New Apostolic Church USA

3 essential relationships

"Responsibility for Creation" Part 2 from the Autumn 2016 Vision Newsletter

Our relationship with God

Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good. (Genesis 1:31)

Genesis 1:31 brings to expression the positive relationship God has with His creation and that it was originally created in perfection.

We can read in Jeremiah 1:5 (NIV), “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.” God not only created us, He knew us before we even existed. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary. We have a beautiful relationship with our Creator and we want to continue to deepen that relationship with Him.

Our relationship with each other

It is not good that the man should be alone. (Genesis 2:18)

God saw at the beginning that we weren’t meant to live in solitude. All throughout the Bible, God directs and urges His people to live in community; to help each other, to care for each other, and to love and serve each other. When Christ came to earth, He was the true and perfect example of this, guiding us even further to love one another as He loves us.

We are all part of this creation. All of us were made in the image of God and He wants us to see each other as He sees us: all a part of His family in this common home we have on earth.

Our relationship with nature

Then the Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. (Genesis 2:15)

The earth is the Lord’s (Psalm 24:1), but He has given us the responsibility to tend and keep it. To tend is to cultivate, plough, work, look after. To keep is to care, protect, preserve, maintain. When God gave man dominion over the earth, it was intricately linked to us being made in His image; for us to be a reflection of Him. We have a responsibility to the earth and are accountable to God for it. Our relationship with the earth needs to consist of more than just being thankful for it. Just as we learn that we are called to care for others, we are also called to care for our environment. Luke tells us that not even the birds of the air are forgotten by God (Luke 12:6). If we believe this, then how could we mistreat them or cause harm to them? Or to anything else that God has created and put on this earth?

Recognizing and caring for these three relationships displays our love and humbleness before God. The misuse of creation begins when we no longer recognize any higher power than ourselves, when we see nothing else but ourselves. When one of these relationships is broken, it affects the other two. When we don’t care for and preserve our planet, the poorest of humanity are affected the most. When we don’t think of each other as being equal and loved by God, we exploit resources that should be shared by all. And when we don’t give thanks and appreciation for the things that our Creator has given to us and realize that everything is in His hand, we cannot be good stewards of our relationship with the people around us or the earth and its resources.

We all need to become more aware of how our everyday decisions and actions contribute to the health of the earth. God has given us this responsibility over the earth and He trusts that we will take care of it. We are expected not to use the earth’s resources for our own benefits, but rather to glorify God and to further His mission.

We know that damage has been done to the earth, but we can make a new start by taking an honest look at ourselves and embarking on new paths, always being aware of the earth, and of the people around us. We can only be responsible for ourselves and our actions, and it is up to each one of us to determine how we want to be stewards of the creation that God has allowed us to be a part of. Let this be a thought for you to ponder and discuss as we enter this season of harvest and stand in wonder at the abundance that God has created for us.

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