Sunday, 4 December 2016

God's creation - 'to die is to live'

The world’s philosophy would tell us to ‘live for self’ but God’s Word tells us that in order to receive eternal life we actually need to ‘die to self’

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God’s creation is truly amazing and perfect. When we read the story of creation in Genesis 1 it is clear that God wanted His creation to thrive and flourish. After God had created day (light) and darkness (night), followed by land separated by water, on the third day we are shown in Genesis 1:11-12 that God created vegetation and significantly, seed bearing plants; ‘Then God said, ‘Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds’. And it was so. The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good’. God then goes onto to create living creatures including birds, wild animals, livestock and creatures to fill the earth and then in Genesis 1:26-27 He makes man to have dominion over everything He has created on earth.  What I find really interesting is that on two occasions (Genesis 1:22 and Genesis 1:28) God says ‘Be fruitful and increase in number.’

At the point of creation God did not only make heaven and earth and everything in it but He also provided a means of reproduction which was necessary for His creation to not only survive but to also thrive. In fact when God decided to destroy the earth because of its wickedness in Genesis 6 & 7 He still considers a way in which His creation can be replenished after the great flood; Genesis 6:18:19 ‘But I will establish my covenant with you, and you will enter the ark - you and your sons and your wife and your sons’ wives with you. You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you’. In fact the story of the flood is a really good example of how God saw death as necessary to create new life. The ultimate example of this is that God loved us so much that He gave His one and only son in sacrifice to die so that we may live. We know that Jesus rose again, amen, and the bible tells us that when we receive Christ we become a new creation; 2 Corinthians 5:17 ‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! If we know Jesus as our Lord and Saviour we have died to our old self and we are a new creation, a new birth, a new life! Amen.

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In the Gospel of John we see another example of where death is necessary to produce life; John 12:24 ‘Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds’. I see this on a regular basis at my allotment where I collect seeds for the following year from many of the vegetables on my plot. Whilst the vegetables are growing and healthy I can harvest for food, however in order to collect the seeds for the following year I have to let the plants continue to grow and to eventually die. It is only at this point that the seeds can be collected. When I look at a seed I see a small dry object in my hand for which it is hard to believe that any life can come from. This is the miracle of God’s creation because from a single small dried up seed, which to all intent and purposes appears dead, comes a healthy vibrant plant which in some cases can grow higher than me (I am six feet tall), and produce an abundance of fruit or vegetables. This brings to mind the parable of the mustard seed in Matthew 13:31-32 ‘He told them another parable: ‘The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and planted in his field. Though it is the smallest of all seeds, yet when it grows, it is the largest of garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds come and perch in its branches’.

God’s intention is clearly to provide life after death. The journey of human earthly life is an interesting one.  We too are born from a seed, we develop and grow, most of us are strong and healthy for the majority of our lives, but as we get older we start to slow down, our bodies start to deteriorate and at some point we will eventually die to this earth. This is the reality of human life; however, although our earthly lives are short our Father in heaven has provided us with a means of eternal life; John 3:16 ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life’. Jesus died so that we may live. Amen. Our Father loves us so much that He provided us with a way of spending eternity with Him, a way that requires us to die to the world and in doing so provides us with a new life in eternity.  How amazing is that?! The world’s philosophy would tell us to ‘live for self’ but God’s Word tells us that in order to receive eternal life we actually need to ‘die to self’; Galatians 2:20 ‘I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me’. Amen.

I will leave you with one final thought; when I was young I had few thoughts about the morbid subject of dying, but as I got older time just seemed to go much faster and I started to realise what those ‘old people’ (Sadly, I think I am now in that category!) were saying when I was younger that ‘life is short’. This is quite true, life on earth really is short, but know this; eternity is forever and forever is a very long time! Through the sacrifice and death of Jesus Christ our Father in Heaven showed us how much He loves us and how much He wants us to join Him in Heaven and to live with Him for eternity. What does He want from us?  Well the answer is simply to accept a free gift, the gift of accepting Jesus as our Lord and Saviour and to love and to serve Him: Revelation 22:17; ‘The Spirit and the bride say, ‘Come!’ And let the one who hears say, ‘Come!’ Let the one who is thirsty come; and let the one who wishes take the free gift of the water of life’ and Mark 12:30 ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength’. Accepting a free gift does not seem like a bad deal to secure your eternity does it?  Your Father in heaven is calling you right now to come to him. Is it time for you to secure your place in eternity?

Thank you Heavenly Father for your wonderful creation and your amazing provision of creating new life out of death. Thank you that my new life in eternity is secure. Amen.

Author: Gary O’Neill

May God bless and enrich your life

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  1. Thank you SO much Gary for Blessing the Body of Christ with your time to write this article. ALL the Glory to God ALWAYS Amen.
    How awesome to be in the world but NOT of the world.
    Our purpose is to Glorify God in ALL things how mind blowing that we are His and we are Precious to God Almighty (Isaiah 43).
    And soon and very soon we are going to spend ALL Eternity with our Lord And Saviour, hallilujah to the King.
    God Bless Brother Gary x

  2. Another great blog and one that reminds us of the preciousness of life. We are here but for a very short time, so what we do with our lives will either produce good fruit or bad fruit. The way to produce good fruit is to surrender to Jesus and allow the Holy Spirit to help us walk the pathway in the story of our lives written in God's book. A really encouraging blog thank you.

  3. Thanks so much for such encouragement today for if we are obedience to God calling to receive his forgiveness and come bear fruits that will last at end of life on earth will hear this words from our Lord Jesus Christ well done true and faithful servant God peace and blessings to g all Amen thanks Gary

  4. this blog gets straight to the heart and the root of our Christian faith . What struck me was the part about Noah, God seeing death as necessary to create new life , then relating that to our Lords crucifixion? thank you for this important message . We have to first die to be able to live in him. God bless you brother x