Friday, June 30, 2017

day no. 14,130: thorns, thistles and sweat

Genesis 3:17-19
17 And to Adam he said,
“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife
and have eaten of the tree
of which I commanded you,
‘You shall not eat of it,’
cursed is the ground because of you;
in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
18 thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
and you shall eat the plants of the field.
19 By the sweat of your face
you shall eat bread,
till you return to the ground,
for out of it you were taken;
for you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.”
Because Adam was made from the ground, his connection to the ground will suffer as a result of his sin and the work of keeping the garden will now be much harder than it has to be. His work in providing for Eve going forward will be complicated by thorns, thistles and sweat.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

day no. 14,129: the hurt and the help

Genesis 3:16
To the woman he said,
“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;
in pain you shall bring forth children.
Your desire shall be contrary to your husband,
but he shall rule over you.”

Because Eve is the glory of man, who was made from man, her curse is connected to the process of mankind being made through her. In addition, her sin in stepping out from under the protection of the authoritative order will now be manifested in the struggle to remain safely under it. Having children and helping her husband will both be much harder as a result.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

day no. 14,128: a firmly planted heel

Genesis 3:15
I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her Offspring;
He shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise His heel.

Jesus does not have mercy on the serpent. He has enmity. His heel was bruised because of the force He applied to Satan's skull when He planted it firmly down.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

day no. 14,127: excusable evils

“Men do not differ much about what things they will call evils; they differ enormously about what evils they will call excusable.” – GK Chesterton
Which sins do you take more seriously than others?

Monday, June 26, 2017

day no. 14,126 continued... displacement

Genesis 3:12
The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.”
Adam tried to place his sin on to others.
Jesus took others sins and placed them on Himself.

day no. 14,126: callista janelle

Callista Janelle,
This morning at 2:46 am after your mom was admitted to the hospital at 12:26 am, you got born. I say, "got born," instead of, "were born," only to reinforce the fact that you had very little to do with your own birth. Your role was passive, not active. You were a recipient, not a participant. You were acted upon, not an actor (or actress in your case). But nevertheless, here you are. You were born at 8 lbs 5 oz and 19 1/2 inches. You were conceived, grown and delivered. These were actions done for you without your help. You were chosen to be here. You are loved even though you do not love in return. You are served even though you do not serve. You are precious even though you have not done anything. You are cherished even though you do not say, "Thank you." I love you little lady, always have, always will, no matter what, forever and ever, amen! This is your first lesson. We can love because we were first loved. Your birth teaches you something about God. Jesus once told Nicodemus that one must be reborn to enter the Kingdom of God. Nicodemus naturally responded in bewilderment asking how someone could be born again. How could I climb back up into my mother? That doesn't seem possible. But Jesus was not implying Nicodemus needed to physically be born again, He was inferring that just as our physical birth was chosen for us and completed for us by someone else, so our second birth is chosen for us and completed for us by Someone else. May God grant you by His Spirit a second birth. Just as you will enjoy the physical life you have been handed, I pray you will enter into and enjoy a spiritual life that is offered freely by finished work of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Today marks a beginning for you in our space and time. May it be but the first of many beginnings you experience as God makes all things new, even you if by grace you place your faith in Jesus Christ for the glory of God ALONE!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

day no. 14,125 continued... dead as a door bell

Genesis 3:9
But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”

When a house is in disorder, the man must answer to God.

day no. 14,125: the hiding place

Genesis 3:8
And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden.

A sinful response to sin is to hide from God behind trees.
A repentant response to sin is to hide from God behind Jesus.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

day no. 14,124: relationship to reality

Genesis 3:7
Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.

Adam and Eve were naked before they ate the fruit, but now they felt embarrassed to be naked. The facts remained unchanged, but their feelings about the facts were forever altered. Their relationship to reality was forever broken.

Friday, June 23, 2017

day no. 14,123: once ignorable objects

Genesis 3:6
So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate.
Sin always tries to make anything off limits seem more attractive merely by its unattainability. It makes things once ignorable into objects of infatuation by their allusiveness. The tree looked the same before the serpent spoke as it did afterward, but it looked differently to Eve after he had placed his spin on things.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

day no. 14,122: prideful aspiration vs humble condescension

Genesis 3:4-5
4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
The essence of sin is substituting oneself for God. The essence of salvation is God substituting Himself for us. The Fall was a product of prideful aspiration and the Cross was a product of humble condescension.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

day no. 14,121: a crack in the seal

Genesis 3:2-3
And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, 3 but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’”

God never told Eve that she could not touch the tree. Eve added that. But when we defend God by adding to His instruction, we actually take away from His authority. It's called subtraction by addition. We give the serpent a crack in the seal into which he inserts some dirt into an otherwise pure environment.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

day no. 14,120: information vs. insurrection

Genesis 3:1
He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?”

It isn't a sin to ask God questions, but questioning God's intentions can lead to sin. The serpent wasn't looking for information, he was inciting an insurrection.

Monday, June 19, 2017

day no. 14,119: covenant oneness

Genesis 2:24-25
24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

As attached as a son is to his family by the blood that runs through his veins, he becomes more attached to his wife by the oneness that runs through his covenant. By way of illustration, a grown man would be embarrassed to be naked in the presence of his parents, but excited to be naked in the presence of his wife.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

day no. 14,118: men, mud and marriage

Genesis 2:18-23
18 Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” 19 Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. 21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said,

“This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
because she was taken out of Man.”

All the Lord has made from the ground could not be found fit to help Adam. Only that which God made from him, that which shared his nature down to the bone, was sufficient to help and to complement him. While man was made out of the ground, woman was made out of man. Man had a relationship to the ground before he had a relationship with her. That from which he was formed held a particular place in his personhood. He was to work and keep, to conquer and cultivate the world. But not by himself. So woman was made from man and bears a particular relation to that from which she was formed. She was to help and to complete her husband.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

day no. 14,117: life before wives

Genesis 2:15
The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.
Before the man was given a wife, he was given work: tp conquer and to cultivate. The garden needed to be worked if it was going to bring forth fruit and it required commitment if it were to maintain a state of fruitfulness. Planting and pruning were part of life before wives and before sin.

Friday, June 16, 2017

day no. 14,116: two commands with two distinct parts

Genesis 1:28
And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Two commands: (1) be fruitful, multiply and fill the earth AND (2) have dominion and subdue over earth that you fill.

Each command with Two distinct parts: (1a) be fruitful and (1b) fill AND (2a) have dominion and (2b) subdue.

1a – Don't just fill the earth, fill it with fruitfulness. Don't just multiply something, multiply a particular kind of something – fruitfulness

1b – Don't just be content to be fruitful where you are, but be compelled to reproduce fruitfulness everywhere God has given to us. Do not limit your concern only to a particular plot of land, but expand by sending out some to guard and cultivate other plots so that the whole earth brings forth its fruit.

2a – Don't just enjoy the land, rule over it. You dishonor God when you either act like it's your world to rule how you please or when you leave the world to rule itself as though you had better things to do. The earth should not be abandoned or abused, but owned and operated by those under the authority its Author.

2b – Don't be ignorant of the threats to Eden. This warning to Adam was an indication of a threat to come. Adam was given reason to believe that danger was about to enter his dining room. We must sweat in times of peace in order to avoid blood loss during times of war. Tall, strong walls are not often built when they are under attack. God here gives Adam a hint of things to come that will require force in order to be subdued. This will not submit without a strong arm convincing it. So during this time, we must build muscle.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

day no. 14,115: a first among equals

Genesis 1:26-27
26 Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, after Our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
27 So God created man in His own image,
in the image of God He created him;
male and female He created them.
God is an "Us" and an "Our." God is a plurality of leadership containing a first among equals in the Father accompanied by His Son and the Holy Spirit.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

day no. 14,114: mistaking one for the other

Genesis 1:14-19
14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 16 And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17 And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.
We again see that it is important to God that light and dark be separated and He sets certain things in motion to reinforce this fact. It's almost as if He knew we would often somehow mistake one for the other.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

day no. 14,113: God decides kinds

Genesis 1:11-13
11 And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. 12 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.

An apple tree is never more free than when it produces apples. Kinds find slavery when they attempt to be something they are not. Cut off the apples, paste on some pears, but an apple tree you still be. There is no getting around it. God decides kinds.

Monday, June 12, 2017

day no. 14,112: in fact and in function, different things

Genesis 1:3-5
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.
What God wanted, came to pass. He wanted light, so light sprang to attention. God brought light down to a formless, empty, dark world. And He separated the light from the darkness. It would seem that light and dark inherently had enough in contrast to infer their exclusivity, but God wanted to place His authoritative Word on that difference: light and dark are in fact and in function, different things.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

day no. 14,111: God was near

Genesis 1:2
The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
The earth was without form, void and dark, but it had one very important thing going for it… God was near.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

day no. 14,110: a world unto Himself

Genesis 1:1
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.
God was before our beginning. Before our story began, God was already. "In the beginning," is our start, but the Beginner of our world was a world unto Himself before ours was birthed.

Friday, June 9, 2017

day no. 14,109: the few and the full

Job 14:1
Man who is born of a woman is few of days and full of trouble.
If there is one maxim that seems to hold true it's that there is never enough time and always too many problems.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

day no. 14,108: child training: the rod and reproof

Proverbs 29:15
The rod and reproof give wisdom,
but a child left to himself brings shame to his mother

consequence without conversation is cruel
conversation without consequence is coddling

consequence with conversation is Christian

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

day no. 14,106: four words from my daughters i long to hear, "i was a wall."

Song of Solomon 8:9-10
If she is a wall,
we will build on her a battlement of silver,
but if she is a door,
we will enclose her with boards of cedar.

I was a wall,
and my breasts were like towers;
then I was in his eyes
as one who finds peace.

If your daughter is a door, you will exhaust your efforts keeping others from gaining entrance, but if she is a wall, you get to spend your energy adorning her.

You can do your best to put walls up, but if she is a door, you are compelled to keep her out of view, but if she is a wall, you feel the freedom to spend your time decorating her for all to see and expect any challenge to be met first by her ferocious contentment in the God you both worship.

Better than building a wall to protect something precious is discovering its dignity protects itself: full of discernment and safety, equipped by God in the inner woman to defend herself against enemy attacks by an untouchable, unmatched beauty.

Monday, June 5, 2017

day no. 14,105: love is an indomitable flame

Song of Solomon 8:6-7
Set me as a seal upon your heart,
as a seal upon your arm,
for love is strong as death,
jealousy is fierce as the grave.
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
the very flame of the Lord.
Many waters cannot quench love,
neither can floods drown it.
If a man offered for love
all the wealth of his house,
he would be utterly despised.

Whatever love is, it is equally as certain as death. As sure as the grave waits patiently, so love perseveres resiliently. It is an indomitable flame unquenched by rapids or deluge. It will not be snuffed. It cannot be tamped. It burns without consuming its source. It is inexhaustible. Any attempt to limit it or quantify it down to the penny is perverse and met with the open rebuke of "ignorance!" to the prospective haggler.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

day no. 14,104: pasture is only as free as its fences

Song of Solomon 5:1b
Eat, friends, drink,
and be drunk with love!

This is the time to get carried away because it's safe to do so. Pasture is only as free as its fences. Without barriers, it's merely unattended wilderness, but once walls are raised, it becomes a sanctuary.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

day no. 14,103: where the bride metaphor breaks down

Song of Solomon 4:16-5:1a
Let my beloved come to his garden,
and eat its choicest fruits.

I came to my garden, my sister, my bride,
I gathered my myrrh with my spice,
I ate my honeycomb with my honey,
I drank my wine with my milk.

Much of the language of love from Solomon's best serenade can be translated into the covenantal language of Jesus and His bride. But maybe let's hold off on applying that script too quickly to stuff like this. There is a part of literal, physical marriage that has profound figurative and spiritual implications. Oneness is both a physical act and a state of being, but one of those two things will occur between me and Jesus and the other most certainly will not.

Friday, June 2, 2017

day no. 14,102: possessing and presenting completely

Song of Solomon 4:12
A garden locked is my sister, my bride,
a spring locked, a fountain sealed..

The locks of a private garden are not simply a challenge for one's conquest, but a commitment to its cultivation. The lock that limits access is the key that makes possessing another and presenting oneself completely a possibility.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

day no. 14,101: actual flaws really overlooked

Song of Solomon 4:7
You are altogether beautiful, my love;
there is no flaw in you.

Love is not blind, it is benevolent. It is not ignorant of imperfection, it is rather insistent upon its preference. It can sincerely say that it finds no flaw in the object of its affection because its very choice provides cover enough to conceal a multitude of flaws.