You Do Not Want to Live Forever–Like This! Genesis 3 Final

While the big reveal to Adam and Eve was that they were naked; learning all abut good and evil meant that they not only knew the difference–but, they also knew the extent and reasons for why things are good and evil.  Sadly, as we too readily know, when given the choice, we choose selfishly when in our natural state.  Those choices, most times leads toward evil.
 
God knew that if men were allowed to live eternally in their sinful state, there would be absolute chaos and destruction.  In addition, there would be no way to restore what had been destroyed.  So God, as a loving father, allowed men to suffer and die physically–so that they could live in a restored state spiritually. As any creator, first, he stopped the crisis, then he began a plan of restoration.  That plan would involve such planning and depth–that only an all knowing, all powerful and fully loving God could carry it out.
 
We are so fortunate to be loved by God.  It is awesome that in his frustration and pain, he powered through and executed a plan for salvation.  We, as his own, are blessed with the result and  only asked to trust and follow him through the journey.  It is scary and we often feel dumb–simply, because it goes against what the world thinks is the best path.  But, if we will trust him, we will live eternally with him in the condition he intended.  Trust and obey, for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus–but to trust and obey.
 
God Bless You
Adam[c] named his wife Eve,[d] because she would become the mother of all the living.21 The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. 22 And the Lord God   said, “The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the trese of life and eat, and live forever.” 23 So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. 24 After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side[e] of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.

Everybody Loses–Genesis 3 Part 2

When one thinks of the price of sin, it is really staggering.  In an instant, the world changed from being a paradise where all were living in harmony, to a place of discord–where death became real and chaos began to take its toll.  Animals had to begin to fear men.  Gardening became hard work, not passionate caretaking.  People lost trust with God, and he with people–and a lovely friendship came to a dramatic and heart wrenching end. 
 
Men hurt themselves, no doubt–the serpent had definitely scored and scored big.  God was devastated, men were separated and the world was turned on its head.  The only great news was, as the creator, God continued to have the last word.  All parents know the pain of seeing their kids choose poorly–But, we all also know  that, like God, we never give up and we never give in–even in the most dire moments.
 
The story of the fall is a story of dramatic loss–but, it is also the story of the power and love of an all powerful, all knowing and timeless God.  The serpent scored big, no doubt, but God wins in the end! In our own journey, we can never overlook the unalterable and ultimate victory we receive–as God takes the world in the end.  We also cannot forget that he knew of man’s choice, its cost and the price that would be paid.  Despite that, he loved us enough to allow us the choice and remained faithful, to this day, to provide a response for that choice.  In the midst of the chaos–God will still show his love and return the order that will ultimately bring peace and joy back to his chosen.
 
God Bless You
And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?”12 The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.”

13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?”

The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”

14 So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this,

“Cursed are you above all livestock
    and all wild animals!
You will crawl on your belly
    and you will eat dust
    all the days of your life.
15 And I will put enmity
    between you and the woman,
    and between your offspring[a] and hers;
he will crush[b] your head,
    and you will strike his heel.”

16 To the woman he said,

“I will make your pains in childbearing very severe;
    with painful labor you will give birth to children.
Your desire will be for your husband,
    and he will rule over you.”

17 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate fruit from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat from it,’

“Cursed is the ground because of you;
    through painful toil you will eat food from it
    all the days of your life.
18 It will produce thorns and thistles for you,
    and you will eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your brow
    you will eat your food
until you return to the ground,
    since from it you were taken;
for dust you are
    and to dust you will return.

The Fall…Genesis 3 Part 1

One of the saddest stories in the history of the world is the story of the fall of man.  Adam and Eve were created in God’s image, given dominion over all life and placed in a beautiful garden—where all they had to do was tend and care for those under their dominion–Like God! Among the rules, there was only one–don’t eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil…
 
Amazingly, Adam and Eve could have eaten from the tree of life.  They could have asked God anything–he would have been glad to answer.  But, there was a desire to be equal with God–that was overwhelmingly more important than simply trusting Him. Yet, after they ate from the tree, what was their big reveal…they were naked. Really, that was worth the destruction of their lives and the destruction of the beautiful creation God made for them!
 
As Adam and eve quickly learned, albeit too late, sin simply is never worth it.  What is more, God has so much more to give than we could ever take for ourselves.  If we will simply trust and follow him, he will provide so much more than we can imagine, what’s more, he will make us like him in every way–as we are transformed by the renewing of our minds.(Romans 12:1-2, 2 Corinthians 5:17, Galatians 2:20).  in short, do not settle for 2nd best, trust God, let him do the rest!
 
God Bless You
Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”

“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

Bone of My Bone–Genesis 2 Part 3

God knew from the beginning that people needed people to be complete.  Marriage was a critical part of life from the beginning of man’s rule of the Garden.  Interestingly enough, however, God took special care to make men and women.  Unlike the filling the earth with fish, birds, lizards and bears…God took special care in his creation of Man–and Woman. 
 
It was never God’s idea to make one superior over the other; instead, his desire was for the couple to complete each other and as a pair–be a strong representative of him.  One of the coolest pictures of God is a couple–in love with him and each other.  While not naked, they tend to be very transparent and open–they show selflessness and peace.  It is a beautiful picture of how, when done well, God’s plan always works.  Thanks, Lord, for taking your time to create men and women. Thanks also that you made us better together and equal than apart and in competition!
 
God Bless You
The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

19 Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.

But for Adam[f] no suitable helper was found. 21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs[g] and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib[h] he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

23 The man said,

“This is now bone of my bones
    and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called ‘woman,’
    for she was taken out of man.”

24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

25 Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.

You Gotta Love the Garden–Genesis 2 Part 2

 

God spared no expense to make the Garden a great place to host life.  In that time before sin entered, God made endless supplies for food, plentiful water supplies, and the ability to have life.  All the animals ate from the garden, but, men would have the choice of foods.  In the center of the garden, God placed the tree of life ad the tree of knowledge of good and evil.  He provided 4 rivers to keep the garden watered and fertile–it was truly an amazing place.
 
If we, as his children, would simply remember that it has always been God’s desire that we have full, meaningful and peaceful lives; then, it would be easier to quietly and humbly trust him and follow his lead.  Sadly, the world does everything to make us overlook the love and care God has taken to make our lives great.  It tries instead to separate from God and do things independently.  It is a slap in God’s face.  He only wants the best for us–our lack of trust, sadly only hurts us–it does not free us.  We need to take stock of God’s creation and care ad compare it to man’s failed attempts to make life better–Given the choice, I think any reasonable person would agree, God’s stuff is far more amazing!!!
 
God Bless You

This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created, when the Lord God made the earth and the heavens.

Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth[a] and no plant had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground, but streams[b] came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground. Then the Lord God formed a man[c] from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. The Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

10 A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. 11 The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 (The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin[d] and onyx are also there.) 13 The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush.[e] 14 The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Ashur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.

Stop and Experience the Wonder–Genesis 2 Part 1

In our culture, we have grown to expect to use every minute of every day with efficiency and vigor.  Changes in technology, flexibility in work placement all have led to a generation that literally never stops.  God saw that potential early on.  So after he created the world and all that was in it—he stopped.  He took a day and just enjoyed the completed project.  He broke the frenzied cycle of doing and rested and enjoyed the fruit of his labor.  When we remember, he is our creator—he created us in his image—then we need also to remember, that he knows how we function best.

 We need to stop periodically and worship God—we need to recognize what he has done in our lives and we need to honor him for it.  In addition, we need to simply break the cycle of frenetic hurry and simply rest and enjoy him and his creation.  When God speaks of keeping the Sabbath holy, he truly means set apart.  He wants us to do things different once a week.  Once a week consider God over your own needs.  Be selfless, be humble, be worshipful and be focused on God, not on yourself.

 God never intended the Sabbath to be a holy day of obligation—his intention was that it be a day where we stop our normal pattern, rest, be together and focus on who and whose we are.  God rested—not because he was tired, but because he knew we would need a guide on how to do life differently.

 God Bless You

Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.

By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.

The Order of Things–Genesis1 Part 2

Once  we understand that God started this universe by simply speaking it into existence;  then we get to enjoy the fact that this amazing God orchestrated the universe, the planets, this planet and us with the beauty and grace of an artist.  He took so much care in building space, building earth, filling earth and creating its inhabitants–that it laves us as awe struck today as it did thousands of years ago.

Men–the ones he created in his image, have striven throughout time to achieve the same status as God.  While by our own means–this remains impossible, the master planner and builder always wanted the same thing–so he has made it as simple as allowing him to lead and following humbly and graciously to the place where we can be like him.  God takes his time with the things he loves–the story of creation proves that.  Of the six days of creation, 5&1/2 of them were sent making the place wonderful for us.

While we try to return the favor by taking charge of the creation and replacing the creator; history bears out that we will never match what God made; nor will we ever achieve the same quality of life we get by simply trusting him.  In short, creation should be our best reminder that God remains in charge–if we allow him to lead, he will lead us to a place where we will be like him–we will enjoy the same freedom, the same peace and the same order in the midst of chaos.

God Bless You

And God said, “Let there be lights in the vault of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark sacred times, and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth.” And it was so. 16 God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the vault of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fourth day.

20 And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the vault of the sky.” 21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living thing with which the water teems and that moves about in it, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth.” 23 And there was evening, and there was morning—the fifth day.

24 And God said, “Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: the livestock, the creatures that move along the ground, and the wild animals, each according to its kind.” And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.

26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

27 So God created mankind in his own image,
    in the image of God he created them;
    male and female he created them.

28 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.”

29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.

31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning—the sixth day.

In The Beginning God–Genesis 1 Part 1

The Creation of everything was God’s most amazing and creative effort. When we understand the heights and depths of creation, the intricacies of how things hold together and run in tandem.  When we realize that God is timeless, all powerful, all knowing and in all places at one time–then we can be amazed at the beginning.  There is little doubt, that the vastness of the universe and the detail of the smallest cell shows that the universe did not happen by chance.
earth
In the same way, we did not happen by chance.  God designed a plan.  We are a part of his desire to be in fellowship with men.  He from the dawn of time, we saw God’s hand in executing a plan to draw men to him.  He has sacrificed his best and put up with our worst–all to spend an eternity with us–to love us.  No matter the course we have taken or the trials we face,  wee can still cling to the truth that from the very beginning, God was large and in charge of all that is and is to come–so trust and follow the one that made the plan!
 
God Bless You
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day,” and the darkness he called “night.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the first day.

And God said, “Let there be a vault between the waters to separate water from water.” So God made the vault and separated the water under the vault from the water above it. And it was so. God called the vault “sky.” And there was evening, and there was morning—the second day.


The Conclusion–Ecclesiastes 12 Part 2

So to close the book, the wisest man that ever lived made it simple–do the right things for the right reasons.  Do not spend your energies trying to beat the system and kicking at the Goads.  It simply does no good to fight the right way to live; and if you do the right things, you will enjoy peace and uphold your civic duty.  It is a very basic concept, but one that has stood the test of time.
 
If we would be willing to simply honor God with our lives, trust him to lead us on this journey; then we–like Solomon would see that God is faithful beyond measure, and will meet each and every need we can face and provide us a full and meaningful life on this journey and eternal life from now on!!!
 
God Bless You!
Not only was the Teacher wise, but he also imparted knowledge to the people.
He pondered and searched out and set in order many proverbs.
10 The Teacher searched to find just the right words, and what he wrote was upright and true.

11 The words of the wise are like goads, their collected sayings like firmly embedded nails—given by one shepherd.[b]

12 Be warned, my son, of anything in addition to them.

Of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body.

13 Now all has been heard;
    here is the conclusion of the matter:
Fear God and keep his commandments,
    for this is the duty of all mankind.
14 For God will bring every deed into judgment,
    including every hidden thing,
    whether it is good or evil.

Wisdom Comes Easily, If Sought When Young–Ecclesiastes 12 Part 1

When you are young, life has not jaded you to the point where that which is obvious becomes obscure.  sunshine brings warmth, not painful glare. Speed causes exhilaration not panic.  The world is full of wonder, unanswered questions and boundless hope. As we age hope is replaced with dread.  Birthdays represent growing old and not growing up.  In one’s youth, God can still impact and affect the direction and plan for life.
 
Solomon reminds us to seek God in our youth.  It is critical to seek him when you are still open to be affected by what you find.  In the later days, life and time takes away the ability to be impacted by anything. We look at everything–with tired skeptical eyes.  If, by some miracle, one is able to set aside the barriers; then God is always willing to meet us where we are–take us how we are and finally, transform us to be what he wants to be. 
 
We should never stop seeking God–young or old.  His leadership, his majesty his passion for us is unmatched.  Do not allow the dread and pain of life to mask the wonder of God!
 
God Bless You
Remember your Creator
    in the days of your youth,
before the days of trouble come
    and the years approach when you will say,
    “I find no pleasure in them”—
before the sun and the light
    and the moon and the stars grow dark,
    and the clouds return after the rain;
when the keepers of the house tremble,
    and the strong men stoop,
when the grinders cease because they are few,
    and those looking through the windows grow dim;
when the doors to the street are closed
    and the sound of grinding fades;
when people rise up at the sound of birds,
    but all their songs grow faint;
when people are afraid of heights
    and of dangers in the streets;
when the almond tree blossoms
    and the grasshopper drags itself along
    and desire no longer is stirred.
Then people go to their eternal home
    and mourners go about the streets.

Remember him—before the silver cord is severed,
    and the golden bowl is broken;
before the pitcher is shattered at the spring,
    and the wheel broken at the well,
and the dust returns to the ground it came from,
    and the spirit returns to God who gave it.

“Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher.[a]
    “Everything is meaningless!”