Who told you that you were naked?

Sin and Disobedience

Daily Spirit & Word: The Fall of Mankind into Sin.

“I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.”
Good morning my friends, my holiday is over, I’m back at work, it’s been awesome to have a long break from my usual routine, but it’s also good to get back to ‘normal’. It’s early morning and I’m up with my Lord Jesus. You know something, I’ve been meeting with Him every single day of my holiday, because you cannot have a holiday from being a follower of Jesus.

Yesterday someone came around to my house and asked me this question; “How many times can you go away from the Lord before you finally and fully fall away?” It was a simple and honest question. When someone asks me a question like that, I know that it’s like a loaded-gun or an iceberg, there far more below the surface than above the water. Some people have said to me, “How can you fit 120 men inside one of those, referring to my Submarine?” Then I have to explain, “You know my friend, an Submarine is much like an iceberg, there’s far more beneath the water than there is above” If you could see a Submarine in a dry-dock then you’d realise what I mean, it’s an immense piece of exciting engineering which always reminds me of a whale.

My response was, “You only need to go away from the Lord ONCE before it becomes permanent.” His face fell immediately, because, as I’d guessed, he was looking for a way to excuse his life of sin. You see my friends, we cannot have a holiday away from the Lord once we’ve started upon the journey of faith with Jesus. Do you remember the Lord’s words on this subject?

Hand to the Plough:

Luke 9:62 “And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”

But I’m going through Genesis at the moment and a phrase jumped out a me this morning:

Genesis 3:7-11 7  Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realised that they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. 
8  Then the man and his wife heard the sound (voice) 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.
9  But the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” 
10  He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” 
11  And he said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree from which I commanded you not to eat?” 

Thankfully, those who’ve trusted in Christ Jesus have been SAVED:

Colossians 1:13-14 13  “For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14  in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

When we come to Jesus who knows the end from the beginning, He knows your whole life, even before you gave in and trusted Him as your Saviour, so He knows those times that you’ll yield to temptation, that you’ll be weak and fall into sin. And He still gives you the blessings of the knowledge of forgiveness and a new heart to obey Him. What amazing grace and mercy.

Yes Jesus has ‘rescued’ you from the dominion of darkness: However, we still get those same, Adam like, feelings of separation when we sin. Remember how Adam and Eve, once they’d eaten the forbidden fruit, made coverings for themselves out of leaves and hid themselves in the garden of Eden. What was it that made them hide? They heard the voice of the Lord in the garden. The Lord was either singing or saying something out loud, and the voice of the Lord became a terror to them. They knew that they were naked; i.e. that the Lord could see what they’d done, it was open before Him who’s eyes see and know everything. It’s the same with anyone who sins, even just a little, the mere fact and act of disobedience has the exact same effect, we all want to run away and hide from God, from his presence, from His Holy voice. We don’t want to see Him, we don’t want to hear Him, we don’t want to be anywhere near Him, so we run away and hide and try our best to cover-up our shameful nakedness.

Asking that question, “How many times can we go away from God before it becomes permanent?” is like asking “How many times can I choose to sin and get away with it?” The answer is “NONE” You’ll never get away with it, God knows it all and He’s right there as a witness to every single act or thought of disobedience.

Alexander Maclaren has said it brilliantly: “These are still the two lies which wile us to sin: ‘It will do you no harm,’ and ‘You are cheating yourselves out of good by not doing it.’ Alexander Expositions of Holy Scripture – Genesis.

When God asked Adam, “Who told you that you were naked?” He KNEW that Adam and Eve had eaten and had received the knowledge of Good and Evil.

My friend related how he’d been feeling; that there was an emptiness, a barrenness, how God seemed distant, far away. Then he said something amazing, “You know, I know, that God has not moved away, it’s me”…

Temptation to sin: We’ve already lost the battle when we’re thinking to ourselves; “I wonder how many times I can do this and get away with it?”

Disobedience: Acting or Thinking sinfully; results in cutting us off from the Lord. Even after we’ve come to faith and trust in Jesus. Until we get right with Him again we’re separated from Him, we’re not walking with Him, we’re in the darkness and there is a feeling that we want to cover-up our shameful nakedness, to hide our inner-self from the Lord. There is no peace when we’re walking in the darkness. There is no joy in our hearts.

“Who told you that you were naked?”

When we choose to sin, afterwards it’s like the LORD is not there, as if our relationship has died, we’re cut-off from Him. We’ll also get fearful and want to run and hide from God, because we become aware that He can see right through us. 

When Temptations Come:

We’ve got a choice: We can listen to God’s voice, His witness within, our Conscience, that will be crying out to us; “This will lead to the death of your relationship with God”. Or we can reason with ourselves and con ourselves into believing; It’s not that bad, everyone else is doing it, everybody thinks it’s OK, it won’t do me any harm, why not enjoy yourself, you deserve it, you’ve earned the right to enjoy it”

But Moses Chose A Different Way:

Hebrews 11:25  “He chose to be ill-treated along with the people of God rather than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a short time.”

When we choose to follow God’s WAY: It’s costly in terms of dying to self, in saying “No!” to the pleasures of sin for a season.

Hebrews 11:25  “Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;”

Yes we can enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season, but whilst we’re doing so, we’ll be doing it away from Jesus and it will be as if He’s dead to us, as if He’s not real, as if there is no God. The realisation will come to us that we’re NAKED and we’ll want to run and hide like Adam and Eve. But just like a dark-cloud hides the sun, the sun still continues to shine behind it’s dark lining; so God continues to reign and rule behind the darkness of our disobedience.

Just as God called out in the Garden of Eden for Adam: “Adam, Where are you?” He’s calling out to you and me today: “Where are you?”

  • Are you walking with the Lord?
  • Are you seeking to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season?

Have an awesome day with Jesus. Choose LIFE, JOY, PEACE and FELLOWSHIP with God today. It’s going to be FREEDOM and FOUNTAINS of LOVE flowing within.

Prayer: “Dear Lord Jesus, I pray today that when temptation comes, I’ll be listening to You in my heart. Help me to know that choosing to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season is like death to my relationship with You. This day Lord; I’m choosing LIFE and the joy that comes as I walk with You. Help me Lord! Amen.”

Don.

 

The Single Grain Must Die

Life and Harvest from the death of the Wheat Grain

Daily Spirit & Word 555: The Single Grain Of Wheat Must Die To Produce A Harvest.

“Sir” they said, “We would like to see Jesus”.

Good morning my friends, I must admit I was worried yesterday. As we gathered for worship yesterday, there were so few people in the Congregation at the start of the service, I felt like saying, “The Service is Cancelled, I’m going home”. However, I knew instantly that was not the voice of the Lord in my head. So we began slowly and by the end of the third praise song, there were a few more people, by the time it came to begin preaching there was a decent crowd of people. At the end of the service, by the time of the Lord’s Supper, there were many more. The Crowd had gathered and we were all encouraged by the Lord in one way or another.

That feeling of wanting to go home when it seem bleak or the prospect seems small: When you look at a grain of wheat it’s small, seems insignificant, yet when you put it into the ground, it dies, then slowly a new plant emerges, and it grows-up and produces a seed-head, with hundreds of little seeds inside it. WOWzer! New Life comes when the grain of wheat dies.

If we’re ever going to learn to serve the Lord Jesus, we too must learn to continually die to self. It’s so hard being a living-sacrifice, but sometimes when you do it, all-be-it ever so reluctantly, you’re going to get a glimpse of heaven. Perhaps I should have titled today’s thought; How to Get A Glimpse Of Heaven 🙂

Here’s Jesus teaching on the subject;

John 12:20-36 20 Now there were some Greeks among those who went up to worship at the Feast.
21  They came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida in Galilee, with a request. “Sir,” they said, “we would like to see Jesus.”
22  Philip went to tell Andrew; Andrew and Philip in turn told Jesus.
23  Jesus replied, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.
24  I tell you the truth, unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.
25  The man who loves his life will lose it, while the man who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
26  Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honour the one who serves me.
27  “Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour.
28  Father, glorify your name!” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.”
29  The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to him.
30  Jesus said, “This voice was for your benefit, not mine.
31  Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out.
32  But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself.”
33  He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.
34  The crowd spoke up, “We have heard from the Law that the Christ will remain for ever, so how can you say, ‘The Son of Man must be lifted up’? Who is this ‘Son of Man’?”
35  Then Jesus told them, “You are going to have the light just a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, before darkness overtakes you. The man who walks in the dark does not know where he is going.
36  Put your trust in the light while you have it, so that you may become sons of light.” When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them.

Whoever serves me must follow me:

It’s amazing how we only really get to know what Jesus means after we’ve been following Him for a while. It means applying this “dying-to-self” principle many times before it finally hits home and becomes a reality. The voice from Heaven said, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again”. Jesus was glorified by God the Father many times in His ministry, He must have been thinking that the only time He’d be glorified was when He died, but the Father gives that reassuring voice from Heaven, “I have glorified it already”. Jesus was glorified just by being Jesus. He was glorified the moment He came into the world, He was glorified at His baptism, in His temptation in the wilderness, in His teaching and preaching, in His healings and miracles, in His eating and sleeping, Jesus was full of the glory of the Lord. Yet there’s the wonderful promise from the Father in verse 28 “… and I will glorify it again”. God the Father wants to continually GLORIFY Jesus His Son.

You too will be glorified again, you are being glorified now, by just being a Christian in Jesus. You’ve got the GLORY. How did you get the glory? By doing what Jesus did; “Whoever serves me must follow me” Verse 26. What did Jesus do and where did Jesus go that we must follow?

THE SINGLE GRAIN OF WHEAT.

Jesus was that single grain of wheat that was prepared to die in order that it might produce many seeds. V24.

We don’t traditionally think of John 12:24 as a Parable of Jesus. Normally Jesus parables are longer, but Jesus was a walking-talking-living-parable. Thinking of wheat like this; ‘dying and producing a crop’ is parabolic. Jesus knew that He’d come into this world to die so that others might live forever. He knew that death would not be able to hold him, that he’d rise again from the dead after three days in the grave, but he also knew that he MUST die. He must endure death, torture, punishment and pain, so that others would be able to live.

“NOW MY HEART IS TROUBLED” Verse 27:

This dying-to-self and ‘taking up our cross daily’ is NOT EASY.

Jesus was troubled by the thoughts of what He must do. How he knew about the torture he was about to endure and it quite rightly troubled him. Nobody in their right mind would welcome torture, pain, agony. However if it’s got a purpose and a good reason, then of course we’re prepared to endure it.

We know that people endure pain of operations by doctors and dentists, because after the pain wears off we’re going to feel much better afterwards.

We know that many thousands were prepared to endure pain, discomfort and possible death to serve our Nation in times of war, but nobody in their right mind wants there to be a war.

Jesus knew that His DEATH would bring LIFE and eternity to all who would put their faith and trust in Him. It was the prospect of what would happen afterwards, because He knew the single grain of wheat must die in order that a crop of many thousands would result. It was the ONLY WAY to produce the crop.

PUT YOUR TRUST IN THE LIGHT (Verse 36)

Jesus was indicating to those who were with Him, there’s ONLY ONE WAY to be SAVED, by trusting in the LIGHT.

Today, Jesus has gone through the Cross, He died and rose again from the dead, He’s now ascended into Heaven: He’s ALIVE in His resurrected and glorified body.

However, this “Put your trust in the LIGHT whilst you can” is an opportunity for everyone to receive the gift of life. However, we must not put-it-off, for we don’t know when the end will come. We don’t know when we’re going to depart this life.

On Tuesday I’m conducting a funeral for a man who tripped and fell at home, he crashed into a glass-mirror and died instantly. His poor wife heard the noise of his fall, rushed up the stairs and found his crumpled body. She tried frantically to revive him, but he’d gone.

My friends, God forbid, but we could fall over and die like that, but if we’re not walking in the light of the Lord Jesus Christ, If we have not come to the light, if we have not received the light, then we are going to be tripping into eternity without Jesus as our Lord. We’ll face the Judgement. He’ll judge us on the basis of His Goodness (NOT OURS), His standard of goodness is much higher than ours is. We think we only have to be more good than bad and we’ll be OK at the Judgement. We think, “If I do some good things, I’ll be saved, because a good God will look at all the good things I’ve done in life and I’ll be saved.”

However, it’s the very thing we’re counting on to save us that will condemn us. We are right in thinking that God IS Good, but His goodness is so great that He can’t allow any badness into Heaven. You wouldn’t put a piece of rotten chicken into your fridge beside the good chicken would you? You wouldn’t put a rotten peach into your fruit bowl. You wouldn’t give sour milk to your tea or coffee.

I opened up a packet of bread the other day and was just about to pop it into the toaster when I noticed a green mouldy patch. I looked at the rest of the bread in the packet it was all contaminated and green. The packaging was intact, the label said that t was a few days before the “EAT BY DATE” but it was rotten on the inside.

We might look good to ourselves (the packaging) and think I’m looking good, but it’s God that’s going to judge us. Unless we’ve died to self; Unless our grain of wheat has died, then we’re still rotting on the inside because we’re contaminated with sin. Unless we die to self and come to the light of the Lord Jesus Christ, then we’re going to die in our sin and face His Judgement.

God cannot and will not allow anything contaminated with sin into His Holy Heaven. No amount of good deeds will remove your sin from your record. Once committed, sin stains your soul until it is washed away, but doing good doesn’t wash sin away.

In order to get into Heaven, the grain of wheat must die.

Jesus died so that we could live forever. He died in our place; now if we want to go to Heaven, we too must die in order that we can live forever. However our death is different; we simply need to die to self. We need to come and trust in Jesus death so that we can live forever, but to do that, we must die to self. We’ve got to let go of our life in order to gain eternal life.

YBH: Yes, but how?

To die to self: We must STOP trusting in our own goodness: Recognise that we’re rotten and contaminated with sin on the inside. For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. We’ve all broken God’s commandments, when we do we become contaminated with sin. We may still be in-date, alive for a while, but we’re walking and living contaminated.

First: Believe:

That Jesus is the GRAIN of Wheat that Died For YOU.

He died upon the cross for the sins of all. Jesus knew that’s why He had come;

John 12:27  “Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour.” Simply believe that Jesus came to that hour on the Cross for your sin.

1 Timothy 1:15 “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners …”

Full Acceptance: Means we can fully accept and trust that Jesus came to die for our sins.

Secondly: Repent:

Turn away from your sin and trust Jesus: Stop trusting in your own goodness to save you (check the bread above). You’re going to be sadly disappointed on Judgement day if you continue to trust yourself. Repent and Trust the Saviour.

Thirdly: Receive:

Walk in the Light. Receive Jesus Christ as your LORD and you’ll begin walking in the light. Walking in Jesus. Remember Jesus is the “The Light Of The World” John 1.

Fourthly: SERVE: (DIE-to-Self):

Die to self. “Take up your cross daily”

Living a life of service means we must be prepared every day to follow Jesus example, He died in order that many would live. The single grain of wheat must die to bring life to countless thousands of others. We too must be prepared to die to self in order that we can live forever.

John 12:36  “Put your trust in the light while you have it, so that you may become sons of light.”

A son of light: A daughter of light: Is a person who’s trusted in the LIGHT.

NOW: After trusting we can do our good deeds, not to be saved, but because we’re ALIVE: We’ve died to self and we’re LIVING for God.

John 12:26  “Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honour the one who serves me.”

Believe, Repent, Receive, Serve and be HONOURED by the Father.

Have an AWESOME week walking in the Light of the Lord, taking up your own cross every day for Jesus.

Don.