“A man should hear a little music, read a little poetry, and see a fine picture every day of his life, in order that worldly cares may not obliterate the sense of the beautiful which God has implanted in the human soul.”
― Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Inspiration comes in many forms. It is meant to awaken in each of us a special drive and ignite a flame of passion. My quest is to highlight those people, places and things that inspire and transform. I seek to find the wonders that stimulate our minds, and whose beauty alone brings tears to our eyes. These reveal the miracles of life.
With the Holiday Season here one thing that I absolutely love is Christmas Music. Some of my favorite songs are Emmanuel, The Little Drummer Boy, and Mary Did you know. Some renditions of these songs leave me in tears. There is one piece that our college concert choir would perform every year and that was Handel’s Messiah. It is truly a work of wonder from the orchestral excerpts to the operatic etudes. Now, the piece is quite long but it leaves you full and inspired, in awe and wonder of this King of Kings and Lord of Lords. So if you get the chance and have adequate time just light a candle, find a comfy chair, get some headphones, close your eyes and enjoy the majestic sounds that point to the true reason for the season.
Yeah I know, I know…its been a long minute since my last post. Its actually been over 2 years. I have been through quite a bit. I’ll save you the details but just know that I hope to be posting more frequently and giving you some more content as the Lord wills it. Thanks for staying with me on this journey and you’ll hear from me soon.
I want to do something a little different today. Today’s post will be in the form of a Bible Study and it will be the first post on a series called the Master Plan, explaining God’s plan of Redemption which began in Genesis and was fulfilled with the coming of our Savior Jesus the Christ. If you are interested in learning more about Christ please join me on this journey and I pray that your eyes and hearts are open to receive and understand. Lord, thine will be done.
Today’s Study will come from Genesis 3: 1-15
In the Beginning God Created. It was all Good. Man and Woman made in His Image. Breath of Life. Garden. God commanded. Rib Taken. Peace. Serpent Deceives. THE FALL.
Genesis 3:1 “Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD GOD made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”
So Adam and Eve were chilling in the garden. Adam was tending to the animals and Eve was helping him out in the ways that she could. Out of nowhere, here comes the serpent. He poses a question to Eve about what God had commanded them. Eve responds and says that God told them that they could eat from any tree, except the tree that is in the middle of the Garden. That they must not touch it or they would die. The serpent tells her that they will not die but that they will be like God, knowing good and evil. After this, Eve considers the fruit in the tree. She sees it and knew that it would give her wisdom. She grabbed it, ate it, and gave some to Adam as well. Their eyes were opened and immediately they realized they were naked. They covered themselves with fig leaves and when they heard God coming they hid themselves. God is walking through the garden in the cool of the day and calls for Adam. Adam tells God that he heard him coming but he got afraid because he was naked and he hid. God wants to know who had told Adam that he was naked and if he had eaten from the tree. Adam says,” The woman you put here gave it to me. And I ate it.” Eve says “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.”
What is going on here? Well, back in Genesis 2:15, God told Adam not to eat of the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Afterwards God formed Eve from Adams rib. He gave Eve to Adam and placed them in the garden. The commandment that God told Adam was then applied to Eve but the serpent decided to test Eve on it. He tempted her with the fruit and Eve gave in to the temptation. She knew what God had told her, but she also wanted what the serpent had told her would be the result of eating the fruit. She wanted to be just as wise as God. So she ate the fruit from the tree that she was commanded not to eat of and she gave some to Adam and he ate too. They both disobeyed God’s commandment.
One of my favorite television shows is the Cosby Show. In one episode Rudy was invited to a birthday party. The dress she wanted to wear to the party was a purple sleeveless dress and it was her favorite. Her mother Claire told her that since it was chilly outside that she should find another dress to wear and put the purple one in a chest where her summer clothes would be stored until next year. But Rudy really wanted to wear that dress and felt that she was old enough to choose her own clothes like everyone else in the family did. So she decided that she would go and ask her father, Heathcliff. Heathcliff knew little about what the girl should have worn or what her mother had told her. Rudy knowing this asked him if the dress made her look pretty and if she should wear it to the party. Heathcliff’s response was yes. While Rudy was hanging with her dad, in walks Claire. Claire asks Rudy why she still has the dress on and Rudy responds Dad said that I could wear it to the party. Claire gets angry and tells Rudy that if she does not take the dress off then she won’t be going to the party at all.
How is Rudy’s situation similar to that of Eve’s?
They both put their own interests above the commandments they were given. Both commandments were for their own protection. Eve was given a commandment by God so that she would not die. Rudy was given a commandment from her mother, who knew that if she wore that dress out in the cold that she would get sick.
Claire’s response to Rudy’s disobedience was a threat. But God’s response is a little different.
God curses the Serpent first, then the woman (3:16), and then the man (3:17-18). This curse was just the beginning. Adam and Eve are banished from the garden and no longer in a place where they could walk with God. As Genesis unfolds, generation after generation reveals instances where people begin to do things that are unrighteous. They kill each other and are greedy. And as the story continues throughout the bible there are those that obey God and honor him and then there are those who put their desires above God. The actions of the three caused such a fall that God knew then that something must be done to correct it. God knew all this from the beginning but He did not leave us without hope.
Genesis 3:15, which is part of God’s curse to the serpent, reads:
“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring[a] and hers; he will crush[b] your head, and you will strike his heel.”
This my friends is the start of God’s plan for redemption. If you did not catch it before, the serpent in this story is the devil. The devil caused the fall of man wanting us to disobey God and obey him. The devil knew that we would die. But Adam and Eve knew not of which death was being spoken of. This death was an eternal death of which the devil was already condemned. The devil wanted Adam and Eve to die the same death as he.
But all the while God had a Master plan and that is what he spoke of in the curse. The seed of woman would crush the head of the serpent. Who would be this seed of woman? The only Man born of a woman who did not receive seed from a man is Jesus. Jesus would crush the head of the serpent (the devil) with only a strike (bruise) to his heel. Therein is the first telling of the coming of a Savior who would redeem us all back into the Grace of God where we will be able to commune with God forever and have a chance at life eternal.
We disobeyed. Sin entered the world and we fell from grace. But was that it? No, that wasn’t it. God had a plan from the beginning.
Check out this video of a Poem by Preston Perry and Jackie Hill Perry titled “The Fall” from P4CM.com.
Well that is it! I hope that you learned something. I will try to do a bible study once a week. I hope that you can join me.
So there has been a little bit of a transition and I am in Grad School!! So yeah, a lot has been going on and its been a while since I’ve last posted anything.
Amidst the transition, I’ve been doing a biblical word study with Angel Walston who can be found on YouTube at www.youtube.com/user/AngelWalston and it has been really great. The point of the biblical word study was to come up with a list of words of things that you struggle with in your Christian walk and then spend an amount of time studying those words in scripture and finding out how those scriptures apply to your life.
One of the words that I studied was Love. I actually started off with Lust and wanted to know how Lust could be confused with Love and I compared the two. Overall I wanted to know what it meant to love and how to do it the right way. Because if you didn’t know there is a right and wrong way to show someone what it means to love given the many definitions of love floating around today.
One funny thing was that right after the first day of my study on Love, I attended a different church from the one that I usually attend and the sermon for the day was part of a series called UN-Jesus, detailing things that Christians do that are unlike Christ, and the message for the day was UN-Loving. They talked about the five love languages and told the story of the prodigal son from the stand point of the brother who never left home and how he did not show love for his brother as the father had. I was like Whaaaatttt this is going right along with my study!!
Okay let me get to the point. Anyway…in my biblical study one of the scriptures that went with Love was the greatest commandments found in Mark 12:30-31 which says
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” (NIV)
And in thinking about how to do this, I was just like okay Lord, I love you and I know you love me, but how can I love others as I love myself? A deeper question was: do I even love myself? If I do, how do I show myself love? And lastly how can these same ways in which I love myself be transferred to the people that I come in contact with? I was digging deep.
In the end I came to the conclusion that yes I do love myself. Some days are a little shaky depending on what’s going on in my life but for the most part I am in love with myself and the person God created me to be. I realize that I show myself love in different ways. Here are five ways in which I show myself love and ways in which it can be transferred to others:
1) I love God and I seek a relationship with Him.
This is the best thing you can ever do. God is so Great and His Love is so real. Loving God is good for me and I take joy in resting in Him. Now I say all of this for the Glory of God. There is no way you can truly love yourself if you don’t Love God and understand his love for you. Loving God calls for you to keep his commandments and spread the gospel. (That’s a sermon in itself)
2) I don’t beat myself up but forgive my own mistakes
I am not perfect but I do strive to be as Christ who is perfect. Yes, I mess up sometimes and I pray to God for forgiveness. But sometimes even though we know God has forgiven us, it is hard to forgive ourselves. We think, I just never should’ve messed up in the first place or who would forgive a mistake as big as this? This just lets you know that you are in a place where you haven’t forgiven yourself from what God has already forgotten about. Knowing that people are at different points in their walks and that they struggle in some areas just as I do, allows me to not expect them to be perfect or belittle them when they aren’t. We all need forgiveness, so forgiveness of self and forgiveness of others is really big here. Give yourself and others the benefit of the doubt.
3) I don’t talk down to myself but find ways to encourage
I have moments when I already feel low about some things but telling myself that I am worthless or stupid or such things as that only makes me feel worse. I can imagine how it feels to others. I also don’t like to hear my name dragged through the mud or to feel disrespected (Who would?). So I try not to put my mouth on people or disrespect people in any way. Instead I try to uplift, respect and give words of encouragement. They truly go a long way.
4) I take care of myself.
I feed myself. I bathe myself. I clothe myself. I groom myself. I put myself in my bed. I teach myself things. I buy myself things. I patch myself up when I get a scratch. I do what I can for myself and I only do it by the Grace and Provision of God. My ability to do such can be taken away at any time. So a great way to show love for others is to do what you can for others. If they are in need, find a way to help a brother or sister out. Be that Good Samaritan in somebody’s life.
5) I work to be better and I appreciate myself for me.
You are who you are and God made you that way for a reason. Appreciate your gifts and talents. Appreciate your body shape and intellect. Appreciate all the special things that make you unique. In the same sense, appreciate people and try to see the essence of who they are. Now some people may not be good for you and that is okay. But don’t brush people off because you think they are weird or ashy looking or something superficial like that. You never know they could be angels in disguise.
So yeah, sorry that this is so long. But I love You All. Here is a song by a great artist by the name of Moriah Peters featuring US. Hope you enjoy