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Trouble In Paradise | Sunday Message

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie
The Truth Network Radio
January 21, 2024 3:00 am

Trouble In Paradise | Sunday Message

A New Beginning / Greg Laurie

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January 21, 2024 3:00 am

In Genesis 2, we get a close look at the events that occurred in the Garden of Eden. We get to focus on the relationship between God and man. Pastor Greg Laurie shares valuable points from this book today. 

Notes:

Genesis 2/Genesis 3

Elohim is the appropriate word to portray God as the Majestic Creator.

Yahweh is the personal name God uses when dealing with humanity.

Read: Genesis 2:7–9

God created man and breathed life into him. The word, “breathed,” is warmly personal.

Genesis 2:7

Eden means, “delight.” God placed man in a real place called, Eden. Eden was hand-made by God Himself, untouched by sin and death, perfect.

Adam was tasked with naming the animals.

Genesis 2:20

Read: Genesis 2:18, 21–25

God created woman and brought her to the man.

The word, “helper,” does not imply inferiority; it’s the same term God uses to describe Himself as a helper to His people.

God establishes the family and the home: A man and a woman.

To have a successful marriage, you must both leave other relationships.

Genesis 2:24

To have a successful marriage, the couple must cleave together. Cleave means, “to glue, to cling.”

Marriage is a picture of Christ and the church!

1 Corinthians 7:32–33

Our greatest needs are not fulfilled in marriage but in Jesus!

Read: Genesis 3:1–9

The devil undermines in four ways.

Satan questioned God’s Word.

“Has God, indeed, said?”

Satan added to God’s Word.

Genesis 3:3

God never said, “Neither shall you touch it.”

Satan questioned God’s love.

Satan denied God’s Word.

Satan substituted his own lie.

Every temptation can be resisted and overcome.

James 1:12

Genesis 3:8

God wanted Adam to admit to and confess his sin.

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Hey there. Thanks for listening to the Greg Laurie Podcast, a ministry supported by Harvest Partners. I'm Greg Laurie, encouraging you.

If you want to find out more about Harvest Ministries and learn more about how to become a Harvest Partner, just go to harvest.org. Why don't we all grab our Bibles and hang a hard left and go all the way to the book of Genesis. It was great having Brenley Brown with us here today, wasn't it? Wasn't that great? I love Brenley's new song. Wow, that's an amazing song. Powerful message for everybody. So the title of my message today is Trouble in Paradise. I want to say hello to Harvest Riverside, Harvest Maui, and of course you guys here at Harvest Orange County. I wanted to also mention that we have a prayer meeting coming up at the end of the month. It's on January 28th at 5 o'clock p.m. All Harvest campuses, Harvest Riverside, Harvest Orange County, Harvest Maui, I think theirs starts at 6 p.m. But we think it's really important to start this year off with prayer.

Now I can't say it's mandatory because you'll come if you want to come and you won't come if you don't want to come, but if I was going to call something mandatory, I would say this is something you should be a part of. Our nation needs prayer right now. We're into an election year and we need to ask for God's intervention, for His will to be done. And we need to pray for a spiritual awakening to sweep over the United States of America. We need to pray for the church. We need to pray for our church. We need to pray for each other. I know we all need prayer. Prayer is powerful. Prayer changes things. Prayer changes us. So mark this on your calendar and join us for a very special time of prayer on January 28th.

But again, the title of my message is Trouble in Paradise. Let's pray now. Father, we know when we speak to you, we're speaking to the almighty God, the creator of the universe, the maker of all things. And now we pray that you will speak to us from your word. And as we key in on two very important topics, first of all, family and marriage, and secondly, how the enemy attacks and how to effectively resist him, we pray that you will speak to us from your word. We commit this time of Bible study to you now. In Jesus' name we pray.

Amen. So I heard about a pastor who was taking over a church. He didn't really know anybody there yet. So on the Saturday before that Sunday, he decided to go meet people in the congregation. So he met a few folks and he came to one home of one of his congregants and he knocked on the door and there was no answer. He could see someone was inside. He knocked again. Again, still no answer.

Knocked out one more time. And so he left his business card with his name on it and then he wrote down Revelation 3.20, which of course says, Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any men hear my voice and open the door, I will come in. So the next day was Sunday and someone took that card the pastor gave to them and gave it to a nutcher to give back to the pastor. And the pastor looked at the card and they too had written a scripture reference. They wrote down Genesis 3.10, which says, I heard your voice in the garden and I was afraid because I was naked so I hid myself. So we will actually get to that verse in this message today among others. So we have looked at the creation of all things. Now we are looking at the story of Adam and Eve's sin against God in the Garden of Eden. We are reading about the creation of men and women. And in Genesis 2, Moses zooms in from the cosmos to the Garden of Eden. This new section of Genesis deals with the relationship between God and man.

Here is an interesting little point. The name that God has used of himself up to this point is Elohim. But it shifts in chapter 2 to Yahweh. So we might say the name of God Elohim would be the name describing him as majestic creator and Yahweh is dealing more, well, in a personal way with us. For instance, my son calls me dad. My grandchildren call me papa. So it is a different terminology. You call me Greg or maybe Pastor Greg or Hey Bald Guy or whatever you say to me.

I will answer to almost anything. But the difference is relationship. So when Jesus taught us to pray, he did not say, after this manner therefore pray our Creator who art in heaven. Though he is that.

But he said after this manner therefore pray our Father who art in heaven. That is a privilege. That is access.

That is relationship. And we all have that access to God. So I wanted to point that out that he changes the use of his name from Elohim to Yahweh. So let's read together Genesis 2 verse 7. The Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life. And man became a living being. The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden and there he put the man whom he had formed and out of the ground. The Lord God made every tree grow and is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

So if you are taking notes here is point number one. God created man and breathed life into him. This word breathed is interesting in verse 7.

It is warmly personal. God was face to face with man and with the intimacy of a kiss or a little puff of air God brings man to life. And now drop down to verse 15. Then the Lord took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to tend and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man saying of every tree of the garden you may freely eat but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat. For in the day that you eat of it you will surely die.

We will stop there. Eden the garden of Eden. By the way the word Eden means delight. The very name Eden is used synonymously with names and phrases like oh it is like Camelot or Atlantis or Utopia or Shangri-La.

So we might think of Eden as a fictitious place but it was a real place that God placed Adam in. In this garden of absolute delight. It was a paradise beyond anything you could imagine. I mean think of the most beautiful places you have ever been to in this world. San Bernardino or I didn't mean that as a joke.

Why don't you love it? No but think tropical paradise or some incredible island or some other place or maybe something you have seen in a movie or on television. And that looks like paradise or the garden of Eden. Eden was that and much more. Handmade by God himself. Untouched by sin.

It was literally perfect and Adam had the coolest job of all time. He was the gardener in the garden of Eden. His job was to discover what the Lord had made. To enjoy what God had created and to tend to this garden. So someone might walk up to him. Well there wasn't anyone to walk up to him at this point but later.

Hey man what is your job? I am a gardener in the garden of Eden. Pretty great opportunity the Lord gave.

And he had carte blanche. Enjoy everything in the garden Adam. There is this one tree I want you to avoid. The tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

That was the one thing to stay away from. And now Adam is given the task of naming the animals. Look at verse 20. Adam gave names to all cattle, birds, and so forth.

So I mean he must have run out of names after a while right? I mean he is looking at these incredible creatures. Whoa look at this thing. Elephant.

Oh look at this stubby little dude with a big mouth. Hippo. Whoa what is going on with this horse?

I have never seen a horse like that. I am going to call him a zebra. Oh this one that bird that is a peacock for sure. I mean after the hundredth, thousandth animal he is just getting tired of naming them. And he is just making up stuff like when he came to this fish. Oh this fish. I am sick of talking about our naming animals. I am going to call him the hoomahoomanooka nooka appawaka. That is the actual fish. The official state fish of Hawaii.

That is actually the name of the fish. And so something was missing in Adam's life. And more specifically it wasn't a something. It was a someone. But Adam didn't know that yet because he had not yet met the someone.

But here she comes. Genesis 2 verse 18. The Lord God said it is not good that man should be alone.

I will make a helper comparable to him. Dropped onto verse 21. And the Lord caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam. And as he slept he took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh in its place. Then the rib which the Lord God had taken from man he made into a woman and he brought her to the man.

Adam said this is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called woman because she was taken out of man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and they shall become one flesh. And they were both naked the man and the wife and they were not ashamed. So my next point. God created woman and brought her to the man.

It is worth noting at this point in Genesis after God created each successive thing. He said it was good. It is good. This is good. Then he looks at the aloneness of Adam and he said this is not good.

This is not good. I am going to make verse 18 a helper comparable to him. In the Hebrew that can be translated to someone who assists another to reach fulfillment.

Another way you can translate it is someone who comes to rescue another. Eve would provide what was missing in Adam's life. Adam would provide what was missing in Eve's life. And by the word this word helper God will create a helper. In no way does it imply that Eve was somehow inferior to Adam.

In fact it is the same word God uses to describe himself as a helper to his people. But he is bringing them together. And this just reminds us we are built for relationship with one another.

We are not meant to do life alone. So Adam is put into a deep sleep and Eve is produced from his side. Adam's enthusiastic response is verse 23. This is not bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called woman. She was taken out of man.

It comes from the Hebrew word stoquito. We get our English word stoked from it. I made that all up.

Okay. But the idea is implied here that Adam was astonished. He was blown away.

He was thrilled. In fact in a way Adam is waxing eloquent in the way he makes his statement. There is a poetic quality to it.

The five lines employ the standard techniques of Hebrew poetry. This is not bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. She shall be called woman because she was taken out of man. He probably said it with an English accent. This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my.

I sound more like Cary Grant. I don't know. Judy.

Judy. You know. I mean it.

There is something about the English accent that makes things sound more eloquent. I mean if he said it like he was from the south. Ya'll bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. Ya called woman. No.

Or east coast. Ya'll bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. Forget about it. You want some coffee? Ya. Or California. Dude.

You're not bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh so awesome. You know. Sort of an exaggeration of California. I don't actually know anyone in California that talks that way.

But since everyone thinks we do I'll just roll with it. Bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh. You're woman.

You're taken out of man. You know there is a little known story that happened after this. And Adam said to God, Lord why did you make Eve so beautiful? The Lord said, so you would love her. Why did you make her so soft? The Lord said, so you would love her. Then Adam asked God, why did you make her so stupid?

God said, so she would love you. That's not throwing women under the bus. That joke. In case you didn't notice. That never happened. That's just a dumb joke.

Okay. So God is now establishing the family. Long before there was a government or there were schools or any other social structures God establishes the family and a home.

This is God's order. A man and a woman together in marriage. Not a man and a man. Not a woman and a woman. Not a man who wants to become a woman or a woman who wants to become a man.

A man and a woman. This is the only order that God will bless. That's true. We have strayed from God's order and we are reaping the consequences of it in our nation today. Almost every social ill that is happening in America today can be directly traced to the breakdown of the family. And specifically the absence of fathers.

I can speak for 45 minutes just giving you stats to prove what I just said. It is an undeniable fact. And we have tempered with this. We want to eliminate the family. We want to redefine the family.

And as we have done this it is like we are striking at the very foundation of our nation. You know it has been said a family can survive without a nation but a nation cannot survive without the family. So God establishes the family. And now we are also given some secrets to a successful marriage. Now how many of you are married? Raise your hand. You are married?

Okay good. How many of you are single? You are single? Raise your hand up. How many of you who are single want to be married? Raise your hand up. Okay.

How many of you who are married wish you were single still? No don't. Don't. Alright. How many of you are happily married? Raise your hand up. Okay good.

Very good. Here are some secrets to a happy marriage. Because people think that marriage will not be happy. It has been said marriage feels like a three ring circus. Engagement ring, wedding ring, and suffering. But it doesn't have to be that way. You can have a very happy and fulfilling marriage.

How do you do it? To have a successful marriage you must leave other relationships. Again look at verse 24. Therefore shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave and be joined to his wife and they shall become one flesh. So marriage begins with the leaving of other relationships.

The closest relationship outside of marriage is specified here. That of a child to the parent. Implying that if it is necessary to leave your father and mother and certainly all lesser ties must be broken, changed, or left behind. The primary commitment of a man to a woman, of a husband to a wife, and of a wife to a husband must be to them. You are still to honor your parents.

You are still a child to your parents. But a new family has begun. And now your primary responsibility is to your spouse above other relationships. And this does not happen in some marriages.

They don't engage in the leaving. They don't understand the priority of marriage and how they should treat their spouse. And I think it is so important to have intimacy and closeness and friendship in this marriage that you cultivate and keep alive forever.

It doesn't happen by default. If you see a marriage that is strong it is because they are working on their marriage. They are not taking their hand off the wheel. And your wife-husband should be your best friend. Your husband-wife should be your best friend. Leaving other relationships and being joined to them and then to have a successful marriage the couple must cleave. Cleave. So you leave and you cleave. The word cleave means to glue or to cling.

When we come to the New Testament use of the word it means to cement together or stick like glue or to be welded together so the two cannot be separated without serious damage to both. You know when I was a kid I used to build little model airplanes. I was never very good at it. I was very sloppy with the glue. The glue got everywhere. Then they invented super glue and I was so excited. And I would put super glue.

It is almost like it wasn't really working. It was just sticks and they would warn you don't get it on your skin. And I got it on my skin. I glued my finger to my thumb.

So the rest of the day hey everything is okay you know. But that is the idea like super glue. And it is not like glue isn't stuck together. I am stuck with this person. It is glued like I am holding on to you.

Think of yourself climbing up the face of a mountain. You are holding on for dear life. Husband and wife are to be holding on to each other. In fact marriage is a picture of Christ and the church. The Bible says husbands are to love their wives as Christ loves the church. And the church or the wife is to submit to the husband as unto the Lord.

And so it is almost as though God is saying hey lost world. I want you to look at this Christian family right here. Look at the way this Christian husband loves his Christian wife. That is how I love my people.

Hey people that don't believe yet I want you to look at this woman here. Married to this Christian man. The way she lovingly submits to his servant leadership.

And how she respects him. That is how my church loves me. So that is how you can see when a Christian marriage falls apart. How devastating it can be.

We need to be an example for people to see. Now there are times that I understand divorce happens. There are grounds in the Bible for divorce. Unfaithfulness is one.

Desertion is another. But I have never read the phrase irreconcilable differences in the Bible. I have been married for 50 years. And I have had 50 years of irreconcilable differences with my wife.

You can work these things out. In fact I have been married. I don't know if I have ever told you this before. I have been married to seven different women. All interestingly with the same name of Kathy. And spelled the same way.

What are you talking about? The Kathy I married at age 18 is not the Kathy I am married to today. And the Greg she married back then is not the Greg I am today. When she married me I had long hair. A long beard.

The ugliest tuxedo ever made. And she could see underneath all of that hair was a bald man. But let me say also our love has grown stronger not weaker. Because we have followed God's principles.

And so this is so important. Now I don't mean to imply if you are single you are missing out on God's plan. Because God allows or calls some people to a life of singleness. And the fact of the matter is when you are unattached.

When you are unmarried. You have a certain mobility a married person does not have. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 7.

An unmarried man or we will say a single person. Can spend their time doing the Lord's work. And thinking of how to please the Lord. But a married man has to think about his earthly responsibilities. And how to please his wife. That is not a criticism of a married man. It is just saying when you are married you have responsibilities. You can't just make decisions without consulting with your wife. Or as a wife you can't just go and do whatever you want without factoring in your husband. But when you are single you do have a freedom that a married person does not have.

So you have to find God's will for you. But our greatest needs are not fulfilled in marriage. Our greatest needs are fulfilled in Jesus. Right?

That is the key. Because marriage is a picture of our relationship with Christ. So here are Adam and Eve in perfect paradise. Living the dream man. It can't get any better than this. Surrounded by beauty. Surrounded by the most amazing wildlife.

All the animals are docile and tame. And the greatest food to eat. And it is so good. Well there was trouble in paradise. Enter the devil. Go to Genesis 3 verse 1. Now the serpent was more cunning than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, Has God indeed said you will not eat of every tree of the garden? And he probably said it like this. Has God indeed said?

Right? He is a serpent. And the woman said to the serpent, Well we may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden, but of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden. God has said you shall not eat it nor touch it lest you die.

The serpent said to the woman, You will not surely die. For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be open and you will be like God knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw the tree was good for food and that it was pleasant to the eyes and desirable to make one wine, she took of the fruit and she ate and she gave it to her husband with her and he ate. And the eyes of both of them were open and they knew they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings. 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. Then the Lord called to Adam and said to him, Where are you? Adam said, I heard your voice in the garden, but I was afraid because I was naked so I hid myself. So here now we see how the devil seeks to attack and undermine us.

We see his four waves of attack that he uses over and over again. Interesting he comes as a snake, a talking snake. Did other animals talk at this time before the fall?

I don't know. That would be kind of cool having conversations with different animals. But he comes as a snake. You know snakes are interesting creatures. When I was a young boy I was really an avid collector of snakes. I had boas and pythons and king snakes and gopher snakes.

And then I went out and caught snakes. And you know snakes are not expressive creatures. They are cold blooded. Snakes don't show affection. Like a dog. You know dogs are so affectionate they want to be with you. You know when a dog is happy. You know when a dog is sad. Cats, they are more mysterious.

Filled with murderous thoughts. They might occasionally lick you with their little weird sand paper tongue. But even with a cat you can read them to a certain degree. Though they are a bit more mysterious than dogs. But reptiles, snakes in particular. You don't know if they are just kind of looking around or they are going to strike at you.

It is hard to tell. And so they are very clever. They are very sly.

And the devil is compared in the Bible to a snake. I read a sad story about a large python that ate a chihuahua. I don't know why I just laughed when I said that. That is not funny. I am sorry.

Let me say it again. I read a tragic story where a python ate a chihuahua. Well what happened was some family had a snake that was their pet that slithered around the home. And they had a chihuahua.

What could go wrong? And one day they found the snake in the chihuahua's bed. And that should have been their first warning that trouble was coming to the chihuahua.

So one morning the kids got up and went into the front room and there is the snake finishing off the chihuahua. But come on man. I mean if a snake is in your bed trouble is going to follow. And I think sometimes you think oh I can handle this temptation. I can control this vice. It will get the better of me.

And next thing you know you are in trouble. That is how the devil works. He is subtle.

What does he do? Point number seven. He questioned the word of God. Hey did God really say what you thought he said? Interesting.

Now coming back to something I mentioned earlier. Satan uses the name in the first chapter of Genesis for God. Elohim. Did Elohim really say but remember the Lord introduced himself as Yahweh.

A more personal name. Hey did Elohim really say what you thought he said? The devil's primary objective is to separate you from God through sin. And always be looking for ways to do that. And once he succeeds. Once you take the bait that he offers then he will come and condemn you. That is why he is called the accuser of the brothers.

The brethren in King James. But he will tempt you and then condemn you for giving in to his temptation. You know say things to you like oh man don't read the Bible now.

That would be hypocritical. Don't you dare go to church. I mean when we have sinned we think well I can't go to church after what I did this week. What do you think the church is? Think of the church like a hospital. Think of the church like a place that you go to get better. As I have often said the church is not a museum for saints. It is a hospital for sinners.

Right? But the devil will try to keep you from church. Keep you from God's people. Keep you from opening the Bible. Keep you from praying.

Don't listen to him. But that is what the devil does. Did God really say what you thought he said? And he introduces the assumption that God's word is subject to our judgment.

I don't know. Do we really want to listen to what God said in his word? And people do this all the time. They will say things like well I am a Christian and I love the Lord. I don't know if I agree with this part of the Bible. Because my God would never send a person to hell for living in rebellion against him and outside of his plan. Or my God thinks thus and so. Well listen I don't know who your God is but he is not the God of the Bible. Someone once asked me what do you do when you come to a verse in the Bible you don't agree with?

My response was change your opinion because you are wrong. Now you want to make sure you have correctly interpreted that verse in context and so forth. But having said that the Bible is the source of all truth. And so we believe this but the devil attacks the word of God. Really what he is implying is God is holding you away from something good. Man if God really loved you he would let you do whatever you want. Why would he restrict you? Why would he say you can't eat of this tree? God is holding you back from this thing because in the day you eat of it you will be like a god yourself. You will be a goddess knowing good and evil. He is a liar. If God tells you not to do something it is for your own good.

Is it really that bad? God gives us commandments. You shall not lie. You shall not steal. You shall not take the Lord's name in vain. You shall honor your mother and father. Live in these standards and by these principles because these are walls of protection keeping evil out. But we think oh no God is caging me in.

And the opposite is the case. Years ago we had a German shepherd. And one day I looked out the window and saw him staring at something in the grass.

What is that? And it was this brightly colored little finch. And so I walked out in the backyard and I thought this looks like someone's pet bird. And I put my index finger down. This bird hopped right on my finger.

So I walked into the kitchen. Kathy look what I found in the backyard. Beautiful little bird.

She was cooking something at that moment. Look at this bird. So we threw the bird in. We ate it. It was delicious. No that didn't happen. I made that up.

Just keep your attention. So where did this bird come from? It must be someone's pet.

And Jonathan who was a little boy then said there is a kid down the street. Their bird died and they have a cage. I said go get the cage. So he runs down the street.

Comes back. Puts the cage on the kitchen counter. I open the door of the cage. I hold the finger up where the bird is little perched.

He spurts there on my finger. He hops into the cage. He was so happy.

He gets on the swing. Happy days are here again. He didn't see that cage as a prison. He saw that cage as protection from my German shepherd who would have eaten him if I left him out there much longer. And when you understand the commandments and the principles of scripture in their proper context, they are there to protect you. God says, the Bible says no good thing will he withhold from those that walk uprightly. And Satan also questioned the love of God. If God really loved you, he would let you do whatever you want.

No he loves you too much to not let you do whatever you want. And then the devil denied the word of God. You know it is a short step from questioning the word of God to denying the word of God.

So what do we learn? Well don't get into conversations with the devil. The Bible says resist the devil and he will flee from you. And then the devil substitute his own substitute his own lie. Hey man you become like a god knowing good and evil.

That was a complete lie. Listen. Command central of your life is your mind. You are the air traffic controller of your own mind. The air traffic controller tells one pilot he can take off. He tells another they can land. He tells another to change their altitude. He tells even another to change their attitude.

Probably not. But he is there directing. Directing people. And you decide what thoughts come into this mind of yours and what thoughts stay out. Paul writes about this in 2 Corinthians 10 when he says, The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of this world. On the contrary we have divine power to demolish strongholds.

We demolish arguments in every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God. And we take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ. So when that thought comes you say no I am not letting that one in. That thought of fear. That thought of lust. That thought of vengeance. That thought of whatever it is that is not coming in here. Oh that thought.

That thought is coming in. That passage. That beautiful thought about the Lord that is going to come in. So we ask ourselves the question where is this thought coming from.

Here is what you need to remember. Every temptation can be resisted and overcome. Every temptation. The Bible says, Blessed is the man that endures temptation for when he is tried he will receive the crown of life. And the word blessed can be translated happy.

Happy. You are happy when you overcome temptation. Then 1 Corinthians 10 13 says, There is no temptation taking you but such as is common to man. But God who is faithful will not allow you to be tempted above what you are able.

Would what with the temptation make a way of escape that you may be able to bear it. So how do we fight temptation. We fight back with the word of God.

Memorized and quoted. Psalm 119 says, How can a young man cleanse his way by not taking heed according to your word. Or by taking heed according to your word. Then it goes on to say, Your word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against you. It is great to carry a Bible in your briefcase, your backpack, or your purse, or your murse. If you are a guy you carry the little handbag.

Murse. It is a purse just deal with it ok. Great place to carry your Bible but the best place to carry the word of God is in your heart. Jesus provided us the example on how to fight temptation. Remember after he was baptized by his cousin John on the Jordan River. We read immediately he went into the wilderness to be tested by the devil. The devil showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And Satan said all this is mine and I can give it to whomever I want.

And Jesus I will give it to you if you will worship me. You might think why would he say that to Jesus. Understand why Christ came. He came to purchase back that which was lost in the Garden of Eden. He was coming to die a horrible torturous death on a Roman cross. Satan is saying I will give you a shortcut. No cross. No suffering. Worship me for a moment.

I will give everything to you right now. And Jesus said it is written you shall worship the Lord God in him only shall you serve. Then Satan said to Jesus why don't you turn this rock into a piece of bread. Jesus had been fasting for forty days. He was hungry.

Jesus said it is written man shall not live by bread alone but from every word that comes from God. Again how does he fight Satan with the word of God. He stood on ground that we too can occupy. Jesus could have exercised executive privilege. He could have said Satan get out of here.

Be gone. And the devil was overpowered and outranked but he didn't do that. Jesus faced him like we should face him using the word of God.

That is how we do it. But Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit. It must have looked good at first. We always call it the apple. When Eve ate the apple. What is with the apple? There is no apple in the Bible. The Bible never says it was an apple.

I don't know where that came from. I wouldn't even be tempted by an apple would you? Maybe a nectarine or a peach or something.

I am not that much into apples. I think it was probably a piece of fruit like you have never seen before. It pulsated with light like a little disco ball.

Had its own theme song. You know I don't know what it was. But it was something that would dazzle you like whoa what is this? And then you know as you bite it looks so good. It was pleasant to the eyes it says.

And desirable to make one wise. But then when you bit in it was poison. You ever get those little candies in a box? And you bite into it and say gross what was that? All I like in candy boxes, seized candies or whatever. I like the nuts and chews. But then you bite into those goopy gross things right? You bite into oh this looks so good it is going to be so great. It is poison.

It is awful. Not the candy but sin. And so in the same way that is what happened. The eyes of them both were opened. Verse 7.

Their eyes were opened to earth and closed to heaven. Then guess who shows up in the garden? The Lord.

Verse 8 Genesis 3. The Lord comes walking through the garden. They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day.

Interesting the word for God is Yahweh. So we are back to Yahweh again. So Yahweh comes walking through the garden.

It would appear perhaps. The Lord showed up in the garden every day as the sun was setting. In the cool of the day everything would be bathed in a golden light. And Adam would normally tell the Lord what he had discovered that day. Maybe he had some questions for God. So here comes the Lord as he would come walking in the garden. But now Adam is not running to see the Lord.

He is hiding from the Lord because of his sin. And what a sad thing that is. And now the thrill of sin is gone. And sin doesn't always have a thrill but sometimes it does.

And it is short lived at best. And then the repercussions come. Then the guilt kicks in.

And that dead cold feeling that comes from sin is there. And the Lord says, Adam where are you? Does the Lord say that because he literally didn't know where Adam is? Adam. Adam.

I can't find you. The Lord knew exactly where Adam was. The Lord knew everything that was happening.

He was aware of it from the very beginning. God wasn't looking for the location of Adam. He was looking for confession from Adam. Sort of like when I used to play hide and seek with my grandkids when they were really little. They would say, Papa we are going to hide. Find us. Count to twenty.

I would count to twenty. Walk out into the front room. They are hiding behind the curtain. But the curtain only goes down so far and I can see their little feet there. And they are laughing. I hear them. But I act like I don't see them. Where are you? Where are you? Do it again Papa.

So I would count to twenty and come out. They are in the same place. Kids do I have to teach you how to be more deceptive? I don't know. That is us hiding from God. Oh I am hiding from God. You think God doesn't see you when you turn off the light? You think God doesn't see you when you close the door? God sees and knows everything. Adam, the Lord says, where are you?

Adam of course covers things up. But I wonder if God is asking that question of some of us right now. Where are you? Not literally where are you. He knows where you are. We are in church. But where are you spiritually?

Are you in the place you should be in right now? Or are you separated from God because of sin? I don't think this is a spoiler alert when I tell you that of course Jesus came to die on the cross to reconcile us with God and to restore what was lost in the Garden of Eden. And we will look at that first messianic passage next time in Genesis chapter 3 verse 15 when God speaks of one who would come to deliver us.

But we will stop short of that today and just deal with that question. Where are you? Are you where you need to be? Are you right with God? If you died today would you go to heaven? Or have you done something you know has separated you from God? There might be someone I am talking to that was walking with the Lord but you have allowed sin to get into your life and to compromise you and you have eaten of that forbidden fruit. Well the good news is God can forgive you.

The Bible says if we will confess our sin He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sin and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. You have to admit your sin. Stop making excuses for it. Stop blaming others for it.

And just say I am guilty. I am sorry. Forgive me.

And He will. Because Jesus died on that cross for your sin. He paid the price for every wrong you have done. You don't have to atone for your own sin.

You don't have to do X amount of good works to get God to forgive you and just come and say God I am a sinner. I have failed but you are a savior and you love me and I need your forgiveness right now. God longs for relationship with you. Isn't it interesting that the story says the Lord came calling. It should have been Adam saying God where are you. God come to me.

God help me. And said it is the Lord calling. It is the Lord longing for us. The Lord desiring friendship and fellowship with us and He is calling out to you.

You say but Greg I failed. But the Lord loves you and He misses you. Remember the story of the prodigal son. When he finally came to his senses and returned home.

What do we read? Jesus told the story to show us what God is like. He says the father saw him from a great distance and ran to him and threw his arms around him and kissed him and said this my son who is dead is alive again and he who was lost is found. That is how God feels about you. What will God do if I come back? I am such a failure. God will say I have missed you.

I love you. Let me forgive you. Will you come to Him right now? If you have never asked Jesus to come into your life you can do it right here right now. If you have fallen away from the Lord or you are separated from God because of some sin you can be forgiven of that sin and reconnect with Him right now.

Remember the devil wants to separate you from God but God wants you to come close. So we are going to pray and I am going to give you an opportunity if you need to to get right with God right now. Let's pray. Father speak to every person here wherever they are every person watching if they don't have a relationship with you help them to come to you and believe in you and receive forgiveness from you we ask in Jesus' name. Now while our heads are bowed and our eyes are closed maybe there is somebody here that would say I need Jesus today.

I don't know if I will go to heaven one day I don't know if my sin is forgiven I have this big hole in my heart but I want Christ to come and fill that void I want my sin forgiven I want to go to heaven pray for me I need Jesus if that is your desire if you want Jesus Christ to come into your life and forgive you of your sin wherever you are I would like you to just lift your hand up and I will pray for you. Lift your hand up high where I can see it I need Jesus today. God bless you. God bless you. God bless you there. Lift your hand up saying I need him today pray for me. God bless you as well.

Anybody else? Raise your hand up. Let me pray for you. God bless you. Maybe you are watching there on the screen in our overflow area or Harvest Riverside or Harvest Maui you raise your hand up wherever you are. Maybe I am talking to somebody here who has walked with the Lord but you have allowed sin to get into your life and it has separated you from the Lord and you need to come back to him and receive his cleansing if you need to return to the Lord today let me pray for you raise your hand up saying I need to reconnect I need to get right with God I am like that prodigal you talked about God bless you God bless you wherever you are now I am going to ask every one of you that has raised your hand I want you to stand to your feet and I am going to lead you in a prayer I want you to stand to your feet if you raise your hand even if you did not you want to get right with God you want to come back to the Lord let me pray for you right now wherever you are whatever campus you are at stand up we are all going to pray together I will wait another moment by the way others are standing so you won't be alone anybody else stand now let me pray with you anybody else stand now you will not regret this let me pray with you alright all of you standing pray this prayer out loud after me again as I pray pray this prayer out loud right where you are standing pray this if you would Lord Jesus I know that I am a sinner but I know that you are the Savior who died on the cross for my sin I turn from this sin now and I choose to follow you from this moment forward as Savior and Lord as God and friend cleanse me of all of my sin I choose to follow Jesus from this moment forward in Jesus name I pray Amen God bless you God bless you Hey everybody thanks for listening to this podcast to learn more about Harvest Ministries follow this show and consider supporting it just go to Harvest.org and to find out how to know God personally go to Harvest.org and click on Know God
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-01-21 04:17:50 / 2024-01-21 04:36:39 / 19

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