Archive for January, 2013

The Bible begins with the following words: “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” It then goes on to fill us in on the details of creation.
When you consider the narrative of the story of creation found in Genesis chapter 1 we find that all things that were created were created with intentionality and with purpose. Everything was created in such a matter that when God sat back looked at all that He had done, He said to Himself, this is good. He was quite pleased with His handiwork.
As we look closer at this account of creation we find that God created one creature differently than all of the rest. He created mankind and was very involved in the creation of both man and woman. Of all of God’s creation, He concerned Himself with their creation more than anything else. Why? Well, we are told that of all creation, mankind is the one creature that was created in the very image of God. God had literally created thousands of creatures yet created mankind in His image.
Why would God do this? Well, we find in the book of Genesis that God would frequent the garden where man and woman lived. He did so not to eat fruit from the orchards, not smell the sweet fragrance of flowers, not to check out all the animals that He had made or ever to just admire His handiwork. No, we are told that God would go in the garden and walk and talk with Adam and Eve. Why? God desired a relationship with man and woman. He wanted to get to know them. He wanted to fellowship with them. Can you imagine what they must have talked about? God would pour our His heart to Adam and in turn Adam would do the same. It was a relationship that God desired and valued greatly.
We have been given no reason to believe that God does not still desire this type of relationship with man. He desires the fellowship. He looks at mankind and sees him as the one and only creation that resembles Him. (Genesis 1.27) You see God has 10 fingers and 10 toes. He has a nose and two ears. When He looks at man He sees the one and only creature that resembles Him.
When God looks at the sunset, He sees beauty. When God looks at the rainbow, He sees a promise. When He looks at the giraffe, I imagine He chuckles. When He looks at the stars at night, He looks at His power. When He looks at mankind, He sees Himself. Nothing else in all of creation resembles God.
God did not did send His one and only Son to die on the cross to save the elephant, or to save the dolphins. God did not allow the ultimate sacrifice to occur that He might have a right relationship with the hyena or a cat. God did not watch Christ die on the cross so that He could make the panda bear and the koala bear have a better life. When Christ hung on the cross He was not thinking about dogs, monkeys or lions. He was thinking of that same creation that He created so long ago. He was thinking of mankind. He desired to have a relationship with you just like He had so many years ago with Adam and Eve. James 1.18 calls mankind the firstfruits of creation. You see, when God looks at all of creation, He says, people are my favorite creation.
When Christ hung on the cross, he looked out at the men who had put Him there. He saw the men who had laid Him on the cross and driven the spikes through His hands. What was His response, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” Why? Even though they had committed an evil act against the God of the universe, Jesus in agony saw their value. He desired that right relationship that had existed so long ago with Adam and Eve.
The Apostle Paul writes, “Whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Romans 10.13) Why, God is unwilling to say no to anyone who approaches Him. Mankind has never stopped being the firstfruits of God’s creation. Mankind has never reached a place where God has said I no longer desire a relationship with him. Scripture screams the opposite of this. He sees value in all people from all walks of life. While words like scumbag come out the mouths of God children, God does not think this way. He sees those who are redeemed and those who are not. Yet all were created in the image of God. Therefore, all are to be valued and He desires to be in a right relationship with all.
Ephesians 2.10 says, “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” You see before you were even on this earth God had you and your life’s work in mind! We find the evidence of this in Scripture in regards to the prophet Jeremiah. Jeremiah 1.5 tells us that God said to Jeremiah, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I have appointed you a prophet to the nations.”
You see the value each of you has in the eyes of the Lord happened before birth. In fact according to the book of Jeremiah, it happed even before conception. Before you began to be formed in the womb, God knew you and then while you were being formed in the womb God was intimately involved in making you just the way He wanted to.
Psalm 139.13-16 says, “For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are your works, and my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, and I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; and in Your book were all written the days that were ordained for me, when as yet there was not one of them”
So what do we do with the knowledge that People are created in the image of God and therefore are valuable to God? What do we do with the knowledge the whole story of Scripture is God seeking to have mankind reenter the relationship He always desired? What do we do with the understanding that all people from the moment of conception are individuals that have a plan and a purpose that God has given thought to in eternity past?
I believe we need to pursue God with the following statements:
God help me to see others as you see them…God help me to recognize that mankind is created in your image!
God help me to find your purpose for my life…If you created me with a specific task in mind, help me fulfill it!
God help me protect those you desire a relationship with…If the unborn are lives that God is involved in then my job is to keep them safe!
God if those who are different are that way because You chose to create them that way, then help me see that they are that way because of Your desire.
Lord help me to value life of all people I come in contact with; from the unborn to the ancient. Help me to a voice against injustice and a servant to your creations.
Lord recognizing that you desire that intimate relationship with people that you had with Adam and Eve, help me pursue you with all my heart. Help me direct others to your goodness and your loving-kindness. Give me a sense of boldness in sharing your truth.
In closing, I would like to say this to each of you. You are loved by God! When God thinks of what He loves best from all of His creation, you are on His list! You have value and are valued enough by God that He did everything that you needed to have done so that you could have a right relationship with Him.
For those who have a relationship with God, take a moment and say thank you!
For those who do not have a relationship with God, you can have one!

Upon receiving the book One Big Thing I was not really sure what to expect.  It was the first book I had ever picked up by Phil Cooke.  After reading this book, I can honestly say that it won’t be the last time I read one of his book either. 

One big thing

This book was one that can truly capture a large audience.  It can serve as the motivating factor for those struggling to find purpose and meaning in their lives and also serve as an added does of encouragement to those who are already living in such a way to fulfill their life’s purpose. 

The whole premise of the book was to discover what you are born to do.  It then built upon this concept with topics such as living by one’s values, mapping your future and being persistent.  It truly was a gem of a book that I believe all readers can benefit from.

If you are a person, like myself, that is always looking for great quotes, you won’t be disappointed with this book.  Phil does a great job of weaving powerful quotes throughout his entire book.  He also does a great job giving personal illustrations about each of his point, which makes the book refreshing because is not a book of theories but tested practices.  At the end of the day, would I recommend this book?  Absolutely! 

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher for the purpose of review.