Advent Devotional: Faith-Family Tree {Brokenness}

…and He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away. And He who sits on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ And He said, ‘Write, for these words are faithful and true’ (Revelation 21:4-5 NASB).

img_2454The headlines read of terrorist attacks abroad, shootings in our country, and wildfires. We continue to look hard for a cure. However, sickness still abounds.

Cyberbullying and regular bullying exist in schools. Thoughts of suicide and cutting are prevalent among teenagers, because self-esteem is low, and worldly success weighs heavily on the shoulders of children in this culture like a ton of bricks. Not to mention, families are falling to pieces.

Our world hurts today.

It wasn’t like this in the beginning.

In the beginning, the world was beautifully perfect. Adam and Eve dwelt with God in the Garden of Eden. They lived together as one. God gave Adam and Eve free will so that mankind would choose to worship Him. God gave his children great freedom, but He also gave them one rule for their own safety and protection. They could eat from and enjoy the entire garden, but they could not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. If they ate from that tree, they would surely die (Genesis 2:16-17). They only had one rule.

Since the beginning of time, the adversary has been out to deceive mankind, to pull us away from God. Adam and Eve chose to go their way and not listen to The Father. Pride moved in; they ate the forbidden fruit, unity was split, and they broke our Heavenly Father’s heart.

Today’s Scripture:

The man said, ‘The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree and I ate.’ Then the LORD God said to the woman, ‘What is this you have done?’ And the woman said, ‘The serpent deceived me, and I ate’ (Genesis 3:12-13 NASB).

And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel (Genesis 3:15 NIV).

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds (Titus 2:11-14 NASB).

Today’s Snapshot: A Broken Heart

God told Adam and Eve they could eat from any tree in the garden except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Adam and Eve, deceived by the lie of the enemy, chose to eat the forbidden fruit because pride slipped in and they wanted to be like God. They did the one thing God asked them not to do. As a parent’s heart breaks when a child decides to go his or her way, God’s heart must have felt the same way.

God forgave Adam and Eve for the choice they made, but the consequence was for them to leave the Garden of Eden. Their death was not physical, but rather spiritual. They were no longer together as one.

If our world wasn’t broken, we wouldn’t need a Savior to mend it back together again.

O come, O come, Emmanuel
And ransom captive Israel
That mourns in lonely exile here
Until the Son of God appear
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel
Shall come to thee, O Israel
~ John Mason Neale (1818-1866)

God sent His Son into the world to redeem both Jew and Gentile and to offer us eternal life. The birth of Christ became our blessed hope in the manger over 2,000 years ago, and the death of Christ continues to give us hope for the future. One day He will wipe away every tear, and He will make all things new (Revelation 21:4-5).

Family Discussion:
~
Do you think Adam and Eve regretted the choice they made? When have you made a choice that you regretted?
~ God forgave Adam and Eve and then sent us a baby for Christmas to redeem us. Since God forgives you, are you able to forgive others easily?
~ Take a few moments for silent confession to God.

Closing Prayer:
Heavenly Father,
I praise You for giving us the gift of “free will.” I freely choose to praise You. I praise You for Your Son whom You sent to mend our broken world. In Him, we place our hope. I am grateful for the gift of forgiveness, which You gave to each of us on that holy night so long ago.”O come, O come, Emmanuel, and ransom captive Israel,” we cry out together. We pray for those hurting today as a result of such brokenness in our world. Many families are grieving. Our hearts grieve with them as One. Help us to keep our eyes on You, our blessed hope, dear Jesus. Thank you for promising us that one day You will wipe away every tear and make all things new.
In the precious name of Jesus, I pray,

Amen

Basking in His Light

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