Posts Tagged ‘Creation’


“What are mere mortals that You should think about them, human beings that You should care for them?” Psalm 8:3 (NLT) © Image created by Ross Cochrane

Psalm 8:3-8 – INTERVIEW WITH AN ATHEIST ON PSALM 8 – Part 3 

The scene takes place on the top floor of a Skyscaperin a luxury apartment belonging of a millionaire Atheist. From here the entire city can be viewed. It is breathtaking. The Atheist picks up a Bible and randomly turns to Psalm 8. Alarmingly, he finds King David, (author of Psalm 8) is transported to his apartment. A conversation ensues. (Disclaimer: This is my imagination and my own thoughts imposed upon the characters below as to what might have been said as I personally relate to Psalm 8. Both characters describe my own journey with seeking to understand and apply God’s Word, the Christian Bible, in the world in which I live). 

DAVID: What amazes me is that the majestic, famous, omnipotent, and worthy God, whose creative fingerprint can be found in all the earth, loves me. As one of God’s creative brushstrokes, with Him I can find the greatest expression of who I am. 

(Looks out the window at the night sky and prays again) “When I look at the night sky and see the work of Your fingers—the moon and the stars you set in place—what are mere mortals that You should think about them, human beings that You should care for them? (Psalm 8:3 NLT). 

I am interested to see that in the New Testament of your Bible, that my words from Psalm 8:3 are quoted again. Hebrews 2:6-8 (NLT) says, “For in one place the Scriptures say, “What are mere mortals that You should think about them, or a son of man that You should care for him?”  

ATHEIST: Why would a God who supposedly created the universe care for human beings when all we have done is destroy His creation?  If God did exist, and He doesn’t, then He would consider us as enemies

DAVID: Enemies of God? Yes.  But for followers of Christ, it says here, in Romans 5:9-10 (NLT) “Since we have now been justified by His (Christ’s) blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through Him! For if, WHILE WE WERE GOD’S ENEMIES, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through His life!” 

 We are enemies of God without Christ, but there is an invitation for friendship. God’s intention was to be friends, not that we would be opposed to Him. I wrote in Psalms 8:5-9 (NLT2) “Yet You made them only a little lower than God and crowned them with glory and honor.”  

ATHEIST: You say we were created a little lower than God. I’m an evolutionist. I believe that human beings are a little higher than other animals, but only in terms of intelligence.  

DAVID: I guess this is why people over the centuries have made idols in the image of animals to represent their gods. Those who are followers of Christ believe God made us in the image of Himself so that we can represent Him. We bear the stamp of our creator.  

We are God’s representatives on earth over His creation, yet, we are lower than God.  

That’s why I wrote in the Psalm you were reading, “You (God) gave them charge of everything you made, putting all things under their authority— the flocks and the herds and all the wild animals, the birds in the sky, the fish in the sea, and everything that swims the ocean currents” (Psalm 8:5-8 NLT). 

ATHEIST: Authority over all things? If that’s true He didn’t know what He was doing. The world has been messed up by human beings. We are now frantically trying to save the planet from ourselves. We bring animal species to extinction, fill the oceans with plastic and the skies with pollution, and disregard climate change. National park animal sanctuaries, battery operated cars, wind generators and solar energy solutions have all been too few and have come too late. 

DAVID: Yes, I agree. We have made a mess of our world. We are the pinnacle of God’s creation and yet we still need His help to look after the planet over which He has given us authority.  

Since we were given the ability to choose, we could either use our authority to mess things up or use our authority to clean things up. Cleaning things up is now the harder choice.  

We are slaves when we ignore the boundaries God has created in our world that greedy people cross. 

ATHEIST: Yet you are a slave. You are a slave to your Holy Book, the Bible.  

DAVID: I could equally say that you are a slave to your worldview, but I agree with you. In John 8:31-34 Jesus met some religious leaders who thought they were free of their worldviews. He said, “If you hold to My teaching, you are really My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 

They answered him, “We are Abraham’s descendants and have never been slaves of anyone. How can you say that we shall be set free?” 

Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it forever. So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” 

We are all slaves in one sense to something. Your Bible says in Romans 6:16-23 says, “Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness? But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness … But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” 

I notice in your Bible that Jesus says to His disciples, “…whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:26 NLT).  

1 Peter 2:16 encourages Christ-followers to “Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves.” 

In Him I find freedom. It is the freedom of to whom and what I am willing to give my allegiance, having choices which bring purpose to my life. It is the freedom of new birth without abandonment, but being raised to find the security of a loving Father. It is freedom to fly, riding the banks of endless air, knowing that without the wind of the Spirit beneath my wings I would still only be wondering and amazed at the flight of the eagle from the ground.  

It is the boundaries themselves I find that have given me freedom, and without which I am truly enslaved. I like your New Testament Bible. It says here in 2 Timothy 3:16 (NLT), “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.” There’s nothing wrong with boundaries. No-one escapes boundaries. It’s whose boundaries and which boundaries you choose that determine whether you are truly free.  

(to be continued) 

Pastor Ross 

Genesis 2 – NOT GARDENING!

Gardening!

There’s an ugly looking weed that persists in growing in our garden and we are enemies. It has thorns. I have weed killer with a trigger that spurts out poison so I don’t even have to get near it.

I have always hated (my grandson says you shouldn’t say “hate”)…. I have always DETESTED gardening. Love the natural look but my wife doesn’t agree. Apparently God doesn’t either.

“Early in the first light of Saturday morning a man appeared, lying naked in the dust. His form is perfect in every way except there is no movement to animate his strong arms and legs, or smile to please his handsome face. Around him in every direction the sounds and smells of the forest in early spring fill the air with life, but here they fall upon senses that remain untouched.

“Oh God, He’s … dead!”

“No, not dead.” My senses rush at the sound of His strong clear voice and I am suddenly alert to every sound. “He has never been alive and he is not dead.”

The forest becomes silent as if in anticipation, and you draw back. Creation seems to be waiting for something momentous to take place. I can feel my face draining of colour. The world around me fades. His Breath floods through the trees and encompasses the strange figure in the dust with it’s touch.

My mind is still reeling with the first rays of understanding as Adam’s eyes open to the One who gives him life. His first moment is wrapped in the glory, love and spendour of His Maker. His first touch – the embrace of heaven’s welcome. The first words he speaks are those of worship and praise. And now the heavens respond with angelic voices echoing their shouts of pure joy that shakes the whole of creation with a tumultuous roar. At least, that’s how I think it might have happened. I wasn’t there, but reading about it stirs my imagination.

No sooner is he breathing and looking around and he is given a PURPOSE. Even before he is created from the dust of the ground, it says,

“no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth and no plant of the field had yet sprung up, for the LORD God had not sent rain on the earth and there was NO MAN TO WORK THE GROUND,” (Genesis 2:5 NLT)

He enters into the purposes of God. And I also have a purpose on this earth. It is clear from Genesis 1 and this passage that I am created to REPRESENT GOD on the earth – in His image (1:27), to EXERCISE RULERSHIP over God’s creation (1:28), TO SERVE AND WORK where God has placed me (2:8), to have a personal relationship with God and LISTEN AND OBEY what He has to say (2:16,17). I am also created with a need for COMPANIONSHIP (2:18-25). DISTINCTIVES of the Christian life. Things that give my life significance and identity. Things that Christ my Creator intended from the beginning, but which have been thrown out as religious wimp rubbish. Things like worship, companionship, discipleship, ministry. It is all here!

What does God do?…Adam and Eve are made RESPONSIBLE from day one of their existence. They are to “keep” (shamar) the Garden. This word means to watch over, to guard, to keep, to look after, to take care of.

No escaping it. I am created to be responsible – personally responsible – for the World in which I live and the way in which I live. Even the perfect, beautiful Garden of Eden has to be looked after and cared for. Adam and his helper Eve were…to cultivate the land and keep the garden from growing out of control (1:5), to feed and provide for themselves (1:16), to look after and care for the animals (1:19), to worship God and obey His commands (2:15), to share companionship and have children (1:28) and that’s an awesome responsibility in itself.

One thing is sure…God has given me a PURPOSE in life to fulfill. I am not made to be inactive and lazy. And somehow it relates well to gardening, as unfortunate as I may think that is.

“Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.” (Romans 12:11 NLT).

“Even while we were with you, we gave you this command: “Those unwilling to work will not get to eat.””  (2 Thessalonians 3:10 NLT).

The invitation is here for you choose to live in His purposes today. Like Adam and Eve, to have every need met by God physically and spiritually, to respond positively to Him and serve Him. To receive what He offers, to reject what He withholds or bear the consequences. An incredible opportunity to respond, worship, love and come under the authority of Christ. Chosen for a purpose (Now I’m starting to sound like the Blues Brothers – on a mission from God!). OK, OK, and to mow the lawn and keep the garden looking nice.

Pastor Ross

Genesis 1 – What do you see when you look in the mirror?

Genesis 1 speaks of how it all started. In the beginning, not for Him but for us, our awesome God created light and darkness, water and sky, seas and land, vegetation, sun, moon and stars, fish and birds and finally man and animals. All in 6 days. Not bad.

How fulfilling to work on project universe would it have been, perfect from the beginning as is everything that comes from God’s hand. I composed a song recently for Julie in my quietimes and it was so fulfilling after weeks of work to present it to her. I was so excited that I was shaking, and while I worked on it I couldn’t wait to finish and present it to her as a finished product. It seems to me that God couldn’t wait to present the heavens and the earth to man and say “It’s yours. Rule over it. Have kids and bring them up here. This is yours!” Can you imagine that? How cool would that be on that day to be created and wake up to see what God had done! Whohah!! (or however that is pronounced).

And we are created in His image. Later he says “You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea.” It seems we are the only images that were created. We represent Him and that’s it! Nothing else is to be made in the image of God because it would be totally inadequate. We are it! To me that’s such an awesome thought. It’s as if God says, “I made creation for you. Rule over it. Don’t let it rule over you. Don’t be in submission to created things!

We are so concerned about climate change right now that everything we do can be dominated by our desire to be green. It seems that the rulership God gave us needs God’s help if it is ever going to work. When God rules over us we’ll start getting it right, so that our rulership of the world will bring about something good, not destructive to the next generation, Otherwise all we’ll do is end up worshiping creation above our wonderful God. Let’s get it all back into perspective. The God of the universe who created it and us (and 1 John says that was Jesus Himself) is our only hope for now and eternity.

God bless you as you represent Him as the only acceptable images of the living God today. Created in His image to serve the living God.

Pastor Ross

Genesis 2 – BUT WHY GARDENING!

But Why Gardening!

There’s an ugly looking weed that persists in growing in our garden and we are enemies. It has thorns. I have weed killer with a trigger that spurts out poison so I don’t even have to get near it.

I have always hated (my grandson says you shouldn’t say “hate”)…. I have always DETESTED gardening. Love the wild look of the garden, but my wife doesn’t agree. She likes the smell of newly cut grass and a well kept garden. Apparently God does too.

“Early in the first light of Saturday morning a man appeared, lying naked in the dust. His form is perfect in every way except there is no movement to animate his strong arms and legs, or smile to please his handsome face. Around him in every direction the sounds and smells of the forest in early spring fill the air with life, but here they fall upon senses that remain untouched.

“Oh God, He’s … dead!”

“No, not dead.” My senses rush at the sound of His strong clear voice and I am suddenly alert to every sound. “He has never been alive and he is not dead.”

The forest becomes silent as if in anticipation, and I draw back. Creation seems to be waiting for something momentous to take place. I can feel my face draining of colour. The world around me fades. His Breath floods through the trees and encompasses the strange figure in the dust with it’s touch.

My mind is still reeling with the first rays of understanding as Adam’s eyes open to the One who gives him life. His first moment is wrapped in the glory, love and spendour of His Maker. His first touch – the embrace of heaven’s welcome. The first words he speaks are those of worship and praise. And now the heavens respond with angelic voices echoing their shouts of pure joy that shakes the whole of creation with a tumultuous roar. At least, that’s how I think it might have happened. I know, I wasn’t there, but reading about it stirs my imagination.

No sooner is he breathing and looking around and he is given a PURPOSE. Even before he is created from the dust of the ground, it says,

“no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth and no plant of the field had yet sprung up, for the LORD God had not sent rain on the earth and there was NO MAN TO WORK THE GROUND,” (Genesis 2:5 NLT)

He enters into the purposes of God. And I also have a purpose on this earth. It is clear from Genesis 1 and this passage that I am created to REPRESENT GOD on the earth – in His image (1:27), to EXERCISE RULERSHIP over God’s creation (1:28), TO SERVE AND WORK where God has placed me (2:8), to have a personal relationship with God and LISTEN AND OBEY what He has to say (2:16,17). I am also created with a need for COMPANIONSHIP (2:18-25). DISTINCTIVES of the Christian life. Things that give my life significance and identity. Things that Christ my Creator intended from the beginning, but which have been thrown out as religious wimp rubbish. Things like worship, companionship, discipleship, ministry. It is all here!

What does God do?…Adam and Eve are made RESPONSIBLE from day one of their existence. They are to “keep” (shamar) the Garden. This word means to watch over, to guard, to keep, to look after, to take care of.

No escaping it. I am created to be responsible – personally responsible – for the World in which I live and the way in which I live. Even the perfect, beautiful Garden of Eden has to be looked after and cared for. Adam and his helper Eve were…to cultivate the land and keep the garden from growing out of control (1:5), to feed and provide for themselves (1:16), to look after and care for the animals (1:19), to worship God and obey His commands (2:15), to share companionship and have children (1:28) and that’s an awesome responsibility in itself.

One thing is sure…God has given me a PURPOSE in life to fulfill. I am not made to be inactive and lazy. And somehow it relates well to gardening, as unfortunate as I may think that is.

“Never be lazy, but work hard and serve the Lord enthusiastically.” (Romans 12:11 NLT).

“Even while we were with you, we gave you this command: “Those unwilling to work will not get to eat.””  (2 Thessalonians 3:10 NLT).

The invitation is here for you choose to live in His purposes today. Like Adam and Eve, to have every need met by God physically and spiritually, to respond positively to Him and serve Him. To receive what He offers, to reject what He withholds or bear the consequences. An incredible opportunity to respond, worship, love and come under the authority of Christ. Chosen for a purpose (Now I’m starting to sound like the Blues Brothers – on a mission from God!). OK, OK, and to mow the lawn and keep the garden looking nice.

Pastor Ross

Genesis 1 – WHAT DO YOU SEE WHEN YOU LOOK IN THE MIRROR?

What do you see?

Genesis 1 speaks of how it all started. “In the beginning…”, not for Him but for us, our awesome God created light and darkness, water and sky, seas and land, vegetation, sun, moon and stars, fish and birds and finally man and animals. All in 6 days! Not bad!

How fulfilling to work on project universe would it have been, perfect from the beginning as is everything that comes from God’s hand. I composed a song recently for Julie in my quietimes and it was so fulfilling after weeks of work to present it to her. I was so excited that I was shaking, and while I worked on it I couldn’t wait to finish and present it to her as a finished product. It seems to me that God couldn’t wait to present the heavens and the earth to man and say “It’s yours. Rule over it. Have kids and bring them up here. This is yours!” Can you imagine that? How cool would that be on that day to be created and wake up to see what God had done! Whohah!! (or however that is pronounced).

And we are created in His IMAGE. Later He says “You must not make for yourself an idol of any kind or an image of anything in the heavens or on the earth or in the sea.” It seems we are the only images that were created. We REPRESENT Him and that’s it! Nothing else is to be made in the image of God because it would be totally inadequate. We are it! To me that’s such an awesome thought. It’s as if God says, “I made creation for you. Rule over it. Don’t let it rule over you. Don’t be in submission to created things!

We are so concerned about climate change right now that everything we do can be dominated by our desire to be green. It seems that the rulership God gave us needs God’s help if it is ever going to work. When God rules over us we’ll start getting it right, so that our rulership of the world will bring about something good, not destructive to the next generation, Otherwise all we’ll do is end up worshiping creation above our wonderful God. Let’s get it all back into perspective. The God of the universe who created it and us (and 1 John says that was Jesus Himself) is our only hope for now and eternity.

God bless you Church as you represent Him as the only acceptable images of the living God today. CREATED IN HIS IMAGE to serve the living God.

Pastor Ross