Tuesday, January 5, 2010

January 5, 2010

"The Lord God said to Adam, "You listened to your wife. You ate the fruit of the tree that I commanded you about. I said, 'You must not eat its fruit.' "So I am putting a curse on the ground because of what you did. All the days of your life you will have to work hard to get food from the ground. You will eat the plants of the field, even though the ground produces thorns and thistles. You will have to work hard and sweat a lot to produce the food you eat. You were made out of the ground. And you will return to it. You are dust. So you will return to it." Genesis 3:17-19
Again today I am going to comment on the tragedy of sin that warped our race and wrecked Paradise.
In our last several posts I have established that sin separates, and sin alienates, and today we will show that sin complicates.
A thorough study of how God has dealt with His Creatures will reveal that He has always desired for our lives to be simple. He wants to make it as easy to be with Him.
What am I talking about?
When God placed Adam in the Garden He put him in charge of it, He gave him just one rule. Adam was allowed to do whatever he wanted and go wherever he wanted but he could not touch the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
God had to give Adam an option or his free will would be meaningless. But He limited the options to one.
Well, unfortunately, we know how it turned out. Adam, rather than enjoy all the freedom he had, chose to disobey at this one point! One simple rule and Adam deliberately violated it.
As soon as Adam and Eve sinned, life became complicated. Nature that had been in harmony with them began to work against them. God's presence that they had enjoyed continually was now denied them. Paradise was lost. Adam and Eve began to experience trouble and strife in their relationship. Their intimacy with one another and with God was lost. They began hiding from God and from one another. When God confronted them with their sin, they began to play the blame game. For the first time in their lives they knew fear. Life would never be as simple as they had enjoyed prior to their rebellion.
God began to devise a way to simplify life again. Eventually He would give Moses Ten Commandments. Again, He was giving them just a few prohibitions and numerous liberties. Over the years, the Jewish religious leaders began to complicate life again by expnading those ten commands into some 632 rules complete with detailed descriptions of how the rules were to be kept and what constituted violations of these rules. It was hard to know all these rules let alone trying to keep them!
Jesus was born into a world laboring under bondage to a multitude of complicated regulations. But He came with good news as He reduced the number of rules to just two - love God completely and love each other. Once again He was attempting to simplify serving Him.
I am sure you have experienced the complications of sin in your own life. Relationships are complicated. Knowing God and serving Him has been complicated. You live with regrets and consequences of your sins. You live with the complications and consequences of other's sins. Life is hard. Loving is messy. Fear is familiar and sorrow is a common companion.
God never intended for our live to be complicated. He just wanted to enjoy loving us and wanted us to enjoy loving Him. Our love for Him was to be expressed in worship and celebration. We were to demonstrate our love for Him by loving one another!
The mark of a mature Christian is the simplicity of his life. He has saturated his mind and spirit with the Word of God and been filled with the Spirit of God. Therefore, he has victory over sin and lives in obedience to God. He enjoys freedom in Christ and has shed the bondage of self-centered living.
Sin complicates life. It always has and always will.
God seeks to simplify your life by providing you with victory over sin. It wasn't simple for Him to do, He suffered on the Cross. And now He offers His grace and power in exchange for your simple surrender.
Ready to simplify? Simply obey.