Let’s Act like we Believe

In the beginning, God created man and woman and placed them in a beautiful garden that provided for their every need. The only rule was, “Do not eat from this tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for if you do, you will die.” Genesis 2:15.

This rule was given to Adam before Eve was created, but surely God or Adam communicated that information to Eve because when the serpent approached her, she said “we can eat from any tree except the one in the center of the garden”. Genesis 3. So she knew, but maybe not with first hand knowledge, maybe just through Adam. We know he got it straight from God. Maybe, like us, the Truth didn’t have the same impact on Eve as it had on Adam, but of course, he then ate the forbidden fruit too. He couldn’t allow Eve to have the knowledge without him, right?

What does this have to do with Christmas, the birth of our Savior and the upcoming year? Everything! If Adam and Eve had kept the only commandment they were given, God would not have needed to sacrifice His own son to save them or us. There would have been no separation from God in the first place.

But that’s not what happened. His human creation gained knowledge about good and evil, something that God specifically told them would bring death. God had to deal with them knowing everything including living forever with that knowledge. Angels, including the fallen angels, led by Satan, possessed this knowledge. Those evil ones clearly could manipulate humans, unless God did something. True to His Word, Our God set Adam, Eve and the rest of humanity out from Him and the safety of the Garden, to protect not only humanity but also all of His creation.

Fast-forward many thousands of years to the time of Jesus. He came after Abraham, Moses and the prophets. God spoke to all these people, giving them the message of loving God and others which God wanted them to pass on to the next generations. But our ability to choose God before ourselves did not work. The human race chose evil time and time again.

God reversed that trend by sending us His Son who chose God instead of himself, setting an example for all of us. Jesus also told us that in order for us to join Him, He must complete the process of dying in order for all of us to live with Him in paradise. His seed would germinate producing a great harvest. When He died He tore the veil between God and us, once again allowing us into relationship with God. It was the ultimate act of love. It is what we are supposed to model – Pure love for our Father, shown in His Son, passed onto us through the Holy Spirit.

“Listen carefully: Unless a grain of wheat is buried in the ground, dead to the world, it is never any more than a grain of wheat. But if it is buried, it sprouts and reproduces itself many times over. In the same way, anyone who holds on to life just as it is destroys that life. But if you let it go, reckless in your love, you’ll have it forever, real and eternal.

“If any of you wants to serve me, then follow me. Then you’ll be where I am, ready to serve at a moment’s notice. The Father will honor and reward anyone who serves me.

“Right now I am storm-tossed. And what am I going to say? ‘Father, get me out of this’? No, this is why I came in the first place. I’ll say, ‘Father, put your glory on display.’”

A voice came out of the sky: “I have glorified it, and I’ll glorify it again.”

The listening crowd said, “Thunder!”

Others said, “An angel spoke to him!”

Jesus said, “The voice didn’t come for me but for you. At this moment the world is in crisis. Now Satan, the ruler of this world, will be thrown out. And I, as I am lifted up from the earth, will attract everyone to me and gather them around me.” He put it this way to show how he was going to be put to death. John 12:24-33 MSG*

God’s solution to the original problem was a baby who grew into our Savior – God in human form who came to save us from certain destruction – our God who has prepared a place for us with Him in paradise.

That is the point of Christmas . . . that is the point of today . . . and that is the point of tomorrow! Jesus reunited us with God and made it possible for us to live forever with Him. Let’s start the New Year with this life saving knowledge and act like we believe it!

* Scripture quotations marked MSG are taken from THE MESSAGE, copyright © 1993, 2002, 2018 by Eugene H. Peterson. Used by permission of NavPress. All rights reserved. Represented by Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

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