Soul Food Sunday – Who is God? (Part 5)

God is good and everything He makes and creates is good. He is a good Father and loves to communicate. He speaks creation into being.

He is a loving Father in that He sets boundaries for His children. Just as our children don’t understand why their parent tells them not to do something, so God tells Adam not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Adam doesn’t understand why, but he can know that it’s for his good that God tells him not to eat the fruit.

Before Adam ate the fruit he had a close relationship with his Father. Immediately after eating the fruit he becomes afraid of his Father. The Father comes for his regular walk with Adam and the Father calls out to him. God asks why Adam hid from Him. God knows why, but He’s helping Adam admit what he did. But Adam doesn’t admit what he did. He blames Eve instead of fessing up. And Eve blames the serpent, so no one takes responsibility for disobeying their Father. The Father disciplines His children. One of the consequences of their sin is that they can’t live in Eden anymore because God doesn’t want them to have access to the Tree of Life while in the state of sin. Our Father protects His children from harm. He makes the sun shine on even His enemies.

Soul Food Sunday – Who is God? (Part 4)

God is Rest. He gives us rest from our own works. Works that we try to gain His acceptance by. Adam was created perfect. He lived in the Garden of Eden. It was a perfect place for him to live. All of his needs were met there. He walked in perfect communion with God.

Adam and Eve were created with free will. They could choose to obey God and live a perfectly wonderful life, or they could choose to exert their own will and go their own way and not live a perfect life. Satan had access to this garden too through the serpent. Satan must have perceived that Eve was the easier one to manipulate. God had given Adam the command not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Eve knew this command, but the serpent kept working on her until finally she thought why not just go ahead to try a little. She thought it looked good, it would be good for food, and she could gain wisdom. She knew the consequence of eating the fruit was death, but she believed Satan rather than God. Satan told her she wouldn’t die. Instead, Satan said, God didn’t want them to eat the fruit because then they would be like Him knowing good and evil. Poor Adam. He saw that Eve had eaten the fruit. He knew God had said they would die if they ate of it. Eve didn’t die. Should he obey God and not eat of the fruit or should he eat the fruit and suffer the same consequences that Eve would suffer? He didn’t consult God on this. He knew what He would say. He loved Eve. He couldn’t bare to be separated from her. So he ate it.

Now why did God put that tree in there? We don’t know. He’s working something out that we don’t know about or understand right now. It’s being worked out in the realm we can’t see with our natural eyes.

Why do I say this? The answer is in the first prophecy made to humankind. When God saw that they ate of the fruit He cursed the serpent, and said that He would put enmity between the snake and the woman and between her offspring and the snake. The woman’s offspring will crush the serpent’s head and the snake will strike his heal. Who is the woman’s offspring? This is the first reference in human history to the Father’s Son: Jesus Christ. Eve is the mother of all the living. It is true that all mitochondrial DNA goes right back to the first woman Eve. There are no mutations in mitDNA. The woman’s egg was not damaged in the sin of disobeying God. Adam’s seed was, however, damaged in the sin of eating the fruit. It is man’s seed that births sin in every human being on earth. Hence the Y-DNA has mutations. Interesting, huh? But this is also how Jesus was born of a virgin and therefore had no sin because no man provided his sin filled seed to His DNA. Jesus is God as Mary’s egg was fertilized by the Holy Spirit. Jesus has no sin. He is the offspring spoken about in the prophecy which will crush the serpent’s head (Satan). This has been done in the act of Jesus giving His life as a ransom for the human race which is infected with the sin from Adam on down. God is our Redeemer. Jesus is our Savior. The human race needs a savior to rescue it from sin. There is no other way to be saved. We must be redeemed in the way that He has provided.

One of the interesting ways this is illustrated is that Adam and Eve covered themselves with fig leaves when they realized they were naked. God took those fig leaves and replaced them with animal skins. In using fig leaves to cover their nakedness, they were trying to cover their own nakedness. God taught them that only through the shedding of blood can their sin be covered. It was a picture of what God was to provide. Jesus shed His blood to cover man’s sin. God is good. All we have to do is accept the gift that He has given us. Yeah!

One other thing that is cursed in this story told to us from antiquity, is the ground. Neither Eve nor Adam were cursed: only the serpent was cursed. There were consequences though. The ground was cursed. Man would have to painfully toil to eat of it. It will produce thorns and thistles and by the sweat of his brow man will eat of it’s food until he returns to the ground. For dust man is and to dust he will return.

Soul Food Sunday – Who is God (Part 3)

It seems so unpopular nowadays to talk about creation. If you mention you believe this world was ‘created’ you’re looked upon as an idiot. Why is the idea of a Creator any more stupid than the idea of everything just happened by chance. That seems less logical to me than there being Someone greater than myself out there. This is not an intellectual problem: it’s a spiritual problem. There’s no other way to explain such a departure from what makes sense. We just don’t want to admit that God exists because that would take the control out of our hands. That’s funny. We don’t have any control at all. Can you decide when it rains or when an earthquake hits?

God is our Father. He created man in His image. That’s why there are fathers, mothers and children. God made it that way. Did you ever wonder why there are males and females in every species? If there wasn’t, life wouldn’t continue on this earth. It takes a male and female to create new life.

He made Adam out of earth. We are dust. If you don’t believe that, just take a look at what’s left over after cremating a body. Ashes….dust. For dust we are and to dust we will return. Some ancient civilizations refer to their first ancestor as ‘dirt’. Our bodies are made up of the same elements that every other living thing on this earth are made of. Our physical bodies are no different from any other animal. The thing that makes man different from animals is that God breathed His life into man. Man was given dominion over the earth and his mandate was to fill the earth and subdue it. Man’s job, as given by God, is to take care of creation. How are we doing so far?

Soul Food Sunday – Who is God? (Part 2)

God is light. There is no darkness in Him. There is a throne in heaven where He sits. His appearance is like precious gems. A rainbow encircles the throne. The only way to describe God’s appearance is by saying He looks like precious gems.

God spoke His light into existence on the Earth. He separated light from darkness and so we have night and day. But it won’t always be like this. Someday God will make a new heaven and a new earth and there will be no night.

Why is there darkness? Because there’s another person named Satan. He used to have the name Lucifer. Lucifer means ‘bringing light’. That was his job: to bring light, but he got proud, rebelled against God and was removed from his position. He became the opposite of his name: darkness. He became dark when he no longer gave God the glory due His name. After all, God is the Creator of all things, including Lucifer. He deserves the glory: not anyone else. Lucifer’s fall explains how darkness became part of our world. Every vile thing in existence is a result of his rebellion. I hate Satan and what he has done on this earth.

We are all part of the battle between the Kingdom of Light and the kingdom of darkness whether we know/believe it or not. Doesn’t this explain a lot about what goes on around us. Why do people do ugly things? Why do disasters cause such suffering? For some reason God didn’t destroy Satan immediately. I don’t know how it works. All I know is that God created something beautiful and Satan does everything he can to destroy it.

Soul Food Sunday – Who is God?

In the beginning God……..He’s a person. He lives in eternity and is eternal as are we all.

…God created the heavens and the earth. Since He’s a person He likes to communicate. In fact, He spoke the world into existence and He speaks to us through His creation. I believe He is the Creator of all things and that there is another realm that we do not see with our physical eyes. Why do I believe this? Because there are too many things left unanswered in the meaning of life if I don’t believe this.

In the beginning He laid the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of His hands.

By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what is visible.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.

You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being.

Soul Food Sunday

The two blind men. Crying out to Jesus. The crowd tries to shut them up, they shout over them anyway, and they capture the Master’s attention. The parade stops. Jesus steps to the side of the road, and standing there before him are two men, nothing clearer than the fact that they are blind. “What do you want me to do for you?” Again the question. Again the obvious that must not be obvious after all.

The Samaritan woman whom Jesus meets at the well. She’s there in the heat of the day to draw water and they both know why. She’s not likely to run into anyone that way. She had a reputation. She succeeds in avoiding the women, but runs into God instead. What does he choose to talk to her about-her immorality? No, he speaks to her about her thirst: “If you knew the generosity of God and who I am, you would be asking me to a drink, and I would give you fresh, living water”. He doesn’t give a little sermon about purity, he doesn’t even mention it, except to say that he knows what her life has been like. “You’ve had five husbands, and the man you’re living with now isn’t even your husband”. In other words, now that we both know it, let’s talk about your heart’s real thirst, since the life you’ve chosen obviously isn’t working.

Come, all you who are thirsty,

come to the waters,

and you who have no money.

come, buy and eat!

Come, buy wine and milk

without money and without cost.

Why spend money on what is not bread,

and your labor on what does not satisfy?

Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,

and your soul will delight in the riches of fare.

(Isiah 55:1-2)

From the book Desire by John Eldredge p. 36, 37

Soul Food Sunday- An Invitation to Desire

This may come as a surprise to you: Christianity is not an invitation to become a moral person. It is not a program for getting us in line or for reforming society. It has a powerful effect upon our lives, but when transformation comes, it is always the aftereffect of something else, something at the level  of our hearts. At its core, Christianity begins with an invitation to desire. Look at the way Jesus relates to people. As he did with the fellow at the Sheep Gate (John 5), he is continually taking them into their hearts, to their deepest desires.

John Eldredge in Desire p. 35

Soul Food Sunday – Dare to Desire

Consider the crippled man at the pool of Bethesda (John 5). Put yourself, literally, in his shoes. His entire life has been shaped by his brokenness. All his days he has wanted one thing. Forget riches. Forget fame. Life for this man was captured in one simple, unreachable desire. When the other children ran and played, he sat and watched. When his family stood at the temple to pray, he lay on the ground. Every times he needed to have a drink or to go to the bathroom, someone had to pick up and take him there.

At what point did he begin to lose hope? First a year, then two went by. Nothing, at least for him. Maybe someone else got a miracle; that would buy him some time. What about after five years with no results? Ten? How long can we sustain desire against continual disappointment?

– John Eldredge – Desire Study guide p. 19,20

Soul Food Sunday – Jesus Christ, the Creator

In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.

Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. (John 1:1-3)

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked at and our hands have touch-this we proclaim concerning the Word of life. The life appeared: we have seen it and testify to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and has appeared to us. (1 John 1:1,2)

The Supremacy of Christ

He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rules or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. (Colossians 1:15-17)