Going Deeper with the Message:

How Can We Give God Glory for the Flood?
by: Barb Barnhart, Preschool Coordinator

There is a children’s song about Noah and the ark that begins:

The Lord told Noah to build him an arky arky
Lord told Noah to build him an arky arky
Build it out of gopher barky barky
Children of the Lord
So rise and shine and give God the glory glory
Rise and shine and give God the glory glory
Rise and shine and give God the glory glory
Children of the Lord

Most of us, when we hear the story of Noah and the ark, see a story of judgment and devastation. How can mankind possibly give God glory for it?  

Pastor Tim encouraged us this week to look at the story from a different angle. As we are looking at the Timeline of the Old Testament, we want to see God’s plan throughout the ages to reconcile a world to Himself. If this is the case, then the flood is actually an encouraging part of God’s redemptive story.

In our present age, we often see the world as being completely corrupt and possibly think that it is completely irredeemable. We need to begin to see it through God’s perspective. I believe that God’s goodness is shown to us today in His grief over the sin that He sees today.  Our society may be similar to that of the days of Noah, but God’s goodness is shown in that He has not sent another flood or calamity to destroy the earth. We believe that one day Jesus will return to judge the world. But for today, He is being patient with us. In 2 Peter 3:9, we read, “The Lord does not delay His promise, as some understand delay, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish but all to come to repentance.”

We must decide to allow God’s grace and compassion to permeate from us. As we live out the story of our relationship with God through the gift of salvation by His Son, Jesus, then we will be able to impact a sinful world for His glory. This must be personal for each of us. “Our world” may be our family, our neighbors, and our co-workers. Sharing the salvation story with another is relational. Together we can help each other grow to more deeply love this Good God and change the world!

Living out the Message:

By Michelle Lemley, Nursery Coordinator

My boys have chores. They are 6 and 10 years old, and while we don’t expect them to scrub the floors every day (since they don’t have little mice to help them), we do ask them to contribute to the household tasks in an effort to help them realize that the house doesn’t clean itself. We want to raise responsible humans who understand and appreciate the hard work of others.

One of their weekly responsibilities is to “do something without being asked,” and it’s one that they struggle with, probably because it’s such an open-ended concept. This is the one box they check that isn’t always straight-forward. It’s not as easy to understand as “vacuum, unload the dishwasher, or empty the trash cans.” Those are all concrete tasks that don’t require thought or creativity to complete. But doing something without being asked requires them to not only take the initiative to do something on their own, but to recognize what needs to be done in the first place! It requires them to observe others, anticipate what needs to be done, and then take the initiative to do it on their own.

I imagine that this is the type of thing God was trying to teach the people of Noah’s time. They were selfish to the extreme, only thinking of themselves and their needs. It was so bad that Genesis 6:5 refers to the collective human heart as wicked and evil.

The LORD saw how great the wickedness of the human race had become on the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of the human heart was only evil all the time. –Genesis 6:5, NIV

We live in a broken world. Often it seems that the motivation of most of the world is only, “What will this get me? How can I benefit from this?” Sometimes, it feels like mankind is reverting back to the evil ways of the pre-flood populace. But the Lord commands that we take care of one another—that we put others before ourselves.

While I don’t think of my sons as evil, I certainly recognize that there is a need for their hearts to grow to think of others. As a parent, I want them to become well-rounded, thoughtful men, just as God has required of His children. And I recognize that this is an area of growth for myself as well. So please join me this week in trying to do something for someone else without being asked, and furthering the Kingdom by taking care of one another.