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Summary: We are the ones who get in the way of the making of disciples for the transformation of the world.

“What Did God Really Say?”

Genesis 2:15-17 (quickview) ; 3:1-7

By: Rev. Ken Sauer, Pastor of Grace United Methodist Church, Soddy Daisy, TN www.graceumcsd.org

The mission of the Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the world.

This is a huge responsibility.

Precious lives are at stake.

Precious souls are at stake.

And we are the Church.

These are our marching orders!

…to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world!!!

These are the marching orders which God gives to you.

These are the marching order which God gives to me!

This is to be the reason for our existence.

And when we are intentional in making this the central reason for our existence…we are happy, joy-filled Christians…and nothing is able to stop us from…at the end of the day…being able to say: “Mission Accomplished!”

Sadly, enough we are so often not able to…at the end of the day say “Mission Accomplished.”

And the reason for this?

We are often our own worst enemies…

…which means we are often our neighbor’s worst enemies…

…our brothers and sisters in Christ’s worst enemies…

…and God’s worst enemies!!!

The biggest buzz kill for making disciples of Jesus Christ is…us!!!

We get in the way.

Every one of us!

And when we get in the way of the making of disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world, Satan rejoices, laughs and says, “Well done my good and faithful slave! Well done! Keep up the good work! Well done!”

I don’t know about you, but to be a slave of Satan and to do Satan’s handiwork is the last thing on earth I want to do…

…although I’m sure I am often guilty of doing just that!

How about you?

As we look at our Old Testament Lesson for this morning we see that the creation has already been called forth from chaos and been given form.

The garden of Eden is up and running.

The human beings God has created have been given a God-given purpose, to “till and keep” the garden.

And along with the task the humans are given is a certain freedom within the garden; everything they could ever need is at their disposal.

God encourages, “freely eat,” having personally planted an easily accessible “tree of life” at the garden’s center.

The only prohibition, the “but,” comes in verse 17; the humans are forbidden to eat from the tree of the “knowledge of good and evil.”

To eat from this tree is to die!

And here it is that we see that we the people living in 21st Century America are no different than the very first human beings who were ever created!

Adam and Eve disobeyed!

Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s authority!

Adam and Eve forsook God’s good and perfect will for their lives…

…conveniently listened to Satan instead…

…and ate that doggone fruit.

And at the end of the day, instead of being able to say: “Mission Accomplished,” they found themselves hiding from the very God Who created them out of love and for love…

…they were hiding from love…

…naked as jay-birds!!!

How often do you and I find ourselves hiding from love—naked as jaybirds?

And who’s fault is this?

It is our fault alone!!!

No one else is to blame!


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