Summary: This is the opening message for the Essential 100 reading campaign. The message goes with the first reading
Essential 100 Message Series
January 6, 2008
A year ago I had the privilege of going to the Gathering, the first national Wesleyan pastors conference. The experience was incredible and it was without a doubt the best pastor’s conference I have ever been to.
My brother was gracious enough to give us a gift for Christmas; he arranged a night’s stay at a hotel in Daytona Beach. Our last morning in Florida, I sat watching the sun rise over the ocean and listing to the sound of the waves rolling in. I remember the feeling of awe looking out over the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. It was one of those moments when I was inspired by the incredible nature of God. I felt small in the comparison of it all.
I think that I understood in that moment how the psalmist felt.
3 When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, 4 what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him? Psalm 8:3-4
There are times when we are surrounded by nature that we come to an appreciation of how great and powerful God truly is. There have been many such moments for me.
Watching the awesome power of Niagra Falls
Staring at the stars of the Milky Way in the Canadian sky
Looking out over the Great Smoky Mountains
Feeling a warm spring breeze on my face with the scent of my grandmother’s rose bushes
Seeing lightening strike an old oak tree in my backyard
These are merely a few of the times when creation has revealed the majesty and might of God to me. Surely you have had similar experiences. It is seeing the awesome reality of the world around us and knowing that there must be a great God who made it all.
Merrill C Tenney put it this way: To assert that a world as intricate as ours emerged from chaos by chance is about as sensible as to claim that Shakespeare’s dramas were composed by rioting monkeys in a print shop.
We are at the start of a new year. We are also starting the Essential 100 Campaign. It seems fitting that the beginning of the New Year starts with the beginning of the Bible.
If you have your Bibles with you, we are going to start at the very beginning, Genesis 1:1.
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.
Those words seem so simple and yet they are utterly profound. This one verse summarizes the rest of chapter one and two of Genesis. It is essentially the heart of what God has done and who God is.
Creation is a divine demonstration of God’s Power
Creation proclaims the wondrous nature of God. It shows us the vast nature of His power. The word that is used here for God is the Hebrew Elohim; which means almighty God. The write is clearly telling us that God is the Supreme Being in the universe. There is none like Him.
Math proof – The probability of one molecule being created by chance is 10 to the 253 power. This would be billions of years for one molecule. To come up with the needed molecules to create our world would be impossible by chance.
Creation demonstrates the power of God to do what seems impossible. The word created is bara. It appears in this passage three times describing the manner in which God created heavens and the earth, sea and winged creature and humanity. Bara is used only for God and only when God makes something for the first time. It means to make something out of nothing. When God started the creative process He started with nothing. God needs nothing to created with because He is the master maker of all things.
The psalmist describes it this way: 1 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. 2 Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. 3 There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Psalm 19:1-3
Creation is a divine display of God’s person
Genesis clearly communicates the essential nature of who God is. It shows us a glimpse of His person.
Creation reveals the essential nature of God
Genesis starts with a display of who God is and shows us the Trinity in the beginning of all things. God the Father is mentioned in verse 1 and the Holy Spirit in verse 2. Where does Jesus fit into this? Look at John 1:1-3
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.