Sunday, January 29 2023

Bible Reading for: December 31

Revelation 16–22

In the Garden of Eden Man decided to be separated from God. The story of the Bible is the story of redemption that brings us back in God’s presence.

Today we finish a year together in God’s Word. I hope it has been a good year for you and your family. I also hope that you found our year of reading through the Bible in chronological order a blessing; it has truly blessed me. As we finish reading the last chapters in Revelation, which describe the coming reign of Jesus the Christ, I think it appropriate to review.

Back in Genesis we saw that man started in a perfect relationship with God. He created a being in His own image, and then split that image into man and woman. We lived an ideal, perfect life back then. We were His stewards of this world He created, and in the evenings, He would walk with us in the cool of the evening. He gave us only one rule; don’t eat of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. We could eat of any other tree, including the Tree of Life.

One rule, and we couldn’t even obey that. How did Satan entice Adam and Eve to eat of the forbidden fruit? He told two lies. He said that if we ate of that fruit we could be like God, and he said that we would not die. Why did we believe it? We believed it because we wanted to believe it. We wanted to be our own gods. We didn’t want to have to obey anyone. Satan seduced us with the very thing that seduced him, godhood.

What was God’s response? Disobedience to God is sin. Our sin separates us from Him. We could no longer walk with Him in the Garden of Eden. Why? In the garden was the Tree of Life. Why did God not want us to partake of that tree after we disobeyed Him? Remember that it wasn’t out of bounds before our sin but after. Satan sinned by wanting to be God himself. He lives forever. He is unredeemable. If, after eating of the forbidden fruit we also ate of the Tree of Life we too would be unredeemable, we would be forever trapped in our sin, separated from God forever. God put mankind out of the Garden of Eden as the first step in His plan for redemption.

Do you remember how Adam and Eve tried to cover their sin with a fig leaf? They attempted to cover their own sin, which wasn’t possible. Only blood could cover sin, so God killed two animals to create for them a covering. We cannot cover our own sin; we cannot work our way back into His presence. After putting them out of the garden, God placed an angel with a flaming sword at the entrance. The only way back into God’s presence was through death.

Further demonstrating our inability to work our way back into His presence, is the story of Cain and Abel. Abel offered the blood of a lamb to cover his sin. Cain wanted to earn his way back into God’s good graces, so he offered not blood but the works of his own hand. Cain’s offering was rejected. You cannot earn your way back into the presence of God.

The Bible goes on to demonstrate our complete filthiness before a holy God. It shows us that we cannot obey one of God’s rules nor 600. It shows us that we need a savior. We need someone to walk up to that angel at the entrance of God’s presence and take that flaming sword right in the heart. We run from death, but Jesus walked right up to it and accepted it as an eternal sacrifice for our sins. That is the story of the Bible. It is a story of hope, of redemption. It is a story that billions of people on the face of the planet Earth need to hear. It is a story your Savior has commanded you to tell. Will you tell it?

In closing I’d like to make a suggestion. I find that the end of a year is a good time to sit back and assess where I’ve been over the past year, and where I hope to go in the next. It is particularly helpful to do a spiritual assessment. How have you grown spiritually over the last year? Which areas of your spiritual life saw improvement, and which areas were a struggle? What changes will you make in the year to come to become more like Jesus Christ? What behavior is God’s Holy Spirit urging you to change?

When we accepted Christ, we became a new person. Our challenge ever since has been to continue down the road of discovery. We need to continue down the road of sanctification which is really a process of discovering who we are in Christ. We can’t work our way back into God’s presence, but through the saving grace of Jesus Christ, we have been cleansed from our sin. Where we once could not obey 1 or 600 of God’s commands, we now can, because His Holy Spirit resides within us. It is not us, but Christ who lives within us, that makes us able to come into God’s presence. Take full advantage of that great gift. Make a plan to become more like Christ in the year to come. He will help you do it.

Vivere Victorem! (Live Victorious!)

Your brother and servant in Christ,

Dying to self, living to serve!

Alternate Reading Plans
Bible Order: Revelation 19-22
Old Testament Only: Malachi 1–4
New Testament Only: Revelation 22


You Stand Accused!


Take Dominion

1 comment

  1. I would like to take a moment to thank Bill for his commitment and ministry to presenting the word of God each day to all of us men. I am a sinner, saved by grace, I need constant daily (hourly, moment by moment) food from God’s word, and Bill’s commentary to reveal my need for a savior. Thank you Bill and all glory be to God and our Lord Jesus who is the Christ.

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