Humanity: God Loves All People!

Believe 7       BELIEVE — HUMANITY: God Loves All People!

 

What do you believe about being human?  How important is your life?  How important are the lives of other people?  Is life an accident of Random Evolution?  Or is there a plan and a purpose for your life?  How important are the lives of the other 7 Billion plus humans we share this planet with?

 

What does it mean to be human?  Are people inherently good?  Are people inherently evil?  What is a human being?

 

The Bible teaches us that no human being is an accident.  God has a plan for our lives.  God created every person on this planet for a purpose.  No one’s life is an accident.  God created each of us to be in relationship with us.  God wants to help every person discover that they are loved – and that good things have been planned for each of our lives.

 

The Bible is clear that God has a plan for every human being.  The Bible is also clear that people aren’t always willing to follow God’s plan.  So, what it means to be human is not easy to figure out.  Some people live great lives.  Some people lives horrible lives.  We’re going to look at what God wants for every person – and how we can work with God to bring out the best in our own lives and to help bring out the best in others.

God Wants the Best For Humanity!

 

From the very first chapter of the Bible – God is eager to express His love and dreams for people.  The Bible starts by showing us the wonder and beauty of all creation.  God spoke – and the universe leaped into existence – stars, solar systems, galaxies.  Then we start hearing more of the details about our world – God creating plants and animals.  And then we are shown the crown jewel of God’s creation – human beings.

 

The Bible is clear that God has a very special place in mind for humans.  Humans are different from all the other plants and animals, stars and galaxies.  The Bible declares – humans are not a result of billions of years of random evolution.  Humans – both women and men – are intentionally created in the image of God.  God created humans in the image of God – to be leaders who will take good care of every form of life.

 

Genesis 1:26, 31 (MSG/LB)    God said: Let us make human beings in Our image, male and female, reflecting Our nature.  They will be responsible for all life upon the earth and in the skies and in the seas.   …God looked over all He had made, and He saw that it was very good — excellent in every way!

 

Not only are humans created in the image of God.  God goes out of His way – to teach us that every life is intended to be a Masterpiece.  No life is an accident.  God created every person by Jesus Christ and has good things planned for everyone – to be God’s partners in spreading love and life all over our planet.

 

Ephesians 2:10 (NLT/MSG)    People are God’s masterpiece!  God created each person by Christ Jesus, so that we can join Him in doing the good things God planned for each of us long ago.

 

Think about some of the great examples of people fulfilling God’s plan for them to be a Masterpiece.

 

Mother Teresa – bringing healing and hope to millions of people.  Billy Graham sharing the Good News of Jesus’ love with millions.  Less famous examples.  Husbands and Wives – faithful to each other building secure and dependable marriages.  Mothers and fathers working hard to love their children and help them grow into positive adults.  Billions of people showing up for work every day providing vital goods and services – Hospitals, Schools, Food, Transportation.

 

It is exciting to see all the good things God wants for every human being – and how many great choices the majority of people make every day.  But it is also very painful to see how God’s plans have been damaged.  In humanity – we can see the beauty of God’s desires and we can see the horrors of the devil’s damage, through sin and death.

God is Prepared for the Worst in Humanity

 

God wants the best for us, but God is also prepared for the worst in us.  Every day we read about some of the worst in humanity.  Crazy gunmen murdering innocent people in Las Vegas.  Terrorists and bombs.  Murderers.  Rapists.  Thieves.

 

There is a lot of incredible good in humanity.  And there is a lot of incredible evil in humanity. What went wrong?

 

The Bible explains that God created everything great.  But God also gives humans the gift and the responsibility of free will.  God never forces anyone to obey Him.  Unfortunately, Adam and Eve were deceived by God’s enemy the devil and they used their free will to disobey God.  Their disobedience opened the door to sin and death.

 

Genesis 3:3-6 (NLT)    Eve responded to the serpent, God told us, ‘You must not eat the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden, or even touch it.  If you do, you will die.’”  “You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman.  “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”   The woman was convinced.  …So she took some of the fruit and ate it.  Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too.

We are confronted by the damage of sin – every single day.  We see marriages and families ripped apart by divorce.  We see beautiful lives destroyed by drug overdoses.

 

People are capable of amazing love and care – and people are capable of unimaginable evil.  It is estimated that Hitler was responsible for the deaths of about 10 million people.  Stalin was responsible for the deaths of about 30 million people.  Mao Tse Tung was responsible for the deaths of 40 to 50 million people.

 

Sin is a huge problem.  And worst of all – the Damage of sin – has infected and impacted all of us.  You might feel fortunate – that you were spared from hurricanes, earthquakes, and horrible tragedies.  But no one is spared from sin and death.

 

Romans 3:23-24 (NLT/NCV)    Everyone has sinned.  We all fall short of God’s glory.  We all need to receive Jesus’ sacrifice that frees us from the penalty for our sins.  Jesus offers His forgiveness as a free gift of grace to everyone. 

 

Every human being has been infected by sin and will suffer the consequences of death.  Fortunately, Jesus offers the antidote to sin and death, to anyone who is willing to receive it.  And Jesus offers us the guidance and strength that we need to make it through the battlefield of sin and death.

 

God Offers To Help Humanity Through Our Battles

 

One of the key features of being human – is that God offers us the gift and the responsibility of Free Will.  It’s nice that we’re not robots – mindlessly going through this world.  But it’s tough that we have to make choices every day – if we are going to follow or reject God’s plan for our lives.

 

Jesus lays out the battle clearly and simply.  Humans have an enemy.  That enemy’s name is the devil.  Jesus wants to help people be aware of who the devil is – and what the devil’s goals are.

 

John 10:10-11 (MSG)    Jesus said, The devil is a thief.  His only purpose is to steal and kill and destroy.  I came so all people can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.  I am the Good Shepherd.  I came to give My life to rescue My sheep. 

 

Jesus also wants to show us what He has to offer – Abundant and Eternal Life.

 

Big decision – who are you going to trust?  Devil offers short-term pleasure – which leads to long-term pain.  Jesus offers short-term discipline – which leads to long term joy and fulfillment. 

This is where things get tricky.  Some people have decided that disobeying God is no longer a problem, or that it’s too hard to resist temptation.

 

So we need to ask – is God’s plan for morality – things like integrity, commitment, marriage, and family still important?  Or is it time for a new morality?

 

Can you resist temptation?  Or is it time to give up – and say The devil made me do it!

 

I don’t think you have to look too far to see that God’s plan for morality is far and away the best plan for producing life.  Integrity is definitely much better than dishonesty and cheating.  Commitment is much better than people stabbing you in the back.  Marriages and families are still critical to the health and stability of society.

 

Temptations are hard to resist – but with God’s help we can find a way to escape from the power of every temptation.

 

1 Corinthians 10:13 (TLB)     Remember this—the temptations that come into your life aren’t anything new.  Many others have faced similar problems before you.  No temptation is irresistible. You can trust God to keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can’t stand up against it.  In every situation God will show you how to escape temptation’s power…

We all face battles with the devil and temptations every day.  Anger, sexual immorality, overeating, overspending, drugs…  There are a lot of ways the devil tries to lead us down the wrong path and destroy us.  The Good News in the middle of all these battles – is that we are not alone.  God has come to us in Jesus – to show us the right path and to help us escape from the power of temptations.

 

God offers us the help we need – and God keeps urging us to choose life!

  

God Keeps Urging Humanity to Choose LIFE!

The big difference between trees, dogs, and humans – is that only humans get to choose how they are going to live their lives.  To help us make good choices – God keeps urging us to think about the consequences of our choices – for ourselves and for future generations.

Deuteronomy 30:19 (NLT)    God gives you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses.  I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make.  Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your future generations might live!

Your choices – Will I be a person of integrity?  Will I honor my marriage vows?  Will I be dependable and responsible – impact the quality of your life and your future generations.  Your children will be either lifted up or pushed down by the choices you make every day – if you are going to honor God or disobey God.

God’s encourages everyone to choose life.  Yet as John 3:17-19 reminds us – everyone has to choose for themselves.  Do I want God’s help or not?  Do I want to live in the light or in the darkness?

John 3:17-19 (NLT)    God did not send Jesus into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world.  There is no condemnation for anyone who believes in Jesus.  But anyone who does not believe in Him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only begotten Son. The judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light…

Jesus came to help lead us into the light – and to invite us to be His partners in helping others to choose life over death, light over darkness.

2 Corinthians 5:20 (TLB)    We are Christ’s ambassadors.  God is using us to speak to you: we beg you, as though Christ Himself were here pleading with you, receive the love God offers you—be reconciled to God.

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