Summer Object Lessons
Sermon 4: The Good and the Bad
Object – Making Cookies.
So far we have used a cd player and towels, our cell phones, and blow darts and
targets to help us think about listening and obeying God, our access to God in
prayer through Jesus, and our need for Jesus as we struggle with sin. Today we get
to the eating part!
For the object part I need some tasters!
How was your week?
What were some of the good things from your week?
What were some bad things?
Is life all good things or all bad things?
What does God do with all of the bad things?
(Wash all of the hands and dry them) (Spoons in each bowl)
In front of us we have some bowls with different ingredients. I want you to try a
little bit of each item then put all of the ones that you think taste good on one side
and all of the ones that do not taste so good on the other side. Flour is in the
What do you think would happen if we baked with just the good ones? What
would happen if we baked with just the bad ones? Why do we need some of
everything? Baking is science and each ingredient helps make the whole item
better. Did you figure out what would happen if we put all of them together, in the
right order, in the right way, and baked them not too hot or cool for just the right
time? Would it help if I showed you the last ingredient – chocolate chips!
Take a piece of cookie and head back to your seats!
Last week we looked at a whole chapter in Romans. Today we will think about
just one verse. Romans 8:28 says “And we know that in all things God works for
the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
The New American Standard Bible translates the Greek this way: “And we know
that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to
those who are called according to His purpose.”
The Greek word for working together is synergy. The English form of the word
has this type of definition: “The interaction of elements that when combined
produce a total effect that is greater than the sum of the individual elements,
contributions, etc.; synergism.”1 When they are combined they produce a greater
effect than when they are separate!
The NIV translation focuses on God working for the good “in all things God works
for the good of those who love him” and this is important to remember. It does not
say that God causes all things. God does not create the worst times in your life so
that He can use them. He did not take away Malachi or give me Malaria to make
me a better minister but he has worked them into my life to make good come out of
I have learned things during difficulty that I would not have learned any other way.
God can use the bad in life, no matter the source – sin, failure, disease, or random
events of tragedy that make no sense – and make good come out of them by
folding and mixing them into the blessings that he is providing all of the time.
To bring this closer to the analogy of the cookie recipe; God takes the good and the
bad ingredients of your day, week, month or life, spreads them on the counter and
decides what is the best way to combine them so that something good can be made
from them. Nothing is wasted. SHAPE. Most things make sense and combine
rather easily but there are a few things that were not meant to be there and
somehow God knows how to make good come even from the bad. Each day is like
an episode of chopped!
One more thing about this before we continue with our service today. I have used
the illustration of the highs and lows of life and the truth that fruit grows best in the
valley but this suggests that life is either “high” or “low.” I now think it is more
accurate to picture life between two rails, one rail is complete “good” and the other
rail is complete “bad” but the two happen at the same time. Very rarely are we so
close to one side that we are not affected by the other side. Both good and bad are
happening at the same time and God knows how to use all of those for his purpose.
And in case we may have missed the conditional promise of the verse – God works
for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His
purpose. God does not promise that he will work in the same way for those who
do not love him or live for his purpose.
Definition from Dictionary.Com
1. Enjoy the good and give the glory to God.
2. Live for His purpose in each choice that we make as we live on target.
3. Notice how God makes good from the bad in your life and thank him for
acting in this way.
When we live with open hearts ready to obey God’s word, connected to God
through Jesus, and living a focused life God can mix good into anything and make
it better. What will he be doing through you this week?
Next week: In His Image – Things we can do with a digital camera!