“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.
“Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words I speak to you I do not speak on my own. The Father who lives in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Otherwise, believe because of the works themselves.” (CSB – Read the chapter)
Don’t you just love some of the things Jesus said? There are a few of His sayings that almost by themselves have utterly transformed the way our culture thinks and operates. How about, “Let the children come to me”? How about, “Love your neighbor as yourself”? How about, “For God so loved the world…”? But the thing is, anybody could have said those things. What made Jesus’ saying them so special?
Having a life of meaning available to us is one thing. Living a life of meaning is something else. One can lead to the other, but the connection is not automatic. In this final installment in our series, Finding Meaning, we talk about the secret of not just having, but living a life filled with meaning and purpose. Keep reading to find out as we wrap up this thought-provoking journey.
One of the
things I have actively encouraged you guys to be doing is spending daily time
in the Scriptures. This is something
I’ll keep encouraging and keep encouraging and keep encouraging because of how
utterly transformational this practice is to the life of faith. You simply cannot be a consistent, faithful
follower of Jesus without regularly engaging with the Word of God. It’s just not how it was designed to work. And so you know that I’m not just saying you
should be doing this without actually doing it myself, this past week I was
working my way through Genesis 2-3 and I read something there that when I sat
down to start working on this message came rushing to the front of my
brain. It was one of those cool times
when God makes a connection between two different ideas in the Scriptures
written by different authors living in different cultures separated by
centuries of time that you just wouldn’t have made without Him. The original thought struck me enough that
you may have seen it on my blog this past week if you follow me there. All of those entries, by the way, come out of
my own quiet time. If you ever want to
know what I’m reading at the moment, it’s all right there for you. I just want you to know that I’m in this with
“Now the serpent was the most cunning of all the wild animals that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman…” (CSB – Read the chapter)
So far in the creation story things have been at least believable. I mean, depending on where you stand on the existence of the supernatural it may sound pretty far-fetched, but if there is a God powerful enough to create the world and everything in it, it’s conceivable at least that He spoke it into existence. We can even get our minds around the more intimate picture of the creation of the man and the woman in chapter 2. This, however, is where things run off the rails.
“Then the Lord God said, ‘It is not good for the man to be alone.'” (CSB – Read was chapter)
Every story starts at a point of peace. Now, in our world, broken as it is by sin, we only rarely start from a place of actual peace, but at the least our stories start from a place of relative peace. Then, something happens that breaks the peace. The rest of the story, then, is about restoring that peace. It’s not just made-up stories that start like this, though, this is the narrative arc of the stories of our lives. Bigger than that, this is the arc of the story of creation. Indeed, all of the stories we write are merely reflections of this larger story.