Ephesians 2:8-9
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.

Modern sophisticated laboratories have produced many specialized materials with amazing qualities. Yet, many creatures make ceramic materials that are stronger and tougher. If a crack starts in a piece of our ceramic, over time it grows. The same crack will not grow in ceramic made by the oyster.

Abalone shellHuman and animal bodies custom-form teeth for a variety of purposes. When science makes such materials, it uses heat, chemicals and high pressure. One scientist noted that it would take experts in five or six scientific disciplines to figure out how living things form these materials.

Scientists have been trying to learn how creatures that make stony materials do it. Most of what they have learned has left them astonished at the quality of the materials, even if they have learned little about the process. They believe that special cells in the body use proteins and other large molecules to form non-organic molecules into stony materials. It appears that many creatures can control the formation of crystals. For example, in the abalone shell, crystals and glue are stacked in brick-and-mortar fashion in such a way that they become stronger under pressure. At the same time, the structure allows them to be formed into intricate shapes.

Our best human efforts cannot match God’s gifts. Our best human behavior cannot make us good enough for God. Only the forgiveness of sins that comes by grace through faith in Christ can do that.

Our dear heavenly Father, I thank You that You have sent Your Son, Jesus Christ, to work out my salvation. I thank You for Your forgiving grace that assures me of the forgiveness of my sins and Your love. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

Pennisi, Elizabeth. 1992. “Natureworks: making minerals the biological way.” Science News, v. 141, May 16, p. 328. Photo: Abalone shell. Courtesy of Kowloonese. (CC BY-SA 3.0)