Be Stewards of God's Earth
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Environmentalism isn’t reserved for Earth Day anymore. Now we’re deluged year-round with information about saving the earth and combating climate change. Teenagers are taking charge with go-green efforts, raising awareness and leading many local initiatives to reduce their footprint.
God, who created our world and then sent Jesus to be its Savior, charged humans with caring for the planet. By conserving and preserving resources, we act as wise stewards of the land and blessings that God has given us.
The term “green Christianity” refers to the call to action that many believers are now undertaking—not as owners but as caretakers of the earth. There’s even a Green Bible, which aims to help readers “in the work of healing and sustaining…God’s vision for creation.”
No matter your political stance on hot topics such as global warming, it’s important to respect our earthly home and to model good environmental stewardship to teenagers. It’s also important to remind them of the proper reasons and motives for maintaining the earth. By conserving our resources and giving credit to the God who created them in the first place, young people will “shine like stars in the universe” (Philippians 2:15, NIV)—a universe lovingly and masterfully created by the God we worship.
In Green Like God (FaithWords), Jonathan Merritt rejects “pop environmentalism” and debunks the following three myths:
Because God wants to commune with us at all times, Merritt says, “he has made the whole world his sanctuary.” So when we care for creation, we can encounter God more easily. After all, our Creator even became part of creation when Jesus came to earth as a human being.
Merritt encourages Christians to reject consumerism, avoid “affluenza,” and embrace God’s “divine plan”: “valuing God above all else, loving others, and bestowing on creation the honor and respect that God has given it.”
In a national poll conducted by the Nature Conservancy:
Hope for a Broken World
Expert Insights for Parents of Teenagers | By Josh Griffin
When I prepared a sermon series about the environment, I was surprised to discover how much God talks about this topic. He has created an amazing playground we call earth, and all of creation is proclaiming God’s glory.
By looking at creation, we can know several things about God: He watches over and cares for us. He is a rock in times of difficulty, whether that’s temptation, failures, or disappointment. Finally, when God speaks, we can trust him.
Teenagers and their families have many opportunities to be faithful stewards of God’s creation. You can be less of a consumer, lower your gas consumption, change your light bulbs, and reuse, recycle, and repurpose. To gain a new perspective, you can also visit a country of “have nots.”
Ultimately, the reason we need to save the planet and go green is because it’s broken. When Adam and Eve sinned, God’s perfect earth became a lost paradise. The Garden of Eden was shattered by sin and disorder and chaos. The kicker is that it’s not just the planet that’s broken; it’s the people, too.
God the Creator sent a Savior, a rescuer for humanity. The “fix” is Jesus, who came to earth as God in the flesh. He frees us from sin, which we can’t do by ourselves. By giving us new life, Jesus makes each of us a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). God realizes our world is broken but gives us a new creation inside of us.
Although this world and its desires will pass away (1 John 2:17), anyone who believes in Jesus, the rescuer of humanity, will live forever with him.
We should all do our part to care for the earth, recognizing the Creator who made it in the first place. But when you hear people talking about saving the planet, remember that God has already taken care of that. He loves you and promises you a new, perfect home in heaven.
Bible Focus | Psalm 24:1-2 ESV
The earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein, for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers.
Timberlake began performing at a young age on Star Search and then The New Mickey Mouse Club with future girlfriend Britney Spears. He was part of the hit boy band ’N Sync before launching a solo career. Timberlake is infamous for his role in Janet Jackson’s 2004 Super Bowl wardrobe malfunction. He’s also an actor, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. Timberlake is incredibly talented, and everything he touches seems to succeed. Unfortunately, his songs often glorify sex and hedonism.
The 20/20 Experience (2013), FutureSex/LoveSounds (2006), Justified (2002)
What Timberlake Says
When asked what advice he’d give his 16-year-old self, he says, “It’s important to have things close to you that mean something to you rather than putting your importance and what everyone else thinks of you first.”
Timberlake’s music is all available on Spotify and other music services.
This Australian band emerged from the Hillsong Church and was originally a youth ministry worship band. Over time, the songs were resonating with the larger church across the world, so they let go of the “youth” focus. Hillsong United is very popular, and many of their songs are sung across America every Sunday morning.
Zion (2013), Aftermath (2011), All of the Above (2006)
What Camp Says
About the new album, Matt Crocker says, “My favorite thing about Zion is that it all points to one thing—the kingdom of God established here on earth and in our lives. So I want the listener to engage with the lyrics more than anything. We didn’t want to just record another album for the sake of it, so everything had to have a reason for being on the album.”
All of the band’s albums are available on Spotify.
Synopsis: In 1946, Brooklyn Dodgers GM Branch Rickey changed the face of sports by signing Jackie Robinson. The movie explores how this heroic act created a wide range of problems for both men.
Our Take: Robinson affected so much more than baseball. Any sports-loving teenager will get a lot out of this story of overcoming prejudice and breaking barriers.
For more media reviews, visit http://www.pluggedin.com
Injustice: Gods Among Us
This fighting game features a huge cast of superheroes from the DC universe, including Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman, Lex Luthor, and Green Arrow. The “T” rating means this game shouldn’t have the extreme gore of fighting games such as Mortal Kombat or the overt sexuality of the “Dead or Alive” fighting series. (Rated T; Xbox 360, PS3, Wii U)
This third game in the critically acclaimed series moves away from commenting on Ayn Rand Objectivism and dystopia toward commenting on the idea of American exceptionalism and class warfare. What won’t be different is the foul language and bloody gameplay in this first-person shooter. (Rated M; Xbox 360, PS3, PC)