In Honour of EARTH DAY, 22nd April 2016:
I found out this morning that today is EARTH DAY (check out http://www.earthday.org/), so I decided to re-post my teaching/devotional entitled “God is Loving the World through You” first posted in Valentine week 2016 (God of Love!!). It expresses not just how valuable we are to God, but reminds us of our creation mandate which also includes the call of God to be responsible for the earth and all living things:
God is Loving the World through You!
He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands”
God is Love! He loves the whole of mankind with an everlasting love.
God revealed this when He came in the person of Jesus Christ through the nation of Israel to redeem anyone who would accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour from a life of sin so that they would have eternal life. However let us remember brethren that His love is not just for mankind but the whole world. These two scriptures make it clear:
“…God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself” (2 Corinth. 5:19 KJV)
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16 KJV)
As we can see, the Apostles wrote “world” rather than “man” in these verses.
Man, in God’s eyes is not apart from the world, redemption for the world is through man. There needs to be a massive mindset change among multitudes of Christians, there is a prophetic sound from our Lord which has been resonating loud and clear “it is not all about you, I am loving the world through you, I call you to partner with me!”
God was in Christ during his ministry on earth reconciling the world back to Himself, and as His children empowered by the indwelling Holy Spirit through Jesus Christ He continuous His world reconciliation process. What a privilege to be God’s missionaries to family, neighbours, colleagues and multitudes across the nations.
God’s children are mandated and empowered by the Holy Spirit to be “Ambassadors” (2 Corinth 5:20) or the “Light of the world” (Matt.5:14), to preach, disciple, baptise and to bring healing and deliverance to multitudes (Mark 16:15-18/Matthew 28:18-20).
In these modern times one does not even have to physically travel to other nations of the world to evangelise or preach the gospel in foreign lands, for social media gives us many ways of doing so.
The extent of gratitude is difficult to express in words when one contemplates the worth of human beings to God; He not only loves us with an everlasting love to the point of sending His Son to die a sacrificial death for us, but He chose to give the redeemed saints the responsibility to be instruments of deliverance, salvation and therefore world reconciliation on His behalf.
One thing we know is that God values human beings more highly than any living creature, after all we are created in His magnificent image. He gave His first human beings, Adam and Eve the following authority and responsibility no other creature has
“…fill the earth, and subdue it. Have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the sky, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”(Gen 1:28 KJV).
This responsibility over his surroundings and other creatures was confirmed when
“..the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.”(Gen 2:15 KJV)
and when having created the animals and birds, God “…brought [them] unto Adam to see what he would call them: and whatsoever Adam called every living creature, that [was] the name thereof.” (Gen 2:19 KJV)
In Psalm 8 the psalmist is full of praise for a God who is so “mindful” of man to the point of elevating him as trustworthy enough to be given responsibility over the works of God’s hands (His creation) even “babes” are His instruments!
He says “3When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;4What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?5For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.
6Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all [things] under his feet..9O LORD our Lord, how excellent [is] thy name in all the earth! (Ps 8:3-6,9KJV)
In verse 6 when the Psalmists states that all things have been put under man’s feet, we are reminded of
-him who has all things under his feet, our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ! (Eph.1:22, Heb.2:8) and has given the Saints the authority to trample upon “…serpents and scorpions and all the powers of the enemy” and has promised to protect us (Luke 10:18-19).
After Adam and Eve sinned they and their descendants were banished from God’s intimate presence and lost their place of elevation as trustworthy by God and therefore their position as God’s representatives on earth (God’s delegated authority for dominion and responsibility).
However God never stopped loving human beings! Even though he punished them, He made a way for their restored intimate fellowship with Him through the promise in Gen. 3:15, which is that the seed (the Messiah, Jesus) of the woman would crush the head of the serpent. We give thanks and praise to God that through Christ’s redemptive work on the cross (crushing of the serpent’s head), he made a way (John 14:6-7) for us to be restored or reconciled into intimate fellowship with Abba Father.
Therefore through Christ, as the redeemed, we are in effect restored to what I call our “Creation Mandate”, the purpose for which God created human beings. Praise the LORD!
This purpose is not only to live in God’s presence and have fellowship with God through His Word and in prayer and praise and to minister to others inside and outside the church but to also be His instruments for the upkeep of the earth, taking care of it as according to His Word. His desire is that we would do so in obedience to Him because we love Him. Jesus said that those who obey his commandments love him and their reward is that God’s presence or glory will be made manifest in their lives (John 14:21-23).
The Apostle Paul reminds us of the extent of our responsibility as redeemed human beings which is far beyond cultivating intimacy with God and caring for or bringing other human beings to God, when he said that “all creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed” (Romans 8:19 NIV). All creation.
As I have personally planned to do more of this, I pose the following questions to you;
Do you play your part in taking care of the environment or the Recycling process?
Would you be willing to volunteer at some stage in your life, if you do not already, to help the cause of organisations that work to either protect the natural food cycle, environment in general or work to prevent harm to wildlife?
I personally believe that the initial and continued efforts by governments and key organisations worldwide focused on the need to work towards ending climate change and other hazards to the environment and wildlife was God birthed. This is simply because God loves the whole world, all His living creatures and the environment they live in.
I wrote this poem after a time of meditation and prayer focused on God’s love and personal heart issues in relation to love.
“…GOD IS LOVE” 1 John 4:8
Oh that my expressions of love would reflect your kind of love, LORD
and that my desire to be loved would be as arrows in my quiver
aimed directly at you and you alone my LOVE.
When I am in your presence, LORD
and touch Love,
for you are Love.
When I am near you LORD,
for you are Love.
When I am in need of comfort,
I rest on your bosom fragranced with your Love.
When I walk the tightrope of fear,
I am fastened to your arms of Love,
then I am filled with hope of a
safe landing because I remember that
“GOD IS LOVE”
This phrase I start the poem with “Oh that my expressions of love would reflect your kind of love, LORD”, is a daily prayer for myself and my Christian brothers and sisters. I deliberately used the plural “expressions” for as we aim to seek God alone for fulfilment in terms of love, my prayer is that we would be channels through whom His “Kind of love” would be poured out (so to speak) in different ways or “expressions” into the world; to fellow human beings, other living creatures and the environment…
May God love the hungry through you– Do you have food to share ?
May God love the homeless through you – Do you have shelter to share or a room to offer ?
May God love the lonely and suffering through you – Do you have a listening ear, hugging arms and praying lips ?
How else can God express who He is (Love) through you?
God of Creation is Love
You are blessed, determine to stay blessed!