliver it from thus being held in bondage to man's depravity' (Matthew Henry's Commentary). http://biblehub.com/commentaries/romans/8-20.htm
** 'Mankind in general, and the whole visible creation, lost their original beauty, glory, and felicity; a sad change passed on man, and his place of abode; the whole face of nature was obscured, and all creatures were subjected to vanity and wretchedness in a variety of forms. Every thing seems perverted from its intended use... The fruits of the earth are sacrificed to his luxury, intemperance, and ostentation; its bowels are ransacked for metals, from which arms are forged, for public and private murder and revenge; or to gratify his avarice, and excite him to fraud, oppression, and war. The animal tribes are subject to pain and death through man's sin, and their sufferings are exceedingly increased by his cruelty, who, instead of a kind master, is become their inhuman butcher and tyrant. So that every thing is in an unnatural state' (Benson Commentary). http://biblehub.com/commentaries/romans/8-20.htm
*** Isaiah 11:6-9 (NKJV)
'The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb,
The leopard shall lie down with the young goat,
The calf and the young lion and the fatling together;
And a little child shall lead them.
The cow and the bear shall graze;
Their young ones shall lie down together;
And the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
The nursing child shall play by the cobra's hole,
And the weaned child shall put his hand in the viper's den.
They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,
For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord
As the waters cover the sea.'
*** Revelation 5:13 (NKJV)
'And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying:
'Blessing and honor and glory and power
Be to Him Who sits on the Throne,
And to the Lamb, forever and ever!' '
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Deliverance series.