In Beginning 06: Rest and Reflection

Bill Serjak

This is a message from pastor and teacher Bill Serjak from the Genesis series “In Beginning”

Rest and Reflection
Genesis 2:1-3

Sometimes I think I am like Merlin from the King Arthur tales. He lived his life backwards; he was born old and grew younger. I am definitely not growing younger, but sometimes I believe I think backwards. Some people have trouble believing what is in the first couple of chapters of Genesis because they don’t believe God could have made the universe in just six days. I also have trouble with the six days, I wonder why an infinite, eternal, all powerful God took so long to create the universe. I like the fact that God spoke the universe into being, but if I had been making up the Genesis story, I would have just had God speak, and, Bang!, the whole universe would have come into being. The light from stars millions of light years away would have suddenly been at the earth; everything would have come into being the moment He spoke.
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In Beginning 07: The Garden of Eden

Bill Serjak

This is a message from pastor and teacher Bill Serjak from the Genesis series “In Beginning”

The Garden of Eden
Genesis 2:4-14

Some people think the purpose of life is to find ways to fulfill their desires. Most would say there is more to life than that and seek to find real meaning in their lives. To find that meaning they are even willing to push back their desires. The two creation accounts are especially interesting in that each emphasizes a different part of who we are. The first account is centered in the creation of the cosmos and is told as though the reader were an observer of what God was doing. Some people try to find meaning for their lives within that framework. They seek to understand how the world is put together; they classify the plants, animals, and everything they find in the world. Meaning for their life comes from learning all they can about the world in which they live. The more mature ones following this pursuit limit themselves to seeking to understand a small aspect of this world. The scientist, George Washington Carver, said that when he was young he asked the Lord to reveal to him the secrets of the universe. The Lord told him that those secrets were reserved for Him alone. Then Carver asked the Lord to reveal to him the secrets of the peanut. The Lord agreed that was more George’s size and during his lifetime Carver made remarkable discoveries about the peanut. Studying the world in which we live is one way some people find meaning for their lives.
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In Beginning 08: Naming

Bill Serjak

This is a message from pastor and teacher Bill Serjak from the Genesis series “In Beginning”

Naming
Genesis 2:15-20

The goal of life today is so oriented toward gaining everything our hearts desire that any limits are considered bad. Even the word limit is one of the few considered a modern day bad word; yet, while Adam was still in the ideal state of the Garden of Eden, God put a limit on him. God provided great abundance for Adam. God gave him more food than he needed and all the beauty of the world to enjoy. God Himself walked with Adam in the Garden. The only limit God put on Adam was not to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and bad. In the perfect environment of Eden, God still gave a limit. That limit gave form and meaning to his life and helped him enjoy all he had. Life without limits can become formless and meaningless and that takes away joy rather than adding to it. When we live our lives inside good limits we can create joy and understanding. Setting out to understand all the truth of the universe would be a hopeless and meaningless journey, but trying to write a few good poems could enrich one’s life and the lives of others. Even in the perfect environment of the Garden of Eden, God put limits. Even when we haven’t sinned, limits are still needed.
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In Beginning 09: Flesh of My Flesh

Bill Serjak

This is a message from pastor and teacher Bill Serjak from the Genesis series “In Beginning”

Flesh of My Flesh
Genesis 2:21-25

The events of this morning’s passage came from the first time God said something was not good. After each thing God created, He pronounced it good. The Hebrew word for good has the idea that something works, that it fits together well, that it is finished. God finally proclaimed something not good when He said that it was “not good for the man to be alone.” I don’t think Adam merely had that sense of loneliness we all feel at one time or another; it went deeper than that. It was more like God sought to fulfill and finish Adam. It was not good that Adam just stayed inside himself and was a self-contained creature. It is very easy for us to just stay inside ourselves and become completely selfish. Selfishness can even make us happy. C. S. Lewis was once asked if the Christian faith would make someone happy. He said that happiness was not the goal for the Christian faith and went on to say that one of the most selfish men he knew also seemed to be quite happy. However, it is not good for man to be alone. It is not good for us to live completely in ourselves; something is needed to bring us out into the world. God implied that Adam needed motivation to do that.
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In Beginning 10: The Fall

Bill Serjak

This is a message from pastor and teacher Bill Serjak from the Genesis series “In Beginning”

The Fall
Genesis 3:1-9

This spring Sandy and I turned off the satellite feed to our television. Since then we haven’t seen any regular TV programing. We still have the TV set, but only use it to watch videos. During that time, I have only seen three regular TV shows. Once while I was working out at the Rec. Center, CNN news was on and I watched their report on the Katrina hurricane disaster. They were telling about the difficulty of the rescue work and how snipers were shooting at the rescue helicopters. Later, I found out they were reporting rumors and that rumor turned out to be false. It was interesting that the only TV news report that I have seen in the last six months turned out to be false. That hasn’t encouraged me to stop reading the news and go back to TV. Another time, I watched a Braves game with a friend of mine and that was fun, but it was the playoffs so they lost. Last night I watched an hour or so of the North Carolina State/Florida State football game. That is the extent of my TV watching for the last six months.
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In Beginning 11: The Curse

Bill Serjak

This is a message from pastor and teacher Bill Serjak from the Genesis series “In Beginning”

lamb
the Lamb wins!

The Curse
Genesis 3:11-19

When people have their own idea of right and wrong, they may do terrible things but think they are doing what is right. They work to find ways to hide what they have done from God and maybe even from themselves. When God asked Adam, “Where are you?” Adam said that he hid from God because he was naked and afraid. Last week we discussed how today we have become more adept at hiding and using more sophisticated images as our covering. We will do almost anything to keep hiding behind our image and so will people who are doing horrible things. Gangsters try to maintain a family image; many even go to church and have their children baptized. They hide behind an image as all of us are inclined to do. We deal with sin by trying to hide it. No one does that more often than church people. We do what we need to do to maintain our image so others will think we are the good people of the world.
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In Beginning 12: The Covering

Bill Serjak

This is a message from pastor and teacher Bill Serjak from the Genesis series “In Beginning”

The Covering
Genesis 3:20-24

God gave Adam and Eve a covering for their bodies. I looked up the word covering in the New Testament and was surprised at how many coverings God has given to men and women. There are many references to God making a covering for our sins in addition to several other coverings. As did Adam and Eve, we try to make coverings but they are always inadequate. Adam and Eve tried to cover themselves with fig leaves but that didn’t work. God had to make an effective covering out of animal skins. It would appear that is the first time in creation that something died. The animals had to be killed to make a covering. Later, God gave another type of covering when animals gave their lives to cover the sin of the Jews. Last week, I spoke of how we try to cover our sins with an image of who we are. Once we knew the law, we tried to build our own righteousness by constructing an image from the law. Images might fool other people, but to God they are only images and bad ones at that. The Bible says that our righteousness is as filthy rags to God. When we try to make our own righteousness as a covering, it is like wearing filthy rags before God. We have to depend on God to make the covering for our sins.
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25. The Book, The Law, Freedom, Joy, and Piety

Robert T. Henderson

This message is from author and pastor Robert T. Henderson. Enchanted Community and other book titles from Pastor Henderson are available from amazon.com

24. Missionaries in the Monday Morning World

Robert T. Henderson

This message is from author and pastor Robert T. Henderson. Enchanted Community and other book titles from Pastor Henderson are available from amazon.com

23. The Christian Home in the Mission of Christ

Robert T. Henderson

This message is from author and pastor Robert T. Henderson. Enchanted Community and other book titles from Pastor Henderson are available from amazon.com