Sermons

Summary: The Second in a Series ’Hearing the Word of God’

(1) Nine years ago, after seeing the movie ‘Toy Story’ many times over, I wrote a four week study guide using clips from the movie and corresponding Bible passages, to be used with teens. I am using it again in Sunday School with our teens and we have had good discussions about relationships and conflict resolution.

One of the sessions has the title of ‘When You Discover That You Are Not Who You Think You Are.’ The clip that I use features one of the lead characters, Buzz Lightyear, discovering that he is not the ‘Space Ranger out to save the universe’ that he thinks he is. He realizes that he is a toy when he sees a commercial featuring him available at the local toy store.

As a result of this devastating situation, Buzz finds himself in the grip of a kind little girl who makes him a tea time partner named Mrs. Nesbit complete with apron. Well, character sidekick, Woody rescues Buzz from his situation, but has a more difficult time getting him to remember that he is Buzz not Mrs. Nesbitt because self-pity has set in after having the illusion of his power and identity shattered.

Now I know that I have shared this illustration before but it illustrates one of the realities of sin and sinfulness when we face the truth that we are not who we think we are. But there is more to the story that I will share in a moment after this brief clip called ‘Wake.’

(2) Clip called ‘Wake’ from Bluefish TV.

(3) Buzz and Woody find themselves in the very serious and stressful situation of being at the mercy of the boy next door, Sid, who likes to destroy toys and will soon strap a large firecracker on the back of Buzz sending him into oblivion. The reason is due to a series of events caused by a wake of jealousy that Woody has toward Buzz creating conflict with Buzz as well as the other toys in the room.

This morning we are considering the second phrase of the 51-Word Bible, ‘Satan’s Deception.’ And I believe that his deception, which we have bought into, has created a wake of death, destruction, pain, and alienation with God and from the life we have been created to live.

This morning as we consider the seriousness of our sin and sinfulness, I would have us reflect on question raised in the clip, ‘What will the residue of your life leave?’

Dan Cornie tells about a man who purchased a white mouse to use as food for his pet snake. He dropped the unsuspecting mouse into the snake’s glass cage, where the snake was sleeping in a bed of sawdust.

The tiny mouse had a serious problem on his hands. At any moment he could be swallowed alive. Obviously, the mouse needed to come up with a brilliant plan.

What did the terrified creature do? He quickly set up work covering the snake with sawdust chips until it was completely buried. With that, the mouse apparently thought he had solved his problem.

The solution; however, came from outside. The man took pity on the silly little mouse and removed him from the cage.

Cornie concludes with this important insight, ‘no matter how hard we try to cover or deny our sinful nature, it’s fool’s work. Sin will eventually awake from sleep and shake off its cover. Were it not for the saving grace of the Master’s hand, sin would eat us alive.’

As we consider our main text for this morning, I cannot stress strongly enough that we need the empowering honesty of the Holy Spirit to deal not just with our sins but our sinfulness as well. But more about these two aspects of sin in a moment.

Our main text today is a very familiar passage of scripture to us. Perhaps we are too familiar with it. Let’s hear it again:

Now the serpent was the shrewdest of all the creatures the Lord God had made. “Really?” he asked the woman. “Did God really say you must not eat any of the fruit in the garden?”

“Of course we may eat it,” the woman told him. “It’s only the fruit from the tree at the center of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God says we must not eat it or even touch it, or we will die.” “You won’t die!” the serpent hissed. “God knows that your eyes will be opened when you eat it. You will become just like God, knowing everything, both good and evil.”

In placing doubt… and desire… in Eve’s thinking we need to first understand (4) Satan knew and knows the ways of God. He overheard the conversation that is recorded in Genesis 2:16 and 17, ‘But the Lord God gave him this warning: “You may freely eat any fruit in the garden except fruit from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat of its fruit, you will surely die.”

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