Handmade to Create and Cultivate (2:4-25)
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ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast
ConnectUs Church Audio Podcast

Episode 104 · 6 months ago

Handmade to Create and Cultivate (2:4-25)

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

God spoke and created everything, and it was good. But then He noticed something was not good and God rolled up his sleeves, knelt in the mud, and handcrafted us. Genesis 2:4-25

So today. Uh, it's your lucky day. I brought you something. Let's see if I can find it. Here we go. Look at that. Can you see what this is? What is this a quarter? Absolutely, who is on the quarter? Who is that? George? Wait, George Washington is on my George, I'm so sorry you were. You were in my pocket this whole time, like it's gotta be uncomfortable in there. George, I'm so sorry that you're on in my pocket. I thought he lived like in the seventeen hundreds. George, you're telling me George Washington is is on my quarter. Oh, that doesn't make sense. It's the image of George Washington that's on my quarter. Right, makes sense. And Jesus was asked a question in Mark, Chapter Twelve. He was asked, should we pay our taxes? And you think the Bible's irrelevant? We're asking the same question two thousand years later. Should we pay our taxes? And Jesus finds a coin and he says, whose image is on that coin? And everybody knew the answer. They all looked at it and they all said Caesar. And so Jesus said, well then, give to Caesar. What is Caesar's and everyone was like, that makes sense, wow, this is amazing, Jesus. But then I don't want you to miss what Jesus says next. Next Jesus said, then give to God. What is God's? So what is God's in the context of it? It's whatever has his image on it and what has his image on it. You and me, every human being, is said to be created in the image of God. And if you're created in the image of God and you bear his image, then you are to give yourself and all of you who you are, to him. That's what Jesus is saying. You bear his image, you have his image, you give yourself fully to him. So what does it mean to be created in the image of God? It's what sets humans apart from all other creation. It's it's unique to human beings that we are created in the image of God. And you can understand it in a couple of different ways, but really it's the idea that we share some of the same likeness, some of the same attributes as God does in similar ways. But there's three kind of main ways. One of them is that we have a mind, we have intellect, your intellectual we we think as human beings. Another one is that we have a will, like you, make choices. We make choices and decisions, and another one is we have emotions, like we feel stuff, and all of these things are kind of little bit like God does. God does all of those things, and so do we. As his unique creation. Human beings are created in his image. There's nothing else in all...

...creation like it. And so in Genesis one, we looked at this last week, God created human beings in his own image, in the image of God. He created them, male and female. He created them. And so today we jump into genesis chapter two, because when you're doing a series through a book of the Bible, you always just pick up right where you left off. You know exactly where we're gonna be next week and it's important to do series like this. It's important to pick and choose important topics that speak directly to your life, what you're thinking about, what you're dealing with, what you're wondering about, what the church is face facing, what the community is facing like. We need to do that and we've done that. But it's also important to just choose a large section of scripture and say, okay, God, this is your word. All of it is true. SPEAK TO US in large sections and large chunks, and so we're looking through chapters one through eleven in this series of the book of Genesis, and so today we're in chapter two and we come in contact in verse four and five and six with kind of like retelling of the creation story, which is what we covered last week, which is interesting and a lot of skeptics asked the question will like, why is there two versions of the creation story and they are slightly different? There's a different order, they happen in different timing, and so they wonder, you know, and they asked the question. Well, if if they can't both be true, because they seem to be different, and so if they are, neither of them, or they can't both be true, then neither of them are true. And you know, there's there's some, you know, things to talk about there. But it's important to recognize that in genesis one it's creation from God's perspective. It's an overview of day one, two, three, four or five, six seven, and in Genesis chapter two it's creation from human beings perspective. It's a whole different way of looking at it and it's like a zoom in on day six. What happened on day six. And so for the first couple of days, you know, there's dry ground and there's no rain. We'll talk about that in a couple of weeks. And then on day six we get to the creation of the first human beings and we read that the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and he breathed the breath of life into the man's nostrils and man became a living person. You know, God created everything with his voice. Right he said, let there be light, and there was light, and let there be sky and waters, and there was that. And let there be dry ground, and there was that, and let there be the sun, Moon Stars. You go there, you do that. Then the dry ground came and they filled it with the animals and then the human beings. God didn't use his voice. He had a more personal, more intimate way of creating you. He formed you with his hands from the dust of the ground, which means he had to get dirty, to roll up his pant legs and and Yank up his sleeves and and get down in the dust, to get down in the mess, to get down in the dirty and form you and push the dirt together and get all of the mud and the muck and the mire and create this unique handmade creation called you, and he got as close as he could possibly get and he breathed into you the breath of life. Like this is a close, personal way that God created you. And in Genesis Chapter One, the word, the name for God, is Eloheim, which is this powerful creator plural word, and in here in Genesis chapter or two, it's the Lord God,...

...which is his personal name. Yeah, Wah, the personal name of God, this personal God who created everything, got on his hands and his knees and he formed you, he shaped you, he got dirty with you and he breathed as close as he could get into your nostrils and man became a living person. And so when we get frustrated with life and we wonder does God even see me? Does he know what I'm going through? Does he even care about me? Why is life so hard? You think that God would do something about this if he really did love me, if he really did care for me, we need to remember back to how we were made, remember back to how we were formed, that the creator of the universe did not stay distant. He literally got down in the dirt, in the mud, in the Yuck in the whatever you're dealing with, and he formed it and he made it into this handmade, beautiful thing and he was so close and so intimate and so personal and he breathed life into it. And God wants to breathe life into your life, life into your situation of hopelessness, into your situation of doubt and question. God wants to bring life to it. The creation of the first human being was such a personal, such a unique, such a hand made, hand crafted thing by God. And then he put this beautiful, unique creation in a beautiful, perfect place called the garden of Eden. It was in the East and there he planted placed the man he had made and the river flowed from the land of Eden, watering the garden and dividing it into four branches. The first branch called the Pichon, floating around the entire land of Rivola, where gold is found. The gold of that land is exceptionally pure. Aromatic resident onyx stone are also found there, and the second branch, called the Gehan, flowed around the entire land of cush and the third branch, called the Tigris, flowed east to the land of Asher, and the fourth branch is called the Euphrates. You could go right now, if you wanted to get on an airplane and fly and go for a swim in the Tigris river and the Euphrates River. We know where those two rivers are still today in modern day Iraq, in the Mesopotamia area. And so why, why do people question if this was a real place or not? Like we don't have any reason to to question if this was a literal place or a figurative place. I mean the details of this garden, of where it was and how the rivers went and all of this stuff, and we still know where two of these rivers are today. There's not a reason, I don't think that the Bible gives us, to question if it was a real place or not. This was a garden that God made. It was perfect and you're like, why isn't it there now? Well, we'll talk about that next week and in the coming weeks. But what's fascinating is that this garden reappears at the end of time, at the end of creation, God creates a new heaven and a new earth, in this garden kind of reappears. So we're living today between two perfect gardens in this intermediate space right. So what did God what did God have man to do in this garden, this perfect environment that he created for this man? What? What was there? What was the purpose? What did he do? Say? The Lord God placed a man in the garden of Ed into what two tend and watch over it? To tend and watch over it. But the Lord God warned him. You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die. I...

...created this beautiful, magnificent space for you. It's incredible. There is so much. Go for it, enjoy it, love it. Of It is perfect. Go for it, live it out, live your amazing life, your this is incredible. This is all for you. There's just this one thing over here. Stay away from that, because I love you and if you choose to eat that, you're gonna die and I don't want that to happen. But there's everything else like this is amazing. I made all of this for you. This is incredible. Love it, do it. Come on. Why would God give man the opportunity to make the bad choice? Right if God was good, and why would he do that? He wanted people to have a real relationship with him. And you can't have a real relationship with somebody if you can't choose to be in that. A robot can't have a real relationship. Right there program they're just made to do it that way. But human beings were created in God's image with a choice, with decisions, because there's a relationship, there's a real, authentic relationship that God desire to have with his unique handmade creation, and so they had to be able to choose. Are they gonna spend time with God? Are they gonna live into God's purpose for their life? Of It is amazing. I just don't do that, not because I don't love you, not because I'm holding something away from you, it's because I do love you and if you choose that, it's not gonna end well. But there's something inside of all of our hearts and you know what, as I've been saying, we are all drawn to that thing, aren't we? If you have kids, you know right, don't touch that. What's the one thing that they go for? That? But that's all of us. And when we think about every any area of our life. Today we're gonna talk a little bit about marriage. When we think about our marriage, like God created and design marriage. It's beautiful, it's perfect, it's incredible, it's amazing, like, go for it, live into it, like there is so much blessing, so much abundance. Just just don't do that with anybody else. Just don't have relationship with anybody else. Like like there's so much for you, like live this amazing life, work together, create stuff, cultivate the stuff. There's so much amazing. But then there's something inside of us it's like, well, what about? What about this? What about this website that I want to watch those videos on? What about that conversation, aation with that person that I probably shouldn't have? Like there is so much amazing good stuff. Ninety nine point nine percent of everything is incredible, and there's something about that one thing that draws us. And we'll talk more about that. But sometimes I feel like the reason we get drawn to the one thing we shouldn't get drawn too is because we forget the purpose of why we're there in the first place. To The Lord, God placed the man in the garden of Eden to tend and to watch over it. He had a job, he had work to do. He he didn't have time to get distracted with the bad thing. Right, there was so many good things to do, there were so many things to tend and to watch over. And when we don't live into the work that God has given us and we we put down our guard and we put down our purpose, and that's when we fall into the things that hurt us, that we regret doing. But work is a beautiful thing. It was created by God before there was the fall, before there was sin,...

...like for six days you're to work and one day to rest, and now today we're like, I want to rest for six days and I work maybe one day, and if I go work one day and pay the rest of my bills, that I'm good. Right. That's something inside of us. But there's something that God designed in us to work, to do something, to to live with a purpose, to create things, to cultivate things, to to create amazing things, innovations, to produce and use the land and do incredible things that help people and serve people and just do incredible things, make a lot of money, like, do all of these things. God put that in us to create, to work. But then, like the spiritual side of us is like, well, like try, don't we trust God, like I need to spend time in prayer and I gotta sit and close my eyes and fold my hands and pray and I gotta read my Bible. And, you know, we get together in groups and sit on a couch and eat donuts and like we call that spiritual and yes, that's important. We need to do those things, but God designed you to work, like we gotta get up off our seats and get into the streets and get into our relationships and get into our world and do stuff and create and cultivate and take care of it and tend it and watch over it and make a difference in people's lives and serve people and love people and create amazing things, shape culture, make huge decisions like. Those are all things that God uniquely designed his human beings, his handmade creation, to do, to create and to cultivate, to work and take care of what God has entrusted to us. And a lot of US learned some lessons. We learned a lot of lessons in the lockdowns, the shutdowns of and one of the lessons that we learned back in those days when we were all stuck at home for however long right was. We learned that our environment where we were, our house, where we were forced to be, wasn't good. It needed some work, and so what did we do? We went to the home store and we bought stuff, and Alicia and I did that. We uh, we had moved into our house five months earlier and we had a lot of work to do, and so we repainted all of the shutters on our house. They were all read and we painted them all twenties, some of them black, like. That's that's what we did. Um. Also, at our house we have this beautiful Sun Room in the back and if you had never been there before, I serious, this is a true invitation. I invite you to come to my sunroom. And that's actually where, when this lockdown stuff was happening, we were meeting as a small group for church, before we ever launched connect US church. It's amazing space. And so we have windows, like all around right, all sides, is windows, like I don't know how many windows. I should have counted, like fifteen, fifty windows, all right, and the beautiful thing about all these windows is all they almost all of them open. And so, like this is a new house. We got this beautiful room and it's like man like when the weather gets warm out, like we're gonna open the windows and it's gonna be amazing. It's gonna be like, but then I realized for five like we didn't have any screens, you know. So like, I guess it's worth it to open the windows and let all the bugs come in my house, you know, like it's totally worth it because the weather is beautiful, we need to open up all these windows. So, so it's march and I forced...

...to stand in my house. I don't know what's going on. I'm looking out my windows, wondering about life, and look what I find. Like I lived in this house for five months and I was worrying about screens and I'm standing here thinking about my house, my environment right, and I had screens the entire time. They were stuck, like hidden, and I just have to pull them down and they latch on and it's incredible. It's like I've got screens, like this is so cool, like the bugs don't have to come in anymore. It's gonna be amazing. This is this is an amazing thing, m but you know, and I know, that life, m is so much better than screens. and Oh that was good, and you missed it. I said life is more than screens. And yes, we need to create and to cultivate our environment, to take care of our place, to work hard, to make money, to do all these things. Absolutely. However, we also need to create and to cultivate our relationships with the people in our life. And we, many of us, learned in those shutdown days when we couldn't leave our house and we had to spend seven with our kids, seven with our spouse. That was like, I don't know if I like this right. We were forced to do something different, forced to be in this environment that we weren't used to being in, and it just revealed how important our relationships really are. So, yes, God created us to create and cultivate this work, this environment, but also our relationships. And so when time came, when the time came for God to make man, he right. He said that the Lord God said it is not good for man to be alone and I'll make a helper who is just right for him. God created him on Day One and said let there be lights, and there was light. On Day two, got there be sky, let there be ocean, and there was sky and ocean and thank you and God, I must need a drink. On Day three, God created the dry ground and it was good. On Day Four, God created the sun, Moon and stars and it was good. On Day Five, God created the birds and the fish and it was good. On Day six, he created the animals and it was good. He also created the man and it was not good. Well, it was very good, but then it was not good. It was not good for man to be alone. It's not good for you to be alone. It's not good for you to be alone. It's not good for you to be alone. And if you're listening to my voice today, I want you to know that you are not alone, that God is with you, that you have a Church of people that love you, that care for you, that want to be there for you, that you are not alone. It is not good for you to be alone. And so God made a helper just right for him. How many of you know guy's got a sense of humor? Anybody? Anybody know? Right, guys, guy's a funny guy. Absolutely look what he does. I can't believe this. So the Lord God formed from the ground all...

...the wild animals and all the birds of the sky. Again, this is one of the reasons why skeptics are like, well, did he do that before he created man? Yet it's just a translation thing. The Lord God had formed right, he had formed these things. So now he brought them to the man, to which he would call them, and the man chose a name for every single one of them and he gave names to all the livestock, all the birds of the sky and all the wild animals. But there was still no helper. Just right for him. It was not good for him to be alone. And God's like, let me bring the animals to you. Remember last week we said how God was the call stuff. He called the Light Day, and I'm like, if God created it, he's the one that labels it. He's the one that calls stuff stuff, but he also entrusts his unique hand made creation, dominion and governance over this creation, and he's calling stuff stuff too. So Adam gets to name all of the animals. Just imagine this. Right, God brings all of the animal most in front of Adam. Adam is alone. It's not good for him to be alone. And and here comes these things and he's like that's a draft right. The next one comes along, that's an elephant, right. Next one comes along, that's a goldfish. The next one comes along. That's a monkey, right, Adam his name and all these and then he's like they're doing stuff, like like they're having fun, like there's there's two of them, there's a couple of them, they're like fit together, they're they're like reproducing, they're they're multiplying, they're having this amazing thing. And like what the where? God, God, where, where's mine? God, I'm alone. What's going on here? You, you've got all this amazing creation that you've got, and I'm looking around and ain't nobody like me. What is happening? I told you, God has a sense of humor. And so finally, the Lord God calls the man to fall into a deep sleep and while the man slept, the Lord God took out of one of the man's ribs and closed up the opening. Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib and he brought her to the man. The first marriage ceremony. You can picture it right. The father is walking the bride down the aisle and Adam is standing there at the altar waiting for him to come, and everybody's crying and the beautiful music is playing and it's like, oh, it's amazing. Right. And so in this perfect moment, the man said right, his bride comes around the corner of the doors open. He says, Whoa Man, this is amazing. Oh my goodness, God, you're so good, like this is incredible. Do you see this one? Oh, look at her, she's so perfect. She's for me. Oh my goodness, thank you Jesus, thank you, like, she is so beautiful. WHOA man, she's awesome. No, the Bible said. The Bible said at last, the man exclaimed, this one is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh. She will be called woman because she was taken from man. It's a beautiful poem, but you know, you gotta Make It, you gotta make it even better, maybe, but that's what Adam says when God brings this beautiful woman and he she was made where? Not from his head to like rule over him, not from his feet to be like trampled on. She was made from his side to be equals, to be partners, to be together, to do life together, to live in purpose together, to be with each other together, to work together. Or it was. It was amazing. And all of this exclaims...

...or explains marriage. It explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife and the two are united into one. All of what we just looked at explains that. Now, this verse is incredible. I'M gonna break it down for you. I told you I was gonna break it down for you. So this explains why. Is An important phrase, right, all the stuff we just talked about. WHY DOES MARRIAGE EXIST? What is marriage? Well, all of this explains it, right, all of that way that God created it and all of this. That explains why we needed. That explains why. Well, we have one for everything in our life. We just have to be intentional and think about it and take a minute and pause and think about why we do stuff. Like why do you drive the car that you drive? You have a story, right, you have a reason. Why you have this explains why I drive my car like you have that story. or or why do you spend the money that you the way that you do? Why do you spend your money like that? There's a story that you have that explains why you spend every dollar that you spend. There's a reason. Why do I live in the House that I live in? Why do I work at the job that I work? And there is a story, there is a reason, there is a this explains why to all of it. And sometimes we get moving so far in our life right, we make a decision. Five years later we're like, I just do this thing. Well, why do you do that? I don't know, I forget. There was a reason back then. There was a this explains why, but now you've forgotten and maybe you're this explains why. It wasn't even the right reason, and now you're doing something for a completely wrong reason, for you know you made a bad choice a long time ago and now you forget about it. So this explains why. You gotta look at the design, you gotta look at the way God created it, the order that it is. And so when it comes to marriage, right, this explains why a man, not a boy, not a child, a man, a mature person, a mature individual, mature woman, like you're not just diving into this because you love each other, like this is a serious thing, a serious thing that you enter into. There's responsibility there, there's all of this, a man coming together, mature right. And you gotta leave like there's a transition, like there's a difference in in you're leaving your previous your father and mother. And and today this one's hard, especially for the men, because we don't want to leave. We got like two FT right, one on the boat and one on the dock right. You've seen that illustration before, and the boat is leaving, your marriage is leaving, and we're like, I want to stay with my parents, I wanna, I want to keep staying with them. I want to leave to stay my old life. I want to stay doing the things that I want to do. And your marriage is off right. You gotta leave, you gotta choose, you gotta go. You know you gotta you gotta move, you gotta go move on and transition. You gotta Leave Your father and mother, which is the model design family, father and mother, and I know today that many of us don't have both of those in our life and maybe it's divided or separated or only one or the other or or some combination of the two. And we'll talking about why that is in the next coming weeks, but today, Um, it's it's this is the design, it's the model, it's it's the way that God intended it at the beginning. And so you leave your father and mother and you join there's a new family there's a new beginning, there's a new start, there's a new boundaries. That's an important word that many of us got to learn right there's new boundaries that exist now that you are your own family, your own thing, and you're joined to your wife. The man is joined to his wife, this partner, this helped me, his his person to walk alongside and do life together with, and the two are united, like there is a moment in time...

...when you are united and but there's also a process of learning and friendship and trust that over time, over the years, you begin to learn things more. Those of you that have been married for many years you know that every day you learn something new about the person that you're with and you're you're learning to love them more, you're learning to something new about them, you're you're spending you're creating new memories with them, and the two are united. There's a process and you're united into one deep intimacy between two people. There's something special about the marriage relationship and that there is not just a physical thing. There's like a spiritual thing, and and the same is true with the way sex was designed and works, like it's not just a physical action that two people do, there is a soul, there's a spiritual element to it that literally like makes you into one, that entwines you into one, that unites you into one, and so, like the best illustration I've heard about this Um somebody was talking and saying it's it's sort of like a sticky note. You know what a sticky note is? You know, the little yellow thing and you lift you write a note on it and you lift it up and it's sticky just at the top and you stick it on the wall and like the first time you stick it it's like it's stuck, you know, like it's gonna stay there and it's gonna be good. But then the problem becomes like if you take it off and you stick it somewhere else and he's sticking somewhere else and he's sticking somewhere else and you stick it somewhere else and you stick it somewhere else and you stick it somewhere else. Eventually what happens is that sticky note becomes less sticky and it also leaves a little bit of that sticky residue in all of these places all over the place. And the same is true with our relationships with our physical relationships with sex too, that there's a part of you that becomes one with all of these people, all all of these things, if you choose to do that, and it becomes less sticky the more you do that. And so, young people, if you have the opportunity, live into God's design and purpose for sex and for marriage, it's perfect, it's good, it's amazing when you do it his way. And some of you are like I wish I would have learned that or believe that years ago. And I know, and I want you to know today, that the today is a fresh start. Today is a new start. There is grace, there's forgiveness, there is love, no matter what you've done, no matter what choices you've made in the past, that today is a new day. Today is a day where you can say, God, I made some mistakes. You know, my life was different than but today, today's a new day. I'm trusting in you, God. I'M gonna do my best to live into your design and God, I believe it was gonna bless you for it. I believe you will amen. So this explains why marriage and all of that stuff right. At one time it was perfect. His man and the wife were both naked and they felt no shame. Can you believe that? I mean today right, it's hard to wrap our brains around, but these two people had never done anything that they were afraid of telling the other person about. Their relationship was perfect, completely open, completely on as completely saying there's nothing to hide. There's no website you have they ever read that you didn't want to share with your spouse? There's no text conversation with that person that you didn't want to share with your special spouse. You know, like there was never anything like that. It was perfect, it was open, it was honest and they felt no shame. And I believe that Jesus wants to lead you into a life like that today. I mean, it's not gonna be perfect. We don't live in a...

...perfect world anymore, but I believe that because of what Jesus has done for us, that you can stand before God and not have any guilt or any shame, because Jesus took care of all of it and you can stand before him and and and he loves you completely no matter what. Because of Jesus's death on the Cross for your sin. He paid the penalty for it, and you can also have the strength to show up another person's life and be honest, to be vulnerable, to share some hard things. And God says when we do that, like we're healed, like he redeems, that he restores, that he blesses that, when we are able to share those open, honest things, to stand before somebody, not maybe physically naked, but naked and our like what we're scared about. Right, and there's something special about what God does in those moments. And so I want you to see you today that you are handmade. You are hand made by God to create and to cultivate. God that got down in the dirt, in the dust, in the mud, and he formed you and he made you into this unique person that you are and he gave you a job, a purpose, to create stuff and to cultivate, to work and make a difference, to to change the world, to to love people, to serve people, to make your world a better place, and also to create and cultivate your relationships, your friendships, the people that are your neighbors, with the people in our community, and also, specifically, your family and your spouse, to create a beautiful relationship, to cultivate this wonderful relationship that God has made. You are handmade to create and to cultivate. Would you pray with me? Lord Jesus, we thank you that you love us so, so much, that you have such a beautiful design for our world and specifically for us. Lord, thank you for hand making us, for for getting close and personal, for breathing your breath of life into us, for fulfilling a void, God, where there was not good. It's not good, and God's like, I'm gonna step in and I'm gonna solve that. And so, Lord, I just pray for somebody here today who might be thinking that their life or an aspect of their life was not good, in whatever way that is. And Lord, I just pray that they would know and believe that you want to step in, that you want to create that amazing thing, bring that amazing person, bring that amazing opportunity into their life so that they can just stand there in amazement and say God, Oh my Gosh, thank you God. And so, Lord, I pray that you would do that today. May We understand who we are and live into that purpose. And Gee is his name. Amen, Amen,.

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