Devotions

Category Archives: Genesis

Who did Eve Blame? 

Adam & Eve • Devotion #2: Who did Eve Blame?
Debbie Gabbara | Assistant to the Gathering Pastor

I do not remember exactly what happened, but I do remember my response, “Your sister did not do that. She is a baby, and she cannot walk.” The blame game comes easy and starts early. My son must have been about two because my daughter was an infant when her brother blamed her for something that he did. My son loved his baby sister; he did not want to hurt her. However, he also did not want to be in trouble. Somehow, just as we see Satan do in Genesis chapter 3, my little one knew how to twist the truth. 

“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’?’” Genesis 3:1 (NKJV)

I had often wondered how long Adam and Eve were in the garden before sin crept in to find them. One day the serpent came with his twisted truth and Adam and Eve did eat from the tree that God told them not to. Later when they heard God walking in the garden, the hiding and the blaming began.

“And He said, ‘Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?’ Then the man said, ‘The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate.’ And the Lord God said to the woman, ‘What is this you have done?’ The woman said, ‘The serpent deceived me, and I ate.’” Genesis 3:11-13 (NKJV)

Adam blamed Eve, and Eve blamed the serpent. In the blame game, everyone is talking, but no one is taking responsibility. Eve quickly followed the example of Adam and shifted the blame to someone else. Eve disobeyed God, Adam followed along, and their days would never be the same. They now knew good and also the evil from which God had tried to protect them.  

In Deuteronomy 30:16, God promises us life and blessings when we keep His commandments. Because of Adam and Eve’s choice in the garden we are all born into sin. Just like them, we all play the blame game. We blame our past, our circumstances, our lack of knowledge, and others. In 2 Corinthians 11:3 we are told that our minds can be led astray by the serpent’s lies. The more grounded we are in Christ, the better we will be able to withstand the deceptions of the serpent. Satan is busy; his plan is always to find ways to twist the truths and promises of God, to cause us to stumble and even fall away from the Lord.  

Trust in the Lord, keep His commandments, and do not put yourself in a place where you find yourself blaming someone or something for your decisions and actions.  

Who did Adam Blame?

Adam & Eve • Devotion #1: Who did Adam Blame?
Larry Gabbara | Financial Bookkeeper

“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked.” Genesis 3:6-7a

I was brought up in a religious home. We knew of God but not who He really was. As I got older, I heard about being born again, but that meant nothing to me. I heard about Billy Graham Crusades, but I thought he was just a Jesus freak!

Once I accepted the truth about how to receive Christ, my heart and eyes were opened. When I first thought about the chances I missed to hear and understand the Gospel, I blamed it on the fact that no one told me. But that was not true.

Adam and Eve both knew what God had told them concerning the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil; they knew exactly what they were both risking. Adam was the one who should have been responsible for following God’s commands. Before Eve took a bite and then offered it to Adam, Adam should have led Eve to make a better decision. Adam then blamed both Eve and God for his disobedience.

“The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it.  And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, ‘You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, 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.’” Genesis 2:15-17

Now both Adam and Eve realized what sin was, and that they were naked. They knew that they needed to cover up and wear clothing. They were ashamed to be seen by God.

This sin was transmitted to all mankind through Adam’s sin of disobedience. The devil tricked them, as he tries to trick us daily. We must continually fight the good fight, as to not be tricked by the devil.

 The man said, ‘The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.’” Genesis 3:12

We must own the blame for our actions.  Like Adam, we cannot blame someone else; we know what is the right path if we follow God’s instruction. Do not give into the world’s temptation.

We need to ask ourselves “Is this the right decision?”

What would we do if Jesus were next to us?

The GOSPEL

The Fall • Devotion #6: The GOSPEL
Chuck Lindsey | Reach Pastor

“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.”  Genesis 3:15 NKJV

Though it was 20 years ago, I remember the day like it was yesterday. That day I purchased my wife’s engagement ring. It was the largest sum of money, until that point, that I had ever spent on anything in my life. As I type this, I can see it. I was up early that morning with excitement. Six months work was coming to its culmination with this purchase. I could not wait! I was at the bank when it opened that morning withdrawing the cash needed for my purchase. I carefully chose the jewelry store where I was certain I would find “the one.” As I walked into the store, I was met by a salesperson who directed me to the engagement rings. I scanned the rows and surveyed the options, scrutinized each piece until I found what I knew was the right one for my bride-to-be. Then the salesperson did something that I will never forget. He did not just pull that ring out and set it on the glass for me to see. He did not just pull it out and hand it to me. No, he first reached into the drawer below him and took out a deep black suede pad that he set in front of me. He carefully took the ring from the case, turned to a machine that quickly cleaned the ring, dried it, polished it, and turned back to me. He did all of this until, at last, he set that sparkling ring onto that dark black suede pad. He knew what he was doing. Here was this beautiful, shining, sparkling heirloom set against the deepest black, void of the suede pad in front of me. The contrast was stark. It was as though I was looking at a star in the night sky.

This has always been a picture, for me, of the Gospel.

The word Gospel in the Greek language means “good news.” In Jewish culture, if you had good news to share with someone you would say, “I have ‘Gospel’ to share with you, we have become engaged!” Or someone might say, “Gospel! You do not owe any taxes this year!” But for good news to appear to be as good of news as it is, it must be accompanied by the bad news. So, for instance, if someone just comes up to you and says, “I am not sick!” you might think, “Well, ok, thank you for that information (I did not ask for it!).” But then you learn that they had gone to the doctor a year prior, and a blood test determined that there was cancer. Now, when they say, “I am not sick!” it means something does it not?

The same is true with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is truly Good News. It is the best news. But it is only good news for a person who understands the bad news. It is not enough to say, “God loves you” if the person does not know why God should not love them. It is not enough to tell a person that they should “trust Jesus, follow Him, and give their lives to Him” if they do not know what will happen if they do not. If they do not know the bad news, the good news does not seem like good news. It just seems like one option among many.

So the Gospel is what that salesperson did that day. It is a presentation of the good against the bad. It is the dark black backdrop of our sinful condition before a Holy God. The bad news is that we are all sinners. The bad news is that God demands us to be sinless to enter Heaven (yes, you read that correctly), the bad news is that there is not one person who can make themselves sinless and not a sinner. The bad news gets even worse when you consider that this sin has separated us from God and it will continue to separate us from Him forever unless somehow it is removed. However, since man cannot remove his sins or to make himself sinless and not a sinner, we are stuck. We will be judged as sinners, condemned to eternity in Hell apart from God because of the wrong we have done. That is the bad news. That is the deep black cloth that shadows our lives.

But here comes “the ring” if you will. Though man could not do anything, God did. Man could do nothing to pay for sin. Man could do nothing to make himself sinless. Though man could do nothing at all, God did by coming and dying in our place. He took our sin upon Himself, as though He was the sinner. Then He was judged as a sinner in our place. Then He was condemned. He was separated from God the Father, and then He died. It was all for us. He served my sentence so that I do not have to. He paid my debt so that I now owe nothing. He was separated so that I never have to be. That is good news!

See today the black cloth of sin that shadowed our lives, and that would have separated us from Him forever in Hell. Now see the jewel of God’s amazing grace. It is the sparkling ring that is His Gospel, given to us. This is the Good News of what God has done. 

Blame Game

The Fall • Devotion #5: Blame Game
Isaiah Combs | Worship Leader

I had a problem when I was younger. I did not like to take responsibility for my actions. I was always trying to find an angle or an excuse to get me out of trouble that I had caused. My parents always said I would make a great lawyer. If I got bad grades at school, I would blame it on distractions or the teachers teaching style. Whatever I could find, I would use to try and get out of trouble. I did this with most everything. Mom would ask, “Why didn’t you clean your room?” I would quickly respond, “I couldn’t clean it because my bothers were still playing.” It did not matter what it was, it was never my fault, and I blamed it on someone else.

My Dad would wisely counsel me every time. He would challenge me that I needed to learn to take responsibility for my actions and the things around me. He would then say that this is how leaders were made.

The very first story of a man in the Bible is a story of a blame game. Adam and Eve had just eaten from the “Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil” and were hiding in the garden when Jesus found them. Adam immediately blamed his sin on Eve. He not only blames Eve but blames God for giving him Eve. The blame game has been a problem from the beginning.

Genesis 3:12 says, “The man said, ‘The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.’”

Eventually, it clicked in my brain, and I stopped blaming others and began to take responsibility for my actions. It is amazing how things around you begin to change once you take an active leadership roll in your life. It was now my responsibility to make things happen, and when things go wrong, taking full responsibility.

“But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load.” Galatians 6:4-5

Adam’s Role in Sin

The Fall • Devotion #4: Adam’s Role in Sin
Caleb Combs | Gathering Pastor

A few days ago my 9-year-old-son and I had a disagreement. Every morning I wake both of my kids up in the kindest most wonderful way I can imagine. It is with harp music and a nice, smooth, gentle voice. Okay, that is not realistic. I wake them up by turning their light on and ripping their covers off of them, and then I tell them its time to wake up and get ready for school. Just about every morning I remind them that if they want breakfast, they need to get ready and get themselves breakfast. Usually a bowl of cereal or waffles, but something to eat is encouraged because it is the most important meal of the day. Just about every morning, my daughter jumps out of bed, gets dressed, and heads down the stairs because she loves to eat breakfast. On the other hand, my son is the exact opposite. He hates to get up and so he uses the extra ten minutes or so, when he would be eating, to get some extra sleep.

Well, this morning was very similar to most, and Colbie jumped out of bed and headed downstairs for breakfast. Carter stayed in bed and complained about having to get out of bed. I kindly reminded Carter that if he did not get up, he would not have time for breakfast. He said he was not hungry and would skip breakfast, and so I reminded him again that he would not eat until lunchtime at school. If you know my son, he does not have many fat reserves to pull from and so that would be a while before he was able to nourish his tall and skinny frame. Both of my kids finished preparing for school and grabbed their backpacks and headed for the car. As you can imagine, as soon as we pulled out of the driveway to head to school, Carter exclaimed, “I am hungry, can we stop for something on the way?” This may make me a bad parent for sending my kid to school hungry, but I told him no. I explained to him that his decision to not get up affected his ability to be able to eat something before school. He complained about being hungry but knew that I meant it when I said we were not going to stop. We made it to school and I pulled through the parent drop off area, the kids hopped out, and I told them I love them and to have a great day. As the doors shut and the kids began to walk away, I remembered that I forgot to tell Carter that I was picking him up in the afternoon to play golf. So I rolled down my window (okay really just pressed the button because we do not roll windows down anymore) and yelled for Carter to come back to the car. As he walked up to the car I noticed something, Carter had chocolate all over his lips and even on his face. I asked Carter what was on his face and he told me he was hungry, and so he grabbed a candy bar (nice and nutritional) before we left the house. I asked him why he did not ask if he could eat it in the car and he said he knew I would say no. He got caught trying to be sneaky as he disobeyed his father. I told him I would pick him up after school and we would talk about it more then.

As I pulled away, I began to think of this thing called sin. I heard my mother’s voice in my head, “Be sure, your sins will find you out,” a concept taken from the book of Numbers. Sin is an awful thing and has plagued our world ever since the first man, Adam, sinned.

Adam was created and put into this perfect world by God the Father. God placed him in the Garden of Eden to rule the land and animals and even gave him a wife, named Eve. Adam was put in a perfect situation with all that he would ever want and need at his fingertips. He was given only one rule, do not eat from one specific tree. He was tempted and gave in and ate from the tree. He was just like us in the process of sin, and when he got caught he quickly tried to hide. He thought that he could hide from God. Seems silly, but how often do we do things we think we can hide from God?

When God “caught” up to him, Adam tried to blame others by blaming the woman, the serpent, and even God Himself. Ultimately, God had to kick Adam out of the Garden because of this sin, and by Adam’s decision death entered into the world. Romans 5:19 (NKJV) tells us, “For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one man’s obedience many will be made righteous.” We see Adam’s role in sin entering this world. As a kid, I used to ask the question, “What if Adam would have never sinned, would I be perfect today?”

Well realistically, understanding that Satan is a great deceiver, sin probably would have made its way into the earth. I wish it would not have entered our world, but that is not realistic. However, the second part of that verse is what makes this conversation so exciting. Through one Man’s obedience, we now have hope. Jesus went to the cross to pay for my sins, Adam’s sins, and your sins. Sin is simply disobeying the Father. We fail and mess up every day. It is just like what Carter did on that morning drive to school. However, I am thankful for a God that made way for my sin.

Romans 6:23 says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”



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