What is Worth Your Life?

Three weeks ago I wrote above God loving us by kicking us out of the Garden of Eden. From this banishment from the Garden, the whole Bible is about God trying to reach His people, people He loves, while allowing the loving freedom of freewill. Part of loving another is to allow them the freedom to accept or reject you. You are free to reject God, but you are arrogant if you think God hates you. God gave His only begotten Son to take your sins away which allows you entry to glory…after the giving of His co-eternal Son, why would God turn to hate you? It has always been mankind that has messed things up; we have all messed things up…only don’t blame your mess on God!

Finally, to repeat myself, to reach the lost, God sent His only begotten Son! Yes, we are unconditionally loved, so what is your response going to be? What will your response be to a love freely given? Using the tree metaphor again, the “Jesus Trunk” wants your branch to be connected and to receive life-giving water.

“Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.’” (John 4:10 ESV)

Why not be a part of something much larger than you? Be a part of a special family, the family of God; we have a guarantee to be joint heirs in the Kingdom of God! It only costs you everything you’ve got, including your life. Not a bad trade for eternal life in Glory with the LORD Jesus Christ, I say!

God Wants “Good” for You

I am an architect. I know about the “feelings” of a creator. I mean, I know that part of me is in the architecture I create. I have left my mark, my signature is on my creation; my hand is over the design and its outcome. I created form out of my innate creative decision-making which is firmly part of who I am; therefore, part of me is left behind (not gone from me, but shared) and found in my creations.

Forced into despair, what happens when the creator has to destroy his or her creation, a creation composed of self, a creation of physical and emotional love and caring? This has happened throughout history with many an artist. A situation arises that “forces” the creator to destroy the very part of his being; what is to come out of that? After all, the created object is part of his life and consists of the dust of his lifelong experiences; it would be like cutting part of your body off…devastating. I am talking about destruction of a quality effort; not of an artist destroying his laziness. Of quality, I would suggest that it is exactly like cutting part of your body off, cutting to your heart, your lifeblood; the very thing that keeps you alive. No doubt, cutting part of your core would be a severe blow to your life; never would life be the same again to realize such a loss. So, what’s the point you say?

From a Biblical point of view, what would drive a Creator to destroy His creation? The Book of Genesis tells us in the sixth chapter, verses 5 through 7 (NIV):

“The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time. The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain. So the Lord said, ‘I will wipe mankind, whom I have created, from the face of the earth – men and animals, and creatures that move along the ground, and birds of the air – for I am grieved that I have made them.”

We will never know the extreme magnitude of the Lord’s pain and how He grieved over mankind [a proper non-sexist term] making the wrong decisions, and the need to destroy His creation. It would have to be like losing part of Himself [we were created in the image of God]. We are the poema [poetry] (Ephesians 2:10), the grand workmanship of God. Of course, what He actually destroyed wasn’t exactly the way He originally created it. Something had happened. In the first chapter of Genesis we see God saying, “It is good”, after viewing that which He had just created. However the creation He destroyed wasn’t good; the creation [we people] had been altered for the worse by our own selfishness and by our desire to be like God (Genesis 2:5+6). God gave us an easy life of complete freedom with indescribable blessings, but only made one very small request; namely, don’t eat from the one tree (in the middle of a whole forest of fruit bearing trees), the Tree of Knowledge. We made our own choice to not obey God; that is the same as putting ourselves above God. As a child disobeys a parent in focused protest, so we, in disobedience, thumbed our noses at God and ate of the Tree. The ability to go against God was made possible through the gift of free-will, lovingly granted by God at His great risk. Great risk? Yes, God took a great risk because of His love for His creation.

To not grant free-will would have been the same as placing us in prison chains, manacled to a dungeon wall; we would simply be marionettes on the end of strings dancing to the whim of the “Master Controller”.  Though able, God does not cause things to happen to us like we were only pawns moving about some grand chessboard. Where is the love in that type of relationship? Evil is active in the fallen world, but it is God who loves us so much, as a shepherd would leave 99 to look for the 1 lost sheep! Though our fallen society thinks otherwise, it should be obvious that love does not control a person! Despite the rantings of the nonbelievers, God is not into control; God seeks relationship! We read that one afternoon God was walking in the Garden of Eden and rhetorically called out to Adam, saying where are you (Genesis 2:8+9)? Of course God knew exactly that Adam and Eve, who already had discovered with newfound knowledge that they had done wrong, were actually hiding nearby.

Look deep enough and you’ll find that a loving open, non-controlling relationship is sought by all, because God also wants the same. We find this to be “a God part” left within us by our Creator. As the architect leaves part of themselves behind in their architecture, so too, God longingly wishes for us to return to Him as was first planned and noted at the original creation, “it is good”. To walk in the Garden of Eden with God…it just doesn’t get any better than that, but the people [Adam & Eve…and us] do not have the vision of our Creator. We have only incomplete vision! How could Adam and Eve think they could stand equal to the One that got the whole universe started ex nilhilo in the first place? Let’s not be too hard on them, my friends, we are doing the same thing today!

We are created to glorify the Creator God. To cover the earth with water and start again would have grieved God to depths we can’t possibly understand, but it had to happen, for God is in control, and yet still seeks the original relationship with us…again, for God knew us before we were formed in the womb. Since mankind messed it up, not God, there had to be another way to re-create a non-controlled relationship. This is the whole of the Bible, from beginning to end, to show us the way, the pathway to get back to the Garden of Eden!

Jesus tells the parable (Luke 20:9-19) of the Landlord [God] and the tenants [mankind] in the perfect vineyard [Earth before the fall]; where the evil tenants go against the initial contractual arrangements [same as the instructions, “don’t eat from the Tree of Knowledge”]. The tenants selfishly wished to keep all the produce for themselves, and not pay the Landlord his due by agreement. The Landlord, trying to reach the tenants, sends two sets of servants to whom the evil tenants murder. Finally, out of love to reach these evil tenants and recreate the earlier agreed relationship, the Landlord sends His Son [Jesus]. Due to the evilness nature within the tenants, they kill Him as well. Just look around today and view the multitudes that are still rejecting Jesus; metaphorically killing Him again and again, saying Jesus is not who He says He is, nor is He even real.

Maybe we’ll learn one day! Through undeserved grace, in God’s effort to finally reach us again, God sent His Son Jesus to show us the way back to the loving Father. A loving God running with arms open wide ready to celebrate your return as did the father [God] in the parable of the “Two Sons” [sometimes known as the “Prodigal Son”] (Luke 15:11-32). As in that parable, God will bring the best clothes, the best shoes, and serve up a great banquet in a mansion for those that turn back to Him. God wants good for you and for you to have an easy life in relationship with Him! We need nothing else, but ask ourselves, have we repented [turned] and changed from our evil arrogant selfish ways? If you feel like doing so, tell your Creator Father that you want and desire a rebirth into the fullness of relationship; stop hiding from God, step out, ask for forgiveness and embrace your Creator God who is standing with open arms for you!