Psalm 104 – God Of All Creation 

Nature documentaries usually don’t attract me. Go ahead and give me that look. 

I get the whole love of wildlife and how the animal kingdom does its thing. For some it is a riveting subject worthy of the tones of someone like David Attenborough paying careful attention to the rise and fall of that animal in that desert. It just wasn’t my bag. 

This Psalm, however, this is quite something. There’s something about it that I love not just because of the beautiful, flowing language. There’s something endearing about creation flowing out of God. Creation is intensely relational and personal. It’s not removed and abstract. It’s presented here as creation responding to Creator. 

It is a majestic piece and another reason to love God. It is a piece worth reading whilst enjoying the beauty of creation described both in the living creatures and the variety of landscapes. 

Truly the Creator is great and worthy to be praised. 

For His Name’s Sake 

Shalom 

C. L. J. Dryden 

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Be Fruitful – About Fruitfulness (The Fruit Series 08)

And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (GEN 1:28 ESV) 

Just when I thought it was safe to move on from that verse, I came across this video which gave even more pause for thought. Great to consider the encouragement from Mike Breen on fruitfulness. 

Here’s to hoping we will be in the business of sowing seeds that bring up the fruitful forest of life for those around us. 

For His Name’s Sake 

Shalom 

C. L. J. Dryden 

Be Fruitful and Increase (The Fruit Series 07)

​God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” (Genesis 1:28 NIV) 

I was walking home recently and it occurred to me that it’s one thing to compliment someone and something a little different to encourage someone. Complimenting someone can be an encouragement, don’t get me wrong. It’s just that there was something more to being encouraged. 

A compliment expresses a positive thing, an encouragement looks to build on something. Compliments tell us how beautiful the garden is, encouragement tells us to keep on keeping on with the cultivating of the garden. 

We are fruitful together – it’s a relational thing, yet in the blessing is the encouragement to let the fruit multiply, increase, go beyond us in kind. Not just the fruit of us, but fruit beyond us. 

That increase in the form of childbearing is an expression of fruit beyond us. Fruit beyond us though, is it just about children? It’s beautiful to see in children that came from the womb, it’s also beautiful to see in that which sprang off the glorious ongoing interactions and investment of fruitful relationships. 

So be encouraged – go be fruitful. 

For His Name’s Sake 

Shalom 

C. L. J. Dryden 

Be Fruitful – A Relational Mandate (The Fruit Series 06)

​And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (GEN 1:28 ESV) 

The blessing given to humanity was never intended as something that an individual could deliver on their own. The blessing is to ‘them’. Ever since fruit has been produced because of relational interactions. 

This is why the best way to block fruitfulness is to stymie relationships. Keep them on a superficial level, distract folks from investing in getting closer and deeper in a wide variety of ways. Allow previous experience to hang clouds of doubt over any potentially positive engagement in the present. Put masks on to avoid vulnerability and the threat of pain. Receive the view that the only one that can be trusted is yourself and ward others away. Resort to seeing people as a means to your ends and in as much as they are useful for those ends they have worth, but once they outlive their usefulness kick them to the kerb before moving on to the next benefactor. See self as the centre around which all should be submitted and have little in the way of lasting concern for the welfare of others. 

All the while as these are played out all that is ever produced is the rotting, corrupt remains of an existence barely worth celebrating as anything close to what could be described as a life. 

Fruit is a relational mandate, only ever experienced in the context of loving relationships full of those qualities that makes for great interactions because it’s that which flows from life that produces life. 

For His Name’s Sake 

Shalom 

C. L. J. Dryden 

Be Fruitful – A Personal Consideration (The Fruit Series 05) 

​And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” (GEN 1:28 ESV) 

The blessing to be fruitful keeps bugging me. There’s obviously more to it than sexual relations. There’s also something to being fruitful that is distinct as well as significantly complimentary to multiplication. 

Being fruitful – fullness of fruit, fruit that which is within that enriches without. The essence and succulence of the individual presented to the world in expressing that which lies within. We are fruitful when we express the fullness of life. 

To be fruitful is to understand what it is to have life and express that to its fullest. When creation witnesses that the glory of God is truly revealed. Therein lies the challenge for to truly be fruitful is to understand the source from which that blessing flows and remain inextricably attached to Him. 

This is not something I intend to leave for the time being. Meditating on it brings more consequences out for life as I know it. 

For His Name’s Sake 

Shalom 

C. L. J. Dryden 

God In Creation: The God Who Completes

Done.

It’s one of my favourite words. Of late I’ve come across a humorous use where someone will say the word to state the end of their engagement in a situation. It works too. I chuckle when the person clearly closes the conversation with the word.

It’s a pity then that so many lives appear to come to a close without them being done. Some may think that when a life ends it is complete, but often the case is that there was so much more for the person to do. It could be seeing a child grow up or witnessing a project come to fruition. I read about assassinations of people at critical stages in their lives and it makes me wonder on the ‘what if’  speculation.

It’s not only lives that somehow appear incomplete. Relationships, initiatives, crosswords, meals, blog posts, sentences and even some wor… They start very well but don’t complete properly.

It is the frustration of many for something to start but never to be properly completed. Especially when you start so well. Jesus even suggested that such a scenario indicates you are not wise. This is why the most reassuring words uttered in creation are His words on the cross: It is finished.

Just as Jesus completed His mission, so it reflects the creative work of His Father who was able to look at the completed work at the end of that first week. To a large degree, the eternal perspective allows Him to see the end from the beginning and thus enjoy the completion of all things.

I am glad God finishes what He starts. He does all things well and He completes whatever He starts. That is especially encouraging when things appear hopeless from time to time.

Learning about God in creation gives a huge indication of His character. When the world is so full of broken incomplete people, the God of Wholeness is on hand to speak to the situation. As He looks on, He is not passive in our affairs, but brings order to chaos and enjoys blessing His creation with loving provision and tender care.

It gets tough at times when adverse situations seek to keep us down. But He who started the good work will complete it.

That’s good news from the God who made us.

For His Name’s Sake

Shalom

C. L. J. Dryden

God In Creation: The God Who Provides

It’s a set up.

That is usually a phrase used in a negative way. Yet there are times when it’s the best thing that could ever happen to you.

Often when people refer to Jehovah Jireh the first port of call is the place where Abraham sees God’s provision where a sacrifice is required and his only son of the promise is spared. It’s a great episode to look at carefully to see how amazing God is at providing just in time.

It’s not the first time though. The very first time we see communication of provision is in the very first conversation between God and humanity.

Check the scene, creation has all the key players in place. Heaven and earth are in place, lights are set, living creatures are roaming the skies, the seas and the earth. The scene could not be sweeter.  What is God’s words to His creation?

After blessing them with the creation mandate, He shows His heart of provision –

Here’s some food. Eat up!

From the fertile productive land He created He provides the very food we can richly enjoy. As it’s fertile it’s set to look after us even as we look after it. God provided us with forever food. Fruit we can still enjoy today if we accept the invitation to the tree of life through the Source of Life.

He provided then, He provides now. It’s good to know we can be beneficiaries of such a generous loving provider.

For His Name’s Sake

Shalom

C. L. J. Dryden