Thursday, June 14, 2018

THURSDAYS THEME

THE FALL OF MAN

Chapter 1 (The beginning of it all) - All of us are familiar with the story of Adam and Eve. If you grew up in church, this story was told often and used to teach children (and adults) why we now have a sin problem. This story has been used as a platform to present the gospel, which teaches us that the Son of God, Jesus, came to forgive us of the sin nature we inherited from this fall. Often the lessons we are taught speak more to the eating of the fruit (we do not know if it was an apple - everyone has their own opinion) than the greater problem within the story. What I am going to share now does not minimize in any way the wrongness of the fruit eating. Doing so was sin. The sin I wish to address is the sin of disobedience. Before Adam or Eve took that fateful bite, they were clearly instructed by God to not eat it. They were told they could enjoy the bounty of the garden... and what a garden it was... but to leave the fruit on the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil alone (Genesis 2:17). They sinned by disobeying God. They demonstrated that they did not love the Lord their God with first (John 14:15). From that act of disobedience, all of mankind has been born with a nature fo disobedience.  As a result, Jesus came to this planet as a man (Christ incarnate) in complete obedience to the will of the Father. He lived His life in obedience to the Father. He was tempted, as a human, as we are tempted as humans. He set the standard for all those who know Him (Christians /  followers of Christ) to be obedient. We have no excuse (Phil. 4:13), even though we offer many.

Let's take that John 14:15 passage...  “If you love Me, you will keep My commands." Let's put it beside this passage...Matthew 28:19-20 - Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” 

When it comes to being a Great Commission Christian, are we being obedient? Are we demonstrating to God that we love Him first? Are we living our lives doing our Fathers business? Are we?

I am not trying to say or convince anyone that such a life of obedience is "easy" or "comfortable". These two things are not to be the determining factor in why we do what we do. We are to be obedient... period.

EBCI is called to be a Great Commission people.

Chapter 2 (A fall continues) - The subject above is one of serious importance and the story I am going to share is not in any way intended to take away from that importance. It is a real story, with real people, with a spiritual lesson for all of us.

The other day I parked my car on the 9th floor, second level (which makes it like the 18th floor) of our apartment garage. I put my car in my assigned space and took the 5 minute walk to my apartment. When I arrived and made myself comfortable (lounge pants and oversized tee), I settled in for the evening. I quickly realized I left my phone in the car. Knowing I could not live without my phone because any of my dear EBCI family might want to get in contact with me, I changed back into my street clothes and took the 5 minute walk back to my car. I retrieved my phone and turned around to retrace my steps for another 5 minutes.

I took the first of the two elevators required from the 9th floor to the 3rd. My intent was simply to stroll from their, through the security doors to the other elevators to the 19th floor so I could make myself comfortable again. Well...

When I got off the elevator on floor 3, I stepped out of the little room into the parking lot to cross over to the apartment building. I noticed a lady struggling with her luggage trying to get out the door and head to the garage. She had 4 items of baggage to handle. My mind quickly went to... How can I be of help to her? In taking my mind off what I was doing, I stepped off of the curb wrongly and the "fall of this man" (in a non-spiritual sense) occurred... right there. Although I caught myself with my hands and, thank the Lord, I did not do a face plant... I still fell and it was noticeable.

I was not embarrassed but as I got myself back to my feet, this lady with the overload of baggage left her baggage behind and quickly made her way... my way. She shouted out... "Are you okay?" As I got to my feet, I assured her I was and thanked her for caring and having the desire to help someone she did not know who was possibly in a crisis.

I have no knowledge if this lady was a Christian but I do know that this lady was in a hurry to get somewhere (probably the airport) and she stepped away from that life schedule to come to my rescue. This little lady had to now it would not have been "easy" to help me and my small mass of manliness to my feet if needed. If I would have been laying on the ground it would/could have been an "uncomfortable" moment for her to step in and help me in my distress. Yet, she was willing to leave behind her possessions and adjust her moment in time to reach out and offer me the help she thought I needed.

Lord, Help me to be like this woman. Her actions were a lesson to me that as your child, I am called to be obedient to reach those who are fallen... even if it means leaving behind my baggage and adjusting my itinerary to offer them the eternal help they need. Give me the eyes to see the lost and a heart to reach the lost and a voice to share Jesus with the lost.

Jude 22-23 - And on some have compassion, making a distinction; but others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire, hating even the garment defiled by the flesh.

Lord, May our hearts desire to be found obedient to You in all things. find us obedient.
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A Deacon of EBCI will be leading the session each night.



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