Sanctity of Life Sunday 2010
A Purposeful Creator
Today is a day when sadly we remember and draw attention to the reprehensible decision by our supreme court called Roe V. Wade. It was that decision which made abortion on demand legal throughout the United States. Since that day millions upon millions of innocent lives have been cast aside like unwanted trash. It is surgical procedure that many would say is a convenience and a right but which is dangerous and always fatal for at least one human life and sometimes for two. But no matter the fatality toll it is destructive in hearts and lives for all involved for years after.
Now, this may have impacted you directly or indirectly. You may be actively involved in the cause or not so. But I want you to know why it is important to us as followers of Christ. Democrat, Republican or Independent I think we can come together on this issue. I don’t really care if you vote republican or democrat but I do pray that you will vote in support of life
So, I will return to Titus chapter 3 next week … but today, some thoughts about our Creator …
The issue is what we believe about life and creation …
We believe that God created all things ex nihilo or out of nothing.
There were no accidents
God didn’t create things by just throwing them up on a canvas and see what sticks
God is dreamer, designer, creator, and sustainer of all of his creation
Creators create for a reason
Creators may use different circumstances good and bad but he is still creating
So in creating life, even in difficult circumstances like unwanted pregnancies, or accidental pregnancies, or even the result of criminal circumstances that create the pregnancies … GOD is still the Creator … not the careless one or the criminal …
Turn to the book of Colossians with me and read our text
Now we will just focus today in our thoughts on verse 16
Colossians 1:16 (NIV)
16 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.
1. All Life Is Created
The underlying purpose behind the evolution conspiracy is to define life without a Creator. It is an attempt if you will to Kill the concept of a Creator.
But you cannot look at this world and not believe that something somewhere designed and built it.
If I had never seen a car before but I found one and studied it long enough I would KNOW that someone MADE it. It is too perfect and everything about it is interconnected and needs every other part. It couldn’t have just happened. Not only that, but it would be ridiculous to think that my SEATS EVOLVED from the SAME material as my spark plugs. And you know what when I come into my house I don’t say “well look at that, I have seats in my house, they must have evolved from the same place as the seats in my car because they are similar in structure.”
Life didn’t EVOLVE, it didn’t HAPPEN it is CREATED. And that includes LIFE in the Womb.
He made us and we are HIS. He is Creator, Redeemer, Lord, and King of this world.
IN the Beginning God created … that’s how Genesis 1 begins and the last verse of Scripture, Revelation 22:21 speaks of the Grace of Jesus Christ and about us being God’s people
So the Bible Begins with God and ends with God the Son and an understanding that we are HIS.
And so if all things were made by him and for him then we should value and protect his creation. We should protect LIFE because it is GOD’s Creation
When Michelangelo created a great work, no one says “did you see what the statue of David did?” No they say “did you see the statue of David, what an amazing work, Michelangelo did.”
Now sometimes artists, architects, or engineers may create something that has the ability to move on its own and it the creation can get out of hand and cause damage, but that is ultimately a reflection on the creator.
But no one would ever think that the statue of David is greater than the artist that created it. It was just a piece of marble.
This universe was created by a Singular God who has NO EQUAL, except that he manifests himself as a triune God who is separate yet miraculously One.
God transcends his creation. He Stands Outside of it.
Interestingly this Universe was created out of nothing. But MAN was created out of dirt. Yet if YOU TRY THAT AT HOME, you can’t do it. God had the ability to take the dirt and work on it to create man. That even means that he can take terrible circumstances and make something beautiful of a life that began even as dirt!
All things were created … and
2. Life is made BY HIM
"The David" didn’t just come into being, it was created and not just by anyone by Michelangelo.
Interestingly enough, the project, “David”, began with Agostino an assistant to Donatello. Both did very little work. Only beginning to shape the legs and feet before it was abandoned and the project given to Rossellino who was fired for some unknown reason and the piece of marble called “The Giant” was left outside in the weather for 26 years. Finally 26 year old Michelangelo was given the job. He began on Monday, September 13, 1501 and worked for more than 2 years on the project until it reached its amazing completion in early 1504. So beautiful, every detail so perfect, it was a true work of art.
Without The David, Michelangelo would still exist; but without Michelangelo The David wouldn’t have existed.
Without US … God will always be God … but without him we are NOTHING
John 15:5 – I am the vine you are the branches, he who abides in me and I in him bears much fruit, for apart from me, you can do nothing
Acts 17:28 – in him we live and move and have our being …
Rev 4:11 – “you are worthy, our Lord and God to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and HAVE their being.”
That means WITHOUT him, we cannot live or move or even BE
You and I do not COME to be without him.
You and I will cease to exist without the sustaining power of the Almighty God
Do you believe this?
Do you really?
Are you sure?
Look to the person next to you and say,
“without God, there is NO MORE ME”
and now say “without God, there is NO MORE YOU.”
Everything was created
Everything was created by God … and
3. Life was Made FOR Him
Did he only have purpose for the Creation as a whole and then he’s let it go?
No, he told Jeremiah MORE than that …
Jeremiah 1:4-10 (NIV)
4 The word of the LORD came to me, saying, 5 “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” 6 “Ah, Sovereign LORD,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am only a child.” 7 But the LORD said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am only a child.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. 8 Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the LORD. 9 Then the LORD reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “Now, I have put my words in your mouth. 10 See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.”
God Knew YOU before you were formed as well!
He set you apart and he appointed you … not necessarily as a prophet to the nations, but he certainly has a purpose for your life if you will surrender to him
What about King David?
Psalm 139:13-16 (NIV)
13 For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. 14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15 My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 16 your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
The word for “KNIT Together” is cakak –(saw-kak) = to weave as in the boughs of a hedge – the image is taking a young plant that is tender and malleable and weaving it together to form a beautiful and protective hedge that guards a garden.
Can I get us to see that God himself shapes our tiny bodies creating the body that will surround and guard our soul and spirit the essence of who we are and what was created in the image of God for the purpose of a relationship with God.
If you will it was created like Eden as a place where we can walk with God.
God has a purpose for each and every one of us and he was directly involved from the moment of conception. If the conception was the result of sin, criminal or otherwise, God didn’t cause the sin, but he allowed it to result in LIFE because HE is the creator
So how can we allow someone to come into his studio and destroy his work?
Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV)
“11 ‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.’”
Michelangelo said this. “In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine to see it”
The purpose of that piece of Marble that became The David, was to fulfill the vision of the artist
What about us? Is our purpose to fulfill the needs and purpose of our parents? Is our future to be determined by our parents or our creator?
As individuals, as Men and as Women how do we fulfill the purpose for which God Created us?
There has been such an attack on the uniqueness in which we were created by God.
I should say that initially the cause for this attack was because in many ways, men had denigrated women. Men had made women LESS than they were created to be.
Not only that but in regards to the racial tensions that face our world, they were the result of Anglo men cheapening and abusing men and women of color from their position of equality in God’s creation
But we are NOT all the Same … we are uniquely created by God and that is a GOOD thing
Specifically though, in regards to gender issues, we are different and yet equal
As we attacked and then counter attacked, there has been an onslaught on the creation of God
Many would say “remove all appearances of differences” in the name of equality.
But what does that do to the work of the creator?
The three most important phrases in Colossians 1:16 are 1) all things are created
2) By Him 3) FOR HIM
Let me just make some simple observations before we close today.
1. We Are Created a Creation of God
- I am NOT the Creator, I am the Creation
- A creation fulfills the purposes of the creator
So my job is to KNOW my Creator, Know his purposes and Fulfill them. My greatest purpose was to be in relationship with him
- A creation glorifies the creator –
the purpose of that relationship is to bring GLORY and praise to my Creator.
2. We Are Created as a Segment or Portion of a Larger Creation
- If you were created as a tree in a painting, but instead you want to be a part of the surf or the sky … saying “we should all be the same” … well it might become a unified painting or an equal painting but that was not what the creator was trying to create. As you begin to remove the differences eventually you take out even the hues and shades and it just becomes a field of white or of black or of blue but no distinguishing marks
- “Who did God create me to be”? That is the question we need to ask
- “What did God create me to be?” is another question to ask
- “Why?” finally is where we end up.
God had a purpose and a plan for placing me where I am, as I am, what I am for HIS purposes. Even my limitations, handicaps, short falls, are part of HIS creation and NOT an accident or a mistake or something that has gone outside his knowledge or control
3. We Are Created FOR My Pleasure
No I did not make a mistake in what I said, I said that I was created for MY pleasure
- God created me to give ME pleasure, for me to have an enjoyment out of existence
- Being WHO I am helps ME have the pleasure he intended me to have
- Have you heard the phrase a “fish out of water” … what does it mean? It means something that is outside of it’s comfort zone or realm of best existence
- A penguin in a dessert – pleasure or pain? Pain
- A Cactus in the rainforest? Pleasure or Pain? Pain
- Briar Rabbit “please don’t throw me in the briar patch” … Pleasure or Pain? Pleasure … it only appeared to be pain, but Briar Rabbit knew who he was … and so he gloried in the Briar Patch that others may have called Pain
Only God knows the best place to place you and we find our greatest pleasure when we are happy to as they say “bloom where we have been planted”
Fourth and finally
4. We Are Created For HIS Pleasure
- Can you imagine a piece of art constantly changing from the vision of the artist?
The smile of the Mona Lisa constantly drooping. The arm of the David changing positions ever day. The Arch in St. Louis sagging? Imagine the frustration of Shakespeare if his actors constantly changed their lines.
- Would those things bring pleasure or pain to the creator?
Of course they would pain their creator because they were not what he intended
- But imagine the pleasure when Leonardo da Vinci stepped back and looks at the Mona Lisa’s wry smile and the eyes that seem to follow you around the room
- Imagine the joy, after two years, for Michelangelo when the David was finished
- Imagine the joy, for Ereo Saarinen, when the Arch FIT into place and stood their gleaming in the sun as the “gateway to the west”.
- Feel the pleasure as Shakespeare sat in the audience as a play unfolds and people laugh, cry, and applaud just as he envisions as each line is delivered
we live in a world that will constantly lie to you about who you are in Christ, who you were created to be, and what your purpose is in life.
Not only that, but you have heard the lies so often that you will begin to lie to yourself. Jeremiah 17:9 says “the heart is deceitful above all things”
But you have a creator you can call upon
Psalm 61:2 (NIV84)
2 From the ends of the earth I call to you, I call as my heart grows faint; lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
we too have deceived ourselves into thinking we want to be something different than what we are created to be or intended to be. A Turtle can’t be a Rabbit. But a turtle can be a GREAT TURTLE … Part of our problem, me included me is that we spend our adult years trying to be something we weren’t in our prime. Then when we have kids we start trying to turn them into what we wish that we could have been
I have played sports with guys and some of them are frustrated that they were never the ball player they wanted to be … instead of enjoying the ball player they are …
The underlying truth is that I need to be the man God made me to be.
That is first a MAN, with all of its uniqueness, and Second a servant of God, and possibly a husband and father, and a person with a career.
But the Man I want to be is who God made me to be
How silly it would have been on the second week of life on this earth for lions to come to God while he was walking with Adam in the cool of the day and say “I was noticing the Zebras and I’d really like to be a Zebra God, can you change me? How about at least the stripes? Those stripes look nice. You gave the Tigers stripes what about me?”
Well it is just as silly for us to come to God and say “God I’d like to be someone or something else” Instead of saying “I am fearfully and wonderfully made” Show me Lord how to be who you’ve made me to be
Psalm 139:1-6 (NIV)
O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. 2 You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3 You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 4 Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD. 5 You hem me in—behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. 6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
God KNOWS YOU … he has his HAND on you
Psalm 139:17-18 (NIV)
17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! 18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you.
Is it PRECIOUS to you to realize God is THINKING of you?
If He Created us for His Purposes HE SHOULD LEAD US
Psalm 139:23-24 (NIV)
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. 24 See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
- Why is All Life Precious, as the Sign we have outside says?
Because we are Created by God
We are Part of Something BIGGER than we are and cannot see it all but we are part of it.
We were created for a life that we should enjoy AS it is WHERE it is? If you cannot change your circumstance, can you find enjoyment in it? Some of the happiest people I know are poor, or handicapped or otherwise distressed.
We were created to bring God pleasure, can you look to HIS face and seek HIS joy?
Colossians 1:16 … reminds us why all life is precious because
It was Created - it didn’t just HAPPEN Life was CREATED. If this world is the result of accidental evolution then we can do whatever we want. But All things were CREATED.
It was Created by GOD – If we created we can do what we want; but ALL things, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, thrones, powers, or rulers … all are created by God
All Life is FOR God – so it is Not Ours to take away or to use however we want.
Recognize your creator, Respond to your creator, Return to your creator