A Promise of Life That Delivered Death!

tree appleThe woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'”

“You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. (Genesis 3:2-8)

Oh, how the cunning serpent slithered his way into the hearts of Adam and Eve!He made a promise of life, to “be like God,” but he could not deliver on his promise.The life the devil promised lead only to death . . . it always has and it always will.

Adam and Eve were made in the image of God; they were His image-bearers.But evidently they were not satisfied with being made in the image of God; they wanted to be God.They traded the worship of the Creator for the worship of the created thing—themselves—and sent all of humanity into a hideous,downward death-spiral.They forgot who they were and what they were created for.Our first parents had “identity amnesia” and bought into a lie that they could live a life of autonomous independence apart from the One who created them.To be sure, this was both foolish and fatal!

The devil is still busilyworking to sell his lie to those who have been re-created in Christ.He promises that we can step outside of our relationship with our Redeemer and find more life.He tempts us to believe that we can find in created things what only the Creator can actually give.

  • We begin to look for financial security in our finances instead of looking to the One who give us the ability to get wealth (Deuteronomy 8:18).
  • We begin to look for good health in our nutrition and exercise program instead of looking to the One who holds our lives in His hand (Daniel 5:23).
  • We begin to look for purpose in our work instead of the One who is our purpose (John 14:6).How quickly we forget that the Lord is our only security, health, and purpose on this side of the grave!

But this is not for you.On the cross, Jesus crushed the enemy—and along with him, the promise of life that delivers only death.Because of what Jesus did for us on the cross, we no longer have to define ourselves horizontally. In other words, we no longer look to created things (finances, physical appearance, possessions, relationships, etc.), to get what only the Creator is able to give to us.Everything smaller than Jesus is “fool’s gold,” which looks valuable on the surface, but in reality it is worthless and leaves us poor, blind, and naked.

Jesus is the only One big enough to meet you in your place of every need.He is big enough in our marriage.He is big enough in our parenting.He is big enough in our profession.He is big enough in our recreation.He is big enough in our storms.Jesus promises more and delivers more than He promises.He dismantles our walls of self-protection and erects walkways of self-sacrifice.His history-changing death on the cross makes possible the life-changing death to self, which frees us to live for something bigger and better—and His name is Jesus Christ.

Only in His willingness to die do we find life.His death is life, and the death of the self He calls us to is the abundant life.We will never find life apart from our relationship to the One who created us.Because we have been created by Godfor God, we will only find true life when we are living in God.As we continue to surrender and submit to His control in our lives, He frees us from the control of the things that were never created to control us.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.(John 10:10)

A full life was never intended to be found in anything smaller than Jesus.Every time we put the creation in the place of our Creator we find ourselves living a life that is no bigger than the life we are living.Rather than being an abundant life, lived out for the glory of our Savior King, it becomes an atrophied life, devoid of every lasting joy we were created to experience.

So . . . who and what have you been living for lately?Funny thing about living for Jesus; the more we die to the self, the more life we actually find!

This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!


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