Seth-A new Hope–Genesis 4 Final

When we look at the beginning of the world and the fall of man, Clearly, men did not start well.  Cain killed his brother and built a lineage of selfish and self-absorbed people.  With that came the bully/victim mentality and a push for self-preservation.  But, in the midst of that Adam and Eve had another son, Seth.  Seth represented a fresh start.  He was not a part of the initial pain of sin and death and he was not a part of the outright rebellion of those that proceeded him.  He instead was raised to honor God, It was his lineage that started worshipping God.  Then hope was returned.  God had not given up on men, he simply changed the relationship.  He did not love them less, but was separated by the sin that entered the world, and, as it did, a wall sprang up between men and God.  Yet in the separation, God blessed the line of Seth–the ultimate restoration of the relationship destroyed by sin.

In our day, in our world, we still look back to the restoration started with Seth carried through Noah and settling on Jesus.  It realigned men and God.  It made our choice to worship him be a personal choice, and it allowed us to reach out directly to God with our greatest needs and desires.  We do not need an intermediary–we accept him personally, seek him personally and follow him personally to an eternity of fellowship as was created and intended to be.  Today, we should call on the name of the Lord with the same fervor as did the line of Seth. 

Thanks Lord for being personal and exceptional in my life and the life of those that seek you!

God Bless You

25 Adam made love to his wife again, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth,[h] saying, “God has granted me another child in place of Abel, since Cain killed him.” 26 Seth also had a son, and he named him Enosh.

At that time people began to call on[i] the name of the Lord.

My Brothers Keeper–Genesis 4 Part 2

When selfishness hits its apex, only ones own life and interest still matter.  Cain had become so jealous and cynical that he killed his brother.  He did not like the competition and he did not like how Abel and God aligned.  So rather than change his own attitude and heart, Cain simply killed his brother–the height of selfishness.  It was e precursor of the attitude of a world without God.  If our needs become the only thing that matters–then life, family and God become expendable.  Throughout History, civilizations that forsake God follow a similar track.  Godless communities quit valuing the importance of marriage, of the lives of the unborn, the lives of the elderly and finally the lives of anyone other than themselves.
Such a view of the world traces back to Cain.  He was only sad that God called him out.  He was not regretful that he killed his brother, he regretted only that it was cramping his life.  No remorse, no regret; he only felt self pity. Nothing has changed.  We live in a world where the only lives that matter are the ones that scream the loudest and raise the biggest commotion.  Family, marriage, authorities, veterans the unborn and the elderly have all been marginalized by the culture.  We live in an age where our desire for personal gain has completely replaced our sense of community and grace.  Only the church can stem the tide and become the people that make life a treasure once again.  It has t become the community that restores value to marriage, family and authority.  God promised Solomon in 2 Chronicles 7:14, “ if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
God Bless You
Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.”[d] While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?”

“I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

10 The Lord said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground. 11 Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 12 When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.”

13 Cain said to the Lord, “My punishment is more than I can bear. 14 Today you are driving me from the land, and I will be hidden from your presence; I will be a restless wanderer on the earth, and whoever finds me will kill me.”

15 But the Lord said to him, “Not so[e]; anyone who kills Cain will suffer vengeance seven times over.” Then the Lord put a mark on Cain so that no one who found him would kill him. 16 So Cain went out from the Lord’s presence and lived in the land of Nod,[f] east of Eden.

Control, the Illusion–Genesis 4 Part 1

The original Hebrew actually says–I have brought forth a man I can control.  Little did Eve understand, control is an illusion.  The harder we try to take the reigns in life, the less we actually have input into its outcome.  Adam and Eve tried hard to raise sons that did the right things, but Cain saw no value in it.  He simply wanted to do what made him happy–sound familiar?  In his search to control life, he was plagued by the peace and success of his brother.  It made him jealous and crazy.  Even God, himself, tried to help Cain understand that it is not what we do but what is in our hearts that keep us from destroying our lives.
Nothing has changed.  Whether as a parent or as a person, we must remember that control is an illusion.  We cannot control our destiny any more than could Adam and Eve or Cain.  Like Cain, God reminds us that we must not be angry about the circumstances we face.  We need to be grateful and patient.  Things rarely go as we have planned.  If we are unwilling to be flexible and trust God, we, like Cain, we  will grow more cynical and angry and if not careful, we will walk away from faith.  God calls us to trust him and allow him to bless us–while that is difficult, it will make our life full and meaningful.
God Bless You
Adam[a] made love to his wife Eve, and she became pregnant and gave birth to Cain.[b] She said, “With the help of the Lord I have brought forth[c] a man.” Later she gave birth to his brother Abel.Now Abel kept flocks, and Cain worked the soil. In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the Lord. And Abel also brought an offering—fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The Lord looked with favor on Abel and his offering, but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast? If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”

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.