Summary: Part one of looking at four elements in faith.
-alrighty, let’s get into this!
-for the weekend we are going with the theme Elemental, in case you hadn’t guessed. The whole idea of this is we are going to explore faith from the ideas of the four elements, earth, air, fire and water.
-because faith and growing in God is not one way, one thing, one set of steps and then you’re there. We want you guys to get a bigger picture and be experiencing and learning about God in all the ways you can.
-so for today, we start with earth. [SHOW DIRT]. Here it is, earth. This is dirt.
-exciting, isn’t it? But do you realize how much of this there is? There is about 12 million square miles of dirt that is suitable for growing things on earth right now. To give you an idea of how much that is, only about 4.71% of the earth’s surface has usable “earth”. There’s water, mountains, deserts, etc.
-so even though we think of earth as everywhere, it really isn’t. There’s very little. And to replace it, it takes 100 years to get 1 inch of soil naturally (we do things to speed up the process).
-earth is a lot more precious than we think. But a lot of people don’t see it as precious. They see it as messy.
1. EARTH IS MESSY
-when I was growing up, I loved to play outside. I know some of you don’t know what that’s like, but this was a time before xbox. My TV got two stations when it wasn’t cloudy. But my first house, it was in the middle of nowhere on a county road, we had two neighbors within a mile, a little house on 3.4 acres of land surrounded by corn.
-and one thing I learned about playing outside, you get dirty. Now my mother, she didn’t like dirt. She wouldn’t be happy when I came in covered in dirt. I had a dog named Charlie who in the spring would go outside, disappear for a long time (once was three days), and he would be in the corn fields in the mud and come home just black. Mommy made us get rid for that dog…
-but it’s true. Earth is messy.
-why do I bring that up? Because growth is messy.
-look at your physical growth. How many of you have hair grow in straight and perfect? What about pictures of you growing up? Missing teeth, acne, for some of you you had to grow into your ears.
-and it doesn’t happen straight either. You don’t grow exactly four inches per year. There are growth spurts, some of them even hurt.
-this happens to your brain too. One part of the front of your brain hits two major growth spurts, one at 3-4 years old, one when you’re about Jr. High. That’s part of why they act like 4 year olds.
-in all ways of life, growth doesn’t look like this [SHOW ARROW]. Instead, it looks more like this [SHOW CRAZY ARROW].
-this is a quote from a guy name Mike Yaconelli, he was one of the first people ever to help youth pastors. “Spirituality is anything but a straight line; it is mixed-up, topsy-turvy, helter-skelter godliness that turns our lives into an upside-down toboggan ride full of unexpected turns, surprise bumps, and bone-shattering crashes. In other words, messy spirituality is the delirious consequence of a life ruined by Jesus who will loves us right into His arms.” (Messy Spirituality, p. 17)
-growing spiritually, doing what we can to learn about and be like Jesus, it’s messy! Ever wonder why sometimes you feel like God is next to you, the next day He’s a thousand miles away? You’re not bad, it’s how growth works. Growing to be like God is messy.
-here’s an example. James and John, two of the disciples. They were two of the only three to see Jesus raise a girl from the dead, to be at the Transfiguration, to be asked to go a little further and pray with Jesus. How did they measure up spiritually?
**Luke 9:51-56 -> 51When the time was coming near for Jesus to depart, He was determined to go to Jerusalem. 52He sent some messengers ahead of Him, who went into a town in Samaria to make everything ready for Him. 53But the people there would not welcome Him, because He was set on going to Jerusalem. 54When James and John, followers of Jesus, saw this, they said, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven and destroy those people?” 55But Jesus turned and scolded them. [And Jesus said, “You don’t know what kind of spirit you belong to. 56The Son of Man did not come to destroy the souls of people but to save them.”] Then they went to another town. (NCV)