The more we know God, the more we will love and worship Him. John Elmore discusses Genesis 1:3-25 and how the varying aspects of Creation point to God’s inscrutable, teleological, ordered, and providing nature.
Made for a New World | Isaiah 11:1-16
Made to Be Saved | Genesis 3:15, 21-24
Made to Work | Genesis 3:17-19
Made to Gospel Our Relationships | Genesis 3:12-13
Made for a World Without Shame | Genesis 3:7-11
Made for a Different World | Genesis 3:1-7
Made for Relationships: Marriage | Genesis 2:18-25
Made for Relationship | Genesis 2:18-20
Made to Rest | Genesis 2:1-3
Made to Flourish | Genesis 2:4-25
God’s Heart for The Nations | Revelation 7:9-17
Made in the Image of God | Genesis 1:26-27
Great Questions Q&A Panel + MADE: to Teach | Genesis 1-3, 2 Timothy 2:24-26
How to Hear From God | Genesis 1:1-31
The Trinity: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit | Genesis 1:1-5
To Know God is to Worship God | Genesis 1:3-25
Is Your God Too Small? | Genesis 1:1-2
To truly know God and His character should result in overflowing love and worship. Reading through the account of Creation gives us a glimpse into several aspects of God’s nature.
Good morning, Watermark, family of God. It's good to be with you guys. This past week, TA kicked us off in this new series that's going to carry us all the way through Christmas. It's called Made. Today, it's going to be made to worship, as we continue on with that. The other thing that kicked off last week was the 5:00 service on Sunday. Because you're here at the 11:00, you may not know what happened at the 5:00.
At the 9:00, it held the same. The same number of people showed up to the 9:00. The same amount of people showed up at the 11:00. You might be like, "Uh-oh. What happened to the 5:00? Like, did 13 people show up?" Eighteen hundred people showed up. Where did 1,800 new people come from? It's crazy. I want you to hear the response of our lead pastor Blake Holmes, who was just onstage leading us through Communion. He said with holy reverence… He was like, "Lord, if we can't care for those people, send them somewhere else."
Because we're not about numbers. We're not about filling auditoriums. He feels it as the weight of an elder, who shepherd and are responsible for the care of souls. So he's like, "Lord, if we can't care for them, send them someplace else." That is our intent as we gather together as the body of Christ: to care for one another, to love each other, to stir each other up to love and good deeds. It's what we will do, I believe, today as we look at his Word and the implications it has upon our lives.
So, the first thing I want to show you… You know I'm always going to show you something. The first thing I'm going to show you is this. I never had this, because when I first met Laura… These are attributes of her. When I first met her, here's what I knew about Laura. I walked into a living room. She was babysitting the kids of the family I was staying with. I walked around the corner and was like, "Oh! Hi." She said, "Hi."
Here's what I knew that night: she was kind, she was full of joy, and she worked at Pine Cove. That's all I had. Then I got her number. That's right. But this story is about Laura, not about me. The next day, we go and have coffee, and I learn more about her. As she was walking away to her car, I was like, "Oh! Hey, real quick, um, what's your last name?" She was like, "Strickland. Why?" I was like, "Because I have you saved in my phone as 'Laura, Pine Cove.'"
Then, over the course of nine months of dating, I began to know Laura more. We spent a lot of time together, and I would see what she was doing, which showed me who she was, the motives of her heart. So, one night, I gathered her parents together, Rick and Linda Jo Strickland, and I was like, "Hey, I want to meet you for dinner." I'm sure they knew what was coming. I pulled this paper, folded, out of my pocket. I said, "I want you to know what I see in your daughter." (If you're seriously dating and looking to get engaged, here's a little pro tip for you.)
I was like, "She is faithful. She loves God so much. She's prayerful. She loves others. She shepherds, ministers, and counsels them. She worships and sings. She's responsible, mature, and wise." I'm not going to read you all 200, but I went on and on. I'm sure Rick at the end was like, "I know what you're going to ask. Just ask." I was like, "Could I have your daughter's hand in marriage?"
The more I knew her, the more I loved her, and the more I loved her, the more I was like, "All right. I'm dead to everybody else. I'm making a covenant with you. We're going to walk home together. It's you, you and me, as one, together for the rest of our days," because I knew more of her, and it responded in love and a desire to make that covenant together.
So it's going to be as we look at this series Made through Genesis 1:3-25. We're going to look at who God is. Now, you might think, "Wait. Those are the six days of creation. We're going to see what God did." No. What God did shows us who he is, and it results in a desire to worship, that we just overflow, like, "Who are you?" That we would know him more and it would overflow in praise. So, today we'll look at, in Genesis 1, these six days of creation, what God did that reveals character qualities of who he is and that we would respond rightly in worship.
You need to know up front this will not be an exhaustive list. It couldn't be. There are six days of creation, and I'm just drawing out one character quality from each day. You may be sitting there thinking, "I can't believe you didn't mention authority. I can't believe you didn't mention relational, that he speaks. I can't believe you didn't mention sovereignty. How could you not have mentioned absolute morality, that he declared things good?"
Well, because I can't even scratch the surface of who God is. He's so much more than I could woefully come to you and say, "Well, this is who God is," and make him in a nice little box. I could never do that but will attempt to. It would be like… This is what I've wrestled with as I'm thinking about his character qualities.
I told Laura last night, "I feel like someone asked me to reproduce the Mona Lisa and gave me finger paint." You can make out a little bit of the person, but not the totality of all that God is. Even in that, that we would be like, "You are so beyond all we could ever know." Paul says we see now dimly, as through a mirror, but one day, when we are at home with him, we will see fully. So, let's start.
Day one: God is inscrutable. The definition of inscrutable is unsearchable, beyond our complete understanding. It's what I've just said. Genesis 1:3-5: "And God said, 'Let there be light,' and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day."
You need to know you could read 10 different commentaries and hear 10 different things on what people think (emphasis on think) was happening here. Frankly, we don't have a category for it. This blows all categories, that God would speak, "Let there be light," and there was light, although it wouldn't be until a later day that he would even create the sun that would emanate light, that would give us that particle and beam that is light. It's like, "You just created light, but there's no light source. There's no physical light source of the sun yet, and yet there's light."
There's a spiritual source. He spoke it into existence. You see this at the very beginning of the book. But do you know what you see at the end of the book? The exact same thing. Listen with me here in Revelation 22:5. "And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever." It begins with God saying, "Let there be light," and at the end he's like, "You don't need a lamp or the sun because I will be your light."
Here we are in the middle, in the in between, and guess what: Jesus is our light. John 1:9: "The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world." He has always existed, and now he is coming into the world to give us that light. The other night, my 8-year-old, Hill… I was putting him to bed. We sang a song, and then I prayed over him. I said, "Okay, Hill. Now why don't you pray. Anything you want to pray for?"
He's lying on his pillow. He goes, "Dear God, please let me get sick…" I open my eyes. His eyes are still squinted. "…so I don't have to go to school this week." I was like, "What?" Then he goes, "Oh! Oh! But, God, not too sick, not like throwing up sick. Just a couple days of fever. Amen." I was like, "What?" My son is scrutable. He is very understandable. I can comprehend him.
Kids are incredibly honest, but somewhere along the way, we lose that. We start to pray these Christian veneers of what we think God wants to hear versus, "Hey, my light is everywhere. My light is upon you. I know your heart before words are on your tongue. I know it fully. Just be honest." Jesus said, "Unless you come like a little child you cannot enter the kingdom." My son is scrutable. God is inscrutable, and he sees all.
So, my question for you is…Where is it that you're sleeping in the light? Where is it you're spiritually sleeping right now in the light? Leonard Ravenhill, a theologian and preacher, said, "At this grim hour, the world sleeps in darkness…" We're all like, "Yep. Yes, they do." In their cultural immorality and just this landslide of lost ethics, they are sleeping in darkness. Then he says, with a cutting to the quick, "…[while] the church sleeps in the light." Where is it that you are sleeping in the light?
God is inscrutable. It says in Romans 11:33-34, "Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable…" There's our word. "…his ways! 'For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?'" He is inscrutable, unsearchable in his being, yet what that does not mean is that he is unknowable. He has made himself knowable. He has revealed himself in the Word and in creation.
So, while he is inscrutable, he is not unknowable. He is a personal God who loves us and has you in mind. It says in Romans 1:20… Here it is. He is not unknowable, though he is inscrutable. "For his invisible attributes…" Meaning, we can't see them, but we can know his character that is unseen by what he has made. "…namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse."
Who's the they who are without excuse? It says the foolish have become darkened in their understanding. They have suppressed the truth. Like, "Okay. By everything that has been made, there has to be… Someone did this. Why is there something rather than nothing? Why is there life rather than non-life? Why is there order rather than disorder? Somebody did this." But they suppress the truth. It says they neither give him thanks nor glory, and their foolish hearts are darkened. He is inscrutable, but he's not unknowable.
Further, God is teleological. There's a 10-cent word for you. Telos meaning the end; logical meaning the reason for that end. I need you to know that I wrestled with this word and what to say, what divine attribute to exclaim God, and I fall short. Everyone falls short. I thought about these. I thought, "God, you're deliberate." He is intentional. He is purposeful. He is a God who ordains things.
I'm like, "Those just fall short," because even people can be that. People can be intentional. People can be purposeful. People can ordain. It just falls short. Teleological, I feel like, gets a little closer. Meaning, he has a reason for the end. He has something in mind that he is doing, and it will not be thwarted. Here it is in Genesis 1:6-8: "And God said, 'Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters…'"
Remember, the Spirit was hovering over the waters of the deep. Now he's creating an expanse. He's separating it. "'…and let it separate the waters from the waters.' And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. And God called the expanse [this in between] Heaven." It's the sky that he had just made. "And there was evening and there was morning, the second day."
It's the atmosphere that we know, the oxygen we breathe. He was doing something. Whenever we had the "shelter in place" when COVID first landed on the scene, the kids were driving us nuts. We're there. We can't go anywhere. We can't do anything. Laura was like, "We need something in the backyard. We need a tree fort." I was like, "Great. Load up. We're going to go get a tree fort."
So we go up 75 to this tree fort store. The kids are playing on them. They're rolling around. "Hey, we want this one. We want that one. We want the Dakota version." I was like, "Okay. Cool. Great. Yeah, we'll take one of the Dakota versions. What? Okay. Never mind." It was $5,000. I was like, "Oh, I'm so out on that." I was like, "Kids, load up. This is the last time you're going to see a Dakota. We're going home."
Laura was like, "What are we going to do?" I was like, "That's a rip-off! I'm going to go to Home Depot." She was like, "Oh no!" I go to Home Depot, and I load up in the back of her Suburban. I get home, and it's like, Boom! Two-by-fours, four-by-fours, six-by-twos, cedar planks, chains for the swings, and this janky old slide I got off Craigslist. It's all just there. The kids are like, "You are a bad dad. We just played on the Dakota, and what is this?"
But I knew what I was doing. I had a picture in my mind. I wasn't building randomly. I knew exactly what I was doing. I knew I was going to have a downstairs room. That's right. It's two stories. It has not met code yet, but it'll have a doorway. It'll have a little window where they can do a lemonade stand or whatever they want to do. It's going to have a ladder they go up where they're on a second platform that has a roof on it to shelter them if they want to be out there in the rain or the snow.
Then it's going to have a second platform they can step onto that they can play on, and below that are going to be three swings. Oh, and, by the way, I'm going to put it in the middle of these crepe myrtle trees that are growing up through the roof and about it. Then I got done, and they were like, "Oh! Okay, okay. We've got it." To this day… I mean, yesterday, all of the neighborhood kids were playing on it and loving it. I knew what I was doing.
When God creates, foremost, and he has the earth formless and void and darkness over the deep, we could be like, "What is this? What are you doing?" It wasn't bad. God can make no bad. He can do no bad. He doesn't sin. There's no strike with God. Every time, exactly what he intended, but it's like, "What is this?" He was building something. He wasn't finished yet, and he was inviting us in that we could see, because we're image bearers. He was not finished yet.
You want to talk teleological, to have a reason for the end, check this out. Creation was not the first act. You might be like, "Blasphemy!" There was something before creation. This will make me cry. Ephesians 1:4: "…even as he chose us in him [Jesus] before the foundation of the world…" Before he brought all the raw materials and was like, "I'm going to make something amazing." Before any of that, he was like, "I choose you. I choose you. I choose you. You're mine in Christ Jesus, and now I'm going to make you something. You're going to love it…a place for you to live."
Teleological. He began with the end in mind, and the end was you, that he would rescue you and ransom you. So it is with your life. You're looking at your life and this pile of stuff, and you're like, "Really? The date rape? The divorce? The joblessness? The financial stress? You know I'm working two jobs, God…three jobs…single mom. The disease, the diagnosis…" You're looking at that pile of stuff, and you're like, "What are you doing?"
He's saying to you this morning, "I am not finished yet. I'm not finished." He will make something with all of those things…all of the self-inflicted things, all of the things inflicted from others, all the brokenness from this world. You give it all to him, and he will make something amazing. He promises. It's Ephesians 1:11 where he says he works all things into accordance of his will. That means nothing escapes the will of God. He works all of it into accordance of his will.
It says in Romans 8:28 that for those who love God (the church, body of Christ), he works all things for good. Not that all things are good (all things are not good; there is sin and brokenness in the world) but that he will work them. He's like this master artist who upscales things and recycles them, who takes all the junk and can make something amazing from it. He works all things for good, so you can trust him with your eternal end.
Whatever feels formless, dark, and void in your life, give it to him now, and he will do something with it. He has an end in mind, and it will be for your good and for his glory. One of the most teleological passages in the entire Scripture is Isaiah 46:8-11. "Remember this and stand firm…" Stop right there. He's calling to memory what he's about to say, and in this he says, "You can stand firm. No matter what the chaos of the world, no matter what the formless, dark, and void in your life, stand firm."
"…recall it to mind, you transgressors, remember the former things of old…" Maybe he's hearkening back, literally, to Genesis 1. "…for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, 'My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,' calling a bird of prey from the east, the man of my counsel from a far country. I have spoken, and I will bring it to pass; I have purposed, and I will do it."
One of the most famous things in all of baseball is when Babe Ruth steps to the plate and points his bat (I mean, the audacity) and then crushes a home run. He called his shot. This is the same as God being teleological, except unlike an incidental connection of a ball to a bat in a moment, this is God calling his shot through millennia…millennia of a broken world and people who have free will. He's like, "Nah, watch this. I'm going to work it all into accordance of my will, because I have an end in mind." He's teleological.
He is also a God of order. Day three. Genesis 1:9-10: "And God said, 'Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.' And it was so. God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good."
As TA talked last week, the ancient cosmologies… They would say the sea was chaotic and dangerous and threatened life. Here God flips that over and is like, "No, it's good. I made it. It's good." He is ordering the chaos. What appears chaotic to us, just like those ancient cosmologies, creation accounts… He's like, "No, no. I know it looks chaotic. I'm telling you I will bring it to order." He gathers up all the water and puts it in place. He brings all the land and puts it in place, and he brings order to that chaos. That's what he does.
Now, you have the creation account here in Genesis 1, but in Jeremiah, chapter 5, this much farther, there is a description about God's creation account of the waves. It begs the question, "Well, God, we're a little out of sequence here. We're talking about the sea being separated from the land, and here… Jeremiah 5? What are you doing? Why is that there?" Listen to what he says.
"Do you not fear me? declares the Lord. Do you not tremble before me? I placed the sand as the boundary for the sea, a perpetual barrier that it cannot pass; though the waves toss…" Though the Mariana Trench rises with all of its volume and creates these cascading waves, more than 100 feet, that crash down; though the swirling hurricanes, all of the ocean and waves. "…they cannot prevail; though they roar, they cannot pass over it."
Do you know why in Jeremiah he's talking about ocean waves? Because he was talking to the nation of Israel, which was in a time of rebellion. He had told them, "I want you to let the fields lay fallow every seventh year so that you trust in me." They never did it. They were like, "No, no, no. Wait. What? You mean don't grow anything on year seven every seven years? No, we're not doing that. What would we eat? That's crazy. That would be so chaotic. I mean, we can't run down to a Kroger and get produce. We have to grow it." He's like, "Don't do it," but they did it, because they saw the disorder and the chaos.
It wasn't just that. They were like, "God, when we call on you, it doesn't seem like you're doing anything, so we're going to raise up these Asherah poles. We're going to worship the other gods of other nations, because maybe they'll come through. We're just going to kind of hedge our bets a little bit." They were in a time of rebellion. They saw disorder, and they attempted to bring their own order to their chaos, and it was horrible for them. So in verse 23 he says, "But this people has a stubborn and rebellious heart; they have turned aside and gone away."
He's a God of order. Meaning, the waves, the smallest particle of the sand, God lays down. I mean, sand that I could blow off from my finger. God says, "The waves won't pass through this. I can do anything. If I say it stops here, it stops here, because I am a God of order." So, while you can trust him with your eternal end because he's teleological, here you can trust him with the messy middle of your life because he is a God of order. What seems chaotic to you God will bring order to.
The apostles were going through the Sea of Galilee, and it says they were beaten by the waves. The wind was against them, and they were far from land. And here comes Jesus, just walking on the water. He treads on what troubles us. He's like, "I'm sovereign over it all. I'll work providentially on your behalf. I will bring order to the chaos that is swirling around you." Nothing will happen to you that has not first passed through the sovereign hand of God. It is a promise from Scripture.
Last weekend, I was officiating the wedding of a Watermark couple, Thomas and Nicole Bills. Thomas just started the Watermark Institute. Incredible couple. They invited our kids to be ring bearer and flower girl. Well, Judd… Right before the wedding, we're at the house getting ready to get ready, and he goes, "Dad?"
"Will I be an adult this weekend?"
"What? Eat your cereal. What are you talking about?"
He was like, "Will I be an adult this weekend?" I was like, "No. You won't be an adult this weekend. You'll still be 4. What are you even asking?" He said, "Well, then how am I going to get married?" I was like, "Oh! Buddy, hey, you're not getting married." In his mind, when we said, "You're going to be in a wedding," he was like, "Well, I guess this is the end." All week he's thinking, "This is my last bowl of Cap'n Crunch. I don't even know who she is." It's crazy.
I was like, "Buddy, you're not getting married." I'm a father of order to the chaos he was feeling. I think, in the same way, we can feel the same. We're like, "God, are you going to do anything? I know you see. You're omniscient. I know you see. I know you're omnipotent. You can do anything. You're not sleeping. You can see this. Do something." And he will. He promises to. He's not going to marry you to that chaos. He'll bring order to it.
In 1 Peter 4:19, it says, "Therefore let those who suffer…" And you will. All who desire to live a godly life will suffer. "…according to God's will…" Wow. Stop there. It's according to God's will that you suffer. It has not escaped him. He knows what you're going through. He has either allowed it or ordained it. "…will entrust their souls…" Maybe not your body. Maybe not your finances. Maybe not your family, but entrust your soul. "…to a faithful Creator while doing good."
I was reading that, and I was like, "Creator?" Like, if I'm writing that passage, I might drop in "Entrust your soul to a faithful Redeemer" or "to a faithful Rescuer" or "to a faithful Savior" or "to a faithful Lord" or "to a faithful Counselor or Advocate." I don't know, but I wouldn't have chosen Creator. That's kind of weird. When I'm suffering, I want a close Savior, a suffering Savior who understands.
God is like, "No, no, no. I want you to remember everything I did in the six days of creation, in the enormity of it, in how I brought order to all of that that seemed so chaotic. Don't forget, because when you're in the middle of that suffering, I am a faithful Creator. I can do anything. I made the heavens and the earth. Do you not think I can handle this small, though it feels huge, problem? I've got you, and I'm faithful." The attribute to Creator is "I am faithful. There's never once that I'm going to miss it." He's faithful. He's faithful Creator.
So, the question we need to be asking when we face suffering… Right now, I guarantee you, maybe all of you in some way are going through something. We're all facing battles. It's not "How could you have me go through this?" But instead, that our hearts would flip, and it would be "How can I glorify you through this, because you are a God of order?" He's not just a God of order. He's also a provider. Our God is a provider. He's not distant or absent. He is a provider. This is still day three. Genesis 1:11-13:
"And God said, 'Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.' And it was so. The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. And there was evening and there was morning, the third day."
You know, I've been to the Louvre in the Paris, and these magnificent, priceless works of art. Beside every single one of them, spare none, there's a little placard that always tells you who made it, because people stand like they're awestruck. It takes their breath away. They're like, "What?" The Louvre wants to tell you who did that. That we would look at creation, everything God has made…the plants, the seeds, the fruits…everything, and that we would step back and be like, "Who are you? Who did this?" and we would attribute that glory to him in worship.
Judd, again… Laura got him a little tub of Legos. He's a creative kid. This Lego set wasn't like you follow the instruction manual. It was just a randomized set of primary color Legos. What's fascinating about it is Judd will just sit there, and he'll start putting stuff together. One day he builds a house, and one day he builds a spaceship, and one day he builds a car. Frankly, they all look the same, but to him they're different.
As parents, we're like, "I wonder what he's going to build today. I wonder what he's going to make." I think it's exactly what God did when he made all of the plants and vegetation on this earth. I think then he was just watching and giving us the wisdom to do so, to see, "What are they going to do? When are they going to find the cotton that they can actually put into a loom and make clothes? When are they going to find [whatever it is]?"
Did you know we didn't even discover coffee until 400 years ago? Coffee! Imagine a life without coffee. You know he's up there looking like, "Help me help you. Find the coffee. I know you're parents. I know you have to go to work. I know you have to stay up and study. It's there. Find it." I think he just watched with awe.
Oftentimes, I think, when we read this, we're like, "Yeah, yeah. So he made some stuff." No, he's a provider. Look at all he provided…medicine, from aspirin to morphine and essential oils. Some of you are like, "I can't believe you said 'essential oils' in the category of medicine," and others are like, "That's right." Clothing, lumber for the building materials, for the musical instruments we just used to sing worship to God… He gave us all of that as a provider.
When he was making the trees, do you know what I think probably happened? I think, because he is teleological…he has an end in mind…I bet one particular tree… I don't know if it was an oak or a pine or a fir, but I think there was one particular tree that he made and just stopped and stared at, probably, and was like, "That tree is going to drop seed, which will become a tree, which will drop seed, which will plant a tree, which will drop seed, which will plant a tree throughout millennia until, one day, a tree is going to grow up.
I don't know how many years it's going to grow, and then somebody with an ax is going to cut it down. Then they're going to hew this log and shape it to make a beam and a post. I will not only provide the tree; I will provide the sacrifice that will be laid on the tree, and the eternal Son of God, the spotless Lamb who took away the sins of the world, will be laid on that tree from the descendant of the tree I have just made. I'm a provider. He'll be raised up, but whoever trusts in him will be forgiven of their sins. He will be raised from the dead, having victory over sin, death, and Satan." He is a provider.
My grandfather-in-law just died of cancer. This is Laura's grandpa, my father-in-law's dad. Laura and I knew the end was imminent, so we went and visited him. We're sitting there with him. The cancer has just wreaked havoc on his body. He's sitting in an easy chair. Laura is on her knees, just through tears, pleading with him to trust in Christ. She says, "What are you going to say to God when you see him?" He says, "Well, if he's there, I'll tell him I gave it my best shot. I've heard he's a God of forgiveness, so maybe he'll forgive me."
I said, "We know you've given it your best shot. You're the most amazing grandfather. You were a grandfather to me though I wasn't yours. You've been the most amazing great-grandfather. You've been the most amazing father to Rick, but you lack one thing." He said, "Oh?" I said, "It says in Scripture, 'It's appointed for man to die once and face judgment.' Have you ever done anything wrong in your life?" He said, "Of course."
I said, "Then you lack forgiveness. That's the only thing you lack. So, before it gets really dark, pray to Jesus and say, 'Jesus, forgive me of my sins.'" That man… The Lord removed the veil. Tears welled up in his eyes. He's looking at me, and he says, "Jesus, forgive me of my sins." We grabbed hands, and we prayed, and that man placed his faith in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins. He is now at home with the Lord, because God is a provider. He provides salvation. It's what he does. He provided everything we need on this earth, and he provided everything we need spiritually.
Some of you here today have provision materially but not spiritually. So I stand here to tell you that God has provided a way for you, that your life could be made new and that you could stop living for evil human desires but rather for the will of God by placing your faith in Jesus. Then there are others of you who are like, "No, I already have Jesus. I've trusted in Jesus. I have Jesus." But I don't know that Jesus has you.
Have you given him all of your life, or have you said, "You can have my salvation, but I'm going to do what I want with my body and with my boyfriend and with my money and with my time"? You have him, but does he have you? He is a provider, and we should respond in worship. We were made to worship.
It says in Romans 12:1, in view of God's mercies, in view of him being a provider of our salvation, to offer our bodies, the totality of our being, to him as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God. He says, "This is your spiritual act of worship." We were made to worship. "All of me, God. It's all yours." The word spiritual in Greek is logikos. Meaning, it is your logical response. It's your logical act of worship to respond to God in that way.
He is a provider, but not just any provider. He's an awesome provider. Listen to day four. Genesis 1:14-15: "And God said, 'Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.' And it was so."
When I say he's an awesome provider, some of you… We use the term awesome for "That's an awesome TikTok video. That's an awesome pizza." No, it's not. Awesome means so full of awe that you're dumbstruck and speechless. Like, it takes your breath away. That is how he is an awesome provider.
When it talks about the creation account of the sun and the stars and the moon, and all that, you'd think it would be like, "Hey, guys, I'm going to give you sunlight so that you get vitamin D so that your bones don't become brittle. They're going to get stronger from that. You won't get depressed, Seasonal Affective Disorder. I'm going to take care of you. We're going to give sunlight for photosynthesis so that the plants I made are still going to grow."
There are a lot of things he could have said about light. Instead he said, "I'm going to give you light, and it'll be for signs and seasons, days and years," which is a really interesting thing. I think it's because… Here's what people did before the Industrial Revolution. At night, when night would come to being, they would do this. You're probably wondering, "How long are you going to lie there in silence?" But it's what they did. They were just looking up at the heavens.
Don't do this in Dallas because you won't see anything. There's light pollution. But this is what the ancients did up until just recently. They would just stare at the heavens, just looking and considering. David in Psalm 8 says, "When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place…" How are they in place even as they float in orbit? "…what is man that you are mindful of [me]?"
David is looking at the grandeur and the magnitude and the swirling, ordered space, and he's like, "Who am I that you're mindful of me?" What he's beholding is God has put us inside of a cosmic, colossal clock. We're like inside of a Rolex as it's ticking, for signs and seasons. He is an awesome provider, like, mind-blowing.
Throughout the creation account there's what's called divine fiat. Meaning, God speaks it and it is. So, when he says, "Let there be light," there's light. When he says, "Let there be plants," there are plants. When he says, "Let the water separate from the water," it is. It's a divine fiat. Do you know there are extrabiblical accounts? These are things outside of Scripture that we still know to be true. They're historical though they aren't in the canon of Scripture.
There are times when God spoke to creation, but creation did not do what he said. The divine fiat failed. Here's what it was. It was us. He said, "Let there be love. Let there be gratitude. Let there be peace. Let there be holiness. Let there be the sharing of the gospel unto the nations." We were like, "No. No." He's an awesome provider. If all of creation yields to his words, how could we not? We were made to worship. Not only an awesome provider, but, lastly, from days five and six, he is a creative provider. He's so creative. Genesis 1:20-21:
"And God said, 'Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.' So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good."
Don't worry that we're not talking about evolution here. There's a God and science message coming. But it's all according to his kinds. He's so creative…from the narwhale to the Venezuelan poodle moth to the Chinese water deer…all of these things he made where you're like, "Who are you?" He's so creative.
George Washington Carver said, "I love to think of nature as an unlimited broadcasting station…" Think about just through the airwaves, unlimited, throughout the whole world and universe. "…an unlimited broadcasting station, through which God speaks to us every hour, if we will only tune in." Tune that dial of our hearts to see and behold God in what he has done, to know who he is and respond in worship.
If you go deep on anything, like the dumbo octopus, which is a thing (and you should see it; it's amazing), or the narwhale, or whatever. If you go close on one particular thing, your mind will be blown, and you will see a very creative provider…so creative, the epitome of creation. So, I want to tune our hearts to this. As Carver said, it's broadcasting, if we would just tune our hearts.
I want to tune your heart to the coconut, just as one example of a billion that are on this earth. If you look at it closely and go down the rabbit hole to explore it, your mind will be blown by the creativity of God. What you may notice is that it's round. Right? A coconut is round. Typically, if you're on an island, or something, it has a husk around it. Well, guess what? It floats.
So, there it is in the ocean, floating. It's in salt water. Salt water normally would kill a plant, but here this one is floating. Now, it matters that it's round, because once it hits that shore and is on the sand, the waves are going to roll it up. It's going to roll up. As the tide goes, it's going to push it farther and farther in so it doesn't get swept away. And guess what? Because it's round, it does exactly what God intended. It just keeps getting pushed up the shore, having rolled in from the land.
If that was a banana and I threw it, it would just stop. It's not a banana. That's not what God had in mind. Instead it was that. Now, you would think once that landed wherever it lands, which would be on sand… It's going to be in sand, not soil. You'd be like, "Oh, it's probably not going to make it." Well, it will make it, because God intended for it to make it. That coconut will put down roots. And what's it going to drink? It's going to drink salt water. Salt water kills most plants. Not the coconut.
So, there is the coconut, drinking salt water, not having any soil to draw nutrients from, yet raises up a coconut tree, which is crazy. It's like, "Where did the mass of that tree even come from? From salt water and sand?" Yes. It is God's design. Then you have the leaves, which are fronds. They're not like this. They're fronds, because as those trade winds blow through, it would rip them to shreds with the powerful winds. So God designed it to be able to pass through, to not be like a kite that would just blow off. It's all intentional.
As that thing grows, it grows out at an angle. Now why does it grow out at an angle? You're like, "Because of the trade winds. You just said that." No. It doesn't grow because of the trade winds. It grows because it's getting sunlight. You should ask, "Well, every other tree grows straight up because of the sunlight. Why is this one bent?" Here's why it's bent: because the light reflects off of the sea all day, every day. If it's only straight up, it's only going to get high noon, so it bends out toward the sea to get more light.
That's fascinating, because if it didn't, when the coconuts dropped, they would just drop on the sand, but here they are dropping nearer to the tide, which will take them out to go to other islands to populate those with coconuts. And, in case you're exploring and end up on that island, rather than having to go inland to find fresh water… You'd never make it. You'd die of thirst.
The Lord is like, "I've got you. I've already thought of this. I put Gatorade inside those fruit. In fact, crack it open. You have electrolytes, sodium, potassium…everything you need. And somehow, even though it has been drinking salt water all its life, it's actually sweet. You're welcome." That's crazy! That's absolutely crazy. Yeah, I do think it deserves a round of applause to the Lord. Who thinks of that? That's just one thing. There's a billion that if you looked closely, you'd be like, "Who are you?" and fall to your knees in worship.
When I asked Rick and Linda for Laura's hand, I didn't just get Laura. I also got my in-laws. And not just any in-laws, but Rick Strickland, who can throw a barbecue. When he invites you to a barbecue, you don't miss. Like, you cancel plans. You make up something, because FOMO will haunt you. He'll have inches-thick steak, salmon on planks, sausage for appetizers, vegetables grilling. It's incredible. You're like, "What's his number? Are we going today?"
So I show up there. What I've never done…never, in the history of our relationship…is carve into that steak and be like, "Oh, steak, with your grill marks and the perfectly pink inside, maybe even a little bit red, but I'm color-blind and I can't tell. I would never put anything other than salt on you, not like my rebellious, unfaithful wife who uses A.1. on you. I would never do such a thing, but I delight in you as you hit my taste buds and satiate my hunger, steak. Thank you, steak."
I would never say that. That's ridiculous. Instead, I take a bite, and I'm like, "Okay. Rick! Rick, that's the best steak you've ever made. Are you kidding me? Thank you so much. That's incredible. Thank you. How did you do that? I can never make a steak like that. Thank you so much." I don't worship the created. I go to the one who made it all, and I'm like, "You're amazing. You're amazing! You provided everything. You're creative. You're awesome. You're the provider. You began with the end in mind. Who are you?" We were made to worship. We can look at what he did and thus know who he is, and he is amazing. Let's pray.
Father, it is a joy to talk about you, although I know I am falling woefully short, and I feel it. I feel the angst of "How could I ever describe you?" and yet through your Word, you have shown us "I am the God of the Word," and you can be known through your Son Jesus and now the indwelling Spirit. Lord, I pray that as we look at creation, it would result in praise. And not just praise in song in this moment, but that as we walk out these doors it would be a life of praise, because you alone are worthy. You're deserving of it. You saved us, and now you send us. So we stand and we worship you in the mighty name of Jesus Christ our Lord, amen.