Where Are You?

Lent Devotion #4

“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. 7Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. 8And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. 9But the LORD God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”

[Genesis 3: 6-9]

God knows everything– He is omnipotent. God created all things, and by His power everything is alive and functions. Which is why God’s question in this passage is cause for us to pause and reflect. Why, if He knows everything, did God ask Adam and Eve “where are you”? In this passage, we find Adam and his wife hiding because they are afraid. Why are they afraid? Because they disobeyed God and the consequence for their disobedience would be death. They were afraid because they sinned. This is the product of sin- sin always breeds fear and shame. The word tells us that Adam walked with God in the cool of the day. God would meet Adam and they were in fellowship. But after Adam acts against God’s commands, he hides among the trees in fear and shame.  Sin severs our relationship with God. It cuts it and seeks to isolate us unto ourselves. That is after all what the flesh wants- itself. But the remarkable response of an all knowing God was that He came and asked Adam and Eve, “where are you”. God gives them a chance to confess- to surrender. How amazing that instead of responding in wrath, God responds with a chance- a chance to redeem the relationship. As a child who has done wrong comes before a loving father, so we have been given the chance to bring our fear and shame before an infinitely loving God. This is the gospel- that while we were yet sinners, GOD DID NOT RELENT. Paul writes about this response of God in Ephesians:

 “4But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ”

During this lent season, let us ask ourselves this same question. Where are you? How is your christian walk going? Maybe you feel like you need another chance to start new. Our God is a god of second-second chances. Today God is asking you this question, just as he asked Adam and Eve. Where are you? Let us confess our shortcomings, fears, and shame to a loving father. In our hiding, God calls out for us, and as sheep we hear his voice. Let us not delay in confessing ourselves to Him. He is a good father; He will surely receive us as we are.

Prayer: Forgiving Father, help me. I have fallen so many times, and I am struggling in many areas of my life. Rescue me by the power of your blood. Here I am Lord- broken, afraid, shameful, unworthy. Help me to confess my shortcomings and find peace in your love. Thank you for your grace, Amen.

Advertisements

Did God Really Say?

Lent Devotion #3

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” 2 And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’” 4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.

[Genesis 3: 1-7]

In this world, we are always being tempted. In fact, since creation, sin has incessantly tempted us. But sin has always tempted us the same way since the garden. In this passage we see that first, Satan makes us question God’s word. Throughout scripture, God’s word is life-giving and satisfying. It is by His word that He created the world. It was by His word that the dead bones came to life in Ezekiel’s vision. It was His word that David delighted in day and night. God’s word is our source of life, and satan chooses to attack it first. Next, Satan further tempts Eve by suggesting that eating the fruit would make her like God. The root of sin has always been one thing since the beginning: Sin is when we trade God’s will for our own. Sin is when we trade God’s glory for our own (Rom 1:21-23). Sin is when we put ourselves in a place that belongs only to God. Satan tempts us with the same desire he was guilty of, wanting to take the place of God. How amazing that the gospel is Jesus STEPPING OUT from His place with God to save us. Paul writes in Philippians 2,

“Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Eventually Eve succumbs to her desires when she sees that the tree is “good for food”, a “delight to the eyes”, and will “make one wise”. The apostle John called this the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. In other words, foolishly we rationalize sin. How often do we listen to ungodly music and call it catchy and pleasant to the ears? How often do we watch sinful movies because the trailer “looked good”? How often do we sin in the name of “experience” and “living life”? Satan has been tempting us the same way since the beginning of the world, and we have consistently fell for it. “Wretched man that I am, who will save me from this body of death? Praise be to our Lord through Jesus Christ” (Rom 7: 24-25). During this time of lent, let us examine the areas of our life where we are giving into our lusts and temptations. May God strengthen us to walk according to His spirit.

Prayer: Holy Father, I am a sinner. If it’s not one thing, it’s another. It is seemingly impossible to escape the lusts of this world. I am sorry for compromising your holiness. Please let your spirit work in me to purify my desires. Give me the strength to walk according to your ways, without compromise. The same power that conquered the grave lives in me- whom shall I fear? Keep me from stumbling, Amen.

You Are Free

Lent Devotion #2

The Lord God took the man and put him to work 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]

What was the first command God ever gave his people? Most people would answer that it was to NOT eat from the tree of knowledge. Most of us look to God’s word as a list of things we can’t do. Our impression of God is that He is restricting; a strict father who is always saying no. But God’s very first words to us in scripture are, “You are FREE… (v.16).” God has commanded us to be free. God is all about our freedom. He is not a God looking only to restrict and say no to his children. His desire is for our perfect freedom, but sin would have us convinced otherwise. The great deception is that sin promises freedom but only enslaves. The good news of the gospel is that God is still about our freedom today. In fact, the gospel is all about God purchasing our freedom on the cross. In Galatians 5:1, Paul says that “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to ta yoke of slavery.” This lent season let us look to the savior who takes every burden, purchases every debt, breaks every chain, and releases every shackle. God is all about our freedom, therefore may the spirit liberate us unto himself.

 

Prayer: Jesus I am a sinner, and no matter what I do, I am only a slave to sin. But you have called me to be free. Thank you for dying on the cross for my freedom. Let your blood liberate my heart and mind, so I may be free to live as you have called me to live. Thank you Jesus, Amen.

Light Out of Darkness

Lent Devotion #1
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness.
[Genesis 1:1-4]
 
As we refocus our minds and hearts towards the gospel of Jesus Christ during this lent season, it is fitting that we start at the beginning. And God being rich in his wisdom, found it fitting to present this gospel in the first 4 verses of His Word. You see, the gospel is the good news that “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8).” The gospel is God saving us while we were dead in our trespasses. The gospel is God shining His glorious light out of the darkness. In fact, in 2 Corinthians Paul explains “God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ (Ch. 4:6).” The gospel was God’s intention from the beginning. God always planned to shine light out of the darkness. During this lent season, let us pray for God to reveal that light within our hearts; that the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ would shine ever so bright.
 
Prayer: Lord, let the knowledge of your glory shine in the face of Jesus Christ. Let light shine out of the darkness of my heart. Let me see Jesus as glorious and beautiful, Amen.