I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.
26 Deuteronomy 5:6–7 27
If you’ve ever tried to remove a spot from a dress or pair of pants, you know how stubborn even small ones can be. Thankfully, we’re not charged with removing the spots from the Sun, for oftentimes, they’re as large as (or even larger) than Earth itself!
Sunspots are magnetic storms that cause places on the Sun’s surface to be cooler than the area surrounding them. They are actually brighter than a welder’s arc but appear dark in contrast to the more dazzling and hotter surface of the Sun. The number of sunspots present on the Sun varies over an eleven-year period. Early in the cycle, they appear above and below the Sun’s equator. As the cycle progresses and the number of spots increases, they are found closer and closer to the equator. Gradually, the numbers drop off, and the cycle starts again. Scientists have developed computer models that link this pattern to even longer cycle of magnetic field phenomena within the Sun.
Each of us has stubborn sins that spot our souls. As we try to rid ourselves of our particular tendencies, it can be helpful to look for cycles when these occur. We’re deeply relational beings. Godless judgments about life made in reaction to people who have hurt us can predispose us toward fear, pride, or shame. Unthinkingly, we can be drawn into the sinful cycle of our own weaknesses—acting in self-pity, withdrawing from others, or perhaps even getting angry and attacking—as we reflexively crave the emotional satisfaction that only God can give us. You might call this “functional idolatry.”
But when we choose to anchor ourselves in the gospel, we gain the deep satisfaction that we are “accepted in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:6). We remember that God is our loving Father and we’ve been adopted into His family. We know that it is no longer us that lives but Christ that lives within us (Galatians 2:20). And daily we can learn to react as He would— forgiving the wrongs done to us by others, identifying and rejecting lies about God and others that lodge in our souls, filling our minds with the truth of God’s Word, and glorifying God as our true source of joy. We can also sincerely repent, trusting in the promise of His gracious forgiveness through Christ to wash away all our sinful spots.
About the book:
Sovereign in purpose, infinitely powerful and transcendent over all He has made, God is equally infinite in grace and mercy. He knows and cares about your every need.
The Heavens provides a unique and extraordinary opportunity to soar above the distractions and burdens of life as one meets with, and worships the Creator of the universe. Over 100 fascinating devotions with stunning images, insightful and Biblical commentary, stirring poetry, and perfectly chosen scriptures are integrated around clearly presented topics in astronomy. A toolbox and jewel box combined, the Heavens both equips and inspires the soul to know and love God.
Kevin Hartnett oversees the science operations activities for the Hubble observatory...