Sunday, January 27, 2013

Hey, Thanks Adam.

There are quite a few different controversies among our society today. There are the obvious ones like National Debt, and Gun Control, and God in Schools and Gay Marriage, all of which are legitimate and healthy topics to debate on.

However, in my opinion I think we as Believers or as Non-Believers have missed the biggest "controversy" in the History of the World, and it also happens to be the reason we are what we are.

Who is to blame, Adam or Eve?

Most people would say Adam, because he was the man for a reason and he was the one that Christ first seeked out in the Garden after the forbidden fruit was bitten.

Some people say Eve, because she was the one that actually fell into the sin, and into the evil and took the first bite out of the fruit, and that qualifies her to be the reason we are now all in this "mess".

All of that to say, I think Genesis 3, is a real-life example of many modern-day believers today. If the Bible could be accurate with how the world is today, it would arguably be most accurate in Genesis 3, for a couple of reasons.

1. The Persuasion of Sin. In the very first verse of Genesis 3, Satan's first persuasion line is "Did God REALLY say you can't eat from ANY tree in the garden?" That reminds me a lot of peer pressure today. "Is it REALLY a sin to lie, come on man LIEING; there's people out there getting murdered and you're worried about LYING?" That persuasion could be compared to the type of persuasion that Satan gave to Eve in the Garden over 3000 years ago.

2. Realizing the Rhetorical. In verse 11, God asks His first of millions of rhetorical questions. After He confronted Adam (the men not the women, the same reason is still applied today) He asks "who told you that you were naked? Did you eat from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?" I don't know about you, but one of the worst feelings in the world is somebody asking you if you messed up, when they already know you messed up, they just want to hear you say it. Christ reveals Himself here and basically says "so, you want to explain this mess to me? I mean I already know it, but since you're the man why don't you just tell me what happened..." This could be compared to every modern day believer because when we mess up, and God doesn't "smite" us, naturally we push the limit a little more. But the scariest fate is, that if we don't ask for forgiveness, Christ is going to have a list of rhetorical questions for us at the Judgement Throne.

3. Believing the Excuse Believer. In verse 12, Adam points fingers because of his state of panic and declares "the woman You gave to be with me- she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate." This is the very first time an excuse is used on why somebody knowingly failed Jesus Christ. In this very verse, Adam uses emotional appeal to TRY to convince His Father. Adam explains "hey you know that woman, that you gave to me a while back, yeah she's the reason I failed you man, I'm sorry but I wouldn't have done it if it weren't for her."That sounds quite a bit like a lot of us today. Why did you commit that sin, "oh well, my friend did it and nothing happened to him, so I thought it would be cool if I gave it a try." Christ didn't create us with hands of blame, but with hands of wisdom, if we truly believe in Him, we shouldn't throw our accountability partners under so we think we look better to the Eyes of Grace.

4. Christ bringing us back down to "earth". After hearing both sides of the story, and listening to all of the excuses and all of the blames on why Adam and Eve fell short of the glory of God, Christ says the most declaring, legitimate thing He could say to anyone, and He said it in the very first book of the Bible, in verse 19 Christ says "for you are dust, and you will return to dust." I can only imagine the look on Adam's face when the Lord of Lords said that to him. There is also a reason that God said it to Adam, not to Eve, and I believe that reason is because men tend to have slightly bigger ego's than women do. But in a modern day perspective, God looks at Adam and says "you know, thank you for entertaining me with your stories on he said she said, I know what really happen, but listen, when I first saw you, you were DEAD...and guess what, no matter what you accomplish in life, no matter what you think you are, you will return physically DEAD, and that's all I have to say." What an intense realization, we were all dust, and no matter what we're going to end up as dust. It sure is a good thing that God promises Salvation through the Grace of God to our little particles of dust that we will return.

We can blame Adam or Eve for the fall of humanity, but the men of God should take note from Genesis 3, and notice why there was man before there was woman, and why God confronted the man in the Garden, not the woman.

We may blame Adam for sending us down an unending path, but we follow in his footsteps with every prideful thought, hateful action, and every drop of greed. We are Adam. We earn our rightful place in death and make clear our need for grace.

Father, give us that grace that only comes from the great Supplier.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Persecution is a Gorgeous Thing.

"to harass or punish in a manner designed to injure, grieve, or afflict; specifically to cause to suffer because of BELIEF."(Websters)

There is a reason that I am not able to sleep at night. There is a reason that my stomach is churning at the moment. God has started to break my heart, and it's devastating to see the results.

Persecution is a gorgeous thing.

When I wasn't a mature Christian (I'm not saying I'm perfect now), I would let other people do the dirty work, and I would just stick with my label and use it as a "get out of jail free" card whenever I wanted. I honestly didn't care who knew Jesus or who didn't know Jesus, and I was completely okay with that. The moment at the end of the service when the Pastor mentioned going and telling others about Jesus, I was too busy zipping up my bible, closing my pen, and wondering what lunch is going to bring me within the hour. I would see my lost friends' statuses on facebook and respond in a "well, that stinks" kind of way whenever they were struggling or depressed when it was CLEAR that Jesus was saying "Hello! You know this would be a GREAT opportunity to tell this person about ME." But, I was stubborn.

If you ask God for something, don't be surprised when you get EXACTLY what you asked for.

It is literally impossible for me to not look at a facebook status that is completely bashing God's Creation or God in general and not want to vomit. There are numerous people going down the path MOST traveled by when the way to Righteousness with Christ is the opposite direction. We see God's Creation every single day and Instagram it, but are too comfortable to give the background of it. There are moments that I wish every non-believer had "God-moments" that I have and shake them and say "He will do this for YOU." It doesn't matter how low you've come from, or what all the "nastiness" in your life consists of, He still longs for you. He still thinks about you. He still has others pray about you that you would find Him. He's still your real Father. I will even be cliche and say if God can save me, He can save anyone.

I've never liked the answer "no", at all. It's probably because of how many times I was rejected by highly attractive women, but I didn't like being told that what I said or what I asked is not justifiable and will not happen. Now in life, I YEARN to be told no. If you tell someone about Christ, they will read it, and either the stubborn Enemy will respond, or a lot of questions will follow. Most of the time, the answer is no, and that is completely okay. That's not God saying, "ha! you think you can do that? think again". It's a blessing in disguise. Just the idea that you took the time to tell your friend or your enemy about God's unfailing love, is pleasing in God's eyes and He just wants you to plant the seed.

Don't kill the weeds and plant the seed, let God take care of the weeds.

In God's Word it says "But in your hearts, set apart Christ as Lord. ALWAYS be prepared to give an answer to EVERYONE who asks you to give the reason for the HOPE that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect." (1 Peter 3:15)

There is Hope for everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord, there is Hope for the lost to turn to the Creator, there is Hope for the believer who is tired of Persecution, and there is Hope in Christ because Satan HAS BEEN defeated, even though he may seem apparent in the stubborn.

Father, I pray that in Your name, hearts of stone be melted. In Your name, the enemy be moved out of the stubborn hearts. In Your name, the blasphemous turn to believers. And Father, dare I say it, I pray for revival.