One Year Bible Reading Plan and Devotional
Today’s Bible Reading: January 2
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Clicking on the Scripture links above will open a new window where you can read the scripture from the Holman Christian Standard Bible at Biblegateway.com or choose the Bible version you prefer to read. Check back each day to get the Scripture to read in the One Year Bible Reading Plan.
Eternal Ramification of Sin
Sin – A Little Word with Big Ramifications
Sin. It’s just a small three-lettered word, but it has big eternal ramifications. God knew even before he created humans that they would sin. He also knew that it would cost His only Son His life so that we could be reconciled and redeemed into a right relationship with Him. Yet still, he created us with free-will. No one wants someone to love them because they were forced to or have no choice in the matter. That isn’t even love. God gifted us with freedom. Freedom to think. Freedom of conscience. And even freedom to disobey His commands. The choice is ours.
Before there was Sin
For a moment, go imagineering with me. In your mind, picture the perfect Garden of Eden. It’s peaceful there. Birds sing their song of praise to their creator. You have the perfect husband (not to mention, the only man around). The skies are blue, the trees are green. The temperature is perfect. There are no fears or anxiety of any kind. You don’t have to worry about bills or currency, because God has supplied you with everything you need.
When you sleep, the stars twinkle in the sky and there’s the relaxing sound of a waterfall that lulls you to sleep. Fruit and vegetables are in abundance and you can just walk right up and pluck off a big juicy apply or some grapes or strawberries, whenever you want. For pets, you have some horses, dogs, cats, birds, and even some hippos, rhinos, cheetahs, and a big cat you husband called a lion. By the lake, you play with the beavers. Down by the beach, a playful dolphin comes to see you every day. At the end of every day, God comes to walk and talk with you in the garden.
Life can’t get much better. Except….there’s that one tree over there. God said not to eat it. As Eve plops a grape in her mouth, the sun glistens off the fruit of the tree and it really looks good.
Enter “Serpent” Stage Right
I imagine that somewhere in the Garden a little serpent had been eyeing and watching this new creation of God’s – just waiting for the right moment. Maybe – just to be close to her – it endeared itself to her and allowed her to think it was a pet like all the other animals God has created. The serpent noticed how her eye lingered on the fruit. He watched as the thoughts flickered through her mind and he chose that moment to open his mouth and speak. Sin always begins in the mind where imagination and feelings make it seem pleasing for the moment.
A Talking Serpent?
Have you ever wondered how much time passed between the creation of Eve the moment that everything changes for man? If Eve was still rather new to the world, then her interaction with the serpent takes on a different look than if she had been around the Garden for a few years. No where in the creation account does it indicate that animals could talk – so why does the Bible not portray any fear or shock on Eve’s part that a serpent is talking to her? Did they have the ability to talk prior to God cursing them? If Eve was still new to the Garden, then maybe she didn’t know that animals aren’t supposed to go around talking. But, if she were still new – then where is Adam and why isn’t he watching out for her?
The Bible makes it seem as if Eve is not surprised in any way that a serpent is talking to her and it doesn’t tell us where Adam is during this encounter between Eve and the serpent. Just as the serpent watched and waited for the perfect moment with Eve, he also waited for a moment when Adam either wasn’t around or was distracted in some way.
Lessons from Eve’s Mistakes
Because of Adam and Eve’s sin, we all live with a sin nature and there are consequences to our sin. But there are some things we can learn about how Satan tempts us so that we can recognize Satan at work and flee from temptation.
Looking at what she couldn’t have
Eve’s first mistake was standing around looking at that one thing she couldn’t have. If you’ve ever tried to diet, you know what I’m saying. Pizza never looks or smells better than when you’re trying to lose weight! There is something about not being able to have something that makes you want it – really want it. When you notice you are craving something you shouldn’t have, its a good time to get up and walk away. But Eve hung out there by the tree – not satisfied with every other fruit and vegetable God had given. She wanted that one that was glistening in the sun and looked so very good to eat. In Genesis 3:6, Eve saw that the tree was good for food and that it was pleasant to the eyes.
A Conversation with the serpent
Her second mistake was standing around having a conversation with the serpent. Satan tempted her further and told her it would make her wise…and it did. Wise to guilt, shame, and nakedness. Satan didn’t lie to her. He just didn’t tell her the negative side of the truth.
Temptation always works the same way
Down through the ages every temptation and every sin works the same way. There is an attraction to it, followed by a conflict of the mind where a decision has to be made. The decision to give in to the sin or to turn away and choose obedience to God. The end result of sin is that it always leaves us exposed. Exposed to suffering and sorrow, guilt and shame. Exposed to the consequences that follow. Sin leaves us exposed to broken relationships with others and with God.
James 1:14-15, explains the path to sin this way: “But each person is tempted when he is drawn away and enticed by his own evil desires. Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin, and when sin is fully grown, it gives birth to death.” Every one of us face temptations every day. And temptation begins in the mind when Satan drops the bait. We are lured and enticed by the perfect bait: our own desires and we sniff out the bait of our desires and are instantly attracted to it. We nurture the desire, think about it, dwell on it. Then temptation gives birth to sin as we yield to the temptation and act on the desire as we fall into sin. Finally, Sin brings the consequences of our choices: spiritual death and separation from God.
The eternal ramification of sin is an eternity in hell. But there is hope! Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Our hope was born in a stable and placed in a manger. He lived a sinless life and died on a cross to pay the price for our sins and then He rose from the dead, defeating Satan and becoming our Redeemer. Because of Jesus, we have hope.
Flee from temptation
When temptation comes calling, don’t stand around admiring it or having a conversation with it. Don’t make it your pet. Start quoting scripture and turn away from it. This is why memorizing Scripture is so important. In Paul’s description of the Armor of God, the Bible is our sword. So have your sword ready and sharpened by hiding it in your heart so you are able to use it at the moment of attack.
If your craving something that you are not supposed to have, start praising God for all He has given you and trust that in His omniscient wisdom, knowing He is a God who only gives good gifts, that He will supply your every need at just the right moment in time.
If you do fall into the trap of sin, be quick to repent and seek God’s forgiveness.
Sin always leaves you exposed. Obedience to God always leads to blessing.
#ReadYourBible #Genesis #Matthew
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Tee of the Week: Giants
From the song, “Confidence” by Sanctus Reel. As we start a new year, what giants are you facing? What big thing is God asking you to do? Do you need faith like Daniel in the lion’s den? Hope like Moses in the wilderness? A heart like David? Do you need God to be your defense? If you have giants, you can face them with confidence because God is God of the impossibles.
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God, Love, and Marshmallow Wars
by Julia M. Bruce
What’s Inside God, Love, and Marshmallow Wars?
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