“Did God Really Say …?” January 2

 

Did God Really Say ...? - It started in the garden. The serpent tempted Eve with a thought, "Did God really say ...?" The first step in his deception was to get her to doubt God and he's still whispering the same question today. #God #faith #doubt #sinIt started in the garden. The serpent tempted Eve with a thought, “Did God really say …?” The first step in his deception was to get her to doubt God and he’s still whispering the same question today.

But God didn’t give up on man. In fact, in the next chapter of Genesis, He counseled a young man named Cain about the anger that was growing in his heart. He warned him that sin was crouching at the door like a hungry lion. What could be crouching at the door of your heart?

Also read about the danger of thinking we’re smarter than God, the importance of honoring parents and some examples of fulfilled prophecy. 

 

Today’s Readings:
Genesis 3 & 4
Psalm 2.1-6
Proverbs 1.8-9
Matthew 2.1-23

 

Did God Really Say …?

 

Genesis 3 & 4:

Another Voice

 

God had created the man and the woman and placed them in the garden to tend and keep it (Gen. 2.15). He left them with just one commandment:

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 shall surely die” (Gen. 2.16-17).

But sadly, they would listen to another voice:

“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 shall not eat of every tree of the garden”?’” (v. 3.1)

The New Living Translation says, “’Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?’”

Nothing much has changed. The devil is still whispering the same question today, trying to get us to doubt God’s Word.

“Did God really say … that homosexuality is wrong?”

“Did God really say … that you should submit to your husband in everything? What if he’s wrong? What if you’re more spiritual? Did God really mean everything?”

“Did God really say … you must forgive when someone has hurt you deeply?”

 

You Won’t Die

 

Verses 4 and 5:

Then 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 opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

“… you won’t die …” In other words, God’s a liar.

“… your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God …” In fact, God is withholding something good from you! You can be like God and do what you please.”

Apple

“You won’t die. No one will know.”

“You won’t die. In fact, you deserve it.”

“You won’t die. It’s just a little fun.”

“You won’t die. It’s just one date.”

“You won’t die. You can live together. God understands.”

But remember Jesus said, Satan is the father of lies (Jn. 8.44). And he has had several thousand years to perfect his lies. He knows what works on us. He just tells us what we want to hear.

14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death (Jas. 1.14-15).

 

The Truth Is …

 

We need to know our enemy and not be ignorant of his devices (2 Cor. 2.11).

The devil is subtle and patient. He waits for the right time, often, when we’re tired or discouraged. Tired of waiting on God. Depressed about the circumstances of our lives or just plain weary.

 

Did God Really Say ...? - It started in the garden. The serpent tempted Eve with a thought, "Did God really say ...?" The first step in his deception was to get her to doubt God and he's still whispering the same question today. #God #faith #doubt #sin

 

No Surprise to God

 

But none of what happened in the garden surprised God. Even as He pronounced the curse that would come as a result of their sin, He laid down the plan of redemption.

“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel” (3.15).

Satan would cause Jesus (and those who follow Him) to suffer, but Jesus would ultimately destroy him.

 

Sin Is Crouching at the Door

 

Let’s look at one more verse.

Verse 4.7, “If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.”

The New Living Translation says:

You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.”

God was talking to and counseling a young man named Cain who was angry with and jealous of his brother, Abel. Sadly, Cain refused to listen to God.

One day Cain suggested to his brother, “Let’s go out into the fields.” And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother, Abel, and killed him.

Sin is still crouching at the door wanting to have mastery over us. The devil whispers, “You have a right to be angry!” or some other lie and sin takes control of us instead of us subduing it with the truth.

Even things that aren’t sinful in and of themselves can tempt us to get obsessed with them instead of being single-minded and growing in the Lord. Paul said it this way:

“All things are lawful for me, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be mastered by anything” (1 Cor. 6.12).

There are some things that are allowable, but not necessarily profitable, especially if we are at risk of being controlled by them?

When you think about your interests, that hot new movie, your favorite musician or TV show, or the latest book series … ask yourself “Did I spend an equal amount of time focused on God and ‘His story‘”? Do you spend as much time yearning to read God’s word as you did waiting for the newest book or movie? Are you compelled to get to know Him? Remember Psalm 1 in yesterday’s readings said we are to “delight ourselves in the law of the Lord” and to meditate on it day and night.

Let’s make 2018 a year that we grow in our desire to know Him better and learn to recognize sin when it crouches at the door.

 

Today’s Other Readings:

 

Psalm 2.1-6:

Thinking We’re Smarter than God

 

These verses picture the blindness of our sin nature and, through it all, God’s sovereign control.

Verse one, “Why do the nations rage, and the people plot a vain thing?”

We have a habit of thinking we’re smarter than God. We make up our own rules and think we can decide what truth is. And all the while:

“He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; the Lord shall hold them in derision” (v. 4).

 

Proverbs 1.8-9:

Honor Your Father & Mother

 

children mom

“My son, hear the instruction of your father, and do not forsake the law of your mother; for they will be a graceful ornament on your head, and chains about your neck.”

One of the Ten Commandments is “Honor your father and mother.” And Paul echoed that principle in Ephesians 6 when he said:

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. ‘Honor your father and mother,’ which is the first commandment with promise: ‘that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.’”

If we love our children we must teach them to be obedient without being harsh. Children who don’t learn to obey their parents cannot be truly blessed and may even shorten their own lives through their rebellion.

Just as with wives submission to husbands, the command does have limitations. Children are to obey their parents “in the Lord.” Children are not to obey if asked to sin. And once a child has become a self-supporting adult, he or she should continue to honor his or her parents but is no longer bound to obey in a parental sense.

A note to us as parents: In the process of teaching, we must be careful of our methods. Teaching and instructing are to be done in love and not ways that would provoke our children to anger.

 

Matthew 2.1-23:

Fulfillment of Prophecy

 

We see at least four Old Testament prophecies being fulfilled in this chapter:

Verse 6 – God had foretold of His Son’s birth in Bethlehem in Micah 5.2.
Verse 15 – Hosea 11.1 said He would be called out of Egypt.
Verses 16-18 – Jeremiah 31.15 prophesied the death of the Jewish infants.
Verses 22-23 – “He shall be called a Nazarene.” This probably meant he would be called “detestable” from Psalm 22:6-8 and Isaiah 49.7, 53.3.

 

Closing Thoughts:

Psalm 19 tells us that God’s Word is perfect and sure. That it is right, true and righteous and that by it “Your servant is warned, and in keeping [it] there is great reward.”

What is Satan tempting you to disbelieve about God? Is he tempting you to decide something sinful or unprofitable is allowable? Has he tried to deceive you into believing He is withholding something good from you?

Ask God for His help to make wise choices, to believe God’s Word, and to trust in His sovereignty.

 

Praying the Bible:

From Genesis 3.1-6 and James 1.14-15

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 shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”

And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat 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 shall you touch it, lest you die.’”

Then 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 opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree desirable to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate. She also gave to her husband with her, and he ate. 

 

14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death (Jas. 1.14-15).

Lord, help me to remember that Satan is cunning. He will try to get me to doubt Your Word and Your goodness. Help me to remember that he is a liar and that deceit is one of his greatest weapons. Give me a desire to read and study my Bible so I’ll grow in my ability to recognize the difference between Your voice and his. Lord, lead me not into temptation. Don’t let me be drawn away by my own selfish or unwise desires. Thank You, Lord, for giving me Your good Word that is meant to protect me and for loving me like You do. In Jesus name. Amen.

 

Coming Up:

As we continue through Genesis, one of my favorite books of the Bible, we’ll meet real people with real stories like yours and mine. Tomorrow we’ll read about that first really bad choice. In the coming weeks, we will, also, read about Cain and Abel, Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob, Esau, and Joseph, just to name a few. We’ll witness sibling rivalry, murder, favoritism, idolatry, deception, manipulation, and revenge. But through it all, we’ll see God’s sovereignty and grace and find hope for the messes we make of our lives.

For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope (Rom. 15.4).

In the New Testament, we’ll talk about the difference between regret and repentance, about fighting temptation with the sword of the Spirit, about radical surgery and look at Jesus’ outline for prayer.

Be sure to sign up here so you won’t miss any of these upcoming daily posts. If you sign up now you will have a chance to win one of the best books on prayer that I’ve read in a long time: Praying the Bible by Donald Whitney (sign up by January 31). You can read more about it below.

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Blessings,
Donna

 

Why Read through the Bible in 2018? #Bible #NewYear #2018 #resolutions

Do you have a plan to grow spiritually 2018? If not, see why you should make it a goal to start a daily Bible reading plan.

 


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Today’s Featured Resources:

 

Praying the Bible by Donald Whitney

“This little book is explosive and powerful.”
R. Albert Mohler, Jr.

When you pray, does it ever feel like you’re just saying the same old things about the same old things?

Offering us the encouragement and the practical advice we’re all looking for, Donald S. Whitney, best-selling author of Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life, outlines an easy-to-grasp method that has the power to transform our prayer life: praying the words of Scripture. Simple, yet profound, Praying the Bible will prove invaluable as you seek to commune with your heavenly Father in prayer each and every day.

 

The MacArthur Daily Bible

The MacArthur Daily Bible takes a portion of the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs for each day of the year, with daily comments that guide and inform you as you read through the Bible in a year. John MacArthur’s insight maximizes the benefit of each day’s reading. If a commitment to daily Bible reading never worked for you before, this is the answer. With John at your side, there’ll be no such thing as a tough portion of Scripture.

6 thoughts on ““Did God Really Say …?” January 2

  1. Good morning Donna, I have read Matthew so many times and recently I found out that the Wise men saw Jesus in a house. Matt 2:11. Wactching movies and cartoons I guess I thought they saw him in the manger. And just maybe Jesus was about two years old. Since Herod sent to kill all males two years under. That just show how much I need to pay attention to God’s word. Thank you for being faithful doing Soul Survival, don’t remember how many years I’ve been with you, and don’t get tired or old. I love it. God bless you.

    • Your faithfulness is such an encouragement, Hilda! Yes, some of the commonly held ideas aren’t really the way it happened. But you’re not alone. I think most people think the wise men were there right after He was born. Have a blessed 2018!

  2. So true how deceptive Satan is. The lies are so smoothly planted in front of you that you can’t tell anything is wrong until it is too late. Thanks for sharing at Home Sweet Home.

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