Dear New Life in Christ Church Family,
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)
“And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.” (Genesis 1:3)
“Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.”” (Genesis 2:18)
September marks the beginning of our ministry calendar. Our children move to a new grade, and we start a new sermon series and Care Group year.
On September 5 I look forward to starting a new sermon series through Genesis 1-11 – “Origins: Seeing God’s Design and Grace in Genesis 1-11”. Our Care Groups and Youth Groups will follow the same pattern through the year, discussing the passages from the sermons.
Why is Genesis important? Each one of us has a story and that story helps us understand who we are and helps us make decisions for the future. Genesis provides the framework for understanding where humanity came from it, how we were created, what our greatest problems are, and what our greatest hope is. Genesis guides our own story.
Starting with the first verse, the world rejects the historical narrative of Genesis, by rejecting the concept that “in the beginning, God.”
The belief in God as Creator is the starting point of a moral people. It is the starting point of order and justice and even love. As people doubt the existence of a personal God who created us, is there any wonder that we would see rising immorality, growing despair, increase loneliness, racism , conflict and divorce, superstition and gullibility, fear, laziness, lack of creativity, and a sense of purposelessness, among another host of social evils.
Instead of accepting God as He revealed Himself, the world embraces false and dangerous alternatives. Instead of seeing man as God’s special creation, the world says humanity is a random and accidental product of evolution. Instead of finding our purpose and meaning through a God given nature, as a special creation of God, the world says we can choose our own identity. Instead of God given gender distinctions, the world says that sex and gender are all matter of personal style. Instead of holding marriage as the union of a man and woman who both contribute to a thriving home, the world looks to marriage a source of personal happiness. Is there any wonder that divorce and single-family homes are so common in our culture today?
Here’s the thing: your beliefs about your origins (where came from come and why you’re here) will make a massive difference in the choices you make. The choices we make are the result of the way we answer these questions.
Genesis answers those big questions for us. Genesis provides us with a worldview for our faith and decision-making.
That’s not all. Genesis also teaches us about grace. Yes, it describe the entrance of sin into the world, the cosmic rebellion of creation from his creator, with all of it’s awful consequences. Yet, is still shows the story of an ever present, gracious God, full of mercy and compassion , and unrelenting in his commitment to redeem his people from their sins.
The great story of the Bible is the story of Jesus Christ, and even it starts in Genesis. Genesis shares the good news of Jesus Christ in its embryonic form.
Why is Genesis important? It shows where we came from and what God can do in the redeeming work of grace. This is a book we need to know and study, and one we need to pass on for the next generations.
We look forward to studying Genesis 1-11 in our Care Groups and Youth Groups in the year ahead.
September is a big month for us as we focus many of our relationships and commitments through the year.
Instead of thinking these as simple programs to be involved with, or not, why not think of them as Christ-centered relationship we hope to cultivate over the year? In large part, we grow up as believers through our shared fellowship and ministry together.
Our children and youth grow in their faith through Pioneer Girls, Boys Brigade and our Choirs, as well as through our Christ Covenant School homeschool co-op.
Our youth also grow in the Lord through our Sunday afternoon youth groups.
Our men have the chance to get away and renew in the Lord during our September 16-18 retreat.
Our ladies have the start of Women’s Wednesday Bible Study and Titus 2 as they encourage one another in the Lord, in Bible Study, and in service.
We grow together as we serve together in teaching children, welcoming visitors, hosting Care Groups, singing in choir, or even in the simple task of stacking chairs.
There are other opportunities to connect, grow and serve as well. When we think of these activities as Spiritual-Life sustaining connections, we will reap the benefits that God has designed us to enjoy.