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Summary: From the very beginning, and continuing after Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection on our behalf, God has taken great intention, pleasure and glory in our relating to and connecting with Him through the beauty, experiences, and lessons of Creation itself.

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LIFESONGS OF NATURALISTS & SENSATES

Part 6 in series, “LifeSongs*: Lives of Worship”

Rev. Todd Leupold Perth Bible Church Sunday February 17, 2008 AM

* Title inspired by the name of the song and album by “Casting Crowns.” Overall series inspired and, to some degree adapted, from the writings of Gary Thomas and Myra Perrine.

INTRODUCTION:

God created the mule and told him: "You will be mule, working constantly from dusk to dawn, carrying heavy loads on your back. You will eat grass and you will lack intelligence. You will live for 50 years." The mule answered: "To live like this for 50 years is too much. Please, give me no more than 20." And it was so.

Then God created the dog and told him: "You will hold vigilance over the dwellings of Man, to whom you will be his greatest companion. You will eat his table scraps and live for 25 years." And the dog responded: "Lord, to live 25 years as a dog is too much. Please, no more than 10 years."

And it was so.

God then created the monkey and told him: "You are the monkey. You will swing from tree to tree, acting like an idiot. You will be funny, and you shall live for 20 years." And the monkey responded: Lord, to live 20 years as the clown of the world is too much. Please, Lord, give me no more than 10 years." And it was so.

Finally, God created Man and told him: "You are Man, the only rational being that walks the earth. You will use your intelligence to have mastery over the creatures of the world. You will dominate the earth and live for 20 years." And the man responded: "Lord, to be Man for only 20 years is too little. Please, Lord, give me the 30 years the mule refused, the 15 years the dog refused, and the 10 years the monkey rejected." And it was so.

And God made Man to live 20 years as a man, then marry and live 30 years like a mule working and carrying heavy loads on his back. Then , he is to have children and live 15 years as a dog, guarding his house and eating leftovers after they empty the pantry, then, in his old age, to live 10 years as a monkey, acting like a fool to amuse his grandchildren. And it was so.

(Jonathan Busch, sermoncentral.com)

SCRIPTURE: Genesis 2:8-15; Romans 1:20

From the very beginning, and continuing after Jesus’ sacrifice and resurrection on our behalf, God has taken great intention, pleasure and glory in our relating to and connecting with Him through the beauty, experiences, and lessons of Creation itself. As we continue our series on “Lifesongs: Lives of Worship,” we will focus this morning on two worship lifestyles that glorify God in such ways!

I. THE NATURALIST LIFESONG

A. INVENTORY

How would you answer the following statements?1

4 = very true, 3 = Often true, 2 = Sometimes true, 1 = Rarely true, 0 = Never True

1.I usually feel closer to God when I am out in nature than when I spend time indoors in church.

2.I derive great joy from praying or communing with God as I sit beside a brook, walk outdoors, or see His handiwork in nature.

3.I would be thrilled if our church held a service on the beach on in a wooded glen – somewhere outside in God’s creation.

4.If I could go to a garden or a lake to be with God, I would be very happy.

5.When I am in the beauty of God’s creation, i find myself spiritually refreshed because being with the Lord in the outdoors is so inspiring.

6.I would be delighted to see a picturesque movie in church entitled Worshiping God through Creation.

B. PROFILE

The naturalist worshiper most sees & feels God & His Truth in nature.

They tend to be poetic and creative. They worship God through emulating (on a much smaller scale) His wonderfully poetic and creative Being.

Further, they tend to worship through physical action. Using their bodies or even created tools in ways that illustrate and maximize their creative purpose is a meaningful way for the naturalist to worship the Lord. Example: whereas for most people, landscaping or working in the garden is a chore, for the Christian naturalist it is a wonderful exercise of worship and drawing closer to our Lord. Carpentry, husbandry, building, boating and hiking are but some of the many other examples.

For the Christian naturalist, these activities don’t just make convenient ’excuses’ for worship. Rather, engaging in such activities almost always results in the spirit and mind being drawn to our awesome God and Savior.!

C. VALUES

1.The World is God’s Classroom

There is sooo much about God, His character, the realities of His natural laws, and His communication with us that can be experienced through His Creation. And, yet, far too often it is seen by us as nothing more than a familiar and insignificant background.

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