It's Not Just About Us
Creator God, how wonderful is all that You have made! You, alone, are the Lord and worthy of my praise!
Read ROMANS 8:18-30
 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.  The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed.  For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope  that the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God.  We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.  Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.  For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has?  But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.  In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.  And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God’s will.  And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.  For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.  And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
ReflectWhat does Paul say the Holy Spirit does for us?
An ant on a leaf on the forest floor has no conception of the soaring hills and stunning valleys beyond it. A freak gust of wind picks up the leaf and sends it soaring above the treetops. The ant rubs its eyes in disbelief. “All this was here all along and I had no idea.”
Paul gives us our ant-leaf moment in this passage. Salvation is about Jesus dying for my sin and eternal life, isn’t it? Yes, but that’s just the beginning. It is also about the redemption of the whole created order. At the moment it is “subjected to frustration” (20), in “bondage to decay” (21) and “groaning” (22). Brokenness affects the whole created order, not just humans. Christ’s death does more than bring humans wholeness; it is the key to the restoration of creation.
The environmental movement has reminded us of our responsibility to care for creation. God shares this concern and has already acted. When humans fully experience all Christ has done for us (23), creation will be set free from decay. The wholeness we already experience is the “firstfruit,” or down payment, which guarantees what is to come.
What difference has your faith made in the way you relate to and care for creation? Are changes needed?
Lord, give me something of the breadth of Your vision and concern for creation. May that transform the way I live.