Saturday, January 7, 2017

3 Powerful Lessons From the World's Oldest Saints

Welcome to the world, new and green, so fruitful and bountiful, the mountains are young (or at least younger), the skies and water, clean and pure and every night the light of millions of stars twinkle in harmony so strong you could hear their songs.

Today's Reading: Genesis 4 - 6
And life here in this new earth abounds like it never will again. In fact, the world as soon as it is graced by Adam begins to decay. The first murder happens only a generation after Adam and Eve. And the world just gets more corrupt by the day – it is not of course, the animals or the skies or soil that is the source of this decay. It is man and his heart.

So when these men are singled out with an action, there must be such significance in them for us today.

1) Abel and the sacrifice of the firstborn

He was a grateful man. And it was in that gratefulness that he offers the very first ‘profiting’ of his flocks. What a powerful principle of gratitude. Not only was God pleased, but Abel was the world’s first prophet, as he somehow was moved to sacrifice a lamb.

Soon after, his own blood would also mix with that of his sacrifice, so to speak. Abel’s life – like the meaning of his name – was but a ‘breath’.

2) Enoch walked with God

By Enoch’s time the world was already a 1000 years old. There were cities and cultures and crafts, all buoyed by the earth’s relative strength and freshness. And yet, that Enoch walked with God, seemed to be a rarity and distinguishing feature of his time.

I am sure that Enoch’s ancestors knew God and had a relationship with Him. Someone had been telling him about Adam and Eve and Eden and all that. Perhaps Lamech or Methusaleh were both godly men (his father and grandfather, respectively). But it could be that by Enoch’s time, no one was really communing with God.

Such is the whole purpose of man – not to just ‘fear’ God and ‘be righteous’ and good and avoid evil, keeping separate from the rest who plunge into sin headlong. God was from the very beginning a walker and has longed to simply walk with us. God’s heart for us is His companionship.

3) Noah found favor with God

So corrupted was the earth now, that even the genealogy of Adam and his ancestors was being threatened by the so-called ‘sons of God’, fallen angels who fathered these giants (stay tuned for more to come on these things; Secrets of Genesis).  Noah may have been the last one with an uncorrupted line who was also righteous.

Noah means rest. Lamech was already worn down by the evil of the world, the violence within and these ‘unholy offspring’ that he named his son, Noah as a sort of cry for a reprieve from such badness all around. And Lamech did die at rest – his son had been chosen to continue the line of Adam, the line that would one day bring a Messiah and Noah had already begun building the Ark. This comforted Lamech and thus, only a few years before the flood he passed away.

Here is the thing – it was God’s favor that rested on Noah. Sure he was righteous and his line was ‘pure’ but Noah was ultimately a recipient of God’s grace. The righteous are not rewarded by virtue of their righteousness, but always by grace! For the rewards of God are always infinitely beyond reckoning and comparing to anything we may ever do or be.

So today, meditate on being grateful by being brave to help others with the firstfruits of your labor and blessings. Such a gratefulness not only pleases God, but it spreads the aroma of Christ. You may be offering a cup of water or spending a hard won dollar, but you’re also spreading the love of Jesus to others.

Delight in walking with the Lord. Our relationship with the Father in heaven, isn’t a one way communication – reading the Bible, then praying, then serving… no, His heart is to walk with you. I think that if there’s one thing God loves doing, it’s taking such leisurely strolls with His children!

Finally, understand that God’s favor always rests on you. This is a gift – for which you can be thankful for and enjoy deeply and it brings such a hope of a good and better future. Knowing that we are securely within His favor, which is like a shield, should bring us comfort… in the end, life will not be about our accomplishments and labors and success. It will be about the degree of God’s favor we took the time to enjoy, savor and delight in.

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David Roiel
The Green Leaf Blog-Discover your inheritance!

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