Summary: Second in a series exploring the early chapters of Genesis, this three-point expository sermon underscores the deceptive character of sin, the destructive consequences of sin, and the divine covering for sin.
A New Beginning (Part 2)
Scott Bayles, pastor
Blooming Grove Christian Church: 4/13/14
It was a bright Sunday morning in 18th century London, but Robert Robinson’s mood was anything but sunny. All along the street there were people hurrying to church, but in the midst of the crowd Robinson was a lonely man. The sound of church bells reminded him of years past when his faith in God was strong and the church was an integral part of his life. It had been years since he set foot in a church—years of wandering, disillusionment, and gradual defection from the God he once loved. That love for God—once fiery and passionate—had slowly burned out within him, leaving him dark and cold inside. Robinson heard the clip-clop of a horse-drawn cab approaching behind him. Turning, he lifted his hand to hail the driver. But then he saw that the cab was occupied by a young woman dressed in finery for the Lord’s Day. He waved the driver on, but the woman ordered the carriage to be stopped.
"Sir, I’d be happy to share this carriage with you," she said to Robinson. "Are you going to church?" Robinson was about to decline, but was so enchanted by her that he heard himself saying, "Yes, I am going to church." He stepped into the carriage and sat down beside the young woman. As the carriage rolled forward Robert and the woman exchanged introductions and there was a flash of recognition in her eyes when he stated his name. "That’s an interesting coincidence," she said, reaching into her purse. She withdrew a small book of inspirational verse, opened it to a ribbon-bookmark, and handed the book to him. "I was just reading a verse by a poet named Robert Robinson. Are you…?"
He took the book, nodding. "Yes, I wrote these words years ago." "Oh, how wonderful!" she exclaimed. "Imagine! I’m sharing a carriage with the author of these very lines!" But Robinson barely heard her. He was absorbed in the words he wrote:
Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace’
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
His eyes slipped to the last verse where he read:
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it—
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.
He could barely read the last few lines through the tears that brimmed in his eyes. “I wrote these words—and I’ve lived these words. ‘Prone to wander…prone to leave the God I love.’”
Maybe you’ve lived those words yourself. We’re all prone to wander. Maybe you’re here today feeling much the same way as Robert Robinson. But you’re not alone. In fact, the very first people God created, who shared perhaps a more intimate relationship with him than anyone since, were also prone to wander and prone to leave the God they loved. Their story is told in Genesis 3. It’s a sad story. A story about sin. But it’s not just their story. It’s your story and mine.