Save Me From Myself

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

So He drove out the man; and He placed cherubim at the east of the garden of Eden, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to guard the way to the tree of life. (Gen 3:24)

This world is a mess; not because God made it that way, but because mankind looks to make a name for themselves rather than magnify the one name that matters; the name above every other name; the name of our Lord and our King, our maker and our savior; the name of the one true God – Yahweh, the great I AM!

Ever since Adam and Eve ate of that forbidden fruit, putting their wants and desires above the one who made them, mankind has been in a constant state of anguish; seeking relief in the Garden they have been cast from, but without the commitment to God who made them. What they can't seem to grasp is that relief comes from submission to God and His plan to restore man back to his place in the garden.

Which begs the question, why did God cast man from the garden? Couldn't the tree of life have restored them to the life they had with God before they ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil? The answer to that question is a resounding no! Rather, to eat from the tree of life would have sealed their fate as sinners, and therefore relegated them to an eternity separated from God. Therefore, it was an act of mercy for God to guard their entrance from the tree of life.

You see, God had a plan to restore humanity by allowing his Son to hang on a tree in place of sinful man. By so doing he judged sin and made a path back to the garden through Jesus Christ. Jesus became the fruit we must partake of in order to have life. He is the bread of life.

I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world." (John 6:51)

The path back to God comes through His Son.

And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day."

Imagine this with me. The tree by which we find life is a rugged cross; a cruel form of execution designed for judgment against the worst of criminals, or an opponent's enemies. And instead of rightly putting us on that cross for our insurrection against Him, He hung in our place. Wow!

So, the path back to the garden of God comes through His Son Jesus Christ. Our part is to admit our need for Him. Which means we must acknowledge our own rebellious hearts; our desire to make a name for ourselves rather than glorify the God who made us. If you want access to God the Father, look to the Son. If you have lost all hope in the kingdoms of men, look to the kingdom of God where all is made right. Surrender and submit to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. It is Gods invitation to you.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 6:23)

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Make America Great Again?

"And when they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, "Rabbi, when did You come here?" Jesus answered them and said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him."" (John 6:25-27, NKJV)

In essence what Jesus is saying is, "you will follow anybody that feeds you." This was the predicament of the Germans after WWI and what made them susceptible to the lies of Hitler who promised to restore their glory and make them wealthy. They proved Satan right when he said of man…

"So Satan answered the Lord and said, "Skin for skin! Yes, all that a man has he will give for his life." (Job 2:4, NKJV)

Erwin Lutzer comments on this mentality with these words.

"Survival is a powerful drive within us all, and most of us are willing to compromise our values in order to live. And if the government can guarantee our financial future, we support that government even if we intuitively suspect we are being led down a dangerous path."

At the end of 2008 this country reached a crisis that many of our top officials, including President Bush, felt would launch us into another great depression. There answer was to bail out the institutions that were "to big to fail". Bush was quoted as saying, this won't happen on my watch and as a result he paved the way for government to gain more control of its people. Many understood this could mean more government control, but in electing for comfort over having to tighten their belts, they compromised their values. Benjamin Franklin said of this mentality…

"Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both."Benjamin Franklin

That is exactly what happened to Germany under Hitler. You may ask where was the church in Germany when Hitler was coming to power? They were minding their own business, hoping Hitler would just leave them alone. And as long as the church didn't mess with Hitler's policies, he left them alone.

However, there were a few who spoke out, but they were soon arrested and put into concentration camps, or executed. Ditric Bonhaufer was one of those pastors who challenged Hitler and died as a result of his resistance. And he would challenge Christians with these words.

"we will never be a victorious church until we see suffering as a divine gift."

Christians were afraid of what might happen to them if they stood up for what was right. And Lutzer concludes that

"The majority of the people, including the Christians in the Third Reich, no longer believed that Christianity was worth suffering for, much less dying for. They were willing to substitute Mein Kampf for the bible in exchange for jobs and the greater glory of Germany. Yet those who saved their lives lost them, and those who lost their lives saved them."

The church in Germany had lost sight of the kingdom of heaven and put their trust in temporal things. They had forgotten the words of Peter in his first epistle

"In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ." (1 Peter 1:6-7, ESV)

Christians above all people should understand that the path to greatness is through humility. As true believers we acknowledged our sin before a holy God and repented. We turned from the pride driven pursuit of self to pursue the God who not only made us but also saved us, when what we deserved was judgment. My concern however is that Christians see the greatness of our nation in its financial and military status rather than in its fear of a Holy God. Oh we may cry foul when immorality is clearly on display, supported and enforced by our leaders. But could that simply be a smokescreen for a greater passion inside of us – comfort and security? That is what heaven offers the believer. And Peter speaks of it as a future hope. Which means right now, as believers, if indeed we represent Gods kingdom, we will have trials and tribulations. Consider Bonheoffer's words again.

"we will never be a victorious church until we see suffering as a divine gift."

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