The Faithful

I met a young man the other day

Who’s heart was big and his mind bigger

But the world had crushed him

His lack of comradeship  bruised him

And all the sorrows he’d faced

That had in the end made him so bitter

Had blinded him to his need

Helped him believe in a lie

.

It’s the lie we so willingly believe

As sinners we are never to blame

It’s always the family that never listens

My unappreciative job

It’s the fact that no one notices me

Or my personality

And so I’m never offered love

That’s why I am the way I am

And you can’t blame me

Until my life changes I’ll be miserable

If only

If only

If only

.

My heart bled for this young man

Who thought the answer was to get a wife

He was so lonely, so hurting

So blinded by the lie

But I knew the truth

I knew what he needed

He needed to confess his sins to Jesus

And let God take the reins

Let God take over

Let God take care of him

He needed the LORD

.

But did I speak?

Did I say a word of truth?

No, I was too afraid

I was afraid of how silly it would sound

I was afraid of what others might think

And how could I pretend to know

What God wanted to do?

But I knew it, I knew

God wanted me to speak

And when the opportunity left

When he walked away

I felt the shame fill me

I am not part of the faithful

.

So now I pray for him, this young man

And pray that the next Child will not be afraid

Will not be selfish and keep the truth away

Will not keep away the joy found in the LORD that day

I pray that God will forgive me

Will help me to be faithful to Him

For He forgives

And He is Faithful

And He is my Father

And I want to share Him with others

Let them know this joy of the LORD

I want to share Him

I hope you do too

.

LORD God in Your mercy

Bring this son of yours home

LORD God in Your mercy

Teach me the way of the Faithful

~

16For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. 17For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.18Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. 19This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. 21But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.”~ John 3

26“So do not be afraid of them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. 27What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight; what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs.28Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell. 29Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father’s care.b 30And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31So don’t be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.

32“Whoever acknowledges me before others, I will also acknowledge before my Father in heaven. 33But whoever disowns me before others, I will disown before my Father in heaven.” ~Matthew 10

“11Here is a trustworthy saying:

If we died with him,

we will also live with him;

12if we endure,

we will also reign with him.

If we disown him,

he will also disown us;

13if we are faithless,

he remains faithful,

for he cannot disown himself.” ~2 Timothy 2

Proverbs: Spirit of Wisdom

1Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction; pay attention and gain understanding. 2I give you sound learning, so do not forsake my teaching. 3For I too was a son to my father, still tender, and cherished by my mother. 4Then he taught me, and he said to me, “Take hold of my words with all your heart; keep my commands, and you will live. 5Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or turn away from them. 6Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. 7The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. 8Cherish her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you. 9She will give you a garland to grace your head and present you with a glorious crown.”~Proverbs 4

It is not enough

To merely hear it

It is not enough

To merely listen

Take hold of the words

Make them actions

Take hold of it

Make it yours

.

Wisdom’s ways

Are just around the corner

Understanding

In the pages I read

And I wander

All the time

Forgetting to drink from

Still waters

.

I cry out

“LORD please!

In Your infinite wisdom

Grant it to me.”

“Oh, Jesus!

Have mercy on me!

In Your Great Love

Water me.”

And His Spirit of Truth

His Spirit of Love

His Spirit of Wisdom

Washes over me

.

To those who obey

The Word of the Father

Wisdom will be granted

To those who remain

In His Love

Assurance of faith is rewarded

‘Keep My commands

Love one another’

Is not so scary a prospect

And the Spirit is there

To help

.

We reap what we sow

So let it be love

And wisdom will come too

Only ask

~

Psalm 119:168

I keep Your precepts and Your testimonies, For all my ways are before You.

Luke 11:

11“Which of you fathers, if your son asks forf a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

John 15:

9“As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. 10If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. 11I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. 12My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you. 13Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. 14You are my friends if you do what I command.”

James 1:

22Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says. 23Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like someone who looks at his face in a mirror 24and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like. 25But whoever looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues in it—not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it—they will be blessed in what they do.

Galatians 6:

8Whoever sows to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. 9Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. 10Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.

Proverbs: Love your Neighbor Part 1

‘27Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act. 28Do not say to your neighbor, “Come back tomorrow and I’ll give it to you”— when you already have it with you.’ ~Proverbs 3

Ask it

Seek it

Find it now

Wisdom demands it

Will you show it now?

.

There is no greater love than this

To love your God

To love your neighbor

As yourself

Love one another

Don’t ignore

Each other

Now

.

Plans are on the table

Desire is in your heart

And then the voice is calling you

“Please! Please!”

You angrily turn away

The desire for you is too great

And the voice is calling you

“Please! Please!”

So you must

Because it is right

.

Do the good

You ought to

Do the good

In your power

.

And all around you

People vie for attention

Demanding things of you

Respect, honor,

Help me! Help!

And you don’t want to be bothered

.

Give each what they’re due

Especially the chosen few

.

Love each

God gave you love that is new

Love each

Especially the chosen few

.

Do you ever ask God for help?

Do you ever seek Him?

Does He ever not answer?

Then do you the same for one another

Do you the same for your brother

.

Ask it

Seek it

Find it now

Wisdom demands it

Will you show it now?

~

Luke 11:

9“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. 11“Which of you fathers, if your son asks forf a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

Romans 13:7

“Pay everyone what you owe him: taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due.”

Galatians 6:10

“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to the family of faith.”

Deuteronomy 24:15

“You shall give him his wages on his day before the sun sets, for he is poor and sets his heart on it; so that he will not cry against you to the LORD and it become sin in you.”

Luke11:

“5Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; 6a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ 7And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ 8I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.”

James 4

“17If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.”

“13Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” 14Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. 15Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 16As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil. 17If anyone, then, knows the good they ought to do and doesn’t do it, it is sin for them.”

Proverbs: Wisdom Is Part 2

“13Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding, 14for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. 15She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her. 16Long life is in her right hand; in her left hand are riches and honor. 17Her ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace. 18She is a tree of life to those who take hold of her; those who hold her fast will be blessed.” ~Proverbs 3

Oh to be the apple of His eye

The child of the Living God—

To fear the Lord

To seek after His righteousness

To cling to my Father

In every way

Every day

.

Oh that I would fear my God

And gain Wisdom!

All around me is death and hatred

Paths of uncertainty and violence

There is no peace

There is no love

Although we seek it with all our hearts

Our hearts remain darkened against it

And I am just the same

Oh that I would fear God

And gain Wisdom!

.

For to fear God

Is to know God

And to know God is to know Christ

And Eternal Life

The world becomes void when compared to His beauty!

I put my trust in the One the Father sent

And I am not condemned

But loved

His path is not hateful

But peaceful and loving

Although full of the truth of the Living God

To know Christ

Is to fear God

Is to have Wisdom

.

There is Life in Wisdom’s right hand

Riches and honor in her left

Behold the Lion of Judah—

The slaughtered Lamb is worthy

Of all our praises!

.

John 17:3

Now this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom You have sent.

Proverbs 22:4

The reward of humility and the fear of the LORD Are riches, honor and life.

Matthew 11:29

Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Psalm 119:165

Those who love Your law have great peace, And nothing causes them to stumble.

Revelation 2:7

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who is victorious, I will grant the right to eat of the tree of life in the paradise of God.

John 3:17

For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.

John 17:8

For I have given them the words You gave Me, and they have received them. They knew with certainty that I came from You, and they believed that You sent Me.

John 17:21

that all of them may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I am in You. May they also be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.

John 17:23

I in them and You in Me–that they may be perfectly united, so that the world may know that You sent Me and have loved them just as You have loved Me.

John 17:25

Righteous Father, although the world has not known You, I know You, and they know that You sent Me.

Philippians 3:8

More than that, I count all things as loss compared to the surpassing excellence of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ

Philippians 3:10

I want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to Him in His death,

Meditation: Adopted Into Life

1“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. 2My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4You know the way to the place where I am going.”

5Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

6Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. 7If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.” ~John 14

There are days that I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing with my life or where I’m supposed to go, days of feeling like it’s just me and the world and no one is around to help me get to my goal—and I’m not even sure what my goal is.

But the bible is full of verses that talk about perseverance and keeping our eyes set on the prize, keeping our minds on Heaven. Even Jesus Himself told His disciples this. Our belief in Him is our confidence that He has prepared a place for us, a place with no tears, pain, uncertainty and most of all no sin, a place that we can live with Him for all eternity. It is because of our relationship with Jesus that we have this glorious inheritance, for we are now adopted into the Holy Family!

“1Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

5Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. 6Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.” ~Colossians 3

From this passage it seems clear that not only are we to know Christ but we are to even find our very identity in Him. He died, therefore we died. He was raised, we are raised. He will be glorified, we will be glorified. He is supposed to permeate our entire life—He IS our entire lives! And it is because of this we are supposed to put our focus on the place where He is, in Heaven.

Because we died with Him we are to constantly be putting to death our sinful desires. Where our entire lives are focused on our Savior, His entire life is focused on glorifying the Father, and therefore so is ours. And being obedient to Him in every way honors the Father, the Son, and therefore also the Holy Spirit. And why do we care about what they think? Because He is our life! God gave us eternal life and will give it to us at the end of all things!

I hope very much that you are encouraged today to think on Heaven with me. How awesome it is that God lay down His life that we might be adopted into such a glorious inheritance, to join Him in Holiness!

Shekinah: Love

We couldn’t fulfill it

We didn’t fear Him

We refused to remember Him

All He’d done

To have mercy on sinners

We scorned His law

We went our own way

And yet still He had promises

And He promised to fulfill them

For His Name’s sake

.

Pillar of cloud

Pillar of fire

Shekinah

.

He humbled Himself

Came as a man

He lived and breathed

And walked among us

He spoke words amazing to us

And we were amazed

And yet we despised Him

We did not believe Him

And so we crucified Him—

If indeed He was God,

Why didn’t He save Himself

From such a shameful death?

.

Jesus

The Christ

King of the Jews

Shekinah

.

He was laid in a rich man’s tomb

The stone was sealed

The guards stood watch

So no trickery would befall his body

And yet the earth shook

The stone rolled away

The guards became as dead men

And the angels did say

“He is not here! He is risen!”

And all the women were amazed

Jesus said “Mary.”

Jesus came into the locked room

Jesus rose up into the heavens

Jesus is alive!

.

Cloud in the heavens

Took away my Savior

Shekinah

.

God had mercy because of His love

God humbled Himself because of His love

Christ said nothing because of His love—

He was the sacrifice of love.

Death could not hold Him because of His love

He appeared to many because of His love

He ascended to Heaven because of His love—

He will indeed return.

His Spirit dwells in us now because of His love

How much more ought we to love?

Shekinah, His glory dwelling, is all around us

Indeed in us

Let us love every person we meet

Even if they aren’t so sweet

Remember God…

Palm Sunday: Wept

28After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. 29As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, 30“Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 31If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’ ”

32Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. 33As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?”

34They replied, “The Lord needs it.”

35They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. 36As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road.

37When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:

38“Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”b

“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”

39Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”

40“I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”

41As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it 42and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. 43The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. 44They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.” ~Luke 19

It is a terrible feeling

To feel lost

To feel all alone

It is a horrible longing

To want to be found

To have everyone’s love

Because it is impossible

You will always be alone

Always lost

You will never fully be found

Never win everyone’s heart

.

You told them to go

Into the city

To bring back to Yourself

A young donkey

Into the city you rode

On the little one’s back

The crowd cheered You

The Pharisees hated You

And You wept for them all

For them You wept

.

I know Lord

I am not alone, ever

I know Lord

I am found by You

Always

I know that Your heart

I have, here

And my own You’ve won

Always

And yet I am not yet with You

The time has not yet come

When will it come?

Come soon!

.

Hosanna! Hosanna!

To You is the victory!

They shouted Your praise in the streets

You were proclaiming the triumph

Over sin

And yet it was not yet

It had not yet come

But even as You wept for them

You knew that the day was near

When You would die on the cross

For them

When the earth would shake

The curtain break,

And then sin’s hold

Be ended

The victory at last!

The victory at last!

.

So even as I weep

Even when You wept

There is victory already won

There is victory

And it is coming soon

~

16Rejoice always, 17pray continually, 18give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.

19Do not quench the Spirit. 20Do not treat prophecies with contempt 21but test them all; hold on to what is good, 22reject every kind of evil.

23May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. 24The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it. ~1 Thessalonians 5

 

Sermon on the Mount: The True and the False

21“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’ 23Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’ ~Matthew 7

There will come a day

When all lies are washed away

Hearts of gold and hearts all black

Revealed at once in the Savior’s hand

.

‘Come to Me

All heavy laden’

‘Depart from Me

I never knew you’

.

There are those who

Have worn the sheep skin

They do miracles and wonders

In His Name

They prophesy ‘Peace, peace, peace’

When peace is nowhere to be found

And He’ll say

‘Depart from Me

I never knew you.’

.

‘Depart from Me

I never knew you.’

.

There are those who

Have struggled through life

Clinging to God

As their rock in the storm—

‘Come to Me

All heavy laden.’

They tell the truth even when it will hurt them

And they cry obey Him

When the time is here

And He’ll say,

‘Come, you who are blessed

Take the inheritance long prepared for you.’

.

‘Come, you who are blessed

Take the inheritance long prepared for you.’

~

34“Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ ~Matthew 25

‘From the least to the greatest, all are greedy for gain; prophets and priests alike, all practice deceit. 11They dress the wound of my people as though it were not serious. “Peace, peace,” they say, when there is no peace. 12Are they ashamed of their detestable conduct? No, they have no shame at all; they do not even know how to blush. So they will fall among the fallen; they will be brought down when they are punished, says the Lord.’ ~Jeremiah 8

‘10Dressed in their royal robes, the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah were sitting on their thrones at the threshing floor by the entrance of the gate of Samaria, with all the prophets prophesying before them. 11Now Zedekiah son of Kenaanah had made iron horns and he declared, “This is what the Lord says: ‘With these you will gore the Arameans until they are destroyed.’ ”

12All the other prophets were prophesying the same thing. “Attack Ramoth Gilead and be victorious,” they said, “for the Lord will give it into the king’s hand.”

13The messenger who had gone to summon Micaiah said to him, “Look, the other prophets without exception are predicting success for the king. Let your word agree with theirs, and speak favorably.”

14But Micaiah said, “As surely as the Lord lives, I can tell him only what the Lord tells me.”

15When he arrived, the king asked him, “Micaiah, shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or not?”

“Attack and be victorious,” he answered, “for the Lord will give it into the king’s hand.”

16The king said to him, “How many times must I make you swear to tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?”

17Then Micaiah answered, “I saw all Israel scattered on the hills like sheep without a shepherd, and the Lord said, ‘These people have no master. Let each one go home in peace.’ ”

18The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Didn’t I tell you that he never prophesies anything good about me, but only bad?”…24Then Zedekiah son of Kenaanah went up and slapped Micaiah in the face. “Which way did the spirit from the Lord go when he went from me to speak to you?” he asked.

25Micaiah replied, “You will find out on the day you go to hide in an inner room.”

26The king of Israel then ordered, “Take Micaiah and send him back to Amon the ruler of the city and to Joash the king’s son 27and say, ‘This is what the king says: Put this fellow in prison and give him nothing but bread and water until I return safely.’ ”

28Micaiah declared, “If you ever return safely, the Lord has not spoken through me.” Then he added, “Mark my words, all you people!” ~1 Kings 22

Sermon on the Mount: Road to Heaven

13“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.” ~Matthew 7

There is only one way

To Heaven

There is only one path

You can take

Do you know His Name?

Do you love Him with

All of you?

Straight is the path

And narrow the way

Into His hand

.

And there is

A road

Much wider I’m told

It leads to a place

Of tolerance

For every face

No one is condemned

No one is a sinner here

Just one big happy family

Pouring into eternity–

If you believe there is one

.

Wide is the road

Wide is the gate

That leads to destruction

It pours out lies

It pours out deceit

And many fail to see it

See it for what it really is

.

Into His hand

The way is narrow

And the path is straight

With all of yourself

Do you love Him?

Do you know His Name?

You can take

Only one path

To Heaven

There is only one way

He is Jesus Christ

~

Psalm 16:11

You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.

Isaiah 35:8

And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness; it will be for those who walk on that Way. The unclean will not journey on it; wicked fools will not go about on it.

1 John 4:15

If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God.

Matthew 22:37-38

Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.

Meditation:

Food For Thought: Repentance

“1Now 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’?”

2The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3but 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.’ ”

4“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman. 5“For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

6When 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. 7Then 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.

8Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”

10He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”

11And he said, “Who told you that you were naked?” ~Genesis 3

God’s perfect creation now crumbles. I don’t know where the serpent came from or how it became wicked, that much God has not disclosed to us, but it was there to deceive mankind. It spoke with Eve, not Adam, although it was obvious that he was there. The serpent asks Eve if it was true that God had commanded they not eat from any tree in the garden. Eve quickly defends God, saying they could eat from any tree except for the tree in the middle. And she adds something that is not mentioned beforehand—they weren’t even allowed to touch it. I’ve heard some people say that Adam had to relate to her the commandment after she was created but he added that to make absolutely sure she wouldn’t go near it. This explanation has never made sense to me, because 1. In chapter one of Genesis, God gives the commission to be fruitful and to subdue the earth to both the man and woman and He also tells them that He’s given them all the plants for food. Granted, when it says that He forbids the eating of the tree of good and evil, it only mentions that Adam is there, but if He gives the commission to both of them then why wouldn’t He mention the tree being forbidden to both of them as well? But the real reason that I don’t agree with this explanation is 2. It is wrong to add to the words of God. In Deuteronomy 4:2 it says, “Do not add to what I command you and do not subtract from I, but keep the commands of the LORD your God that I give you.”

Why Eve adds to it here I don’t claim to know, but I think perhaps it was because she was trying to defend God. She was trying to make it absolutely clear what He had said so much that she bent the truth a little. I know I’ve done that, felt like someone was attacking something someone said but they didn’t have all the information, and so I try to defend what was said as forcefully as I can, perhaps over exaggerating to do so. Or perhaps it was a sign of her already doubting because of the odd question put to her. In any case, the serpent is quick to reply with both blatant lies and half truths. The lies are, ‘you will not die,’ and ‘you will be like God.’ They certainly would die because God told them they would. And they were already ‘like God’—He’d created them in His image. The half truths are, ‘your eyes will be opened’, ‘knowing good and evil.’ This last one is a half truth because firstly, they already knew what was good and secondly, not only would they know evil but they would become a slave to it. It isn’t the recognizing evil that is sinful, but the committing of it. I think that if God had given them permission, they would not have become slaves to wickedness, but because they committed the sin they did. They had a choice of two masters, obedience or sinfulness, and they chose a side. Both of them did.

When their eyes are opened the first thing they become aware of is their nakedness. At first glance, it might be interpreted that being naked is evil and that’s what their eyes were opened to for the first time. But, if being naked had been wicked then God would not have made them that way. Instead what they saw was their sin and how much it was exposed to both God and to one another. Their remedy is that they attempt to cover themselves. The intimacy they once shared with one another has been marred; they no longer trust one another like they used to. And the joy they once had at hearing God walking in the garden turns to fear and they hide from Him. As God speaks with them we get a sense of God’s gentleness and how He is giving them every opportunity to repent, but neither of them does. Instead they point the finger at one another, at the serpent, at even God, but never admitting their own wrong. And so God curses them and the earth. But even then His love shines through because He gives Eve the promise that one day one of her children will bring salvation to the world.

As we read the rest of the bible, we see that these themes keep reoccurring; command, doubt, sin, shame. But the people that repent and trust again in the Lord are His, like King David or Jonah. And then we learn in the New Testament of Jesus fulfilling that promise to Eve. He breaks the power of sin and death for all who repent and proclaim Jesus as Lord over their lives. How wonderful it is to know that we no longer have to be a slave to the wicked master, but can instead choose to obey God! And that ought to make us all the more long for the day of His return, when all things are made new and sin no longer is in the world.

So be encouraged. You don’t have to be a slave to sin, but even if we do sin we have Jesus interceding on our behalf in the throne room of grace.

Have a blessed week!

~

“5This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 6If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. 7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.

8If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 10If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us.

1My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. 2He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” ~1 John 1 &2