Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Sunday, April 3, 2016
This Week’s Devotional Focus is, “Cooperation.”
“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.” (Genesis 1:1–3).
Holy cooperation (or teamwork) is one of the highest principles taught in Scripture. It was through cooperation between holy men of God and the Spirit that the Scriptures were written. It is by cooperation between Jesus and the Spirit that all truth about salvation and how much we need God is brought to our minds. It was through cooperation between people asking and seeking God diligently for His blessings, and God answering prayers that others are blessed through intercession. And as we are discussing to day, it was through cooperation among the Godhead that the world was created. Thus it is that holy cooperation is a heavenly construct, the privilege of which positions us to be most powerful and represent God to the fullest.
The first exercise of holy cooperation I see in Scripture is revealed in the creation account. The Bible says that the area in space that became earth as we now know it was once devoid of life and form until God began to act upon the void. Interestingly, in this story of the creation, we see a beautiful principle concerning God’s nature that carries over into all areas of God’s power and love for us.
The term from which our English word, “God” in this verse comes is plural, not singular. This means that when God created the heavens and the earth, it is safe for us to surmise that at least two heavenly Beings were active at creation—God (the Father) and God (the Son). The great thing is that we do not need to assume this; there are many scriptures to support this. Here’s just one: “GOD, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;” (Hebrews 1:1–2). The Bible says that God (the Father) made the worlds by God (the Son). This perfectly coincides with this verse. Concerning Jesus, the Bible says: “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:” (Colossians 1:12–16). These verses actually give a sneak peek into tomorrow’s focus—the cooperation of salvation. Here we read that Jesus, who is perfectly unified with the Father created the worlds and powers, whether visible or invisible. Thus it is that the Father and Son demonstrated ultimate cooperation to create the heavens and the earth.
Notice, too, that our theme text portrays the Spirit hovering above the face of the deep as God (the Son) created the heavens and the earth. God’s precious Holy Spirit, who is inseparable in unity with He and Jesus Christ, is always active and ever present in all that God does—even creation. We must not miss this.
Let’s tie this all together now. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit were all present and active during the creation of the heavens and the earth. The power to create something from nothing (the void) is one of the attributes that is uniquely attributable to God. God created every other being in the universe. The Father, Son, and Spirit are eternal. Every other being was created. This is one of the reasons God is worthy of our worship.
That being said, we read about a link between God creating the earth through Jesus Christ, and Jesus recreating (or redeeming us). Let me say it this way: The same Power who created this marvelous earth and everything else, is also responsible for recreating all who submit themselves to Him by faith. As miraculous as the creation of the earth was, it is equally miraculous when God delivers people from lying, stealing, pride, fornicating, tax evasion, gossiping, envy, and coveting other people’s stuff. Therefore, if the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit all marched in lock-step cooperation to create and save us, we should follow their example and cooperate to share the blessing of salvation with others.
Holy cooperation, as we will see more during this week, is essential for us to exhibit and embrace if he hope to be like God.