He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands

Guest Message from Chris Ages and Friendship Ministry

That was a clip from Brian Doerksen’s song “Creation Calls” – a beautiful song of faith in God. It’s an uplifting song and if you have a chance, listen to the whole song – it’s become one of my favourites.

Here’s one that’s a favourite of the Friendship group.

He’s got the whole world in His Hands.

He’s the whole wide world in His Hands.

Some of the other verses are about another of God’s creations – Us.

He’s got the tiny little baby in His hands.

He’s got you and me brother in His hands.

He’s got you and me sister in His hands.

He’s got everybody here in His hands.

He’s got the whole world in His hands.

It’s a reminder that God is ever present in this world today. In one of our recent Bible Study series, we were reminded that God created the heavens and the earth and even though mankind messed things up, we still have a huge part to play in being stewards of the earth. The earth is still a beautiful place – as demonstrated in the opening video.

Our first Bible reading this morning is from Genesis 1, verses 24 -28, and verse 31 – Day six of Creation.

Today, I’m going to focus on the last part of God’s Creation – us, mankind, humans.

As you may have guessed from the cart on the stage, I’m going to have a little help from some objects that I’ve brought with me, and they are here in the cart on the stage.

I have been puttering around on a potter’s wheel for several years and brought a few pots to help me bring the message.

From my previous visits to the podium, some of you may remember that I love metaphors. Metaphors are picture images of real-life things. Often when I want to understand something better, I’ll look for a metaphor, a picture of something else, that helps me to understand what I’m learning, studying, or just thinking about.

What that means is, I will be using the pots I made, to help us understand that God loves us.

I have been throwing pots for about 11 years and have fashioned about 325 of them during that time. I can honestly say that I love making them, throwing them on the wheel and then glazing them and seeing the finished creation.

Can somebody tell me what they all have in common? Are they the same shape? The same colour? The same size? Are there any with holes in them?

One of the things they have in common is that they are all different. Even when I tried to throw 2 the same, they turned out differently – not only the few I have here but all 325 of the ones I made.

I like the perfectly made round pots, but I also like the ones that didn’t turn out very round or had a twist in them just as much.

We just read from Genesis 1 that God made mankind in His image. The Bible doesn’t end there. It says, “and God saw that it was VERY Good”. He saw his creation, mankind, and saw that it was very good – not just good, not alright, or oh well let’s try that again – He saw that it was very good.

Although I love the making of my pots, I can’t say that all my pots are very good. Some of them are, but many of them aren’t and so being a sinful person, I do have favourites. God doesn’t. 

God made us and he saw that His creation, mankind, was very good!

Now, look around you, does anyone look the same as anyone else? No, we don’t. We are different sizes, different shapes, different genders, different colours. We all look different, and yet God saw that it was very good – what He created was very good. His creation, mankind, was very good.

In Psalm 8, David writes about the majesty of God’s creation and then asks this question in verse 4: What is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?

In the previous verses, David talks about the awesome creation, and he wonders how this awesome God can even care about insignificant man.

The answer is in the next verses: (and yet,) You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honour. You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet.

This sounds very similar to what we read a few minutes ago from Genesis 1. He made them rulers (stewards) over everything else He created.

As children, many of us learned the song “Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so”. (by the way, it’s also another Friendship favourite). 

We also learned another song “Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world – red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in His sight…”

I think that somewhere between childhood and adulthood, many of us have forgotten that line and we’ve acquired prejudices – even as Christians. Jesus loves all His children, old and young, of all nations, of all abilities, He doesn’t discriminate and have favourites like I do – He loves everyone of His creation.

Our church has a vision statement that says, “Reaching Out, Drawing In, Creating Mosaic Community.” The word ‘Mosaic’ was added in the last year or so. 

I was concerned that no-one outside of this church community would know what that meant, so I sent a letter to the pastors. Pastor Harrison and I chatted about it, and I still wasn’t convinced of the usefulness of that word in our vision statement, so I said something like this,

“But a mosaic is a picture created by taking broken pieces of something, usually pottery, and putting them together to make a picture.” He said one word “Exactly”. Me: “Did you just use my argument against me?” Harrison: “Yes”.

As I was preparing for this message it struck me how important the word ‘mosaic’ is in our vision. 

River Park Church may have started with Dutch immigrants many years ago, but God’s church is not just made up of a single people, a single nation. God’s church is made up of all peoples, regardless of shape, size, color, sex, or ability. Together, we become the beautiful picture of God’s church – a mosaic.

God doesn’t love us because of what we have (or don’t have). He loves us because of who we are – His creation, His children. 

We are not defined by our size, colour of our skin, ability or disability, health or illness. Those are things we have. 

Back to my pots. We can put ‘stuff’ in the pots. Water is great for just about anything. Sugar is useful for lots of foods (not too much). Vinegar is as well (really, not too much).  Candies (not too much); Chocolates (can’t have enough of those). Water, flour, plants – all kinds of things can be put in the pots. 

Not all pots are the same size or shape and so some pots hold more stuff and some hold not as much. But they all hold something.

If we imagine ourselves as pots, God has filled us – the pot He calls Chris, the pots He calls each one of you with gifts – abilities, skills, talents, capabilities.

Some of us may think our gifts will only fill up this small pot. Others may think that we only have enough gifts for this pot or this one.

No matter whether you see yourself as a big bowl or small pot, a tall or a short one, you are FILLED TO THE BRIM WITH GIFTS. God doesn’t short-change you. 

There isn’t a person in this room that doesn’t have abilities they can share. They are in us; they are a part of us; It’s how we are created by our loving God.

Having said that, what we do with our abilities is important. Just like I can put stuff in my pots that’s not so good – acid, bleach, motor oil, used chewing gum (yuck), we can be miserable, put people down, be selfish, be rude, be greedy. 

Enough of that, let’s focus on the positive.

We have all these gifts so let’s explore these gifts a bit.

Let’s listen to what it says in 1 Corinthians 12: 4-6.

At our Friendship group last fall we studied a Bible series called “Unwrapping Your Gifts”. It’s a part of the “Together” study series provided by Friendship Ministries. For 4 or 5 weeks we discovered what kinds of gifts we received from God.

We learned about the gift of ‘Understanding’ – helping others know good from bad and figure things out.

The gift of ‘Caring/Encouraging’ – helping people through hard times.

The gift of ‘Telling’ – telling others about Jesus.

The gift of ‘Leading’ –protecting and caring for people.

We learned about the gift of ‘Explaining’ – learning from God’s word and explaining it to others.

The gift of ‘Knowing’ – knowing for sure that we can trust what God tells us.

The gift of ‘Creating’ – making and doing beautiful things.

The gift of ‘Giving/Sharing’ – sharing what we have with others.

We learned about the gift of ‘Welcoming’ – welcoming both friends and strangers.

The gift of ‘Praying’ – praying for others.

And finally, we learned about the gift of ‘Serving/Helping’ – serving and helping others.

Most importantly, we learned that all of us have at least one of these gifts, and most of us have several of them. We also talked about how we use them.

First Corinthians 12 also uses a metaphor, a picture image, about the church. It talks about the church – as a body – how every part of the body has a function. The eyes see; the nose smells; the ears hear; the heart pumps blood through our body, and so on. Every part is important, and every part is needed – just where God wants it. 

And so, it is with the church – the body of Christ. Each one of us is a “separate and necessary part of it”. 

Once we figured out what each person’s strongest gift was, we wrote them on sticky notes and put them together on a display. This is a picture of our Friendship group’s gifts – notice how all the sticky notes touch each other. As individuals we have many gifts, but God put us together as a Friendship group, working together, we are stronger. 

Now let’s bring these gifts back our mosaic community. 

Some of us are better at understanding or caring and encouraging.

Some of us are better at telling or leading.

Some of us are better at explaining or knowing.

Some of us are better at creating or giving and sharing.

Some of us are better at welcoming and praying.

Some of us are better at serving and helping.

This is a community of people, working together, using our gifts for the glory of God. Everyone of us belongs to God. We are all part of the body of Christ – we need each other. 

Jeremiah tells us about a vision he had. 

He writes: 

  • The word of the Lord came to me, saying,
  • “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you,
        before you were born I set you apart;
        I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
  • “Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.”
  • But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord.

We are not alone, even together in our mosaic community we are not alone. Do not be afraid to use your gifts. God is with you.

While we know that God loves us and He’s given us all these wonderful gifts, we are broken, sinful. We argue, fight, we get divorced, we have broken homes. There are wars and fighting all over the globe. The earth groans – earthquakes, floods hurricanes, fires.

How can it be, that in the middle of all this, that God loves us? How do we know for sure?

In John 3:16, we read:

For God so loved the world, that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him, will not perish, but have everlasting life. 

After Jesus rose from the dead, He appeared to His disciples in an upper room. He explains to them why He was crucified and rose again.

Luke 24: 46, 47

He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in His name to all nations”.

That’s how we know for sure.

I am imperfect potter. We are all imperfect, yet God loves us so much that He sent Jesus to be born in a lowly manger to live among us, to show us how to live; To pay the ultimate price, to die on the cross, to take our place, to rise up from the dead. Why? Because that’s how much He loves us.

Our lives are broken, just like this pot. We can’t put our lives back together, any more than you or I can put this pot back together. It’s in pieces.

Jesus, died on the cross. His death and resurrection make it possible for us to be made whole. 

How can we say there is no God when all around us Creation Calls. God is calling you today – through His word.

God loves you. God made you in His image. He has filled you with skills, talents, abilities – Gifts. Use them well, for His Glory.

Each of us has a specific place and specific purpose in God’s world. We may not see what that place is, but God does.

He wants us to worship Him with our lives, with the gifts He gives us. Our lives – God’s gift to us.

He wants us to love others so that we take care of and nurture all the living, protecting the unborn, the weak, the poor, and the vulnerable, using the gifts we have been given by Him. Love – God’s gift to us.

And God’s greatest gift to us, is the forgiveness of sins in Jesus Christ, His Son, and our Saviour and the promise of life eternal with Him.

Shall we pray.

Lord Jesus, we long to be perfectly whole.

We want you forever to live in our souls.

Break down every idol,

Cast out every foe.

Now wash us and we shall be whiter than snow.

Lord Jesus, you see that we patiently wait.

Come now and within us a new heart create.

To those who have sought you, you never said no.

Now wash us and we shall be whiter than snow.

In your name we pray.


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