The Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.
Some people believe that God has no interest in what is happening in the world. Yet from the very beginning, God gave us the mandate to take care of the world in which He placed us. Genesis 2:15 says, “The Lord God took the man and put him into the garden of Eden to cultivate it and keep it.” God’s interests extend beyond the four walls of the church. God is not only interested in religious institutions; He is interested in the whole world. That is why God said to Adam, “I want you to cultivate the earth and to keep it.” And that leads me to a definition of culture: culture is what human beings make of the world. When we talk about culture, we are talking about what human beings make of the world.
Now, in some ways, humans have vastly improved our world. Walking is good. But if you need to rush to the hospital, driving is better. Writing a letter is good. But if you need a quick response, email is better. And who would want to trade laser surgery for an operation without anesthesia? These are all great improvements. We have cultivated the earth that God has planted us in. That is a good thing, but if we are honest, we would also say that there has been a deterioration of our world as well. A century and a half ago, the Bible was the foundation for our law and society. Today, our country is wallowing in moral relativism.
What is our place in a culture that seems to be unraveling more day after day? In Ephesians 2:10, Paul gave us an interesting word picture of what we are to be in this deteriorating culture. He said, “We are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” He said God has created us as His workmanship. That word “workmanship” is the Greek word “poiema.” We get our word “poem” from it.
God is writing a story in your life right now. Your story is like a poem God is writing through your life, not to be put on a shelf somewhere but to be read by those around you. God wants others you come in contact with to see your life story, to see your stand for God. Of course, the key is “come in contact with.” To influence our culture, we have to come in contact with our culture. Since God has placed us in our decaying culture to cultivate goodness, we must influence our culture.
Today’s devotion is excerpted from “Secret #1: Discover Your Unique Purpose” by Dr. Robert Jeffress, 2017.
Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.