Wednesday, May 20, 2009

May 21, 2009

“The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden as its gardener, to tend and care for it. But the Lord God gave the man this warning; ‘You may eat any fruit in the garden except fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil for its fruit will open your eyes to make you aware of right and wrong, good and bad. If you eat its fruit, you will be doomed to die.’” Genesis 2:15-17

God has always demanded honor. After all, He IS God, what else SHOULD He expect? And God interprets honor in terms of obedience. If you claim to honor God but do not obey Him, He is not honored.

God created Adam in order to enjoy fellowship with him and God was honored through being in perfect relationship with Adam. Adam was honored through being the crowning touch of God’s creation. God further honored Adam by creating a companion for him. Adam and Even were to honor each other and together they were to honor God. When they did, life was………well, perfect!

We can see that honor is the foundation upon which healthy relationships are built. Is it any wonder that the wedding vows include the promise to “love, honor, and obey”? Honor and obedience strengthens relationship. Failure to obey dishonors a partner and weakens the relationship.

You can trace all of the sin and shame that pollutes human nature to the moment when Adam & Even dishonored God by disobeying Him with the forbidden fruit. They were urged to do so by the Serpent, Satan, the master of dishonor. He convinced them that they could disobey God without dishonoring Him. They were wrong! Dead wrong.

The immediate result of Adam and Even dishonoring God was their sense of shame. That was evidenced when they hid from God and made coverings for themselves. And as their ancestors, we inherited their shame and disobedient nature.

Does obedience really matter? It does if you want to honor God! You cannot honor God while you are disobeying Him. That is a devil of an idea.

You were created to honor God through obedience. Shame on you if you don’t!

The Deal: God is not honored by your good intentions, He is honored by your obedience.

May 20, 2009

"This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever." John 6:58

What sort of bread is this that comes down from heaven? What kind of bread can you eat and live forrever?
Manna was bread that came down from heaven in the days of the Exodus. God called Moses to lead His people from the bondage of Egypt to the freedom of the Promised Land. There was one minor complication - they had to cross a wilderness. Several millions of people traveling through the desert need food in order to survive. How would that happen? That's a lot of food!
God's answer was manna, an amazing substance that appeared each morning like dew. It was white and sweet and nutritionally perfect - and non-fattening! They had never seen anything like this before so they called it "manna" which means "what is it"?
Every day for forty years they fed on this manna from heaven. They were allowed to take as much as they could eat for that day and a double portion before the sabbath. But anything they did not eat would spoil. It would not keep. God doesn't deal in leftovers!
This "Wonder Bread" was one of a number of miraculous ways that God provided for His people. He brought them out from under the rod of Pharoah by demonstrating his power through a series of plagues. Then He opened the Red Sea so they could escape the Egyptian army and then closed it over the army to destroy them. He gave them water from a rock, quail from the sky, clothes that never wore out, and fresh bread daily. There is no way that millions of people can survive - and grow - for forty years in a desert, but they did!
Now God sends a new Deliverer, His Son, Jesus. And after having miraculously feeding thousands of people in the wilderness with only five loaves and two fishes, He identifies Himself as "Manna from heaven" and "the Bread of life". That is pretty simple and straight forward - feed on Him and live or choose not to and die.
Think about Jesus as Manna. It fits! He is sent from heaven by God. He is sweet and life-giving. He supplies all of our needs. You can feed on Him as much as you desire. He is fresh each day and doesn't work as a left-over. Feeding on Him will get you to the Promised Land.
Are you hungry this morning? How about some "Manna"? Eat, enjoy and live!