Summary: This is the first of a seven part message based on Andy Andrews Book the Traveler’s Gift. This week we look at accepting responsibility for our choices and decisions.
He was 19 years old and his world had fallen apart. Up to that point he had lived a relatively uneventful life. But at the age of 19 his mother died of cancer and his father was killed in an automobile accident. In his own words “I took a bad situation and made it much worse.” Within a few years he found himself homeless sleeping under a pier.
It was at that point that Andy Andrews began to read biographies of famous people that he borrowed from the library. His quest was to answer the question “Is life just a lottery ticket, or are there choices one can make to direct his future?” After reading over 200 biographies Andrews determined there were seven characteristics that these “successful” people had in common. “What will happen,” he mused, “if I study these seven common denominators and harness them in my own life?”
Now a best selling author and in demand motivational speaker, Andrews is living proof that the principals he discovered could work and do work. Last year I read his book “The Traveller’s Gift” where he outlines the seven decisions in the form of a novel. The main character, David Ponder, visits seven historical figures who provide him with insights into those decisions. After reading the book and loaning out copies more times than I can count I came to the happy realization that makes the day of any preacher and that is “This will preach.” So over the next seven weeks we will be looking that these seven decisions from a biblical perspective and see what we can learn from them.
It started out innocently enough, but then again it usually does. They were the first couple and they had everything they could ever want. They lived in a beautiful garden in fellowship with their creator. We don’t know exactly where the Garden of Eden is or was Although some have tried to guess, first of all the Garden was situated in an area called Eden, so the Garden was not all of Eden, just a part of Eden. The garden we are told was filled with trees and not just any trees we are told they were beautiful and they produced delicious fruit, which tells us that God wasn’t just concerned with the practical but also with beauty. And if we pull down a map here, we are also told that the Garden was watered by a river that eventually became four rivers, today we know about the Pishon and the Tigris and the Euphrates, we don’t know where the Gihon may have flowed but with the other three we can guess that Eden may have been about here. However with the changes that would have happened to the geography after the great flood we really don’t know. We’re not even a hundred percent sure what the climate was like, but considering we are told in Genesis 2:25 Now the man and his wife were both naked, but they felt no shame. We have to assume that it wasn’t Nova Scotia weather.
And after God had created them he had given them pretty explicit instructions of what he wanted them to do he said in Genesis 1:28 we read Genesis 1:28 Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it.” Which considering they were running around the Garden naked probably wasn’t that much of a stretch.
And God also told them what they weren’t supposed to do Genesis 2:16-17 But the Lord God warned him, “You may freely eat the fruit of every tree in the garden— except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If you eat its fruit, you are sure to die.” So they are supposed to make babies and fill the earth but they aren’t supposed to eat the fruit from just one tree out of all the trees in the garden. Good work if you can find it. I mean that seems like a pretty good gig to me.
But you know what happens then, yeah the devil crashes the party. Adam and Eve are in the process of doing what they supposed to do and not doing what they weren’t supposed to do. And Satan arrives and says “Yo kids, what’s happening?” And they say “Not much we’re just hanging around the garden working at making babies and not eating from that tree.” And Satan says “Excuse me if I’m being nosy but how come you aren’t eating from that tree? That’s a great tree as a matter of fact it’s probably got the best fruit of any tree in the garden.”
“Well” says Eve “God told us not to eat from that tree because he said we would die if we did.” “That’s a crock” replies Satan, “The only reason He won’t let you eat from it is because it’s the best fruit in the garden and he knows that if you eat from it you’ll be just like him. Besides a loving God wouldn’t let you die just because you ate one little tiny piece of fruit, go ahead, Bon Appetit.”