Friday, June 29, 2012

Caring for Others

Caring for Others
Ecology is a field of science I enjoyed studying in school. It is defined as a branch of science concerned with the interrelationship of organisms and their environments, and/or the totality or pattern of relations between organisms and their environment. It studies Ecosystems which is the complex of a community of organisms and its environment functioning as an ecological unit.

The principle behind this is that nature organisms and elements coexist interdependently. Patterns and cycles have been identified which keep nature in balance. Anything that obstructs these cycles and patterns can have devastating consequences eventually. As long as these cycles are not interrupted they continue “perpetually” and all parties involved benefit. We understand perpetual to mean continuing forever or occurring continually; also always existent or present. If what has always been existent or present ceases to be all else surrounding will also cease to be. This is perhaps what is behind the “green” or eco-friendly movement. It is the thought that we need to protect and maintain nature in order for nature to sustain us.

Our memory text reveals this principle. Notice, that a man sows a mustard seed in his garden. Eventually the yields a tree, which man and other parts of nature benefit. We know that the seeds of the tree can be used as condiment, and its leaves serve as highly nutritious food. Furthermore, the tree contributes to the air cycle of exchanging Oxygen for Carbon dioxide. The tree will also give shade to any one placed underneath it. Lastly, birds can use the tree as their dwelling place. Yes, the tree does uses resources of nature, but is does not hoard these, it returns other resources to nature. Why should we know this?

According to Ellen White this system is God ordained. Consider the following quote,

The law of God is as sacred as God Himself. It is a revelation of His will, a transcript of His character, the expression of divine love and wisdom. The harmony of creation depends upon the perfect conformity of all beings, of everything, animate and inanimate, to the law of the Creator. God has ordained laws for the government, not only of living beings, but of all the operations of nature. Everything is under fixed laws, which cannot be disregarded…everything in nature is governed by natural laws…{PP 52.3}

God cares about nature. He gave it to man to be its steward. Man has abused nature. God does not take that lightly. When Christ returns, then He will destroy those who destroy the earth (Revelation 11:18). Recall the Lord’s rebuke of Jonah for caring for himself more than the people of Nineveh and their cattle (Jonah 4: 10 – 11). God finds the destruction of earth morally reprehensive. To God is to be in non-compliance with His laws. To God acting with fellow humans in an abusive or non-caring fashion it is as if we are doing it to Him (Matthew 25: 31 – 46). James says to those who profess to live by Faith but have no works to prove it,

James 2:15 If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food,

James 2:16 And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit?

It is evident that interdependence among men is God’s desire. So, how can we humans become truly interdependent? How can we minister or serve one another? The only way is by being wholly dependent on God. Only then we give to others what we receive from Him. What do we receive from Him? The Holy Spirit, which is to us an ever flowing spring of living water fills us with His presence. His presence overflows – it grows into a fountain or stream of water that flows toward everyone else (John 7: 37 – 39). Ellen White says,

We are to be channels through which the Lord can send light and grace to the world… Floods of spiritual power are to be poured forth upon those prepared to receive it. {8T 46}

How we treat others and nature will reveal whether the Holy Spirit dwells in you or not. Without Him dwelling in us we will abuse ourselves and all else around us.