#400 - LOVE CHOOSES - (23/7/21)
During this LEARNING TO HEAR series I’m taking a different approach to these devotionals. I want to us work harder at searching the scriptures for ourselves. We will use the ‘Come to Jesus Daily’ method below to help us with this. It’s well worth the hard work involved!
‘The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”’ (Genesis 2:15-17)
I’ve included my reflections on today’s text below. However, I encourage you to pray and spend time reflecting (writing can be helpful) using the 5 questions below before reading my thoughts.
i. †GOSPEL - 'Gaze on the cross'- What does this text reveal about salvation through Jesus?
ii. UP – What does this text say about God – His worth, character, attributes, will, promises…?
iii. IN – What does this say about me, the church and how we are to relate? Is there a promise to believe, command to do, attitude to have, something to avoid, is there forgiveness to seek or give?
iv. OUT – What does this say about my community and mission?
v. DO - This has two components. Firstly, list as many possible ways that you can think of that one might apply the text (actions or attitudes). Secondly, hear - Pray about how the Holy Spirit is leading you, specifically, to respond.
1. †GOSPEL (Written in the first person)
We (in Adam) have eaten from the tree of ‘the knowledge of good and evil’. We have sinned against God. We chose to rebel and we continue to choose to rebel. And yet He sent His Son to take our death.
‘For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.’ (1 Corinthians 15:22)
This promised new life is for now, but it also points to our glorious future when the Lord will again take Man and put him in a new creation.
The Lord is generous. He put mankind in a beautiful, plenteous garden. His will was that they care for it, enjoy God’s presence and obey Him.
It’s God’s will that we do productive work. He will, therefore, provide work and good things for us to do. (Ephesians 2:10)
God planted, and commanded that they not eat from, ‘the tree of the knowledge of good and evil’. Perfection, it seems, must have the option to rebel! The Lord wants our love to be a real choice. The Father wants us to choose to obey.
God still wants us to work, enjoy His presence and obey Him. As we do so, He wants us to seek Him for ‘the knowledge of good and evil’ rather than choose for ourselves or listen to Satan’s voice.
Love chooses the Father. He wants our love to be a choice. A massive facet of love is making good and pleasing choices that serve God.
This world is as it is because of that choice to rebel in the beginning. All of our natures have been warped and we continue to rebel and define good and evil on our terms. Only by God’s grace can we be changed.
God made a promise in the beginning that rings down the ages - Jesus will crush Satan,
“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)
“Lord Jesus, please would you crush satan’s rule over more and more people. May I have the joy of seeing people released, and returned back to the joy of their original purpose in creation - to enjoy you, work and obey you.”