Summary: A message detailing humanity’s responsibility to God and each other to take care of the planet.
Intro: Several years ago, my car was in the body shop for an extended period of time -- and so, a friend of mine offered me the use of one of his cars.
It was a Cadillac. I wasn’t used to driving such a nice car. I tried to refuse my friend’s offer -- but he insisted.
I was "forced" to bum around in that Caddy for a couple of weeks.
Well, it was wintertime, and my daughter Emily was playing in an all-state band concert three hours away. Sue and I -- and our son, Andrew -- drove our ’Sweet Ride’ to the concert...and on the way home, we ran into a snowstorm.
After battling the elements for a couple of hours, we decided to pull off the road and get something to eat. Everything was closed, due to the storm, except one seedy-looking Mexican restaurant. But the sign read: "All you can eat, tacos!" -- so we were all in.
It turned out -- not only could you eat as many tacos as you wanted for a certain price...if you ate 10 of them, the dinner was free!
Andrew couldn’t pass up an offer like that. So -- 10 tacos later, he left the restaurant, and curled up into a fetal position in the back seat of the Cadillac. (You can guess where this is going???)
The snowstorm had gotten worse. We were slipping and sliding all over the road. Like a ride at Great America.
Andrew spoke up from the backseat. "I think I’m going to hurl," he announced.
I told him that hurling was unacceptable. "This isn’t our car. This belongs to a friend. This IS A CADILLAC!! (2X)"
Andrew hurled! It was a mess!!
I don’t remember the rest of that trip. But I do remember cleaning up the car. Why?? (Did I clean it out...)
It wasn’t our car. It belonged to a friend. It was a CADILLAC (2x).
LISTEN to me, friends. You and I are taking a lifetime ride on planet Earth. It isn’t our planet. It belongs to God. It’s a CADILLAC (2X).
* So -- if we puke all over it, we’d better clean up our mess.
Welcome to week one of a four-part series: World of Hurt.
* We’re going to address four global issues that ought to concern every one of us.
* Not only because we inhabit this planet -- but because Jesus Christ has called us to make a difference in our world.
* So -- if you’re a Christ follower, get ready for 4 HUGE CHALLENGES...Challenges that, hopefully, will bust us out of our preoccupation with our personal little worlds -- and give us a heart for God’s Big World.
Here’s the 1st HUGE CHALLENGE -- today’s topic -- "Caring for Creation".
(Originally -- "Protecting the Environment" -- common expression. But "Caring for Creation" --> more positive, comprehensive.)
George Barna/national pollster/just released the results of a survey that he took -- end of this summer: Majority of Americans believe that environmental issues are very important (Not surprising -- lot of talk these days about "going green.")
What I found interesting, however, wasn’t Barna’s poll: Even though the majority of Americans believe that environmental issues are very important -- an extremely small percentage say that these issues are among the "top challenges" facing our country. Only: 6% say -- "energy" -- top challenge; 3% say "environment" -- top challenge; 3% say "global warming" -- top challenge.
So is "going green" a genuinely important challenge for us to consider? Or -- just a fad?
I’m here to tell you today -- from God’s Word -- that caring for creation ought to be a BIG DEAL for us; especially if we’re followers of Jesus Christ.
#1 God’s Renown ("fame"; biblical term -- "glory")
READ Psalm 19:1-4a
Keep in mind - this psalm was written by David. The guy who wrote: "The heavens declare...the skies proclaim..." -- had grown up as a shepherd boy. He’d slept outside with his flock, night after night. In a remote little village called Bethlehem. 950 B.C.
Can you imagine the stars and constellations that David saw? Good thing he didn’t grow up in 21st century L.A. He probably wouldn’t be able to write: "The heavens declare...the skies proclaim..."
He wouldn’t be able to see the heavens/skies!!
FRIENDS. One of the reasons that "creation care" ought to be a big deal to us, is because creation points to God (2x) (Write that down!) Creation declares his glory!
That’s important -- for both doubting skeptics/convinced believers.
If you’re a doubting skeptic - you’re not sure if there is a God, or what he’d be like if he did exist -- David says: "Take a look at creation. Does it look like the product of random chance to you? Or the handiwork of our awesome designer?"