So, my day 1 is from Genesis 1:1-3:24. Of course we all know the story of creation and Adam and Eve. The parts I find interesting are the little things we never give a second thought to. Like the tree of knowledge. We always teach our children the story of Adam and Eve and how she tempted Adam with the apple. But no where does it tell us what type of fruit came from the tree of knowledge. We stereotype knowledge with apples to this day. I'm sure (like many others do) I have a list of things I'd like to know when I get to heaven. Finding out what kind of fruit this is (seems trivial at best) but an unknown I'd love to find the answer to. Of course, when I get to heaven and am in awe of my savior, falling to my knees I'm sure the thought of that apple will be the farthest thing from my mind. lol :o)
The other thing that has puzzled me in doing bible study is the four rivers that flow from the Garden of Eden. Two are no longer on the map. Some notes on the subject suggest this was pre-flood so they were altered. But if these four rivers were pre-flood, why are two still on the map and two not? And where did the other two originate or end up? After studying, some suggest that the river of Gihon surrounds the whole land of Cush and that Cush could be modern-day Ethiopia. Could this explain Ethiopia's strong Christian heritage? I study Ethiopia because I wish to adopt from there and the people of this country amaze me. It's beauty draws me.
But the real beauty of my study today is the nature of sin. First of all, knowing that I am forgiven of my sins when I ask of my heavenly father. Not that it should be so easy, as I strive and try so hard daily to please him. But knowing that when I fall short of his expectations that I can come to Him and be forgiven and loved in spite of my shortcomings. Satan continuously tries to get us to give in to temptations daily. They are all around us. Being tempted is not sin. Only when we give in to temptations do we sin. Resisting them is not always easy, but is possible (after all, nothing is impossible with God). We must pray for strength to resist sin when we knowingly are tempted. We must say no when confronted with what we know is wrong. Run away from the temptations (sometimes literally!). Everyone's temptations are different too. I believe that as God knows every hair on my head, the devil also knows every weakness to bring me down. When I'm tempted to share that small bit of gossip someone felt the need to curse me with in passing during my day, or when I'm angered by someone's spiteful and inconsiderate ways, when I feel the need to yell at my children because they have failed to pay attention and listen for the umteenth time in one day..... these are the times I need to catch myself. Close my eyes, take a few minutes and ask God to control my mouth, my heart and my hands to be the person He desires for me to be. Is it really necessary to share that little story about someone who may not be my favorite person? God loves them despite the faults I see in them just as he loves me. Is it right to share my own biased opinion of someone who makes me angry and hurt because of their inconsiderate ways or does this make me just like them and give others reason to doubt my heart and sincerity? Does it do me any good to yell at my kids when they don't listen? Or is it my lack of finding ways to get their attention properly (like following through with idle threats of discipline) that needs to be corrected?
I love the song, "Love Them Like Jesus". Not only is it a wonderful song, but it's something I sing in my head repeatedly now on a daily basis, just to be a reminder that everyone holds the same place in God's heart that I do. Even the biggest athiest that walks his beautiful planet means no less to him than me and my children. Teach me Lord to love all just as your son loves.