Archives For obedience

Hello and welcome back!  If you haven’t read the first, two installments for this post series, you can read the first post and the second post  before reading on if you wish.

Are you about ready to return to the Garden to the very place we were observing Adam and Eve last as they were making coverings for their bodies. Remember? It was just when we heard God call out to Adam?  Yes? Me too!

Let’s hurry back and get settled in and hear what God has to say about this trespass against Him!

[…continued from 03/16/13]

We were observing both Adam and Eve as they hurriedly prepared coverings out of fig leaves and vines.  Actually, they designed some pretty nice coverings — a little retro for my taste — however, very efficient.

Wait!  Remember last time?  Is that God calling Adam?!

“Adam, Adam — where are you?”  God calls out as He is walking in the cool of the evening.  “You’re supposed to be here like you are every evening for fellowship!”

“Here I am, Lord God, I heard you calling but I really don’t want you to see me and the woman naked so I was busy making some of these really eclectic coverings out of these fig leaves and threading them together with these small vines,” he stuttered, trying to get God’s attention off of the circumstances, “You think these duds will catch on?”

      “You are going to have to work your fingers to the bone and strain your back just to get anything to eat from the ground for the rest of your days.”

“Ok, stop with the pretense already, Adam, who told you that you are naked?  Did you get into the fruit of the only tree in the Garden that I specifically commanded you not to eat from?”

“Not really, it was this woman that you gave me, Lord God,” Adam whines and complains, “She just up and pulled one off that tree, took a big chunk out of it, and then had the audacity to hand it to me to eat.  I really had no choice! You know how a woman can be!” Adam responds as he hangs his head — trying not to make eye contact with his Lord and God — hoping his reasoning will appease Him.

God turns to Eve and asks, “Just what in the Garden do you think you’re doing?” he asked.

“Lord!” she stammers, “It’s that talking snake over there hiding behind the tree,” she answers with a tremble of fear and dread, “he made me do it!  He deceived me and I grabbed it and ate!”

God looks at where the woman is pointing.  He slowly approaches where the serpent is hiding and with a stern voice, he loudly declares, “Ok!   Because you have done this, I am going to curse you more than any livestock or any animal for that matter!” He looks at Satan and says, “You are going to crawl on your belly in the dust and eat it for all your days!”

He then turns and points at the woman and resumes His admonishment, “I’m placing a bitter parting of the ways — a hostility — between you and the woman,” he informed Satan, “and between your seed and hers!”  Then, with a final thrust, He continues, “He will grant you a fatal blow but you will only be able to temporarily slow Him down!”

Then God turns back to the woman and stares deeply into her eyes before saying, “As for you,” he declares in indignation, “you will have such pain when you have children that you will wish you had never been born!”  Letting that sink in, He then continues, “You will hurt for hours in giving sons and daughters to the man but you will always come back in desire for him, regardless of how bad having his children hurts and he will dominate you!”

He then turns to the man, walks over, points His finger at him, and commands, “As for you, it’s because of you that the very ground — that has lovingly begat the plants and trees here in the Garden for you — will be cursed!”  He waits for effect and continues, “You are going to have to work your fingers to the bone and strain your back just to get anything to eat from the ground for the rest of your days!”

God stares long and hard at the man again and resumes his curse, “All you are going to see are thorns and thistles in your way and you will have to fight for every square inch of space in order eat bread as you sweat for everything you grow!”  God then solemnly continues, “You will eventually return to the ground from where you were brought up out of because you are mere dust and to dust you will return because of your disobedience!”

Adam turns to his wife, “Oh man, I’m going to call you Eve — that means the mother of all living!”

God killed some game and made clothes for both of them.  Adam responded, “Lord, I really think our clothing design looks more pleasing to the eye but I recognize the value of the leather since I am going to have to bust my chops to feed all the kids Eve will have to suffer in bringing into the world.”

God then began speaking, “Ok, we have to place cherubim with those fancy swords to guard the Garden so that these two don’t eventually slip back in and eat from the tree of life and live forever!”  They watched the cherubim whirl their flaming swords around and around. God stated matter-of-factly, “Wow, they are a great creation! With these cherubim getting their fancy sword play on — I see no way those two will be able to get back in now!”  [to be continued…].

Until next time!

Zach

QUESTION:  HAVE YOU EVER SUFFERED CONSEQUENCES FOR BEING DISOBEDIENT TO GOD IN YOUR LIFE?

 

 

 

Hello and welcome back!

It’s great to see you!  Remember last time?  We took a little trip back into time to the Garden as Satan planted the seed of disobedience and Eve was being seriously tempted?

Let’s return again to that exact time in creation!

[…continued from 03/14/13]

The last post ended just as Satan had pretty much opened the door to Eve’s ego.  Satan is coiling, flicking his forked tongue, and selfishly gloating over the look of selfishness he had planted in Eve’s eyes.

“Thaaat’s riiight!” Satan whispers to himself in ecstasy as Eve timidly reaches towards the forbidding fruit.  The sun is shining gloriously and it is a beautiful day in Eden.  It is difficult to tell at first because the change is so subtle.  Suddenly, it becomes quite noticeable — it’s too quiet!

Wow!  We already know what happens next!  I’ve read it, you’ve read it, and all of Christianity has read about this creation-changing incident in Genesis.  Doesn’t seeing it, as it happens, cause you to want to shout out, “Noooo!”

Shhhhh!  It’s God’s plan and nothing can stop it.  Be quiet.  Let’s watch.

There is just something unsettling about the first sin ever committed by mankind.  As all of creation waits in suspended horror, Eve’s fingers slowly but surely extend and everything plays out in slow motion.  Her fingers begin to close upon the forbidden fruit that almost seems to shimmer in the mid-afternoon sunlight.

 

“Surely we won’t die!” She whispers, “The serpent told me we would be gods!”

 

“Go ahead, make my daaaay,” Satan continues to whisper over and over as he waits with baited breath.  Eve tightens her grip on the fruit, slowly begins to pull it, and suddenly—the stem suddenly separates from the body of the fruit and—the unbelievable and horrifying deed is completed.

Disobedience has gone from a temptation to action.  The first temptation has been acted upon.

“Yesssss!”  Satan hisses, gleefully coiling around and around as Eve takes the first bite.  She then hands it off to Adam who sniffs it and then, slowly raises the fruit to his mouth and takes his portion of the deadly curse that has now fallen upon mankind and all of creation.

Sin and death has now been turned loose in creation!

“Oh yes, oh yessss,” Satan weaves around bobbing his head in time with his chant.  “It’s over, it’s done!  I win, I win, I winnnn!” He hisses loudly!  Eve looks at Adam and Adam returns her gaze, “What have we done!” Adam shrieks.  Adam takes Eve’s hand, dropping the forbidden fruit on the ground and begins running.  He has no idea where he is going, he is just running, running, and running deeper into the trees.  There is no place to run.  There is no place to hide.  Sin—is now in the world.  Everything has changed.  He turns towards Eve, who is looking bewildered and frightened.

“Surely we won’t die!” She whispers, “The serpent told me we would be gods!”

“Well,” Adam glares before responding any further, “I don’t feel like any god, I feel scared and lost!”  Both of them begin looking around.  They then begin gathering the large fig leaves from the branches—threading small vines through them, making coverings for their new-found nakedness.

Can you believe that?  Reading about it is hard enough, but seeing it is mind blowing! They have everything they could possibly want!  They have it all but they trade it for a lie!

They trade eternity and perfection for forbidden knowledge, knowledge that leads to death and separation from their Creator!  Listen!  Do you hear something?

Mid morning turns into afternoon and as the sun begins casting ever elongating shadows upon the ground, a voice is heard softly calling:

“Adam, Adam—where are you?  [To be continued…]

 

Until next time!

 

Zach

 

QUESTION:  WERE BOTH ADAM AND EVE THE FIRST DISCIPLES SINCE THEY WERE THE FIRST TO FOLLOW THE COMMANDS OF GOD?

How To End Christianity!

February 3, 2013

Is it just me, or do people seem to go crazy around Super Bowl time!  Maybe it is just me, but I was just on my iPad mini and all I see on the social media sites is Super Bowl this n’ Super bowl that.  Don’t get me wrong, I am interested in the Super Bowl.  What red-blooded American isn’t!  However, let’s get real here!

I remember going to those old revival meetings that didn’t have time limits on them.  People came and went but the revivalist keep at it.  The old camp meetings, anyone remember how they used to be.  The smell of campfire cooking, the music, the shouts of Hallelujah ringing in the air, people coming to Jesus by the droves—bring it back, Lord, bring it back.

Sigh.

Wouldn’t it be grand if we could rally ‘round a 21st century national revival with even half the gusto we expend once a year for the Super Bowl?  What do you think that would look like?  Christians, all over the country, gathering to worship the Lord, hear the gospel together and praising God when the friends and loved ones they brought with them humbly accepted Jesus Christ and became new disciples in God’s army!

Churches being filled with new disciples, volunteers, and faithful witnessing!

All over the USA, families gathering ‘round the wide screen, watching with neighbors and loved ones, listening, talking about Jesus, and breaking out in excited praises when one of the unsaved among them asked how they, too, could receive Christ!

Well, guess what?  There has not been a national revival in the West since the middle of the 19th century.   Christianity appears to be sinking in the western horizon and sinking in Western society at an ever increasing pace.

It appears that, unlike the 1st century church that turned the entire world upside down for Jesus, the 21st century church is being turned upside down by the world!  Why is that?  Can it all be blamed upon the paganism (humanism) that runs rampant in society?  That is certainly a contributing factor.

But what was it about 1st century Christianity that differs from 21st century Christianity?  Paganism and persecution was all around them!  What seems to be the deal breaker today when it comes to revival?

“Some will get their hackles up and say, ‘Such a simplistic message!  What Christian doesn’t already know this!'” 

The 1st century church abundantly used two spiritual weapons that are still available to us today but are underused—prayer and the message of the Good News of the kingdom.  Let’s take a look at each of these spiritual weapons:

  • Prayer – You see, Jesus provided His church with a miraculous tool when He ripped the veil.  For the first time since the fall, through Him, mankind had access to the Father.  The 1st century church utilized this.  When Peter was locked up in Acts 12, the church prayed unceasingly.

 

  • The Gospel – The Gospel, powered by God’s Spirit within each born again Christian, broke through strongholds of Satan and presented the liberating message of Christ.  Where is that Gospel today?  How many churches today have effective outreach programs compared to the ones who do not?  How can the Gospel be heard by a dying world if it is not proclaimed, without compromise?

Where are you today in your prayer life?

Where is your church in community prayer?

Where are you today in following the command of your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ to go and make disciples?

 Where is your church in its outreach program?

The Bible says that prayer is the foundation that the Gospel should be preached from.  Let’s join together in spreading this message, this simple message that we all know but have laid aside.

Let’s proclaim the Gospel to the lost and pray for Holy Spirit conviction that can soften the hardened hearts of our 21st century culture.  In other words, let’s decide, once again, to follow Jesus.

We all know Christians the rest of us do not.  We can do what that 1st century church did.  Christians passed the word by mouth to other Christians to gather and pray.  Christians reminded one another to tell others about Jesus.

Some will get their hackles up and say, “Such a simplistic message!  What Christian doesn’t already know this!”  I’m not saying Christians don’t know this.  I’m saying many of them need reminding of this.

Please send this to other Christians you know.  This is a simple message to remind.  It’s nothing ground breaking.  It is getting back to basics.

Let’s do it. 

Let’s follow Jesus!

Pray with me for obedience in the body of Christ.

Until next time…

Zach

 

Question:  Why are 21st century Christians reluctant to witness to the lost?