Daily D – Genesis 3:6
Howdy! And Happy New Year!
The Bible reading plan I am using this year is the YouVersion plan Bible Project: The Bible. I invite you to join me. You can learn more about the Bible Project here: https://bibleproject.com/
The Bible translation I will use this year is the New Living Translation. I will use the New International Version, the English Standard Version, the Christian Standard Bible, and The Message for comparison.
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Genesis 3:6 The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. (NLT)
Luke 4:1, 2 Then Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan River. He was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where he was tempted by the devil for forty days. Jesus ate nothing all that time and became very hungry. (NLT)
Everyone struggles with something. Appetite, ambition, and approval have been with us since the Garden of Eden. That’s the bad news. The good news is that what tripped up Adam and Eve in the garden was overcome by Jesus in the wilderness.
Which of these – appetite, ambition, approval – is the biggest struggle for you?
Which of these is the secondary issue you struggle with most?
The consequences of following the leading of appetite, ambition, and approval are dire. See Genesis 3 and following for the rest of the story. It is possible to turn these drives into fitting servants under God’s authority as Jesus did.
When appetite, ambition, and approval are directed toward promoting us, they become destructive. When they are directed toward serving others, they become beneficial.
Every day, and in every moment of every day, we have to choose whether we will serve ourselves toward our own downfall or serve others to our mutual benefit.
This brings us to Psalm 1. It is six verses long. Verse 1 describes the joy in life of keeping appetite, ambition, and approval as servants. Verse 2 is about knowing God’s Word and God’s will like Jesus did so that we can keep appetite, ambition, and approval in their proper, God-honoring roles.
When we master appetite, ambition, and approval and refuse to be mastered by them, we become like verse 3:
They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.
When we allow appetite, ambition, and approval to master us, we become like verses 4 and 5:
But not the wicked! They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind.
They will be condemned at the time of judgment.
Sinners will have no place among the godly.
When we require guidance for discerning our proper attitude and actions, we can ask God who will always lead us in the right direction. See verse 6:
For the Lord watches over the path of the godly,
but the path of the wicked leads to destruction.
We do not have to repeat Adam and Eve’s sin and its consequences. We can repeat Jesus’ response to these temptations. We can live the kind of life where we seek and follow God’s direction and live the kinds of lives he blesses with all of his good gifts.
I will seek God’s direction morning by morning and moment by moment.
Our Father, surround me with people who choose your truth, wisdom, and direction. Deliver me from and through temptation that puffs me up and pushes me down. Direct my steps and my decisions by your words of truth and life and by your Spirit’s clear direction. Amen.
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Psalm 139:17, 18 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!
2 Corinthians 5:1-5 For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down (that is, when we die and leave this earthly body), we will have a house in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long to put on our heavenly bodies like new clothing. For we will put on heavenly bodies; we will not be spirits without bodies. While we live in these earthly bodies, we groan and sigh, but it’s not that we want to die and get rid of these bodies that clothe us. Rather, we want to put on our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by life. God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.
1 Corinthians 10:13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.