August 13, 2015 • Life for Leaders
Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness.”
After finishing a major project, have you ever stood back, taken in what you have accomplished, and said to yourself, “That’s pretty good”? I’ll admit that I have on numerous occasions, especially after mowing the lawn.
When we lived in Texas, our house was surrounded by more than two acres of turf. (Land is gloriously inexpensive in Texas because they have so much of it there!) Several times during the spring and summer, I’d get on my riding mower and spend a couple of hours cutting the grass, not to mention plenty of weeds, wildflowers, fallen branches, and pesky rocks. After I finished, I’d gaze upon what I had done and feel a peculiar sense of accomplishment. My formerly shaggy lawn looked like a well-trimmed carpet. Plus, the smell of freshly cut grass reminded me of summer afternoons in days gone by, when my dad and I would work in the back yard together. Seeing what I had accomplished, my heart exulted, “That’s pretty good!”
When creating the universe, God did something like that. In Genesis 1:3, God created light. In verse 4, God “saw that the light was good.” Several times throughout Genesis 1 God saw the goodness of his creation. The earth and seas were good (1:10). The vegetation was good (1:12). The celestial bodies were good (1:18). The creatures of the sea and air were good (1:21). The land animals were good (1:25). Finally, after creating human beings, “God saw everything that he had made, and indeed, it was very good” (1:30).
Notice, according to God, everything was not just “pretty good,” but “very good.” The fundamental very-goodness of creation is a reality that must not be ignored. It provides a sure foundation for fruitful living, not to mention an essential basis for a right understanding of life and its meaning. Affirming the basic goodness of creation does not deny the brokenness that comes from sin. We’ll get to this in Genesis 3. But, all too often, Christians think and act as if Genesis 3 reveals the fundamental nature of all things, thus neglecting the goodness of God’s original production. Whatever else is true of the world, God made it good, good, good, good, good, good, and, indeed, very good.
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:
Are there times in your life when you can step back and enjoy the goodness of something you have done?
Why do you think Genesis repeatedly reveals God as recognizing the goodness of creation?
Do you think of creation as fundamentally good?
What difference might the basic goodness of creation make in your approach to leadership?
Creator God, when you created light, you saw that it was good. When you created the earth and the seas, you saw they were good. When you made vegetation, you saw it was good. When you created the heavenly bodies, you saw that they were good. When you made creatures on sea, air, and land, they were good in your sight. Finally, after creating human beings, you regarded your whole masterpiece as “very good.”
All praise be to you, Creator God, for the essential goodness of all you have made. Amen.
Photo Credit: CC by Sean Hobson – Backyard Hair Cut
P.S. While Mark is on vacation for two weeks in August, we are running “greatest hits” devotions from the past year. New devotions will return on August 26. This devotional was originally published on April 16, 2015.
Dr. Mark D. Roberts is a Senior Strategist for Fuller’s Max De Pree Center for Leadership, where he focuses on the spiritual development and thriving of leaders. He is the principal writer of the daily devotional, Life for Leaders, and the founder of the De Pree Center’s Flourishing in the Third Third of Life Initiative. Previously, Mark was the Executive Director of the De Pree Center, the lead pastor of a church in Southern California, and the Senior Director of Laity Lodge in Texas. He has written eight books, dozens of articles, and over 2,500 devotions that help people discover the difference God makes in their daily life and leadership. With a Ph.D. in New Testament from Harvard, Mark teaches at Fuller Seminary, most recently in his D.Min. cohort on “Faith, Work, Economics, and Vocation.” Mark is married to Linda, a marriage and family counselor, spiritual director, and executive coach. Their two grown children are educators on the high school and college level.