Lessons from Creation

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

By looking at the actions God took in creating the world, we learn lessons for our own daily responsibilities. We find ourselves in God’s story. Just as God created the greatest story on earth, He created us and allowed us to write our own stories. His desire is that we write our story according to his great plan for us. We can learn what we need to know about story writing by looking at how God wrote his story.

 1.    God used order and purpose in creation.

God had a plan and a purpose for each part of creation. He was methodical. Everything was done in his order and in his timing. There was a strategy, a plan of creation. God created with intention. It was not haphazard, accidental, or willy nilly. No, it was in order and on purpose.. Creation functions best when we are in right alignment with God. This concept of right order lies behind the idea of "right - eousness." To be "righteous" means to be in correct alignment with God, other creatures, and the earth. 

What can we learn from God’s order? How important is it for us to live an orderly life? The Bible tells us there is a time for everything and purpose for everything under heaven. This is a reminder to us to live an intentional life.

2.    God used creative and wildly imaginative powers.  in making the heavens, earth, and man.

Consider this: Everything that has ever been created was once imagined.

We learn in the creation passage that we are created in the image of God. This means we too have been created as creative beings with spectacular imaginations. The imagination is a powerful, often overlooked, gift from God for creating loving relationships with God, our neighbors and ourselves. When reading passages in the Bible we read words for information, but it is the imagination that pulls the heart with its feelings and passion into the process of creation. When we engage our heart and mind, we allow God to move within us in a multi-dimensional way. We become fully engaged in the power of the Bible and the accounts that we read.

How does viewing the Creation story from the perspective of a vivid imagination and wild creativity change our understanding of creation? Of God?

What aspects of creation do you find most imaginative?

Do you approach our work with creativity? Do you engage your mind and spirit in the work we do? Do you use your imagination in problem solving?

3.     God was pleased with his creation.

Six times in this process of creation God stopped, looked over his handiwork and saw that it was good. On that final inspection he actually pronounced his work as “very good.” Once again, we are reminded that we are created in the image of our Father. He is pleased with his creation. He is pleased with us. God likes me; he really likes me.  He is proud of the way he made me.

Are we able to look at the work we do, the goals we accomplish, the relationships we build and say, “This is good!” or “ This is very good!”? Clearly, God enjoyed the work he did? Can you say the same? Does your work bring pleasure? If not, what changes need to take place? We learn from God that he stops periodically in the creation process to evaluate his work. Is there anything wrong with feeling good about our accomplishments?

4.    God made us in his image.

In verse 26, God says, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us...." Is this the “royal” we/us? Or is this a reference to the Trinity. He uses the plural just as he begins to create human beings. How interesting to think that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all part of the creation process! God gave us his traits, his characteristics.

 Do you see yourself as God sees you? What is the reflection in the mirror?

Because we are made in God’s image, we can feel positive about ourselves. God is pleased with his creation of you. If you feel worthless or of little value, remember that God sees you as a beautiful child of a king. Criticizing or downgrading yourself is criticizing God’s creation.

5.    God rested.

We don’t know why God rested but he must have thought it was important. We learn that after days of work, God chose to spend time resting. We too should find the time to rest and reflect after a period of work. This period of rest will renew our bodies, souls, and spirits.

 Do you find a time to rest and reflect after a period of work?

The Creation story provides us many lessons from our Creator God about living our best lives today!
The audio link below is my lesson on God's Original Blessing found in Genesis 1 & 2.
God's Original Blessing

A Time for Evaluating

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The account of Gideon in the book of Judges provides an inspirational example of a reluctant leader. Our first impression of Gideon is of him hiding in a wine press threshing wheat. He was so terrified of the Midianites so he hid from them and tried to secretly get a little bit of food for his family.  God saw not the weaknesses of a fearful man, but the strengths of a leader and called Gideon to accomplish something big.

In Judges 6 & 7 we watch as Gideon moves from despair to disappointment to doubt to discouragement and eventually to dependence on God. Gideon leads an Israelite army who is equipped only with trumpets, torches, and jars to become victorious in one of the strangest battles in history.

Accomplishing God's purposes is not determined by the size of our checkbook, the number of initials after our name, or the size of our congregation. God is looking to glorify Himself on earth through people who are fully dependent on Him. He wants people who are willing to trust in him and allow him to use their strengths, gifts, talents, and skills for his glory. He invites us to join him in doing His will. He wants us to want to serve him and work for him.  He wants us to “Get up!” and go for him just as Gideon did.

To hear this one hour lesson A Time for Evaluating, click on the link below.

Set Sail for Christ

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Have you ever tried to set sail – to step out to do something new – only to find out that something was keeping you anchored in place? Many things keep us anchored.

Spoon River Anthology by Edgar Lee Masters is a series of short biographical poems about the people who lived in the fictional town, Spoon River.  One of the characters, George Gray, looks back over his life and compares it to “a boat with a furled sail at rest in a harbor.”  George was offered many opportunities and was hungry to find meaning in his life. He knew he should have left the harbor and set sail in order to fully experience life. However, George was afraid. He feared becoming disillusioned, and he dreaded taking chances. So…George never set sail.  He longed for the sea yet was afraid.

Let’s contrast George Gray with Simon Peter, also a man with a boat. Like his father and brother Andrew, Simon Peter was a fisherman by trade, working on the Lake of Galilee, a really large lake with about 30 fishing towns surround it.  Peter knew fish, he knew boating, he knew about nets and he knew about navigating the waters. Peter knew his passion and used his skill well. He learned his skill, he practiced it. He became good at it. Peter realized what he was good at doing and set sail. 

Are you more like George Gray…fearful to set out in faith and use your gifts and talents for Christ? Or are you like Simon Peter….stepping out in faith using your gifts and talents for Christ?

In the 10 minute audio below I teach 6 lessons that we learn from Simon Peter that will help us set sail for Christ.

Lesson #1: Peter set sail.

Lesson #2:   Peter followed Jesus.

Lesson #3 – Peter let Jesus use him and his tools.

Lesson #4: Peter was all in for Jesus.

Lesson #5 – Peter trusted Jesus in the storm

Lesson #6:  Peter faced his fear and walked on water for Christ
Audio - Set Sail for Christ

Leading Forward - by Templates para novo blogger