Talk 1: You’re very Good You’re very Good

BO SANCHEZ: I want you to put your hand on your chest, tell somebody beside you, “I’m beautiful. You’re beautiful.

Welcome to out brand-new series, Blessing and Curse.

For the next nine weeks, we’re going to dive into Genesis. That’s what we’re going to do and it’s going to do, and it’s going to be powerful.

You might saying, Bro. Bo, Genesis?

Pwede bang mag New Testament na lang tayo? Gospels? Letters of Saint Paul?

Direct to the point: “All things work for good to those who love God.” “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

But Genesis? Why?

If you got to Jesus, in the Gospels, and the apostles, or the Pharisees, and the religious teachers, when they asked Him hard questions, Jesus would go back to Page 1 of the Bible. That’s what He would do.

Genesis was very important to Jesus. And that’s why, we need to dive and study about Genesis. Eto yung problema—This is the problem: For most of us, modern people, every time you hear the word Genesis, we think about Genesis in a very different way. Genesis for us would be controversial questions.

Controversial Questions

Were Adam and Eve individual real human beings or symbolic?

Did God really create the world in 7 days and thus, Planet Earth is only 6000 years old? But science will tell you the universe is really 13.7 billion —with a b— years old.

So, ano ba talaga—what’s true, really?

I have sad news for you. I won’t address these questions.

Because the author of Genesis wrote is not a science textbook.

Genesis was written for a very different purpose. He was not thinking about science concepts. He was not thinking about the modern scientific categories that we think about right now.

Ancient Irrelevant Fairy Tales?

Some people, look at Genesis and say they are just ancient, irrelevant fairy tales.

Adam and Eve had a conversation with a talking snake . Hello?

Noah’s Ark – Gaano ba talaga kalaki yung Noah’s ark—How big was Noah’s ark, really? Kasya ang lahat ng hayop –Containing every species of every animal in the world? And two pairs! Is Noah’s Ark made of wood? Were termites included?

Moral Stories

So many questions. Ancient fairy tales. No relevance to our personal life . My dear friends, if that’s what you think about Genesis, that’s a huge mistake. We’ll explain as weeks go by. Is Genesis a bunch of moral stories? A lot of people think so. If you grew up in church, you’d have looked at the characters, the personalities of the Bible— Abraham and Isaac and Jacob—as holy men, models of virtue. And therefore, you imitate them.

For example, Abraham. Abraham—99 years old. Walang anak—no child. And then God says, “You will be the father of many nations.”

And Abraham trusted God. Ang ganda ‘no? Nice, inspiring. But there is a problem. Very selective reading of the life story of Abraham –you will have to skip horrible parts of his life. Abraham, at one time, to save his own skin, lied through his teeth, put his wife in grave danger to commit and fall into adultery. He did that twice. Is Abraham good or bad?

There are certain parts of the stories of these characters that we do not want to talk about. But in this series, we have to talk about them. Why? Because maybe the writer of Genesis did not write the stories of these characters as moral stories — so that we can imitate them and we become good boys and good girls.

Meron siyang ibang purpose—he had another purpose. And that’s what we will delve into. My dear friends, Jesus read Gen esis in a very special way.

And that’s how we need to read it too. Raise your hand if you want to follow Jesus. Are you sure? Then you must do one thing: Read the Bible the way Jesus read the Bible. That’s what we need to do.

And so, what we’re going to do in

the next nine weeks will be very difficult. Very difficult. Because in reality, the Bible was not written to you. It was written for you. And that’s the big difference. But if you understand why, you’ll get the one big message of Genesisand the entire Bible. And everything will click in your brain.

Discover More!

Let me tell you a story.

I love reading in coffee shops. That for me is a piece of heaven, a piece of paradise. So, when I went to Seoul, Korea—there were gorgeous coffee shops there—I went from one to another just to read.

Here was the problem. My wife watches K-Drama, I always heard her say the word saranghae. I didn’t know why, but I assumed that saranghae means thank you.

So, in everywhere coffee shop I went to in Korea, every time I ordered food, I said, “Saranghae.Every time the waiter would come and give me the coffee, I looked at him and say, “Saranghae.

By the fourth coffee shop, I kind of sensed there was something off. Like they looked at me rather strangely. At the end of the day, my wife and I finally met, and in the hotel room, I said, “Sweetheart, what does saranghae mean?

Thank you, right?

She had this look of horror in her face. Like she said, “Oh, no, Bo, what have you done? Saranghae means I love you.

I turned red as a tomato. Because on that day, I proposed my enduring love to two very pretty Korean cashiers and three male baristas.

The reason that happened was I did not know Korean. And that’s exactly the problem of the problem of the Bible. The Bible was not written to you. It was written for you. The Bible was not written in 2ist century English. No, it wasn’t. It was written thousands of years ago in Hebrew, in Greek, in Aramaic. Now, think about that. Written to a different audience, using a different language.

So, what do we need to do? We need to find out– go into that world.

And you see words have specific meanings. Sentence s have specific meanings.

You can’t say, “This is the meaning for me.”

Before you do that, you want to know: What did the original author mean when he wrote that story? You know, when the author was writing that story, what message was he trying to convey? Do you believe that this Book was inspired by the Holy Spirit?

Yes or no? Yes!

If you believe that

the Holy Spirit inspired t he original authors to write Genesis, then we must listen to the author. What is he trying to say? And that’s why the Genesis story is going to be amazing. Because maybe for the first time, for many of you, your eyes will be open and the message of God will rock your world. That’s my prayer.

The First Sentence Is Loaded

DIDOY LUBATON : Let’s now read Genesis, and see what Jesus saw in it… The Genesis book is a long book. And we’re not going to be able to cover everything. I’m going to ask you to have an assignment with me. I’ll ask you to read Chapters 1, 2, 3 of Genesis—so that you’ll have a better understanding why we’re talking about this and it cannot be a whole week long Bible study, but to give you better reference, read it for yourself.

I’d like to preach on the message God made you good.

God made our world very good. God made us good. God made you good.

But why do we see the world not good? Why it’s messed up? Because we messed it up. We made wrong choices. We chose to curse than to bless. We chose the curse, than the blessing. We see each other as a curse, rather than as a blessing.

If we understand Genesis, we can understand Jesus. The better we understand Genesis the better we understand the rest of the Bible. That’s why we’re taking this one, as Bro. Bo said.

Let me go to the first sentence of the Bible—it’s loaded. Read it with me: This is the first sentence in the Bible:

This is good. This is astonishing. Because for many—maybe some of you, or maybe some of us—I just got to learn this also very recently. —we thought before Creation, there weas nothing, nada, there was zero. But this first sentence says there’s something.

Ancient people, way, way generations thousands of years before us, actually thought there was something. And this is not just in Genesisnot just in the Jewish culture but in the culture of Babylonians, Assyrians, Egyptians, and even Mesopotamians—they had different origin stories, cultures . And they believed there was always something before Creation, and this something was “formless and empty”.

Genesis also describes this something as “Darkness covered the deep waters”. Note that these two conditions–(1) Darkness and (2) Chaotic waters– are obstacles to life. But in Genesis, God doesn’t see them as obstacles.

Your darkness, your chaos are not obstacles to God’s work. God is greater than darkness and chaos.

How many feel their life is in darkness and their situation is chaotic?

Give your life to God. Let God take control. God is in control.

God can bring life to you effortlessly —as we’re going to go through the Creation story. Effortlessly, God declares —without any struggle—Creation.

So, let’s do this, Days 1 to 6…

Days 1 to 3: Boundaries Are Lifegiving

On Day 1, God says, “Let there be light” and there was light. He did this by separating light from darkness.

On Day 2, God separates the waters above from the waters below.

This sounds strange, for us, modern people. But focus on what the author of Genesis was trying to say: God did not get rid of darkness or the chaotic waters. Instead, He contains them. He sets boundaries. He sets limits. He was able to set them apart

On Day 3, God makes the dry land rise from the waters.

He creates a refuge from the chaos.

Your life is not going to be chaotic forever. God can create, God can re- create, and give us refuge from chaos.

And He even gives a bonus: Fruit trees grow on the land—and you know what they represent? God wants us to be fruitful. So, if it’s not fruitful yet, if it’s not abundant yet, God is not done with you yet. This is such a very comforting line, and this is very loving of God. He created a beautiful place for us to enjoy His abundance—the fruitfulness in our life so that we can experience a lot of blessings. That’s why we choose to stay with God. Because that’s where the fruits are, the blessings are—to live a life with God.

Let me say this further, this is beautiful: Your life without purpose is chaos.

Get it from Day 1, Day 2, Day 3: there is a beginning purpose. And again, the bonus here is there are fruit trees., fruitfulness, abundance. But putting it in real – life perspective further, your life without purpose is chaos.

I’ve met a lot of people—patients, families, losing their mind, losing their health, losing their life. And they can point to many external factors — what’s happening with many things, government, etcetra, the whole situation. But you got to understand this: there’s also something happening within. I always find a deep, deep root of their sickness, of their difficulty is because they cannot find purpose.

They are not living purposeful life. I’ve seen people who retire, then after retirement, that’s when they get sick. That’s when they die in the next few years. Sad to see– because there wasn’t any transition of a purpose.

My mom– she is a doctor, she is still a doctor at 72 —I saw she’s able to transition to telemedicine. She still lives a fruitful life. And now she has a lot of apos–grandchildren. That’s why she is on an apostolic mission – to take care of us.

It’s beautiful and it’s still part of God’s plan for us. If you can relate to this, God is not done to you yet.

Our origin tells us that whatever season we are in, God supplies. We live in a fruitful place if we are with God. The moment that we embrace purpose, the moment we embrace boundaries, you’ll see, you’ll see beautiful things coming to your life.

My prayer for all of us: May you find God’s purpose. May you live God’s purpose in your life.

Biblical Authors Use Patterns — A Lot

Remember also—as we have been telling you—the way the Bible is written, it has a lot of hyperlinks, a lot of designs. We’re trying to understand that now.

So, pre-Creation, it was formless and empty. And that’s the outline of the seven days of Creation. So, let me work you through what it means .

From Day 1-3, God deals with the formlessness. He sets boundaries. He puts order in the midst of chaos.

And Day 4-6, God deals with emptiness. He fills the Earth with His blessings. He sets us up for abundance with His goodness.

So, before we discuss Day 4, Day 5, and Day 6, you got to understand that Biblical authors love these patterns — everywhere in the Bible. And the Genesis authors, they’re the same. They’re no different.

There is a pattern for this. If you observe carefully, you’ll see Day 1 connects with Day 4: Day 1: There was no light, let there be light ; Day 4, there was light separating day and night. That’s a pattern, yes?

Day 2 connects with Day 5. Day 3 connects with Day 6: Day 3, God declares the waters gather, dry land emerges; Day 5: God provides trees and plants—there are so many bonuses.

Genesis is such a complicated book. But it’s so good to understand it. Again, if we understand Genesis the way Jesus understands it, we will be so much better in following Him. So, we could get His context.

So, Day 4 to Day 6. Let’s do this together.

Day 4, God fills the sky with the stars, the sun, and the moon. But this author, actually, in the Bible, calls them not sun and moon. In Hebrew, big lamp and little lamp — sources of light.

And Day 4 again connects with Day 1. In Day 1, it is God who gives life And in Day 4, God assigns the sun and the moon—the big lamp and small lamp –to give that role of giving light. And what are we trying to say here: God is sharing roles. God is sharing His rule with His creatures. God is a sharing God. Let me dive deeper later on what that means.

On Day 5, God fills the waters below with fish, and birds to fly near above the waters. And the very waters He separates on Day 2.

And here again, God is passing his role by blessing His creatures with the ability to multiply and to create new life.

On Day 6, the last day of Creation, God creates all the land animals —the crawling creatures and the wild animals to fill the dry land.

And at the very end, He creates humans. He creates mankind. And when He does, God doesn’t just bless the humans like the fish, in the sea, in the waters, birds in the air, and the animals that walk the Earth, He doesn’t just give a special role like the big lamp and the small lamp, sun and moon, God calls us mankind — diff erently, something special. He calls us to be like Him —images of God. God calls humans images of Him. Humans are pictures of what God is like to the rest of the world.

That’s why we always say we are God-Carriers. We are Image-Bearers.

As you may have been seeing it, we have an amazing God. You know why?

The evidence is very clear. Look at the birds. Look at the fish. You look at the animals. Look at nature. And especially, look at the person beside you. Because you’re amazing, You got to see that God has an incredible creative power. He does. From something dark, hostile, formless, empty , He turns it into something where life can flourish, where there is abundance.

And He can turn something really bad into something really good .

Maybe you’ve come here asking God, “Lord, why? Why is this happening?

Why is life so bad. Oh, I’ve asked that to the Lord. I kid you not. But I’m preaching to myself and when I’m reading it, and I’m studying it, God is reminding me, don’t think it’s

Bad. I will turn it into really, really good. Go home today knowing that God can turn your really, really bad situation into something really, really, really good.

God is also a sharer.

He is very generous. He fills the Earth. He fills our life, He fills the world with trees– where there are fruits enough for everybody.

We have everything that we need. And not only that. He shares His power to us—to rule His land, His creatures.

Like the lamps in the sky. We are in charge of them.

Third, God really loves humans.

Genesis is so human-centric.

And it’s so good to study it and understand it. Humans are not accidents.

We did not just appear by any chance.

We are designed, planned, crafted, wonderfully made by the Lord. And God creates us to be His partners in His Creation.

So, that’s who our God is.

Who are we? We are the kings and queens on Earth. And this was not for a certain kind of human.

In other Genesis stories– in Creation stories of other cultures, there’s a specific person. There’s a dynamic position. But our belief, in our own Genesis story, this is not just for any certain kind of human. This is not only for men or women, or for the rich, or the powerful .

Being His representative is offered for all humanity—men and women, rich or poor.

This was so radical– especially in the ancient world. Even today, this is revolutionary – when we see a lot of inequality, when we see the world is so messed up, this truth disturbs us. This truth disrupts our social structures.

Because according to Genesis, all humans deserve to be treated equally. We are all the same. We are all kings and queens.

What happened to all that goodness? God made the world good.

God created humans good. God created people to be very good. God created our life to be very good.

Genesis 1 ends with God living with His creation. That’s the meaning of the seventh day. God is resting with His creation.

God did not work on the seventh day. God was with who and what He created. In short, He lived with us. He enjoyed His goodness with us.

In Genesis 2, God is still living with the humans in the Garden — with the animals—living in harmony.

And in Chapter 3, BHAM! That’s where the Fall comes in. But actually, in Genesis 1 and Genesis 2, is a profound reflection of what the world would look like — if humans truly represented God. If we humans truly imaged. And if stops there, it would have been so beautiful.

But as you can see, we failed. We messed up. To this day, we don’t live in harmony with God, and in harmony with one another. People are livi ng fruitless, restless life — not with one another, not even with animals.

Instead, we wage war—war against each other, against nations, families, even churches – church groups. Human dignity is broken, ignored. Hindi mo na talaga maintindihan — you really just can’t understand. While people are accumulating riches, they are doing so well , and on the other side, people are dying of hunger. It’s crazy, right?

Remember, that this is also the broken world that Jesus walked into and lived in. And that’s very comforting.

But there was disobedience– of the plan. There was to be the image of God — for us to be the bearers– we take care– of God’s creation.

Instead of being images of G od, we wanted to be God. Instead of ruling with God, we wanted to rule without God. We didn’t want to be just kings and queens, we wanted to rule on our own, in our own empire. That’s why, it has become a broken world.

When you go to Chapter 3, you’ll see what this looks like. That’s the world today—broken, out of paradise. But you know what…

I want to end here. Some people think that Jesus came to rescue the righteous from this bad world. You know, we have this concept that we were supposed to be perfect. It was to be a perfect setup. But if you read Genesis, there was a lot of good, but there was no mention of perfect.

We see a lot of people think, “It has to be perfect!”

We see why we are suffering now is we got out of that perfect world.

That’s why there are organizations, cultures, religious groups that say, you know, “Let’s go into a spaceship and we will go back to Heaven.”

No. Christianity is not about securing just our own salvation.

It’s about working again with Jesus who is building His Kingdom in this broken world, here and now. The problem is the fractured images called humans. It’s us.

So, the challenge is with us also. So, what does Jesus do? He runs after us. He lives with us, sends His Spirit to empower us. He heals us. He gives us second, third, fourth chances.

And on the Cross Jesus absorbs our collective sins and mess in this world. And in His broken Body Jesus col lects the brokenness that we have unleashed in this world. Jesus bore it for us—even our stupid choices we have made, still we are making. Jesus overcomes our sins with His love.

And that is the beautiful message of today. His love is transforming us aga in, redeeming us back to the full image of God that we are called to be. He is calling each one of us—you, you, you, and you—to again represent His goodness in this world, even if it’s broken. And how? We serve. We love. We continue to work

— and with integrity. Just like how Jesus did it.

You want to follow Christ: Wash other people’s feet; You become the last, let them be the first; Trust in God’s wisdom.

Again, serve, the last place, trust in God’s wisdom. That is our calling for today.

So, Didoy, what do we do now? That’s it. When you look at yourself, again, remember that you are the image of God. And when you look at the world again, you know that it is good. There is so much potential. And that’s why it’s not good because we wasted that potential of being good. But it’s not yet too late. God is going to make this place good again. God is going to make your life good again.

God is going to make you look at yourself good again.

He is setting boundaries. He is setting limits . He is giving us purpose again. He is filling us up with His goodness. Hey, our life is still set up for abundance and fruitfulness—not with emptiness, not chaos. God made you good. So, be good.

Easy to say, hard to do. That is the challenge. And it’s so comforting that it’s not just me, it’s not just Bro. Bo, it’s not just Bro. Audee. Not just Fr.Albert. It is all of us called Christians – Christ followers to continue to remain good, to do good, and be good.

God made you good and He is not giving up on you.

Let me end with a final, final story.

Let me introduce to you Bro. Benj and Sis. Fely Santiago. They’re helping people in abundance. Their story today I am sharing with you was their health crisis. Sis. Fely last year had a stroke – and she doesn’t look like she had one. And Bro. Benj recently had a health crisis – almost took his life. But what I’m trying to tell you is that it’s still good.

I’m their doctor, I was able to get in touch with them but I’m not a specialist so I saw their recent blood test—Sis. Fely all good already, recovered from last year. But Bro. Benj was not good. He had a kidney illness. And we actually said you need to go to the hospital. He said in 2019, it took three months just for the illness to be in the controllable level.

But you know what, it surprised us all that when we re-checked his blood, just the other day, in just three weeks, it was normal again. Three weeks from the usual three months…

I realized healing also comes from within . He shifted his mindset from dying to living again. Despite his bad, critical condition, God can turn it into good. There was something that shifted within him. He believed that he is good. He believed that good things are happening to him. And he realized this was also his destiny.

That’s why he did good to himself again. He ate good food, lived good lifestyle, he was able to manage his stress, not to increase it but to turn it into good. Their relationship with one another is not just good, it’s now great.

I think this is again a proof of God recreating us. You may have come here broken. You may have come here in difficulty. You may have come here lacking purpose. But through this story, I’m telling you God can really turn something really, really bad into something really, really good. And God will not throw away our wasted world. We are called to work together with Him and we will build, re – create with Him. That is the power of God in us. God can turn it into good.

You are created to be good first and foremost. Believe, pray, hope, and sing your heart out sing about the goodness of God, make that declaration today.

God is good.

BO SANCHEZ: I have good news for you. If there is chaos in your life. And if there is darkness in your life, the God that is here right now specializes in recreating chaos and darkness into beauty and purpose, and life, and joy, and peace.

Today I invite you give your chaos to God. Give your darkness to Him.Give your sin. Give your failure. Give the confusion in your mmind. Give your doubts. Give your discouragements. Offer them to Him now., and let God replace all those with Himself. Say this prayer with me: If this is something you’re doing for the firs time, I congratulat e you. If this is something you do week after week, let’s do it altogether. Everybody, if you can lift your hands, say, Jesus, I give to you all my darkness, all my pain, all the chaos in my

life. I receive you as my King. Rule. Reign. Set boundaries. Give me purpose.

I receive Your goodness today. Amen


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