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God's Green Earth

We represent and glorify God by taking good care of his creation.

Introductory remarks from Steve Mathewson:

This sermon definitely resonated with my listeners! Many of them had already been practicing environmental stewardship because they sensed "it is the right thing to do." My sermon gave them a theological basis for their actions. A few had always associated environmental issues with political liberalism. Now they realized how central this issue is to the mission of God in the world.

At first, I felt a bit intimidated about tackling the matter of environmental stewardship. I worried that I lacked the time and expertise to take a position on global warming and other ecological issues. I was also concerned about the perception that I was simply jumping on the environmental bandwagon as if it were some kind of fad. But some excellent resources gave me the insight and encouragement I needed. First, I found some simple, practical works by evangelicals that provided a framework for understanding the overall issues. A couple of the most helpful books were Tri Robinson's Saving God's Green Earth (Ampelon Publishing) and Calvin B. DeWitt's Earth-Wise: A Biblical Response to Environmental Issues (Faith Alive Christian Resources). Then, the chapter on "Mission and God's Earth" in Christopher J. H. Wright's The Mission of God (Inter-Varsity Press) showed how central environmental stewardship is to the mission of God.

My congregation responded with enthusiasm and conviction. Some even challenged me to lead our church in pursuing more environmentally friendly practices! They pointed out that we needed more recycling bins throughout our facility. Others suggested ways to cut down on the amount of paper products we use.

Personally, I was inspired to begin participating in monthly restoration workday ...

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Steve Mathewson is senior pastor of CrossLife Evangelical Free Church in Libertyville, lllinois. He is also director of the doctor of ministry program at Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon.

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Sermon Outline:

Introduction

I. God created the heavens and the earth.

II. God made us to serve as his representatives.

III. We represent God by caring for his creation.

IV. We should take steps to better care for God's creation.

Conclusion