Genesis 3: 1 (NLT) Now the serpent was the shrewdest of all the creatures the LORD God had made. “Really?” he asked the woman. “Did God really say you must not eat any of the fruit in the garden?”John 8:31 (NLT) Jesus said to the people who believed in Him,” You are truly my disciples if you keep obeying my teachings.”
1. Satan convinced Eve it was okay to disobey God’s Word, to do what she wanted, and accept his invitation (lie) to be “like God”.
2. Adam and Eve didn’t have all of Satan’s distractions/temptations we have today. Fortunately, today we have a complete set of all of His teachings in one book. We also have more people around us who strive to follow all of His teachings.
3. Jesus did not say, “Follow just the teachings you agree with”.
4. Jesus explained the reason why many did not understand His teachings was that they were unable, because they decided to be children of the Devil. Jesus didn’t “sugarcoat” His message.
When my children were little, we covered wall outlets, tied up cords, and put up harmful chemicals in the garage. Yet our perfect Father did not “baby proof” His garden. As parents, we didn’t give our children a choice about what was dangerous. Yet our perfect Father placed the tree of knowledge of good and evil, Satan, and His children in the same garden. Our Father loves us so much that He gave us a choice to follow Him and His Word, or not.
There was a question posted online which received a great deal of response and affirmation. The question (paraphrased) was, “Would you remain in a church whose pastor ‘proudly admitted to being committed to sexual immorality as defined in God’s Word’?” Before paraphrased, it was an incredible “Pharisee-like” question. My immediate response would be not to judge, and continue to love them. I accepted Christ because of Christ, not because of any real or counterfeit Christian in my church. Then Mat. 13:25 came to mind followed by 1 Cor 5, Gen. 3, John 8:31, and John 14:6. Before I knew it, I was diving deeper into His teachings. The question for me was, “Would I remain with a pastor who agreed with Satan and thought it would be okay to eat from that tree in the garden?”
My pastor challenges me to think, question, and encourages me to study (SOAP) daily and follow all of God’s teachings for myself, along with him. Perhaps the best answer to the question could come from a quote by LeVar Burton from Reading Rainbow, “Don’t take my word for it, read the book yourself.”
Loving Father. Help me to study and understand Your Word daily. Help me to keep all of Your teachings. Not just because it is best for me, but because I love You and want too. In Your name I pray. Amen.
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