The Garden & The Gospel
In the Garden of Eden, God made man. The Creator of the universe bent low and dug His hands into the earth. With dirt under His nails, He molded man into His image and breathed life into his lungs. This moment was filled with the wonder of an artist standing before his masterpiece.
I can't even imagine how sweet this time in the Garden must have been. Adam and Eve lived in perfect communion with God. It is what my heart longs for more than anything else in the world. And God loved it, too. He created mankind to bring Him glory and it was His joy to be with us!
We are God’s masterpiece: beautiful, intricate, holy, and of more value to Him than anything else that He created! We have the unique ability to bring God more glory than anything else in all creation! How amazing is that.
This Garden moment is what we were made for. It was perfect communion with God; to worship, love, create, work, and live life abundant with Him!
But in the Garden, man was tempted into sin and disobeyed God. Stained by sin, mankind could no longer remain in the presence of God who is perfect and holy. And so, mankind had to leave the Garden of Eden and the presence of God to wander in the wilderness. We could not live the life we were made to live so long as we remained tainted by our sin.
Now, for the good news! In the midst of our sin, God wanted us back. We are His masterpiece, His beloved! His breath is still in our lungs. His fingerprints are still all over us. We still bear the image of our Father. I imagine that every time God looked at us, He remembered those early days in the Garden. Just as we long for perfect communion with our Father, our Father longs for perfect communion with us. We were made to be in relationship with Him and to bring Him glory!
And so, God began the work of bringing us home...
Jesus our Savior!
The penalty for our sin is death and eternal separation from God. But in His kindness, so that we could be redeemed to Him, God sent His only son Jesus to Earth. Jesus walked the Earth fully man and fully God. In the face of temptation, He chose not to sin. Jesus remained unstained and holy. He lived the life we could not live and died the death we deserved. A perfect sacrifice on a rugged cross, Christ alone carried the weight of sin for all of mankind. And now for the most amazing news…
Jesus was perfect and without sin, death could not hold Him. Jesus rose from the grave, and through Him we are saved! We are cleansed of our sins because Jesus, the perfect and complete sacrifice, took our place. When God looks at us, He no longer sees our sin. The blood of Jesus has washed us clean. Jesus created an unshakable bridge between us and the Father. Restoring us to God's design in the Garden of Eden, we now get to commune with our Father again. What an inexpressible gift!
The Garden starts now!
Today, I want to remind you that the Garden starts now. We bear the image of God, we are fully covered by Jesus. What is stopping us from walking in that freedom? We have been FULLY restored through Jesus. FULLY forgiven. FULLY redeemed. NOTHING separates us from the Father when we receive Jesus as our Savior.
So many people do not know this good news. I want to encourage all of us to share it. Just as God breathed life into you, so can you breathe His life back into the world. Just as Jesus lived for the glory of God, let us also live for the glory of God! When we share the good news, God gets the glory! When you submit your life to God's plans, He is glorified!
If you have received Jesus, you have been saved, and I believe that God wants to transform the world for His glory through YOU. In communion with God, the greatest optimist, anything is possible.
For the creation waits with eager longing for the revealing of the sons of God…
For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved.
Romans 8:19, 22-24
The Bible says that all of creation is waiting in eager expectation for the sons and daughters to be revealed, to know their identity, to walk in their true calling! Are we groaning along with creation? We should be aching, longing, and burning for the revealing of the sons and daughters of God! We were made for His glory.
My greatest hope is that we would do our best to glorify God in making Heaven full. We want to see every nation, every tribe, and every tongue represented before the throne of God (Revelation 7:9)! Let us be people who live deeply in communion with God, like we were made to in the Garden. Jesus died so that we could!
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to Himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making His appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake He made Him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 5:17-21
Here is my encouragement for you as I close: the Garden starts now, and Heaven is close. Let us prepare for the glorious return of our King! The presence of God is with you. Anything is possible.