Tending Our Garden……

June 2nd, 2009

The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and care for it. (Genesis 2:15)

To really understand God’s Word, you and I see should see ourselves as every person in Scripture. The Bible was not only written to us but about us. On any given day we can easily see ourselves in the stories.

Some days we are the Jewish man who was beaten and left for dead on the side of the road to Jericho. Other days we are the priest and Temple assistant who saw him there but didn’t want to be “late to church,” so we hurry past on the far side of the road. Still other days, we are the Samaritan who stops and lifts the man up. We take him home, pay his bills, and tell him not to worry anymore about it. Depending upon the day and the circumstances, you and I have the capacity to be any one of the people in the story. Read the rest of this entry »

Our Listening God……

June 2nd, 2009

READ: Genesis 3:8-9

But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:9).

Don’t worry you are not reading a previous devotional. I would like to carry on yesterday’s theme of listening to God. However today I would like to cover talking to Him. Man relies on his own merits to rectify a problem. This is one result of the fall. We should take our problems to God and admit our sins.

In our ‘human’ reasoning we might ask why Adam, once he knew he had sinned, didn’t go crying through the garden– “Lord, where are you?” Adam should have fallen before the Lord crying out, “I have sinned. Lord, forgive me; I have sinned!” Adam should have confessed, accepted God’s justice, and pleaded for mercy, but Adam fled from God. Don’t we do that at times? Read the rest of this entry »

Whos Voice are You listening to….

June 1st, 2009

And they heard the voice of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day.(Genesis 3:8)

And all these blessings shall come on thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God.(Deut 28:2 KJV)

As I write this we are experiencing wonderfully hot weather, it was easy to see why people were out walking. I noticed one couple in particular moving briskly with bounce in their step. “What a great way to spend time together,” I thought. When I noticed she was talking on a cell phone, I wondered how he felt about that. She was with him, right by his side, but her focus was elsewhere. Was it a random thing that interrupted their time together? That can happen easily enough (my phone never seems to stop). Or was it something she did often? Was she frequently with him physically, but listening to someone else’s voice?

I couldn’t help wonder if that’s the way the Lord looks at me. Does He think, “Yes, Barrie, you’re with me and doing the right things but whose voice are you listening to?” In this fast-paced world with so much going on, it’s easy to be walking with God and get distracted. There is always someone offering apples and we end up being like Adam and hiding because our distraction from God’s voice has led us to stray. Read the rest of this entry »

The Lord of Second Chances……

May 31st, 2009

“And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the Garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.” (Genesis 2:15)

“So He drove out the man; and He placed at the east of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way of the Tree of Life.” (Genesis 3:24)

One of Adam’s primary responsibilities was to guard the Garden! It was his vigilance that was to keep the Garden a place of fellowship with God. The place where God and man could walk together. Angels may now guard the Tree of Life with drawn swords but Adam was initially given the first task of guardianship, a task at which he failed miserably.

Yet today we, the sons and daughters of Adam, have been given the same responsibility to guard that Life which has been entrusted to us by the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus said, “He that believes on Me, as the scripture says, “out of his heart shall flow rivers of living water.” (John 7:38). It falls to every one of us as believers to “guard your heart for out of it are the issues of life.” (Proverbs 4:23). Let us not fail to guard the Life and subsequent fellowship with Jesus that has been given to us, as Adam did so long ago. Read the rest of this entry »

Clothed by God…….

May 31st, 2009

READ: Genesis 3:20-24

The Lord God made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them (Genesis 3:21).

God sheds blood in order to make clothing for Adam and Eve – the first animal sacrifice. He made them from the skins of animals, and therefore those animal lives were sacrificed to clothe Adam and Eve. This is but a picture, as all animal sacrifices are but pictures—a kind of pre-school of grace—in order to teach us the great truth that God eternally attempts to communicate to us. As John the Baptist said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away [and in my opinion, who is continually taking away] the sin of the world!” (John 1:29). Paul uses a wonderful phrase in Ephesians: “accepted in the beloved” (Ephesians 1:6 KJV). When we have acknowledged our guilt, and acknowledged that what we have done is contrary to what God wants, and we stand there with nothing to defend ourselves with and make no attempt to do so, but simply are in honest acknowledgment of our own doing, then we are “accepted in the beloved.” Read the rest of this entry »

Dust to Dust….

May 29th, 2009

READ: Genesis 3:16-19

Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it (Genesis 3:17b).

We must struggle so hard to make a living because the ground has been cursed. Man is reduced to never-ending work and sorrow. Work is not the curse given to humans. It is toil that is the curse. If you do not have work to do, you will tend to be miserable, although some would like their days of work to end. Work is a blessing from God; but hard, grinding, toiling work is the result of Adam’s fall. It is sweat, anxiety, and pressure coming constantly upon us to create the endless toil we call the rat race.

Another factor that resulted from Adam’s failure in the garden is death. God said, “For dust you are and to dust you will return” (Genesis 3:19). Isn’t it this sense of death, lurking at the boundaries of life, which gives us a feeling of futility about life? Remember the rich man who built barns and filled them up and then said to himself, “Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.” But God said to him, “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you…” (Luke 12:19-20). Then he asked this question: “Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?” (Luke 12:20).

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A Bruised Heel……

May 20th, 2009

READ: Genesis 3:14-15

“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel” (Genesis 3:15).

This is one of the most remarkable verses in the Bible. The early church fathers called it the Protevangelium, which means “the first preaching of the gospel.” It is the clearest promise of the coming of a Redeemer. There are several unusual features about this remarkable verse that reveal the divine hand.

First, it predicts an unending enmity to exist between two classes of humanity. Here is the beginning of the two divisions of humanity into which the Bible divides the race. Its first manifestation is that of enmity between Eve and the serpent. “I will put enmity between you and the woman,” says God. This is understandable. We can see why Eve would detest this one who had betrayed her by his lies, and as the effects of the fall would become more evident in her own life, she would feel a continuing abhorrence against this one who had so cleverly and ruthlessly led her astray. On the other hand, the enemy would surely hate her because she was now the object of God’s love, and His hand of protection was around her. But also, it was not enmity merely between the woman and the devil but between his seed and her seed.

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…..and I ate…….

May 20th, 2009

READ: Genesis 3:10-13

“Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?” The man said, “The woman you put here with me—she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it. “Then the LORD God said to the woman, ‘What is this you have done?” (Genesis 3:11b-13).

There is something very interesting here. God asks essentially the same question to both the man and the woman. He is saying to each, “Tell me, what is it that you did? Specifically, definitely, clearly what is it that you did?” But there is an exquisite touch of delicacy and grace here that we ought not to miss. He does not put the question in the same form to Adam and Eve. To the man, He is forthright and blunt: “Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” But to the woman He puts the question much more softly and gently.

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Where are you?……….

May 20th, 2009

READ: Genesis 3:8-9

But the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?” (Genesis 3:9).

In my search for answers what I found most striking was that all religions, apart from Christianity, begin on the note of man’s seeking after God. Only the Bible starts with the view of God’s seeking after man. This highlighted an essential difference between our Christian faith and the other major religions of the world. Furthermore, this first question here in the Old Testament is matched by the first question asked in the New Testament. In this passage we find God asking man, “Where are you?” and in the New Testament, in Matthew, the first question that appears is that of certain wise men that come asking, “Where is he?” (cf. Matthew 2:2).

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The Beginning of Death…..

May 20th, 2009

READ: Genesis 3:7-8

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 (Genesis 3:7).

This passage reveals three things that mark the beginning of death, and the proof that this story really occurred is found within, because these three things are true for every person. When we yield to temptation we experience the pleasures of sin. But what this account forces us to face is that with the pleasure comes an undesirable companion, a fall-out of sin, which we cannot escape. It is all a package deal. Here is spelled out for us the three things that mark the beginning of death.

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