Killing Pride

From “A Gospel Primer” by M. Vincent:

Nothing suffocates my pride more than daily reminders regarding the glory of my God, the gravity of my sins, and the crucifixion of God’s own Son in my place. Also, the gracious love of God, lavished on me because of Christ’s death, is always humbling to remember, especially when viewed against the backdrop of the Hell I deserve.

Sin Added to Sin…

Think of the weight of sin added to sin added to sin added to sin. How long do we have to say that to begin even to approach the burden that Jesus bore?
– W. Robert Godfrey (Holy, Holy, Holy: Proclaiming the Perfections of God)

Perspective in Trials

From “A Gospel Primer” by M. Vincent:

More than anything else I could ever do, the Gospel enables me to embrace my tribulations and thereby position myself to gain full benefit from them. For the Gospel is the one great permanent circumstance in which I live and move; and every hardship in my life is allowed by God because it serves His Gospel purposes in me. When I view my circumstances in this light, I realize that the Gospel is just not one piece of good news that fits into my life somewhere along all the bad. I realize that the Gospel makes genuinely good news out of every aspect of my life, including my severest trials. The good news about my trials is that God is forcing them to bow to His Gospel purposes and do good unto me by improving my character and making me more conformed to the image of Christ.

Preaching the Gospel to myself each day provides a lens through which I can view my trials in this way and see the true cause for rejoicing that exists in them. I can then embrace trials as friends and allow them to do God’s good work in me.

Scriptures referenced:
Romans 5:1-5
Romans 8: 28-29
James 1:2-4
2 Corinthians 12:7-10

In the Beginning…

Thanks to the suggestion of a dear friend, I decided to start a chronological Bible reading plan. I expected the plan to be the 66 books of the Bible, but in a different order. Not so. The plan takes you from Genesis 1-11 to Job and then back to Genesis. I definitely didn’t expect that, but it does make me excited to go through the plan to see how everything unfolds in chronological order.

Last night’s reading was from Genesis 1-3. I have read Genesis MANY times. But this time as I read, I considered things that I’d never considered before. And then there are things that I’d thought about, but never really took the time to think through. In this post, I want to share my observations and thoughts from Genesis 1-3.

Genesis 1
When God speaks, nothing has an option of rebelling. When He declares something to happen, nothing and no one can thwart that or keep it from happening.

What God makes / creates is good. We humans have perverted it.

The things that we as people worship were created / made by God. These things were put in place to serve us, not to BE served and worshipped. For instance, the sun, moon, and stars were put in place to be for signs and for seasons, days, years, day, and night.

God’s original plan for man is laid out in Gen. 1:28 – “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” How far we have fallen from this.

God created a place in which He provided all we needed and more. His provision is so great and massive in Genesis 1. The food, the lights, etc. – God is SO wise and all is perfectly thought out. God is never slippin’. He is meticulous in His planning. Nothing is done haphazardly. However, His good and perfect original design is ruined because of the Fall.

Genesis 2
Verse 7 (then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground…) —> Psalm 103:14 (For He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust.)

Life can only come from the LORD (v7 —> John 1:3-4).

The LORD allows Adam to name the animals. Although the LORD had created them, He graciously allowed Adam to take part in what He was doing (v19-20), which also further shows the dominion that the LORD had given man over animals.

Genesis 2:18, 20 —> ESV Study Bible commentary: “Helper” is one who supplies strength in the area that is lacking in “the helped”… A wife is not her husband’s clone but complements him.

Verse 24 implies that marriage and reproduction were to be the pattern for life by using the words father, mother, and wife.

Verse 24 also says that the man and woman shall be one flesh, which the ESV Study Bible says is consummated by sexual intercourse. This made me think – in prior promiscuity of God’s people before salvation, how many people have we come together with outside of God’s perfect plan for sex? May we only ever become one flesh with the man (if you are a woman) or woman (if you are a man) that the LORD provides as spouse.

Genesis 3

The serpent – still a created being no matter HOW crafty he was. Verse 1 states “… that the LORD had made”.

One thing to note is that in his conversation with Eve, the serpent does not use God’s personal name with her. This helps to foster a sense of detachment.

In verse 1, the serpent misquotes what God actually said. What does this do for Eve? What does this do when it happens to us?

In verse 3, Eve misquotes what God said. In addition, she didn’t name the tree AND she also adds a piece of “instruction”. Why? Maybe in her mind, she thought it to be unfair so she wanted to maximize the perceived unfairness? Not sure.

Verses 4 and 5 paint an inaccurate portrait of God as being insecure, a tyrant, and a liar. How many times do we let the serpent speak these lies to us as well?

Adam and Eve rebelled against God and obeyed one of His created beings. This has not stopped. We still do this, even to this day. Although we don’t speak with serpents, we do speak with serpents in other forms that coerce and entice us to rebel against our Creator.

Verse 6:
(cf. James 1:14-15)
Eve saw that the tree was…
good for food — But God had already provided them with the food they needed.
a delight to the eyes — Lust and discontentment with all else that the Lord had provided has crept in.
desired to make one wise — Eve wanted wisdom outside of God; she depended on the fruit of a tree. It sounds foolish, but what are we depending on to bring results outside of the LORD?

Adam was to communicate and protect and lead his wife, yet he allowed her to entice him to sin. This picture is reversed. Instead of Adam leading his wife, he allows himself to be led by her into sin. He’d heard what God said; God had communicated it directly to him, yet he was with his wife, allowed her to be led away from the LORD by sin, and also allowed himself to be led away as well.

The Text shows no struggle; they were very willing to give in to the serpent’s sinful suggestions and his invitation to rebel against God. May we realize this in our own lives. Is there a struggle? Or do we carelessly answer the serpent’s invitation?

V7 – They tried to fix their mistake somewhat. This made me wonder – Are the fig leaves symbolic of them trying to provide their own righteousness by covering up their sin?

In verse 9, although the woman led her husband into sin, God addresses the man.

In verse 12, we see blame-shifting. Not only does Adam blame Eve (though he was responsible for his own sin), he also, in a sense, blames the LORD by saying, “the woman You gave me”. In verse 13, the woman blames the serpent. Neither party takes responsibility for their sin. Neither answers correctly to God’s question. Neither takes the blame. They both blame another party for their sinful actions. How often do we do this?! May we always hold ourselves responsible for the sins we commit!

When God addresses them in verses 14-19, He addresses them in the order that the Fall happened — serpent, woman, man.

In verse 21, the LORD God makes skins from animals for Adam and his wife. The LORD’s provisions are always MUCH better than what we can do. And though God curses them, He still loves them and cares for them deeply. He is the same now. Though we sin, and though God may discipline us, He still loves us and has not stopped, and will not stop. He still graciously provides. He is a beautiful lover of His children. He loves us well and cares for us deeply.

Verse 22-24 further show this. God was very merciful to not allow them to continue in this state forever. He sends them away for their own good although I’m sure they did not perceive that.

———————–

I really enjoyed my time in Genesis 1-3 and look forward to 4-7 this evening. May the Lord be pleased to continue to teach me His Word.

How Long, O Lord…?

O LORD, rebuke me not in your anger, nor discipline me in your wrath. Be gracious to me, O LORD, for I am languishing; heal me, O LORD, for my bones are troubled. My soul also is greatly troubled. But you, O LORD–how long? Turn, O LORD, deliver my life; save me for the sake of your steadfast love. For in death there is no remembrance of you; in Sheol who will give you praise? I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping.
Psalms 6:1-6 ESV

Ahh, the Squirrel!



DSC03920, originally uploaded by Jenn T. | lifeinreturn.

I only shared this dream with a few friends earlier this week, but figured – hey, why not share it with others? It was pretty funny, and the sad part was that I wasn’t even asleep… I was daydreaming. Here is the email:

Dreamt that two squirrels came up to me holding hands and asked me what the Gospel was. So I sat down on the ground and explained it to them. As I was explaining it more creatures came – birds and bugs and other animals. When I finished they were all crying and repentant. The wasps were sorry for stinging people and vowed to not do it again. And then I was like – but guys the Gospel is for humans only. And so they got upset. And I explained to them that they were bad because we are. And that was it. Thought it was pretty funny. Even more so funny bc I wasn’t really like asleep when I imagined this scenario. I need help lololol!!!

The Burning Question

So here comes the question of all questions:

Does anyone actually read this blog? lol!

I haven’t posted in a while, but would like to add more content of a diverse nature. I’ve recently decided to go gluten free and have incorporated much more produce into my life (and am truly understanding the value of organic foods over non-organic!) so I’d like to write about that and share the info I am learning, but yes, the question remains:

Does anyone read this?

And another question – any suggestions on material that I can write about that would be beneficial to ‘the public’?

… And His Glory Appears

Absolutely love this song…

You gave me hope, You made me whole
At the cross

You took my place, You showed me grace
At the cross where You died for me

And His glory appears like the light from the sun
Age to age, He shines
Oh look to the skies, hear the angels cry,
Singing, Holy is the Lord

What are you so upset about?

Timely for me. May be timely for others too.