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Devotional- Adam’s Guilt and Shame

Genesis 3

God gave Adam very specific instructions when he had his undivided attention in the Garden of Eden. Before God created woman– God was giving Adam the chance to live in full freedom through his obedience.

God saw that it was not good for man to be alone; He decided to create woman from one of man’s ribs to give man a partner or helper. Eve was what they called her. God blessed them for their perfect life together.

It was Adam’s responsibility to help Eve to understand God’s very specific direction’s regarding the Garden of Eden. (Do NOT eat from the forbidden tree of the knowledge of good and evil.) However, Eve was left susceptible and an easy target for the serpent to deceive– this is why ultimately Adam was held responsible for the sin that infected the human race.

Before Adam was confronted by God he already felt the inner feeling of awareness of wrongdoing. Adam was feeling guilty for having sinned and had a fear of his sin being exposed which made him feel shame.

These two key internal awareness’s were given to us by God as an internal corrective.

Some call this the still small voice inside telling you to do something or not to do something.

Instead of repenting and confessing his sin immediately Adam tried to cope with the feelings of guilt and shame on his own through denial (blaming Eve, who blamed the serpent) and avoidance (he tried to hide from God).

When we refuse to admit to our own wrong doing’s and confess our sins to God; we become bound by our sin–leading to excessive feelings of guilt and shame. The refusal to confess cuts us off from God’s redemptive healing and freedom.

Reflection

What do you feel God is speaking to you through the example of Adam’s guilt and shame?

Do you have a tendency to refuse to admit your wrong doing and take accountability for your actions?

What, if any, changes do you feel God is calling you to make?

Call to Action

Today is the day we stop avoiding and stop passing blame. Confess and own your sine to God and He is faithful and just to forgive! (1 John 1:9)

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord that you are a just and forgiving God. One who does not wish any of His children be bound by sin and stuck in their guilt and shame. Lord I confess that it is hard to confess and own up to the things we have done wrong, especially those things that have hurt others, but Lord through You I know I am forgiven. I pray that You would send Your Holy Spirit to fill our hearts and give us the courage to move forward towards healing, redemption, and true freedom. I pray Your guiding hand over each of us and ask that you expose any harbored feelings of guilt or shame, help us to lay each down at Your feet and move forward in victory.

I pray each person would seek to know Your truth, love, and forgiveness. I pray that each would rise above their sin and own their actions so that You may release the chains that bind them. I pray that each person who reads this will have open hearts, ears, and eyes for Your truth in Jesus mighty name I pray.

Amen

Bible Study Tools, Blog, Devotionals, Home, Life, Family, Encouragement

Devotional- Be Angry…Don’t Stay Angry

Cain had a problem with anger. Cain and Abel were the sons of Adam and Eve. Cain was a tiller of the ground and Abel was a keeper of sheep. Over time the process came to make an offering as part of a worship service to God.

Cain offered fruit of the ground and Abel offered the firstborn of his flock and their fat (something of special value). Abel could have brought any one of the animals from his flock but choose the one he felt had special value.

Cain did his duty but Abel offered his best.

Cain grew angry because God respected and favored Abel’s offering but not his and his favor, good will, and kindness fell.

Cain should have been angry at himself for giving with the wrong heart, for giving out of duty instead of good will. But instead, Cain mistargeted his anger and was furious with Abel.

Cain’s original anger could be seen as a positive response– He was angry that he did not find favor/respect from God. However, his anger was not dealt with properly and it became a deadly weapon searching for a new target, in this particular case it was Abel.

God warned Cain about staying angry and offered him another opportunity saying, “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.” (Genesis 4:7)

Cain talked with Abel in a field. While talking Cain allowed his anger to control him and he killed his brother. His anger turned into murderous jealousy, and Cain did not benefit one bit from Abel’s death. It did not stop there; Cain denied what he had done to Abel when confronted by God; he was not remorseful nor did he show repentance.

Cain became stuck in his anger, guilt, and shame.

Cain’s lack of control over his anger demonstrates how it can lead to more destructive behavior.

The key here is that it is okay to be angry, but it is not okay to stay angry.

We need to exercise self-control over our anger. If we do not rule over it, it will rule over all areas of our life. Uncontrolled anger and avoidance of dealing with its cause is a recipe for further destructive behavior.

These emotional responses are part of our human nature, but we need to be sure we are not bottling up emotions like anger or avoiding dealing with their root causes. When we invite God to help us identify the causes of our anger and what corrective measures we need to take regarding it; anger can become a great tool rather than something that rules our life.

God’s Word gives us a lot of great advice on anger. We need to be careful what we say and what do when we are angry. One of the scriptures that stick out most to me with the message of Cain’s anger in killing Abel is “Be angry, and do not sin.” (Ephesians 4:26)

Reflection

Do you struggle with staying angry? If so, what do you feel God is saying to you through the example of Cain’s anger problem?

Have you asked God to show you what is causing you to feel angry and stay angry? If so, what is it, if not, do you feel God is leading you to ask Him now?

What is one thing that stood out most to you about the account of Cain killing his brother Abel?

Call to Action

Make the choice today to take your anger, guilt, shame, and all sin to God.

Lay every one down at His feet. Ask Him to show you the roots of any anger you may be holding on to. Ask God how to make steps to correct it.

Ask Him to show you how to express your anger in a healthy way– ‘be angry and not sin.”

Prayer

Heavenly Father,

Thank you Lord for Your guidance and example of uncontrolled anger in the Bible. Lord I confess we are all guilty of harboring anger and allowing it to get the best of us, myself included. I pray that you would use the story of Cain and Abel to speak to those who read this message. Show them what You are warning us about through this scripture.

Lord, I pray that each person would be guided by Your hand; that You would touch each person’s heart and help them to heal from whatever circumstances are causing them to hold on to anger. Lord, expose to each person what You want us to learn from this account regarding our anger and being in control over it.

God, You are mighty and just, You deliver us out of the hand of the wicked one and set us upon Your rock. Help each one of us understand that being angry is okay but the danger comes in staying angry. I declare today that You are in control of our feelings and You will protect us from the schemes of satan. I declare every chain of harbored anger would be broken, I declare healing from any hurt that is causing us to hold on to anger, I declare that Jesus is in control of our lives and no scheme or plot from satan will harm us.

Thank you Father for being a good Father. A Father who never fails us and is always near ready to help His children out of any trouble they may face. It is in Jesus name I pray.

Amen

Bible Stories, Blog

The Call of Abraham

Abram was seventy-five years old– when God called him to depart– to leave his family and country– to go to a place unknown to him. The scripture puts it as “a place I will show you.” God promised Abram a number of things, if he would have faith and do as God instructed him.

God promised Abram:

  • A great nation
  • To bless him
  • Make his name known and great
  • That he would be a blessing to others– a blessing to those who bless him and a curse to those who curse him
  • All the families on the Earth will be blessed because of him.

Abram chose to listen to the Lord and prepared to depart from Haran. Abram took his wife–Sarai and his brother’s son– Lot– he gathered their possessions and the people whom they encountered in Haran and departed.

They traveled to the land of Canaan– passed through to the place called Shechem– and continued as far as the terebinth tree of Moreh. Then the Lord appeared to Abram again and told him, “To your descendants I will give this land.”

So Abram built an altar to the Lord there. He then traveled to the mountain east of Bethel and pitched a tent– he built an altar there and called upon the Lord. Abram would continue on his journey toward the south.

Abram was ninety-nine years old when the Lord appeared to him and said ” I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless. And I will make My covenant between Me and you, and will multiply you exceedingly.”

Abram fell on his face before God and God talked to him saying..

“As for Me, behold, My covenant is with you and you shall be a father of many nations. No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be called Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations; I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings shall come from you. And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you in their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and your descendants after you.  Also I give to you and your descendants after you the land in which you are a stranger, all the land of Canaan, as an everlasting possession; and I will be their God.”


Find it in the Bible: Genesis 12:1-9 & Genesis 17:1-8

What can we learn from these scriptures?

Abram, later known as Abraham, lived a bold and faithful life. When the Lord called him– he listened and acted on what God told him– because of Abraham’s faithfulness and willingness to follow God, God blessed Abraham, his decsendents, and all the people of the Earth. That means You and me too!

We can also see that Abram was not a “young-spring-chicken” when God called upon him. The sciptures notes he was 75 years of age the first time God called him to leave his family and 99 years old when God revealed himself and told Abraham he would be a father of many nations. If you continue reading outside the mentioned scriptures above you will see God also promised Abraham who was now 100– that his wife Sarah who was 90 years of age, that she would bear a child. (They had no children of their own at this point.)

Abraham and Sarah both laughed at the idea they would have a child at their age. But God- with God all things are possible. He kept each and every one of His promises– and still does to this day!

God uses all people young and old to fulfill His will and Purpose.

Bible Stories, Blog

The Battle of Jericho

This story is from Joshua chapter six in the Bible. I use the New King James Version– that is just my preference. Although the story is below I always encourage each person to look it up for themselves and read it directly from God’s word.

The Story

The town of Jericho was shut-up no one came in or went out. The Lord told Joshua that Jericho was to be his–that he would be king. God instructed Joshua how to take over the city of Jericho. He was very specific in His instruction.

God said ‘ You shall march around the city, all of your men of war; you shall go all around the city at once. He told them to do this for six days. He said that seven priests shall bear seven trumpets of rams horn and on the seventh day they shall march around the city seven times and the priests shall blow their trumpets. God then instructed Joshua that with the blast of the rams horns when they hear the sound of the trumpets all the men shall shout. God told Joshua that when he and his men did this the walls will fall flat and the city will be his.

So Joshua called the priests and told them what God had said to him. Then the seven priests, the armed men, and the guard followed Joshua. Joshua instructed his men not to shout or make noise until the day he instructed them to.

Each day for the next six days–Joshua and his men got up and marched around the city and rested back at camp, just as God had instructed him. On the seventh day–they marched around the city seven times– and on the seventh time blew the trumpets and the men all shouted. The walls of Jericho came down and the city was doom by the Lord’s destruction. The city and all who were in it were doomed–except for Rehab. Rehab was a harlot but she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy on Jericho. So when the walls fell and the city was doomed– Joshua spared Rehab and all those in her house– he saved them.

Joshua and his men went into the city and they burned the city and all that was in it. Only the silver and gold, and the vessels of bronze and iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the Lord and Rehab and her relatives were spared.

Take a deeper look

The story of Jericho shows us a lot about God and how His will works.

Often times we pray and ask God for direction and to lead the way but then are not willing to follow Him when He calls. God uses ordinary, broken people to do His work through His power. We can’t expect to pray and ask God to help us and lead the way and not be willing to do whatever He asks of us.

It is like saying God– Here I am– Send Me!!

Then He calls and says– Ok, Go here or do this– And we CHOOSE not to listen.

You know– the okay God I want to follow you but not this one–not this time–pick someone else– use me somewhere else.

Why do we do this? Why ask Him if we do not intend to listen? I think a lot has to do with our unspoken expectations. When we pray we kind of think we already have the solution all figured out one way or another.

So when He calls us to do something outrageous much like He did with Joshua– we find reasons not to do it. Either because we don’t like what He is sending us to do, we have fear, or we are plain stubborn and make excuses as to why we can’t do it, shouldn’t do it, or even convince ourselves that it’s not God sending us.

God works in mysterious ways in order to build trust and reliance on Him and in Him as the almighty God– the one whom has it all figured out. He sees a far bigger picture then what we do.

Let this story be great encouragement for your to push forward and follow God no matter how crazy or how hard the path may seem. Remember if God is for you–who can be against you? The Lord will always protect you through what He has called you to do.

The story in Joshua is one of great strength, faith, and obedience to God. It shows God’s faithfulness to those who listen to Him and follow His lead. It shows He can and will use anyone– no matter what their past is.

God used Rehab to protect the messengers (spies) He sent–Yes, God used the Harlot Rehab in order to fulfill His will– He used her, He is using me, and He can use you too!

No one is too broken or too lost to fulfill their purpose in Christ– In fact, that is why each of us have been put here.

Chase God! Chase your dreams! Follow your heart!

Reflection

What do you think God is saying to you through the story in Joshua 6?

Can you think of a time God called you to do something– that seemed out of the ordinary? Did you do it? What happened?

Have you ever felt God is calling you to do something-but you feel unqualified?

If you said yes to the question above let me take a second to encourage you to follow God’s lead.. He doesn’t call the qualified- He qualifies the ones He calls.

Write down one dream you have– Give it to God– Seek His direction to achieve your goals and more so– Your Purpose in Him.

Bible Stories

Noah’s Ark

The Story of Noah’s Ark
Genesis 6-8

Image result for noah's ark
An inspirational story of having patience, faith, obedience, and trusting God’s timing.
  • The wickedness and judgement of man

    It came to pass that men began multiplying. The Lord said that his spirit will not strive with man forever for he is indeed of flesh. Then the Lord seen that wickedness of man was great in the Earth and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. The Bible says the Lord was sorry that he had made man on the Earth. He was grieved at heart. Then the Lord says he is going to destroy man who he created on Earth both man and beast, every creeping thing, and bird in the air; for he was sorry he made them. BUT Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.
  • Noah please God

    Noah was a man of God perfect in generations and walked with God. Noah had 3 sons, Shem, Ham, Japheth. The Earth was corrupt and filled with violence. God looked at the Earth and seen all flesh had corrupted their way on Earth.
  • The Ark prepared

    The Lord told Noah he was going to destroy the Earth because violence had filled it. God instructed Noah exactly how to build the ark. God told him (Gen. 6:14-16) to use gopherwood, to make rooms in the ark, and cover it in side and out side with pitch . He went on to give Noah exact dimensions, the length of the ark shall be 300 cubits, its width 50 cubits, and its height 30 cubits. God then instructed him to put a window in the ark a cubit from above. God told him to set the door of the ark on its side. And told Noah he shall make the ark with lower, second, and third decks. Since Noah was a just man who walked with God he did according to all that God commanded him.
  • The Great Flood

    The Lord said to Noah “Come into the ark, you and all your household, because I have seen that you are righteous before Me in this generation.” The the Lord further instructed Noah “You shall take with you seven each of every clean animal, a male and his female; two each of animals that are unclean, a male and his female, also seven each of birds of the air, male and female, to keep the species alive on the face of all the Earth.” He then told Noah he would flood the Earth in seven days and it would rain forty days and forty nights and destroy all things He had created. Noah even at the age of 600 years old, he did according to Gods commandment.

    Noah went on the ark he built and with him was his sons, wife and his sons wives. On the ark with them were the animals, the clean and unclean, the birds and everything that creeps the Earth. Each coming two by two, male and female to Noah just as God commanded. Seven days passed and the flood began, the fountains of the great deep were broken up and the window of heaven were opened up. The rain began to fall lasting for forty days and forty nights. As the rain fell and the waters increased the ark began to lift high above the Earth moving about the surface. The waters overtook the Earth and prevailed 15 cubits upward over all the mountains. All flesh, birds, cattle, beasts and creeping creature died. All that walked the Earth and had remained on dry land died. Only Noah and those who were with him in the ark remained alive. The waters remained on the Earth for 150 days.

  • Noah’s Deliverance

    God remembered Noah, his family and all the animals and beasts and God made a wind to pass over the Earth and the waters subsided. Fountains of deep and windows of heaven were stopped and the rain was restrained. At the end of the 150 days the water decreased and the ark rested in Ararat on the 17th day of the 7th month. The waters weren’t gone though the continued to decrease until the 10th month. And the Bible says the mountain tops were seen on the 1st day of the 10th month.

    The Bible says after the rain came to pass at the end of 40 days he opened the window he built into the ark and sent out a raven that flew back and forth until the waters dried up. Noah then sent out a dove to see if the waters had subsided but the dove came back to him as it had no place to rest. Noah waited 7 days and sent the dove out again this time the dove returned with an olive leaf. Noah knew the waters had decreased and waited another 7 days. This time when Noah sent the dove out it did not return. Now in the 601st year in the 1st month on the 1st day the waters were dried up from the Earth. Noah removed the covering of the ark to look and the land was in fact dry. On the 2nd month on the 27th day the Earth was dried and God told Noah to “Go out of the ark, you and your wife, and your sons and your sons wives with you. Bring out with you every living thing of all flesh that is with you: birds and cattle and every creeping thing that creeps on the Earth, so that they may abound on the Earth, and be fruitful and multiply on the Earth.”

    Noah did exactly as God instructed him to do. He took his sons, his wife, his sons wives, the animals, beasts, birds and creeping creatures and they all left the ark.

  • God’s covenant with creation

    Noah built an altar to the Lord and took of every clean animal and bird and offered up a burnt offering to the Lord. The Lord smelled the aroma and said in His heart “I will never again curse the ground for man’s sake, although the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth, nor will I again destroy every living thing as I have done.”
Bible Stories

In the beginning God created the Heavens and the Earth

Genesis 1:1-2:3

The Creation Story:

The opening chapter of the Bible begins with these words, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (NIV) This summarizes what was about to unfold. We learn from the text that the earth was formless, empty, and dark, and God’s Spirit moved over the waters preparing to perform God’s Word in the creation of Earth. And then God began to speak into existence his creation. The day by day account follows:

  • Day 1 – God created light and separated the light from the darkness, calling light “day” and darkness “night.”
  • Day 2 – God created an expanse to separate the waters and called it “sky.”
  • Day 3 – God created the dry ground and gathered the waters, calling the dry ground “land,” and the gathered waters “seas.” On day three, God also created vegetation (plants and trees).
  • Day 4 – God created the sun, moon, and the stars to give light to the earth and to govern and separate the day and the night. These would also serve as signs to mark seasons, days, and years.
  • Day 5 – God created every living creature of the seas and every winged bird, blessing them to multiply and fill the waters and the sky with life.
  • Day 6 – God created the animals to fill the earth. On day six, God also created man and woman (Adam and Eve) in his own image to commune with him. He blessed them and gave them every creature and the whole earth to rule over, care for, and cultivate.
  • Day 7 – God had finished his work of creation and so he rested on the seventh day, blessing it and making it holy.