June 8, 2014: Are You Good Enough for God?

Posted on : Jun 5th, 2014 | By | Category: This Sunday's Service

This Sunday we are going to do something that I have never done and I’m quite sure has never been done here at our church. We’re going to begin a journey of faith through the entire book of Genesis, the very first book of the Bible. Normally we focus our worship on various portions of the bible, but seldom do we focus on one entire book.

What got me thinking about doing this is that so many of you say to me, “I don’t know much about the bible.” If you come to church regularly, you know far more about the bible thank you think. However, in talking with many of you, it does seem that few have ever read or studied an entire book of the bible. So, I’ve been thinking about how I might do that in worship. During my last worship planning retreat in May, I figured out how to do this.

The next question was, which book? That actually was much easier than figuring out how to cover an entire book of the Bible. Many of you keep asking me questions about the conflict between science and faith (creationism vs. Darwinism, the Big Bang Theory, “Black Holes,” etc.). Others of you ask about what it means to be part of a faith story or a community of believers that began in a time that is so different from the time in which we live.

Well, there is no better book of the bible to address those questions than the very first book of the bible, Genesis. As I work on this worship series, it has become more and more fun. Genesis has got to be one of the craziest books in the bible.

Genesis is first and foremost about a new relationship. We’ve all been there and done that: first date, second date, getting to know you, that moment when you realize “Oh God, you’re not as perfect as I thought!”  If that doesn’t kill it, we move onto ask, “Who are your family and what are they like? And when we find out, it’s like, “Oh, Really?!” Then there’s the old commitment anxiety – Do I really want to spend the rest of my life with you?” “Is there someone else out there that is more right for me?” Assuming we make it through that phase, there’s the “I do!” piece. And, after the “I do,” all the ups and downs that happen within any relationship and family.

The new relationship in Genesis has it all. It makes the Kardashians look innocent. Lust, infidelity, child sacrifice, murder, pimping your wife, rape, stealing, greed, deception, evil, good, grace, love, commitment – all in this new faith relationship between God and a very small community of people.

Most people when we begin our faith relationship with God are obsessed with the worry, “Am I good enough for God?” Well, when you look at our spiritual ancestors, that worry should vanish quickly. If God chooses to be in a relationship with the spiritual crazies in the book of Genesis, certainly there is room for you and me to be included in God’s family! The issue is, most Christians today do not know our “crazy-ass” ancestors (and that’s a direct quote from Genesis 16:12). But YOU will by the time we’re done with this series.

This Sunday is our on-line pre-date with this new faith relationship with God. It begins with the worry, “Am I Good Enough for God?” I hope you’ll join me for this fun and faith-strengthening journey through the book of “beginnings” – Genesis.

Happy LA Pride Sunday and God Bless!

Dan

 

 ~ This Sunday’s Scriptures ~

Genesis 1

God creates humanity in God’s image and after God’s likeness

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.

The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the Spirit of God was moving over the face of the waters.

And God said, “Let there be light!” and there was light.

And God said “Let the earth bring forth living creatures.” And it was so.

Then God said, “Let us make humanity in our image, after our likeness.” So God created humanity in God’s image. And God blessed them.

And God saw everything that God had made, and behold it was VERY GOOD.

Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the hosts of them. And on the seventh day God rested. So God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it, because on it God rested from all the work which God had done in creation.

 

Psalm 139: 1-18

Creator God, you’ve searched me, and you know me. You know if I’m standing or sitting, you read my thoughts from far away. Whether I walk or lie down you are watching; you are intimate with all my ways. A word is not even on my tongue, O God, before you know what it is: you hem me in, before and behind, shielding me with your hand. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, a height my mind cannot reach!

Where could I run from your spirit? Where could I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you’re there; if I make my bed in Death, you’re already there. I could fly away with wings made of the dawn, or make my home on the far side of the sea, but even there your hand will guide me, your mighty hand holding me fast. If I say, “The darkness will hide me, and night will be my only light,” even darkness won’t be dark to you; the night will shine like the day – darkness and light are the same to you.

You created my inmost being and stitched me together in my mother’s womb. For all these mysteries I thank you – for I am fearfully and wonderfully made, for the wonder of your works – my soul knows it well. My frame was not hidden from you while I was being made in that secret place, knitted together in the depths of the earth; your eyes saw my body even there. All of my days were written in your book. All of them planned before even the first of them came to be.

How precious your thoughts are to me, O God! How impossible to number them! I could no more count them than I could count the sand. But suppose I could? You would still be with me!

 

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