Digging in Deeper: Genesis 3:4-6

“‘No! You will certainly not die,’ the serpent said to the woman. ‘In fact, God knows that when you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.’ The woman saw that the tree was good for food and delightful to look at, and that it was desirable for obtaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.” (CSB – Read the chapter)

Okay, I give. What on earth does this have to do with joy? Were you asking that as I started reading? I mean, on its face, this passage is about the entrance of sin into the world. There’s nothing particularly joyful about that. So, why are we reading this passage this morning on the second day of our weeklong reflection on this third virtue of Advent? Because it tells us a whole lot about joy. Let’s talk about it.

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Always the Plan

This morning we kick off a brand-new teaching series with the Advent season fully in view. When we are celebrating Advent, we are celebrating the season of preparing for the arrival of Jesus. But understanding that just got me thinking: How did God Himself prepare for Jesus’ arrival and what exactly does it mean that He prepared for it? Starting this morning, in this series we’ll explore God’s plans and how they worked themselves out over the course of human history all with our salvation in mind. To get you thinking about complicated plans and to have a little fun together, check out this YouTube video and then read on.

Always the Plan

So, wasn’t that cool earlier? Can you imagine how much work went into just setting that up? I’ve got to admit: If I took the amount of time involved in setting up that contraption—I mean, it spanned something like four different rooms of that house and then went outside—I’d have a lot of trouble pulling the trigger to start it. It kind of makes you wonder just how many times he got it started and then had to start over because something didn’t quite work; or how many times everything worked except the final ball didn’t make it into the cup. Yikes! Talk about monumentally frustrating.

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Morning Musing: Genesis 3:21

“The Lord God made clothing from skins for the man and his wife, and he clothed them.”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter

This is one of my favorite verses in this whole story. This verse seems like almost an afterthought when you first read it, but I think a good argument can be made that it reveals more important information about God’s character than anything else in this section. Let’s talk about why. 

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Digging in Deeper: Genesis 3:1b

“He said to the woman, ‘Did God really say, “You can’t eat from any tree in the garden”?’”‬‬ (CSB – Read the chapter

When was the last time you were tempted to do something you shouldn’t have wanted to do? Unless you happen to be reading this just after waking up, I suspect it wasn’t all that long ago. Temptation is everywhere. “Being tempted” is part of our cultural lingo. We talk about being tempted to do this or that freely and easily. Not with things we really think are bad, mind you, but the language is common all the same. It’s like temptation is just a joke. If it is, though, it isn’t a good joke. 

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Love Amid the Mess

In part two of our series, The Big Story, we dug into the tragedy of the Fall.  While creation was originally adorned with not just beauty and splendor, but holiness and righteousness, it didn’t stay that way.  We broke it.  And yet, God refused to let sin have the last word.  Even in the midst of the mess of the Fall there was one thing God kept doing.  Keep reading to find out what this was…

Love Amid the Mess

Have you ever totally blown it?  I’m not talking a little explosion.  I’m talking, you rolled out the big guns, pointed them right at the stockpile of ammunition, and blew the whole fort to pieces.  If you’ve lived very long we’ve all done that at least once.  You may still be trying to recover from it.  Usually explosions that large leave a crater that even when once the ground has recovered from the blast still leaves a mark that everyone can see years later.  Where we came from near Petersburg, VA, there is the Petersburg National Battlefield Park.  The highlight of the drive through the Civil War battlefield is known as “the Crater.”  It’s this giant hole in the ground where the attacking Union soldiers exploded a mine up next to the defenses of the Confederates stationed there in order to breech the lines and win the battle.  The hole is still there.  They even named a road after it: Crater Road. Read the rest…