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Summary: Looking at God’s love as revealed in some of His gardens in Scripture

Forrest Gump arrives at the pearly gates – and finds them shut. ‘G’day Forrest good to see you’, says St Peter. ‘You know we’ve had to introduce an entrance exam because we’re filling up so fast – it’s only short but you do have to pass it to get in.’

‘Aw nobody ever tolt me about any entrance exam. Shor hope it ain’t too hard!’

‘It’s only three questions, Forrest’, says St Peter. Here’s the first one:

What days of the week begin with the letter ’T’?

Second: How many seconds are there in a year?

And third: What is God’s first name?’

Forrest leaves to think the questions over. He returns the next day and says to St. Peter, ‘Well, the first question - what days in the week begin with the letter ’T’, shucks, that one’s easy. That’d be Today and Tomorrow’

St Peter says, ‘Forrest, that’s not what I was thinking, but I’ll let you have that answer. How about the next one?’ he asks. ‘How many seconds in a year?’

‘Now that one’s harder,’ says Forrest, ‘I thunk and I thunk about that and I guess the only answer can be twelve.’

‘Twelve? Twelve?’ ’Forrest, how could you come up with twelve seconds in a year?’

Forrest says, ‘Shucks, there’s gotta be twelve. January 2nd, February 2nd, March 2nd...’

‘Hold it,’ interrupts St. Peter. ‘I get it, I’ll let you have that one, too. Let’s go on with the next and final question. Can you tell me God’s first name?’

‘Sure can’, Forrest replied, ‘that’s even easier than the first question - it’s Andy.’

‘Andy?!’, exclaimed an exasperated and frustrated St. Peter. ‘Okay, how in the world did you come up with the name of Andy?’

‘Shucks, that was the easiest one of all’, Forrest replied. ‘I learned it from the song....

‘ANDY WALKS WITH ME, ANDY HE TALKS WITH ME, ANDY TELLS ME I AM HIS OWN...’

St. Peter opened the Pearly Gates and said: ‘Run, Forrest, run.’

Well later this morning we’re going to be singing that song. The song ‘In The Garden’ – and the chorus goes ‘And He (not Andy!) walks with me and He talks with me and He tells me I am His own. And we’re going to be thinking, toward the end of our talk this morning a little bit about what some of those words really mean. You know the opening line of that song goes, ‘I come to the garden alone’ – ‘the garden’ where we meet God. This morning we will be considering some of the Kings Gardens.

LETS PRAY.

To which king do you think I am referring to when I say the ‘Kings’ gardens?

(ALLOW RESPONSES)

‘I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted…’, ‘I saw the Lord’, said Isaiah – seated on a what? – seated on a throne! He is supreme King! It is He I am referring to. The King of kings and Lord of lords!!

In speaking to someone from your church during the week about Corryong’s climate I was reminded of paradise - paradise lost and paradise regained.

The paradise to which I’m referring was found in the first of the gardens we will be considering. Can anyone tell me the name of that garden?

(ALLOW RESPONSES)

Yes,

1.The Garden of Eden

Please turn with me to Genesis chapter 2 where (????) will read to us verses 4-17.

Lets honour God by paying close attention to His Word.

(HEAR PASSAGE)

Here we read of the first garden recorded in Scripture – the Garden of Eden. This garden was more magnificent than anything we could ever imagine. What made it so magnificent? The very company of God Almighty.

You know there’s something quite striking about our God revealed in verse 8.

Look at verse 8 of chapter 2.

We are told that the God who formed the universe, now plants a garden for us! This God who created everything with a word, ‘Let there be’, now gets down on His hands and knees, so to speak, and carefully plants a garden for us! How great is His love for us. We are told earlier that He personally formed us out of the dust of the earth and here we learn that He personally planted our perfect home!

When I think about God creating people, I’m reminded of a tale in a recent edition of Reader’s Digest (Aug 2001 edition pg 57) – READ TALE.

But isn’t it wonderful that God spent the time to shape us and form us with His own dear hands! And then went on to make a perfect home for us!

Look at verse 9 of chapter 2.

Notice that God made ‘trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food’. He made a garden that would give pleasure – we serve a God who wants to please us! And He made a garden that would make happy the taste buds and provide nourishment at the same time. Boy! What a good God!

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