#184 (05/06/05)
Once Upon All Time: Creation – Part 2

The Message

By: Robert A. Schuller

Special Guest

They have allowed the spirit of God to move in their lives. Who have taken tragedies and turned them into a triumph. Who are witnesses of what the power of God can do in our lives as we trust Him.

Special Music

" Joyful, Joyful.. "
" I Sing the Mighty Power of God "
" Yes, God is Good! "

“Revive Us Again”

HUAYUCALTIA – “America, Come Together"
“Lord of All Creation"
JACI VELASQUEZ – “Lay it Down”
HUAYUCALTIA – “Gloria (Missa Criolla)"

The Message

Today we continue our message series: "Once Upon All Time: Creation." We are talking about an event that began eons ago and continues to this very day as God is in the process of continually creating. The purpose of the series is not to present a one-sided debate on creation versus evolution. Nor is it to give a speech on the intelligent design theory. Nor is it to explain DNA replication and the relation to the improbability of evolution. We are Christian ministers, so let me take you right to the source of where we get our belief and what we believe and why we believe, not based upon scientific evidence, even though I believe that scientific evidence always proves the truth. I believe we have the truth, and eventually proper scientific evidence will lead to what the Bible tells us. Our message is to proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ, to witness to the miraculous power that we see within the creation and so we are going to start at the beginning!

Genesis 1:1 begins: "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty. Darkness was over the surface of the deep. And the spirit of God was hovering over the waters." In the beginning God; that is where it begins. Everything has its beginnings in God. Before anything else, there was God. It's interesting to note that the word in the Hebrew for God in that particular place is Eloheim. Eloheim is plural. Any Hebrew word with eim on the end is a plural word; it is like adding "S" to an English word. So if you wanted to translate it literally it would be in the beginning, Gods. The emphasis is not on the plurality of God. We are not talking about there being many Gods. Our Christian history is not based on a pantheon of Gods. Our Christian history is based on one God; a God of a triune nature. We believe in a God who created the heavens and the earth and in that beginning, we see Jesus Christ. If you look at the gospel of John it begins very similar to what we read in Genesis. John 1 reads as follows: "In the beginning was the Word. And the Word was with God. And the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through Him all things were made. Without Him nothing was made that has been made. The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and only who came from the Father full of grace and truth." Jesus Christ was in the beginning. In the beginning was God.
Eloheim: In the beginning, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Now the earth was formless and empty. Darkness was over the surface of the deep and the spirit of God was hovering over the waters. In the beginning the Holy Spirit of God was there to create something out of nothing. When we read these words from Genesis, it sometimes feel like our lives: formless, empty, darkness.

The good news is that God always shines in the darkness. God is the light of the world, and as we allow the light of God to shine in the darkness, it always eliminates the darkness. Never once have I seen darkness overcome the light. Light always prevails. Not once in awhile, always. When the lights come on, suddenly we are able to see that maybe there is a glimpse of hope, that it is possible for our lives to be transformed from nothingness to something. There are people today who feel like their lives are nothingness.

There is a whole segment of this world which has been told that their lives are nothingness. One in three of South Africa's 37 million blacks live in townships. The townships are economic and social sink holes and poverty traps in a nation where the rich and poor gap is among the widest on earth. Within that sink hole of poverty, hope is born. Do you want to know about a face of hope? James Mokoena is the face of hope. He is seventeen years old. He lives in a little cinder block hut with a dirt floor. His father works from six in the morning to ten at night, collecting garbage. His father earns a salary of $300 a month. James has an older brother, a younger brother and a sister. James has a dream. His dream is to move out of the underclass that Apartheid created and into the world of opportunity that Apartheid's demise has opened up for other luckier youths. James says, "My father works very hard. He keeps on telling me that life is very strong, like a rock. You have to push it forward." So, at the age of 17, James Mokoena has a dream. "Africa is full of hungry people and people sick with Malaria," James said. James wants to be able to bring them food and medicine. James wants to be a jet pilot. James Mokoena has hope! That is the face of hope and so James goes to school. He walks ten miles to school and his father agreed to pay the tuition which is forty dollars a month. With a salary of three hundred dollars to take care of their entire family; they put aside forty dollars a month for James’ school tuition. He is having a hard time in school, his teacher told him "you have to study more." He said, "I studied until dark, but when it gets dark I can't study anymore." She said, "well, you can study with candlelight." He said, "but we don’t have any candles." So he studies as hard as he can.

That's the face of hope. There is a light. He sees just a spark, a glimmer, and his eyes are open to the potential of breaking out of the incredible inhumane place he has found himself, and becoming an airline pilot.

In the beginning, God. In the beginning God created. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, and the earth was formless and empty, and dark was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. No matter where you are, no matter how deep you have sunk, no matter how impoverished you may feel, no matter how hopeless, no matter how dark and barren, the Spirit of God is hovering there. It is around you, it is encompassing you, it is within your grasp to be able to feel and touch the power of this Spirit of God.
St. Paul said it this way, "Long before He laid down the earth's foundations, He had us in mind, and He settled on us, as the focus of His love, to make us whole and Holy by His love."
From the very beginning, God made us because He loves us, and He cares about us, and His Spirit is there just hovering around you, like a bird hovers around her chicks, as a mother hovers around her children, the Holy Spirit is there hovering around you. The Holy Spirit is aware of what you are doing, aware of your presence, aware of your needs.

Call upon the name of Jesus Christ, call upon God and He will hear your prayers and He will answer you. The power and the might of God is there to guide and strengthen you.

Sow an idea, and you will reap and act, sow an act, and you will reap a habit. Sow a habit and you'll reap character, sow a character and you'll reap your destiny.

God has destined all of us for something that fits into His incredible plan, known as earth. Live your dreams, allow the illumination of God's light to shine in your life. Allow His presence to open your eyes and move forward with faith, knowing that with God, all things are possible.
Dear Heavenly Father, we thank You that You are at work in our lives at this very moment, bringing hope and encouragement, bringing peace and goodness, bringing joy and prosperity. And so we thank You, for Your every word, for Your actions that share with us and reveal to us the wonder of Your splendor. Now we love You Lord, and we praise Your name. Amen.

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