Maker Fun Factory:
Created by God, Built for a Purpose
Doing something this morning I have not done before, preaching on the VBS themes before VBS. My rationale is simple: the teachings are all things we need to know for our lives and stuff we all need to teach and reaffirm in our children’s lives. They are truths that have the ability to transform how we do life. Maker Fun Factory: Created by God, Built for a Pupose is about:
God Lovingly Created You Psalm 139, Genesis 1:26-2:4
Genesis 1-2 gives us the story of creation. God created all that we know in five days, then on the sixth day God speaks of Himself when he says, “Let us make man in our own image, in our likeness…” Genesis 1:26. The royal “us” has always been considered as a reference to the Trinity. Let us, Father, Son and Holy Spirit make people in our image. Then Genesis goes on to tell us, “So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.” Genesis 1:27
What’s it mean to be created in the image of God? First, you are creative because God is creative: We know that God is creative. Every human makes things. Artists make things with paint. Poets, writers, philosophers and lawyers make things with ideas and the compelling use of words. Doctors make people healthier; consultants make organizations better. Manufacturers make things with raw materials; chefs make things with fruits, vegetables, meats and spices. Every human has the capacity to make things, to create, because we are all made in the image of a creative God.
Second, you are spiritual because God is Spirit: Every human possesses spiritual aptitudes and capacities. We are more than the sum of our physical parts. Our spiritual nature, though unseen, is as real as our physical nature. Nurturing our spirit is as important as eating, drinking and exercising are to our physical body. The very essence of God is relational, and that essential quality has been imprinted on humans.
A third truth about you is that you have the ability to communicate because God communicates: Anthropologists agree that the emergence of symbolic language—first spoken, then written—represents the sharpest break between animals and humans. The human ability to think and reason, to use language, symbols and art, far surpasses the abilities of any animals. This gift was bestowed when the communicative God’s image was imprinted on us.
A fourth truth about you is that you are intelligent because God is intelligent: Logical sequential thought flows from the orderliness of God’s mind. As a result, though we are not all intellectuals, we each possess a mind and a way of thinking and learning, so Jesus commanded us to love God with our minds (as well as our hearts and all our strength). Because of God’s intelligent image imprinted on our lives, though we possess different kinds of intelligence, each of us is to develop our mental capacities to their fullest.
A fifth truth about you is that you are relational because God is relational: The phrase, “Let us make man in our image” reveals that the very essence of God is relational, and that essential quality has been imprinted on humans. This capacity for a relationship with God extends to humans, which is why the Genesis story declares that God created Eve for Adam because “it is not good for man to be alone.”
A sixth truth about you is that you are morally responsible because God is a moral being. Just as there are natural laws that govern the universe, universal moral laws govern human behavior. The Bible teaches that these laws are written on human hearts and are universal.
When we fully grasp what it means to bear God’s image, we are at once struck with the grandeur of our possibilities and the tragedy of our unrealized potential. To be fully human is to fully reflect God’s creative, spiritual, intelligent, communicative, relational, moral and purposeful capacities.
It is interesting to note that after God created the sun and moon, the sea and land, every living creature and plant, Genesis tells us that “And God saw that it was good.” When God finished creating mankind on that sixth day, he looked at what he had made and saw that they were very good – not just good.
Now let’s jump over to Psalm 139. It was written by David who started out as a shepherd boy, then a musician, a soldier, a commander, and eventually a king! Listen to what David said about how God had made him. “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful; I know that full well.” Psalm 139:13-14. I agree 100% with David! Our bodies that God made are amazing. We are complex creatures, let’s look at our
-heart: The heart pumps about 7200 times a day, pumping 2,000 gallons of blood a day through its chambers. Of course, we’re not big enough to hold that much liquid, so it just pumps the same blood over and over and we have a built in filtration system to clean it.
-eyes: eyes are so complex that even Darwin said there was no way that they are the result of an evolutionary process.
-fingerprints: it is true no two sets of fingerprints are the same. By three months a fetus has their own unique fingerprints.
May our affirmation be: “I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful.” Psalm 139:13-14
WHY DOES IT MATTER THAT YOU and our children realize they are UNIQUELY and LOVINGLY CREATED? We are in a unique position today through social media and technology to constantly be comparing our lives to others. It can feel like there’s someone who is better, prettier, smarter, more athletic, more adventurous, more popular and just all round more! That’s why it matters to know you were intentionally, lovingly, carefully created by God. We need to stop the comparison game which leads us to not like ourselves and simply rest in the realization that the same God who created the entire planet also skillfully formed you: toes and fingers, eyes and ears, brain and body…. You are one of a kind and God created you in His image.
God is for You Joshua 1-2
“If God is for us, who can be against us.” Romans 8:31
The children will look at Joshua 1-2, the story of Joshua entering into the promised land. The problem was the land was already occupied. Joshua sent a group of spies to check out the land and they became trapped. The enemies knew they were there and came after them. Rahab offered to hide them on her roof then snuck them out, lowering them on a scarlet cord at night over the city wall so they could escape.
There are more times than we want to admit that we seem trapped by our circumstances, by our bad decisions, by our genetics, disease and sickness,….
BUT through-out the scriptures the story from Genesis to Revelation is “God is for You!” God is for you and will make a way where there seems to be no way.
Testimony of Pat Miller who was in a head on accident in Dec. 2015:
Pastor Seth, “God Will Make A Way” Is my theme song! Even Tho I could not sing and could barely talk above lip reading after I was conscious from the wreck, thankfully, my mind was working and that song gave me hope and strength. The three months I was in the hospital and at Health South it was continually going around in my head. “God Will Make a Way, He works in ways we cannot see, He will make a way for me” and he did and continues to do so! I miss being able to sing and I pray that I will be able to again someday. It is all in his hands whether I do or not. I am praying constantly that he will make a way for Beth. Have a Great Day👼 ><> Pat Miller
These are the words by Don Moen that Pat kept hearing:
God will make a way Where there seems to be no way He works in ways we cannot see He will make a way for me He will be my guide Hold me closely to His side With love and strength For each new day He will make a way. He will make a way
The Don Moen song was inspired by Isaiah 43:1-5. “But now, this is what the LORD says- he who created you, he who formed you, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. 2When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned;…. 3For I am the LORD your God… 4You are precious and honored in my sight, I love you,…5Do not be afraid, for I am with you…”
God specializes in showing His power in hopeless situations. In showing his people that he is for them. Israel was in just such a place when God parted the sea before them (Ex. 13:17-14:31). Daniel was protected in the lion’s den (Dan. 6:10-23). Paul and Silas were delivered from prison (Acts 16:25-40).
God is in the business of making a way where there seems to be no way… don’t despair! Trust God. God is for you and He has promised to make a way. Our next point flows from Isaiah 43:5 “I am with you!” If God is for us, he is obviously with us.
God is always with You Judges 6:11-7:25
“The Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
The reality is we do not always feel like God is with us, often we feel God has abandoned us. That is how Gideon felt in Judges 6, all alone and abandoned. The Israelite’s had entered the promised land but the Midianite warriors kept attacking them and stealing from them. In Judges 6 we find Gideon hiding from the Midianites and threshing wheat, not on the hill as usual where the wind would blow away the chaff, but hidden in a winepress. All of a sudden an angel of the Lord appeared and said to Gideon, “Mighty Warrior, the Lord is with you!” Judges 6:12 Mighty warrior? Gideon was hiding in a wine press.
Gideon responded, “Pardon me, my LORD, but if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the LORD bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the LORD has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.” Judges 6:13.
Gideon was confused, wondering where God was and why he had not helped them. I am pretty sure we have all felt like Gideon. Alone and abandoned by God, but that is just what that is – a feeling. It wasn’t fact. The fact is God was still right there with Gideon.
The Lord God answered Gideon, “Go with the strength you have and rescue Israel from the Midianites, I am sending you.” Judges 6:14 I have no doubt Gideon was thinking, “What me? Lord, how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest and I am smallest in my family .”The Lord answered, “I will be with you!” Judges 6:16
God wants us to know that he is with us! The story of Gideon is the amazing story of God being with him. When it came to do battle against the Midianites, Gideon had 32,000 soldiers….God sent 22,000 home, then he sent another group home and Gideon ended up with only 300. Gideon was less then excited about going up against the 50,000+ Midianites with 300 soldiers. God’s logic was clear – if you fight and win you will take all the credit and glory. This way it is clear, I am with you and have given you the victory!
Read of the battle… an amazing story of God showing them he was for them and with them and gave them the victory.
What an amazing story! They were victorious because God was with them all the way. Gideon did not think he was up to the challenge but as he came to understand that God was with him.
Remember no matter what hard time or challenge you are facing, even if you feel God has abandoned you, the FACT is God is with you, he loves you and will always be with you even when you mess up.
God will always love you Luke 22:66-24:12
“Your unfailing love will last forever.” Psalm 89:2
Let’s be upfront and honest; a love that is unfailing and will last forever is a pretty foreign concept to our experience. Our experience is that we are loved when we do things right, when we listen and obey then we are loved… If we do wrong, we are rejected and punished.
Okay now look at Jesus, lived a life that was focused on helping others… never did anything wrong, but was sentenced to death by crucifixion.
Now look at our lives and how we have lived… have we ever done anything wrong, have we ever sinned? What’s a sin? Doing anything that would displease and not honor God. So, okay, if we are honest we know we have sinned. We all sin. The only person to have ever walked on this earth and who has lived a sinless life is Jesus Christ.
So, if our experience is to be punished for doing things wrong, things that do not please or honor God, it is tough to understand that God will always love us. How could that be? Sin separates us from God so how can he love that which has been separated from him.
Because God in his essence is love and He made a way for us have our sins removed. Jesus Christ died on the cross and took on our punishment, he took on our sin.
Because Jesus loves you and wants a relationship with you, he wants you to accept that what he did he did for you. He wants you to say, Jesus I believe you died for me.
But that’s not the end of the story. After Jesus died and his friends placed his body in the tomb. Jesus three days later came back to life. He rose from the dead. Some 40 days later he went into heaven but promised that he would come back and take us to be with him forever. I love the promise in Romans 8:31-38 about God’s love,
“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all-how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?…. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?… No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our LORD.” Romans 8:31-38
VBS starts with God lovingly made You!
And God is for you and is always with you.
And even when you mess up or do wrong things, God will always love you!
And we end with God made you for a reason 1 Samuel 25
”For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
David is caring for Nabal’s sheep
Nasty Nabal…turned on him and threatened his life
Wife Abagail to the rescue… Abagail brought peace to an angry and difficult situation. God had made Abagail and he made her for a purpose. He gave her a good dose of common sense and critical thinking skills. God made her and made her for a reason.
Hoping you know: God made you for a reason, too! He has given you what you need, the right qualities to carry out his will. Trust that God has uniquely and lovingly made you, He is for you and with you, will always love you and made you for a reason. Let these truths transform how you perceive your life, your circumstances, and your future.