Last week’s post was Step One-Be Honest With Yourself. I read the story of Adam and Eve and how they were deceived by the serpent, found out by God, then blamed God, blamed the serpent, and blamed each other. The Bible does not indicate that they ever took responsibility for their own part in the situation. I was greatly troubled by how this ancient story so closely resembles how many of us live today. Too often, we refuse to step back and examine our situation for our own sin. Instead, we blame others, blame God, think it’s just bad luck, or that “it is what it is.” What it is, is sin.
I actually wrote last week’s post without giving much thought to this week’s post, but when I made the video, I said “tune in next week for part two.” I had no idea what part two would be. Last week it seemed as if the single-most important thing we could do to change the course of our lives was to own up to our sin. Then what, you may be asking!
Step two is to seek God for forgiveness. You cannot ask forgiveness or be forgiven if you, in your heart, don’t believe you have done any wrong. Step one is to acknowledge your own sin, and don’t minimize it saying, “all I did was.” Don’t acknowledge your sin, then excuse it saying, “but...” We must admit our own guilt, then seek Him through prayer, fasting, communication of heartfelt sorrow, and need. Then allow God to be God. Depending on the sin, the series of sins, and the current circumstances, there may be some consequences for you to face.
Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise. Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails. ~Proverbs 19:20
When we read Genesis 3 and 4 we can clearly see the consequences of sin. Eve would have pain in childbirth, the two of them would experience enmity towards each other, they were banished from the Garden of Eden, and more. In Genesis 4:11-12, after Cain killed his brother Abel we read, Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.
What’s not as clear in both of these instances of sin is the experience of God’s love. Read carefully, it’s there. Cain was afraid someone would kill him as a restless wanderer. God responded to his fear with a show of love. He put a mark on him as a signal that no one should kill him and attached consequences to anyone who did (v. 13-15). We read that Cain was married and experienced the gift of children and grandchildren. Adam and Eve, they made themselves fig leaves to cover their nakedness. We see God’s love for them in that He made garments of skin for Adam and his wife and clothed them. God sacrificed one of the animals He made to cover for Adam and Eve’s wrong. God loved them so much, and understood how they felt that He showed them great compassion. In Gen. 3:15, 20 we see God’s promise of a savior who will be a descendant of Eve. One that will crush the head of Satan. In Genesis, God promises us Jesus.
4 Surely he [Jesus] took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted.
5But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed.
6We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Once we acknowledge our own sin, then turn to God to ask for forgiveness, it is through the love of Jesus that we can have a new life. Through Jesus we can have everlasting life. We no longer have to pay the penalty of spiritual death, due to our sins. Jesus died so that we don’t have to. We only have to admit that we have sinned, and invite Him into our hearts and live a forever changed life.
Have you invited Jesus into your life? Not to alarm you, but 2020 seems to be pulling all the stops. If you have been thinking about giving your life to God, thinking about salvation, I encourage you to make today the day you make the decision. You will not be leaving behind anything that you will miss during your new life. You are walking away from darkness and into the light to live the life God planned and created just for you. Amen.
Thank you for reading!
Please share this post with someone you love. Amen.
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