AMT 5/1

When we were created (the beginning of humanity) Adam and Eve were in the Garden of Eden and interacted with God directly. He even walked with them in the evening!  What a wonderful place this must have been.  Not only that, God gave them (and us) freewill — our ability to make our own choices. What a great gift!  Who could say no? OOPS! There was only one restriction.  They could not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Other than that, they could do anything else. I am sure they explored for a long time.  Why do I feel that way?  In my experience with kids, college students, and adults – it is not until they are bored that they tend to get themselves into trouble. Who knows….

So, at some point, a serpent showed up. And in one brief conversation Eve and then Adam were persuaded to disobey God. (Don’t just blame Eve, God gave the rule to Adam in the first place.) Anyway, this was the beginning of trouble. When humans are left alone, given free will, they will have a tendency to do what they should not. Often this comes with little to no outward temptation. This wrong doing or disobedience to God has a name: sin.

At first glance, we might say, “How in the world were they persuaded to eat the fruit of the only tree in the garden that they were told not to eat?  After all, they had everything else.  And God, the one who created them told them not to do it!  How could they be persuaded? We would not do that…or would we?

 Let me give you an example that might help bring this into our time. You take a job, and you’re given the master key for all of the rooms except one. Your boss tells you that this room is always locked as it is where they keep the Personnel files. You are so grateful for this job and there is so much to do that you don’t think about that room…much.

 After having worked there for a while you notice your boss is in and out of your department more frequently. Weird. The guy in the office next to you is always saying how he is sure that this boss is in and out so much so he can document every little thing they do and putting the negative things in your personnel file.  It is evaluation time.  In your mind you start thinking about what might be in that file.

And then it happens! One of your coworkers gathers a few of you into his office and pulls a key from his pocket.  It is the key to the personnel office. He suggests meeting after work then returning to check out their files.  They won’t look at anyone else’s…or at least that is what they say.  You want to know. But you should not go with them.  You need this job.  You like your boss.  Still, your friend invited you personally to join them.  What if someone else looks in your file or does something to it? What if you are caught and lose your job. Wow isn’t the Bible realistic now? You could blame it on Adam and Eve, right?

Nope.  You see, we are given the opportunity to be different. Jesus is our opportunity.  He died to take away our sins.  We are made new!  We can continue to do as God guides us through the Holy Spirit.  We can rise above the temptations in life.  We can stand against temptation and live a Christ-like life. We are now persuaded by the Spirit of the Lord. In those times that seem impossible, we are guarded and guided by Christ. Familiar? 

 

Scripture:  2 Timothy 1:11- 14     For this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher, 12 and for this reason I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know the one in whom I have put my trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard until that day what I have entrusted to him. 13 Hold to the standard of sound teaching that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 14 Guard the good treasure entrusted to you, with the help of the Holy Spirit living in us.

Better yet, a familiar hymn refrain and a moving verses:

Refrain:

But “I know Whom I have believed,

And am persuaded that He is able

To keep that which I’ve committed

Unto Him against that day.”

Verse 3

I know not how the Spirit moves,

Convincing men of sin,

Revealing Jesus through the Word,

Creating faith in Him.

 

Prayer:

Dear Lord God, we thank you for the ability you give us to begin anew after having original sin and humanity from the Adam and Eve.  We thank you for our re-birth from the death and resurrection of your Son. We thank you for the strength to continue to obey God and avoid thus avoid sin when temptation arises. Help us be Christ-like ambassadors to a world that seems very lost.

 

Seek Peace and Pursue it,

Pastor Charlene