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Lingering
by Brenda Emmons
12/23/13
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“…but God did say, ‘You must not eat from the tree that is in the middle of the garden…’ the serpent said… ‘For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened.’ When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and desirable…she took some and ate it.” Gen 3:4-6

Yesterday our sermon was on God’s dream coming true…that all people would accept the invitation of receiving deliverance from sin. The sermon was packed with amazing truths but my favorite truth was Talbot’s definition of sin. His definition is that sin is the belief that God is really not good, and heaven wants to withhold the things earth wants to give us. As I was considering this, I immediately thought of earth’s first woman, Eve. Her touch to the forbidden fruit was where this definition took on reality… and continues to be realized in today’s times…by today’s people…and will continue until we are ushered home to heaven.

I can't help but visualize the tree in the middle among all of the other trees of Eden. Once tempted by evil she must have gazed upon that tree with a different set of eyes. Did she ever resist it? Did she tentatively touch the fruit a few times before she digested it? Did she linger near the middle more so than she used to? There is no time table in the Bible between the serpent’s lies and God’s truth. We simply know that like our definition God told her one thing and she believed another, as Satan slipped the seed of doubt into her mind and heart. It seems she felt God was withholding something from her…something only earth could give her. Our definition is powerful and applicable from the days of Creation up to Christmas, 2013.

The consideration this morning is to apply our lives to this definition. Do I really believe God is orchestrating things according to His best? Do I really believe God loves me as much as He claims? What do I feel God is withholding from me? What is earth bursting at the seams to give me…to convince me of my entitlement…to pursue in my own strength? What is Satan convincing you of this morning that contradicts God's promises?

Every moment that we linger in the middle of these earthly desires make us more vulnerable, and are missed moments with the Master. If we are going to linger, let us linger with the Lamb.



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