Summary: God invites us to live life to the fullest. This is accomplished when we love and serve God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength.
Genesis 2:15-17, 3:1-14 “Where Are You?”
Shopping malls across the country have been using a fantastic shopping aid for several years. Of course, I speak of the mall map that shows all of the store locations, and with a big red arrow exclaims, “You are here!” It is very helpful for us to know where we are so that we can figure out how we get to where we want to go.
I think this question that God first posed to Adam and Eve after their fall, “Where are you?” is very poignant as we enter into our Stewardship Emphasis Program for 2009. We need to know where we are as individuals and as a congregation in order to know what we must do so that we end up where we want to end up—being a self-sustaining congregation, constructing our first worship/mission center, and expanding our impact on the community of Surprise.
As we see how God asked this question to Adam and Eve and how it affected their relationship with God, we can understand how important it is for us to ask this same question.
God poured out his grace upon Adam and Eve and placed them in the Garden of Eden. The garden had everything they needed—plenty of food and water. What it didn’t have was weeds! The weeds came after their fall. The garden was paradise on earth. The one charge that Adam and Eve had from God was to take good care of the garden.
In reality, we have been abundantly blessed, too. I’m not quite saying the Surprise is the Garden of Eden, but it’s close. God’s grace has been poured out upon us, and we have everything we need for an abundant and satisfying life.
Adam and Eve looked around the garden and saw that it was truly a gift. They had done nothing to create the garden. What do you see when you look around? Do you see the results from the sweat of your labor? Do you see possessions—things you can say are “mine”? Or, are you like Adam and Eve and see everything as God’s gift to you?
Where are you in relation to God’s gracious gifts in your life?
Adam and Eve could eat everything in the garden except the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They didn’t need to eat from that tree, because they had plenty of other trees and good fruit to choose from.
Adam and Eve listened to the serpent and ate the fruit. They did so because:
• They were discontent and not satisfied with what God had given them
• They wanted to be god in their lives. They wanted to call the shots and have people serve them, no visa versa.
What is your response to God’s grace that has been poured out to you? Are you thankful for what you have received? Are you content, or do you want more?
Where are you as you respond to God’s love and grace?
After Adam and Eve eat of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they realize that they are naked. They experience shame for the first time in creation. They make clothes for themselves out of fig trees and hide from God. God comes looking for them and calls out to them, “Where are you?”
God’s question to them was an invitation to confess and repent. Adam chose to blame his wife and Eve turned around and blamed the serpent (the old devil made me do it excuse).