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Showing posts from September, 2014

A Covenant God

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In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. [i]   (Genesis 1:1, NLT)  This phrase starts the Bible, and it forms the foundation for all of our understanding of the world.  In the first chapter of Genesis we learn that God created a man and a woman to whom he gave the earth He had created.  In chapter 2, we learn more specifics about the man and the woman and their circumstances.  The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the LORD God had made . . .” (Genesis 3:1, NLT) This phrase starts the third chapter.  In chapter 3 we are introduced to our enemy, Satan, and to sin, the curse and to grace. These are all beginnings. Genesis is a book of beginnings. Until chapter 4 of Genesis there are only two people, Adam and Eve. These two people are all that exists of the human race.  There are no ethnic groups.  There are no borders, divisions, schisms or factions. This changes very quickly as Adam and Eve’s first born son kills their second born

Can we be free from the past?

I have a good friend who fought in the Vietnam War. I love this man.  It warms my heart to think of him.   He is a story teller. I could sit and listen to his stories for hours and never get bored.  The war is not something he talks about much, but some of the stories he has shared are nothing short of amazing.  This friend struggles with depression.  He told me of a few times when another person took his place on a patrol or guard duty and died.  He said, “It should have been me.” This is his struggle.  Someone died in his place.  This kind of regret goes far beyond my experience.  I am out of my depth and am humbled by the pain this friend carries. Do you have pain that you hide? Some of us have things we would like to go back and undo.  We would like a chance to undo some decisions or at least do some things differently. Today, I was looking at Zechariah 3, not a frequently visited part of the Bible, but it in I saw how God deals with the past.   Zechariah wrote

The Tragedy of Sin and the Greatness of Grace

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The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the LORD God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?” [i]   (Genesis 3:1, NLT) The man and woman, our parents Adam and Eve, were living in the Garden God made for them. Genesis 2 verses 9 and 10 give these details about the Garden: The LORD God made all sorts of trees grow up from the ground—trees that were beautiful and that produced delicious fruit. In the middle of the garden he placed the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. A river flowed from the land of Eden, watering the garden and then dividing into four branches. (NLT) . . . “Trees that were beautiful and produced delicious fruit.” I picture trees of varying shades of green with peaches, pears, apples, mangoes and oranges hanging low so Adam and Eve could reach out and take whatever they wanted. It was an ideal setting. God told Adam and Eve, “You may

In the Beginning

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In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth . [i] (Genesis 1:1, NLT) This statement opens the book that God gave to us. This is the foundation. If a child asks, “Why should I obey my parents?” We might answer, “Because I told you so.” Or, we might answer, “Because your parents are bigger.” Or, we might  say, “Because your parents know best.” There has to be a better answer. If we ask, “Why am I here?” We might answer, “Because a big bang happened, some chemicals happened, some reactions happened, and you came about.” Or, we might say, “I have no idea.” If we ask, “Why should I share?” We might answer, “Because.” Or, we might say, “If you do not share, your life will be miserable.” Why should I get up today? Why should I go to work? Why should I love my neighbor? Why should I brush my teeth? This statement, “In the beginning God,” can have a great effect on how we view all of these questions. These are all questions of pur