Sermon Outline On Genesis 2:15
The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.
Galatians 6:9-10 (NIV)
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
Some years ago Dick Van Dyke wrote a book called Faith, Hope & Hilarity. In it he tells the story of a six year old girl who made an Easter card for her mother. Inside she drew three balloons, each with a pasted message. One read, “Happy Easter,” The second read, “Christ is Risen.” She must have been hard-pressed for a message for the third. It read, “Save Water.” (61)
There are several words we hear often these days. They are words that many blow off as words used by extremist. Words like conservation, ecology, bio-degradable, pollution, and recycling. We talk about ozone and rain forests. Have you ever noticed how some people still throw their trash were ever they please? The sides of our highways are always cluttered with the trash of thoughtless people.
Did you know that all of Earth’s oxygen is produced by photosynthesis? Green plants use photosynthesis to combine water and carbon dioxide to create glucose (their own food) and oxygen? The plants are our source of oxygen that keeps us alive. Did you know an average tree absorbs ten pounds of pollutants from the air each year, including four pounds of ozone and three pounds of particulates? (Source: Friends of Trees)
When we think of hazardous waste we tend to think about nuclear power plants or chemical plants. We become responsible for hazardous waste all the time. Laundry soap, batteries, old oil drained from our car or just leaking from our car, all sorts of chemicals we have around the house.
We take things like oil, aluminum, steel, and coal out of the ground thinking the supply will never run out. There is a limited amount of all our natural resources. I use to think we would never run out of water. You see the world’s water supply is almost automatically recycled. I was told the other day that some of our water we are polluting so badly that it can never be reused.
Girl Scouts promise to make the world a better place. A part of making the world a better place is caring for the earth that God has given us. We make the world a better place when we do our part to stop pollution. We make the world a better place when we make sure that there are enough trees and plants to provide oxygen for all the humans and animals on our planet. We make the world a better place for those in our future when we do all we can to conserve our natural resources. The world is a better place when we take care of the animals that surround us.
Making the world a better place is not the soul responsibility of the Girl Scouts. It cannot be done with the help of the Boy Scouts alone. Making the world a better place is the job of all of us.
God created a man and a women. God placed them in the Garden of Eden. The book of Genesis tells us that God put them there to work it and to take care of it. The creation story tells us that God allowed Adam to name all the animals. That was a serious responsibility. In the days the Bible was written, to give something a time meant that you also accepted the responsibility to care for it. That is true today. A mom and dad have a new baby. They are the ones to give that baby a name. They are also the ones responsible for taking care of that baby. We get a new puppy or kitten. We give it a name, and the name giver is also the care giver.
God expected Adam and Eve to take care of the earth. God expected Adam and Eve to take care of the animals of this earth. That job has been passed down to you and me. God expects us to take care of the earth and to work it.
God expects us to make the world a better place by being good stewards. Do you know what it means to be a steward? A steward is someone who is given the responsibility of caring for something that does not belong to them. You see, while God created the heavens and the earth for you and for me, we are not the owner. All of creation belongs to God. We are stewards. We have been put in charge of making sure that the creation which belongs to God is treated the way God would have us treat it.
By being good stewards of all nature, we are making the world a better place. We also make the world a better place when we are good to one another. We are not only to be good to the earth, we are also to be good to one another–to others.
Paul in his letter to the Galatians wrote, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”
“Compassion fatigue” is a new term heard among some people of our affluent society today. It means “I’m tired of repeated calls to do good.” Why must my enjoyment of the good life be spoiled by reminders that most of the world is slowly starving and many of our own neighborhoods are terribly poor? Our super highways and bypasses help keep these people out of sight.
Paul says we are not to become weary of doing good. We all need to ask the question, “What did I do that was good for someone last week?” How did I use my time, my abilities, my money, my…well it’s really not mine now is it? How did I use the time, abilities, and money that God has entrusted to me to make a difference in a good way for someone else?
Saint Francis of Assisi (1182-1226) was born into a wealthy family at Assisi, Italy, the son of a cloth merchant. Francis received little formal education and during his youth was mostly preoccupied with having fun. As a young man, he was popular, charming, enjoyed practical jokes and was usually the life of the party.
Because of his wealth, he generally picked up the tab and thus attracted a following of fun loving, rowdy young men and promiscuous women.
When armed conflict broke out between the men of Assisi and a neighboring city in 1202, Francis eagerly volunteered for the cavalry but wound up getting captured after the first big battle and spent a year in captivity.
Francis returned to Assisi hailed as a hero, but unknown to his friends he had undergone a transformation in his outlook during his captivity. Although he was once again the life of the party, he was now questioning his reason for existence.
After much contemplation, including vivid dreams and mystic visions, he turned away from the pursuit of all worldly pleasures, sold all his property and donated the money to the Church. He then began a lifelong passion of caring for society’s castoffs, the sick and poor, including lepers.
His wealthy father reacted to his son’s new lifestyle by disinheriting him. Thus Francis lived in utter poverty and even went without shoes. But his humbleness, extraordinary kindness and love for humanity attracted the attention of other young men and they also chose to give up worldly pleasures and follow him to spread the gospel and serve the poor.
Francis of Assisi worked to make the world a better place. Girl Scouts promise to make the world a better place. We are called to make the world a better place by being faithful stewards of the earth God has entrusted to us, and by never growing weary of doing good for others.