Summary: What happens when people focus on the things of this world rather than God?
Poem: He was just a little lad,
and on the week’s first day,
Was wandering home from Sunday School,
and dawdling on the way.
He scuffed his shoes into the grass;
he found a caterpillar
He found a fluffy milkweed pod,
and blew out all the filler.
A bird’s nest in a tree o’er head
so wisely placed and high
Was just another wonder
caught by his eager eye.
A neighbor watched his zig zag course,
and hailed him from the lawn
Asked him where he’d been that day,
and what was going on.
"Oh, I’ve been to Sunday School,
(He carefully turned a sod,
And found a snail beneath it);
I’ve learned a lot about God"
"M’m’m, a very fine way," the neighbor said,
"for a boy to spend his time;
If you’ll tell where God is
I’ll give you a brand new dime."
Quick as a flash his answer came!
Nor were his accents faint -
"I’ll give you a dollar mister,
if you tell me where God ain’t."
APPLY: That boy had the right kind of answer and the right kind of attitude… It’s interesting that the book of Genesis starts out with the same answer and the same attitude: “In the beginning: GOD.”
It didn’t start out: “In the beginning, the earth was without form and void.”
OR “In the beginning, Adam and Eve walked in the garden”
OR “In the beginning when the sun and solar system existed”
OR “In the beginning in a land far far away”
It simply says "In the beginning… God”
For years, scoffers have criticized the Bible for being "geo" centric (centered around the earth). God created the earth & built the sun moon and stars around it. It gave the impression that everything revolved around our planet. Geo-centric.
BUT the Bible isn’t "geo" centric. It’s "Theo" (God) centric. Every thing in Scripture begins and ends with God.
Hebrews 1:10-12 says: "In the beginning, O Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands. They will perish, but you remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will roll them up like a robe; like a garment they will be changed. But you remain the same, and your years will never end."
EVERYTHING IN SCRIPTURE IS GOD CENTERED
John 1:1-3 almost echoes Genesis 1 when it says: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.”
AND Colossians 1 adds to that: “(Jesus) is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together.” (vs. 15-17)
EVERYTHING IN SCRIPTURE IS BUILT (not around the earth or man) BUT around God.
I. Why does Scripture emphasize this from the very beginning? Because God knows that what we focus on influences how we think. The Bible wants us to focus on God.
For example, many people will come to me and complain that they are depressed. I usually give them homework. I tell them to go and make a list of 10 things for which they can be thankful and come back and see me in a week.
Interestingly, they often have trouble coming up with the complete list. But, if I’d given them an assignment to write down the issues in life that had them upset, or disappointed, or distressed - they’d could have written a book. Why? Because what they focused on influenced how they thought. They practiced focusing on those things that were unsatisfactory in their lives and so they became depressed.
What you focus on determines how you think, and the Bible wants us to begin by focusing, not on the things of this earth… but upon God.
Consider what happens when people focus on the things of this earth first: Genesis 1:2 describes the world at creation as being “formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep.” Isn’t that interesting?
Many people view their world as being exactly like that: "without form, empty, and filled with darkness." That’s what happens to people who don’t start out "looking to God" first. They view life as being… empty… formless… filled with darkness. They end up seeing world as depressing & ultimately hopeless.
That’s why in Matthew 6 Jesus said: "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.