Do-Over

Bing ImagesI’ve sat through plenty of discussions on Adam and Eve, and the fall of the human race. The way I see it, if it hadn’t been Adam and Eve, it would have been someone else. We’re all sinners. The only one to walk this earth and not sin, was Jesus.

When we visited with my mom during one of her nursing home activities — Bible Trivia —Bing the question was asked…Who sinned in the Garden of Eden? Not missing a beat, Mom said, “Eve. Women get blamed for everything.”

She’s right. Eve did sin in the Garden. And she is blamed for it.

In The Story, the second song is “Good”. It speaks of Adam and Eve’s desire to have a do-over, of sorts. It speaks of changing history, if they could, and choosing differently. The song says Adam and Eve would leave out the part where they broke God’s heart. They long to turn back time, and walk in the sunset with their LORD again. But then they ask God how he could look at them, and what they’d done, and still call them good.

BingI’d like to submit many of us may feel the exact same way…we’ve sinned. Done what we know we shouldn’t do, but did it any way. We’d like another chance. We miss the closeness we experienced with our God. We want a do-over.

Fortunately, God gives us that chance through his grace. Undeserved favor. Something we didn’t do anything to earn. A gift. The gift of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross of Calvary, that paid the price for our sins. The Sacrificial Lamb. By his wounds, we are healed.

February. The second month of 2014. Already two months into another new year. No matter. Each day, we have a clean slate in front of us. WikimediaIt’s ours to use as we please. As we desire.

Do we need to choose differently than we did in 2013? Are there areas of sin we need to surrender to Jesus, for his help in overcoming? Are there people we need to reach out to, apologies we need to make, forgiveness we need to extend? A do-over?

Despite all our messes and faults, God still calls us good.

So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Then God looked over all he had made, and he saw that it was very good! And evening passed and morning came, marking the sixth day. Genesis 1:27 & 31

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Important Enough

In a time in history when women had very little value in society, and were considered property of their fathers and husbands, the book of Matthew included the names of five woman important enough to be recorded in Jesus’ genealogy.

Tamar. A Gentile, whose desire to be part of God’s people and share in the promise given to Judah, pushed her to resort to trickery to have her father-in-law honor his promise to her. (Genesis 38)

Rahab. A Gentile prostitute living in Jericho, who believed in the God who led his people out of Egypt, was saved when she helped two Israelite spies escape. (Joshua 2)

Ruth. Another Gentile. A woman from Moab who chose to identify herself with God’s people when she accompanied her mother-in-law, Naomi, to Bethlehem after both were widowed. (Ruth)

Bathsheba. Dead Uriah’s wife. (2 Samuel 11)

Mary. The virgin chosen to carry within her womb the Son of God. Of whom was born Jesus. (Luke 1)

Five women. Five different backgrounds. Five different stories. Different personal lives. Different status. Different nationality. It didn’t matter to God. He used each of them, regardless. God’s grace crossed man-made boundaries. It crossed sins. It crossed loss.

What did each woman have? Faith. Faith in a God bigger than themselves. Faith in a God who took their brokenness and brought something wonderful out of it. Faith in a God who deals in redemption and grace. Faith in a God who is faithful even when we are not. Faith in a God who keeps his promises even when we do not.

God’s still in the business of restoration, redemption, and grace. He still uses broken and battered people to achieve his goals. He still loves unconditionally even when we may not be so lovable at times.

Feeling broken, cracked, rejected, defeated?

Just as God used these five women, he can use us. We can all be redeemed, and put back together through his grace. All we have to do is have faith enough to say yes to God, and his son, Jesus Christ.

Judah was the father of Perez and Zerah (whose mother was Tamar). Salmon was the father of Boaz (whose mother was Rahab). Boaz was the father of Obed (whose mother was Ruth). Obed was the father of Jesse. Jesse was the father of King David. David was the father of Solomon (whose mother was Bathsheba, the widow of Uriah). Jacob was the father of Joseph, the husband of Mary. Mary gave birth to Jesus, who is called the Messiah. Matthew 1:3, 5-6, 16

I wish you well.

Sandy

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Job Knew Something We Sometimes Forget

I received word July 10, 2013, an article I wrote for Today’s Christian Woman, “Letting Go” went live on TodaysChristianWoman.com’s ParentConnect site.

The post I wrote July 9 talked about opportunities God gives us to trust him. “Letting Go” tells of an opportunity God gave me to trust him, over 30 years ago. Today’s Christian Woman has asked me to spread the word about the article, so that’s what I’m doing. 😉

If someone mentions the name, Job, from the Old Testament, what’s the first thing we usually think of?

Patience.

But I would like to submit to you, that the Book of Job is sooo much more than merely a beautifully written, poetic story about exhibiting patience, and enduring troubles.

 

Have you spent much time considering Job’s friends? I use the term, friends, loosely here. I know I’ve had people like them in my life before. Still do.

Friends who tell us our troubles are all our fault. Even when we know for a fact, we haven’t done a thing to deserve what is happening. Or who tell us how stupid we were/are.

Friends who are ready to lecture and give advice, but who haven’t a clue what they are talking about. They aren’t the ones who went through the experience.

When, all the time, what we really need is a true friend. A friend who will sit with us in the ash heap, among the pottery shards of our life. Fortunately, I do have a couple of those. Thank you, Jesus.

And then there is Job’s Curse God and die, wife. Oh. There’s someone I’d like in my life. Not.

Near the very end of the Book of Job, (39-41) God tells Job to brace himself like a man. Then God starts questioning Job.

Where were you when I made the earth’s foundation? Who shut the doors to keep the sea

in when it broke through and was born? Where were you when I said to the sea, ‘you may come this far, but no farther’? Have you ever ordered the morning to begin, or shown the dawn where its place was? Tell me if you know all these things.

Job, wisely, admitted he had no answers to the Almighty’s questions.

But, before Job’s questioning by God, Job did know something we sometimes forget, even being this side of Calvary.

I know that my Redeemer lives, and in the end he will stand upon the earth. Even after my skin has been destroyed in my flesh I will see God. I will see him myself; I will see him with my very own eyes. How my heart wants that to happen!

Job 19:25-27 

The story of Job is not just a story of patience and suffering. It is a story of hope. Hope in a risen Savior. Hope in a Redeemer. Hope in Jesus Christ as LORD. It is a story that should give us hope, even in the midst of our worst trials and troubles.

This is the story of a man who lived in the days of the old and ancient before Jesus walked this earth. A man who knew the truth. A man who knew his, and our, yours, and my, Redeemer lives!

Going through some tough stuff in your life? Hold onto the hope we have in Jesus as our LORD, Savior and Redeemer.

I wish you well.

Sandy

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