Deceived into doubt

Re:Verse reading–Genesis 3:1-7  (day one)

“But each one is tempted when he is carried away by his own lust.  Then when lust is conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it bring forth death.  DO NOT BE DECEIVED, my beloved brethren.”–James 1:14-16.

It is an old story.  Ever new, sadly.  The enemy questions God’s word.  Harmless question (or so it seems).  “Did God really say?”  Moves quickly to a statement.  “You will not die!  God knows you will become like Him.  He doesn’t care for you.  He is looking out for Himself!” (free translation/interpretation)

And, like all of her sons and daughters since, Eve falls for it.  Without any evidence or experience to support such a claim, she abandons her innocent confidence that God is good, and dies as she steps over the line of His commandment.

Why did she doubt God’s goodness?  Why did she second-guess His commands?  An enemy has done this!



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Imago dei

Re: Verse reading–Genesis 1:26-28; 2:18-25 (day seven) 

We are made in God’s image. The Genesis story (God-given. Moses-recorded) makes it clear.  What does it mean?

Some say it is rationality.  We can think, reason, decide on a level that is much higher than animals.  In this, on a small scale, we are like God.

Some say it is spirituality.  Sharing the “breath of God” gives men a facility to hear God, connect with Him.  God is Spirit.  In Genesis, and when we are “born of the Spirit”, we share this identity with Him.

Some say it is responsibility.  V. 28 commands us to increase, fill, subdue and rule the world.  The Sabbath story (last week) underscores this idea.  Completing our task we rest with satisfied hearts.  Like God, we are responsible and creative.

What do you believe?  Whatever you decide, one thing is certain.  Our true identity is godly.  We are like Him.  Until we find Him we cannot know ourselves.

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Re: Verse reading–Genesis 1:26-28; 2:18-25 (day six)

Then God said, “I now give you…” Genesis 1:29

It is no small thing, but it can be easily overlooked. God only addresses humankind with the second person pronoun, “you.” Not with any other creature, but Adam and then Eve, does God speak directly; later He will even issue His first command. This is so profound. We are distinct from all creation because we were made for the divine relationship; we were made to know and be known.

Consider this for a moment, there is no other created thing that hears God’s voice but humankind. When God said, “you” for the first time, Adam and Eve perceived it and understood it. They related to God; they knew Him. We were created to listen to God’s voice, to walk with Him in the garden, to truly know Him. Jesus declared to us that knowing God is the essence of eternal life. (John 17:3)

Are YOU listening?

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Main Character

Re: Verse reading–Genesis 1:26-28; 2:18-25 (day five) 

The sixth day of creation is very distinctive. Man is created. The bible describes it as “very good”. There is no denying that there is something special about man, the way he is created, and how God chooses to interact with the humans. God communicates with them. He gives them responsibility, assignments, and opportunities to have leadership and ownership in creation.

We must be careful not to change our perspective and approach of Genesis and the Bible- not to falsely presume that the narrative is now becoming man-centered. Adam and Eve are definitely special and important characters in the narrative. However, God must still be the main focus and sovereign over all creation. A God who is only understood as the god of humankind is no longer the God of the Bible. Remember how Colossians 1 describes Jesus? “He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.  “For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him.”

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In His Image

Re: Verse reading–Genesis 1:26-28; 2:18-25 (day four)

Whether it is carpentry, or sewing, or manufacturing…patterns are important!  For instance, when you need to cut multiple boards exactly the same, you use a pattern…a board that is cut to precisely the correct dimensions.  Then, the pattern is used to mark all of the following boards.  You never cut one, then use that one to mark the next, and then that one to cut the next.  Errors are compounded unless you go back always to the pattern.

Verse 27 says, “And God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.”  God used Himself as the pattern for man.  The world rejects the precept of God the Creator…especially God the Creator and Pattern.  If He is acknowledged as these, then obedience and submission would be required.  In rejecting the pattern, the world rejects any mandate for devotion and homage.  How about us?  Do our lives closely correspond to the pattern or image that we were created in?

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Re: Verse reading–Genesis 1:26-28; 2:18-25 (day three)

“Let them rule…over all the earth.”  The destiny of man to rule over the created order bookends the Bible.  In Genesis and in Revelation, we discover God’s explicit intention that we become the kind of people who can be entrusted to rule.  And let us understand: To rule isn’t to sit on a throne and bark orders.  Rather, to rule is to have say over the flourishing of creation—to allocate resources and design systems and execute processes that realize the potential God has built into the universe.  Such an endeavor requires wisdom.  Ruling without wisdom results in…the kind of world we live in right now.  Let us get quickly to God and seek from him the wisdom that we will need to reign with him in this age and in the age to come.

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Re: Verse reading–Genesis 1:26-28; 2:18-25 (day two)  God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 1:27

The Latin statement for this verse is “Imago Dei.” Each person walking around you today is carrying with them the image of God. That doesn’t mean that everyone will recognize it, but whether or not they do, it is there. How does that inform how you treat one another? Whether redeemed saint or lost soul each has the DNA of the creator of the universe. If you took this into consideration before you spoke with someone, would it impact what you say? Shouldn’t it?

My girls look like they certainly belong to our family. Strong genes from both April and I contributed to their looks and features. When people look at them, I want them to see my beloved. Don’t you think our Heavenly Father wants us to see him in others too?

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Re: Verse reading–Genesis 1:26-28; 2:18-25 (day one)

“Shame is the intensely painful feeling that we are unworthy of love and belonging”–Brene Brown.

“I want to drag knives over my skin, just to feel something other than shame, but I’m not even brave enough for that.”–Paula Hawkins The Girl on the Train.

Long wait before we saw it again.  Adam and Eve had it.  (Then lost it.)  They weren’t embarrassed by who they were.  Felt no need to hide, or pretend, or fantasize, or envy. They were unashamed.

After a long winter, this sweet spring came again.  In Christ, people began to discover that they were “accepted in the Beloved” (Ephesians 1:6)  Ordinary people began to say, “I am not ashamed of the gospel” (Romans 1:16).  The reason?  The gospel led them to Christ in whom they received a “righteousness from God through faith”.  And the shame evaporated!

Great gift!  Great gospel!  Great God!  You don’t have to be ashamed anymore.

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Death sentence

Re: Verse reading–Genesis 2:4-17 (day seven)

“the day you eat from it you shall surely die.”–v 17.

I was on death row.  Part of my  sentence had already been executed.  (In many ways, I was already dead.)  Part of the sentence was still in the future.

Convicted of a crime(s).  No excuses.  Waiting without hope.  I had been warned.  Foolish. Stubborn.  Too proud to listen or fear.  The jail was full of people just like me.

“I have come that they might have LIFE” said the Great Judge when He came to me that day.  He commuted my sentence!  He pardoned me!  Lifted the weight from my shoulders and carried it away.  Breathed original LIFE into my heart.

From convict to convert, through pardon to praise, from death to LIFE, I emerged from jail to a new chapter.  Only He could have done it!  Only He would have done it!

What does this Great Judge deserve from me now?

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All Our Being

Re: Verse reading–Genesis 2:4-17 (day six)

“For in him we live and move and have our being…” Acts 17:28

Those are the words Paul used to introduce the creator of the universe to Athenian philosophers; they were an echo of Genesis 2:17. We are not wound up clocks, all spinning gears and steel springs. Our very essence, all our being, is sustained by the breath of God. This is not figurative, or poetic, but is our reality, and it is good. The clock once complete exists on its own accord, separate from the clock maker. The clock maker looks at it, uses it, but no more. We are far different; our humanity is bound to our creator, even our next breath we owe to Him. Perhaps this is what Paul meant when he wrote to the Romans, “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be glory forever. Amen.” (Romans 11:36)

This is precisely why it is unfathomable that those whose “being” is dependent upon Him for every living moment would think so little of Him; choosing to “worship and serve the creature rather than the Creator.” (Romans 1:25) All our being bent against Him, but “while we were still weak, Christ died for the ungodly.” (Romans 5:6)

He died for all our being.

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