CULTIVATE LOVE

    This past Sunday, the Women’s Bible Study was about humanity, and as I prepared the lesson I was once again awe-struck by our Creator.

    From the first, “Let there be light…” to the final, “It was very good… the heavens and the earth were completed in their vast array. With full authority, God’s spoken word created – Light (day and night), sky, water, seas, dry ground, seed-bearing plants, fruit-bearing trees, sun, moon, stars, birds, fish, wild animals, livestock, spiders, snakes, and creepy crawlers.

    Then, God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness so they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So, God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them, male and female he created them (Genesis 1:26-27).

    Order of events:

    ~ The Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

    ~ The Lord God put the man in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.

      ~ The Lord God commanded the man not to eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

      ~ The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”

      ~ The Lord God brought the animals to the man to see what he would name them.

      ~ The man named the animals, but there was no suitable helper found.

      ~ The Lord God made woman from man as a suitable helper for him.

    Suitable helper — עֵ֖זֶר כְּנֶגְדּֽוֹ  — The word (עֵ֖זֶר  ) ezer is qualified by the word (כְּנֶגְדּֽו  ) kenegdo in both Genesis 2:18 and 20. Ezer kenegdo – “a helper suitable for him” – It was not good for the man to be alone, so the Lord God provided a relative – one like him – one that completed him and his need for a helper.  This is a beautiful picture of the first marriage. Husband and wife working together to serve the Lord… and then they all lived happily ever after… well… maybe if it was a “Once Upon a Time” story.

    On the contrary, this is an Eternal Story… where sin rushed in and wreaked havoc on all relationships. Sin severed the relationship between God and humanity, which in turn damaged and confused every other relationship. We found out the hard way… that without God, we can do nothing… especially relationships.

    God made us in his image to be like him. He breathed his life into us, and we are of great value to him. Sin separated us from our life-giver, but he loves us so much that he provided the one and only way to restore our relationship with him.

    John 3:16 – “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”

    Ephesians 2:8-10 – “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”

    It’s all God’s handiwork and it’s his salvation plan. He offers his gift of salvation to “whoever believes,” and he knows those who have believed. Our purpose? Be obedient in the work that God prepared in advance for us to do…  Cultivate relationships with the humans that God has placed around us and love them enough to tell them the truth.

    At the Women’s Bible Study, the question was asked… “Where do we start?” 

    Start here… Pray that God will allow you to see others as he sees them. See their value and allow the Holy Spirit’s love to flow through you to them. When the Holy Spirit says, “Now!” -- Tell them about your relationship with Jesus.

    Luke 10:27 - “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind and, Love your neighbor as yourself.”

    Remember this… you are loved, and you are always in my prayers.

    In Christ, Cheryl

     

     

     

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