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The One Year Life Lessons from the Bible
     

The One Year Life Lessons from the Bible

by Neil S. Wilson
 
365 daily mediations on life lessons learned through the lives of Bible people. Connect to God every day by watching how God interacts with people in the Bible. God is a relational God, and learning through the life experiences of Bible people is a fascinating way to learn who God is and how he wants a loving and intimate relationship with you. Also makes a perfect

Overview

365 daily mediations on life lessons learned through the lives of Bible people. Connect to God every day by watching how God interacts with people in the Bible. God is a relational God, and learning through the life experiences of Bible people is a fascinating way to learn who God is and how he wants a loving and intimate relationship with you. Also makes a perfect gift book.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781414311951
Publisher:
Tyndale House Publishers
Publication date:
09/28/2006
Series:
One Year Book Series
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
1,351,240
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 8.94(h) x 0.94(d)

Read an Excerpt

The One Year Life Lessons FROM THE Bible

365 meditations on the lives of Bible people
By Neil S. Wilson

TYNDALE HOUSE PUBLISHERS, INC.

Copyright © 1996 The Livingstone Corporation
All right reserved.

ISBN: 1-4143-1195-8


Chapter One

January 1

Failure, Frustration-and Hope

Adam

I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid. (Genesis 3:10)

It is almost impossible to imagine what Adam's life was like. He was first and one-of-a-kind: no childhood, no parents, no schooling, no guilt, close contact with God, perfect world, only one rule to follow. Life today is vastly different.

Yet we can identify with Adam's struggles: (1) He's embarrassed to admit mistakes and wants to avoid confronting his problems; (2) his kids get into big trouble, spoiling many of his dreams for their future; (3) he works harder and gets less done as life goes on; and (4) as an older adult, all his labors have little to show except a small farm and scattered grandchildren.

Yet even Adam had hope. Genesis 3:15 is God's first piece of good news: Satan will be defeated; a Savior will come. That promise gave Adam hope and still lifts us from the pits to the heavens, from "What's the use?" to "Praise the Lord!" When life seems barren and pointless, remember that even Adam had this hope.

Jesus has come, salvation is won, and the Biblepromises another (the Second) coming at the end of time, when all of our tears will be wiped away. Whenever you're discouraged, remember that.

Each new day is another chapter in the unfolding promise of deliverance and life.

Adam's story is told in Genesis 1:26-5:5. Adam is also mentioned in 1 Chronicles 1:1; Luke 3:38; Romans 5:14; 1 Corinthians 15:22, 45; and 1 Timothy 2:13-14.

January 2

Following Dangerous Desires

Eve

The woman was convinced. How lovely and fresh looking it was! And it would make her so wise! (Genesis 3:6, TLB)

We know very little about Eve, the first woman in the world, yet she is the mother of us all. She was the final piece in the intricate and amazing puzzle of God's creation. As her descendants, we have inherited her propensity for sin, particularly when it comes to questioning God's sufficiency in our lives.

Eve was vulnerable to Satan's line of attack, for he knew her weakness: lack of contentment. How could she be happy when she was not allowed to eat from one of the fruit trees? Eve fell for the idea that the one item that was not within her reach would make her happy. And Eve was willing to accept Satan's insinuations without checking with God.

Sound familiar? How often is our attention drawn from the much we possess to the little that we don't? We get that I've-got-to-have-it feeling. We open ourselves to envy, greed, and all kinds of selfish behavior in order to satisfy our longings. And when we follow through on our impulses, the satisfaction we find is hollow and vanishes quickly.

God has given us all we need to be happy. Why waste our time pursuing something that's second-rate?

Focus on all God has given you, not on the little you lack.

Eve's story is told in Genesis 2:19-4:2.

January 3

Passing the Buck

Eve

Then the Lord God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?" The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate." (Genesis 3:13)

Adam and Eve's fall into sin provides the first instance in history of people who "passed the buck." When God asked Adam about his sin, Adam blamed Eve. Eve said, in effect, "Don't look at me-it was the serpent's fault." And if God had inquired of the serpent, he certainly would have passed the blame back to the woman and man. How relieved Eve must have been when God turned to the serpent and announced his punishment! Her relief was short lived, however. God refused to accept her rationalization and held her responsible for her wrongdoing.

The consequences of Eve's rebellion are well known, and humans have followed her example ever since. It is so easy to excuse our sin by blaming someone else. It is a way of avoiding the pain of getting right with God and other people. But God knows the truth! And he holds each of us responsible for what we do. Admit your sin and confess it to God. Don't make matters worse by blaming someone else.

Blaming someone else for our wrongdoing only increases the consequences of our sin.

Read more about Eve in Genesis 2:19-4:2.

January 4

Full Pardon Is Available

Cain

The Lord said to Cain, "Where is your brother Abel?" "I don't know," he replied. "Am I my brother's keeper?" (Genesis 4:9)

Among his other distinctions, Cain is the first to offer the world an unforgettable quotation. These famous words have come to stand for excuse making, disregard for loved ones, and outright lying. A rough man, strong and impetuous, Cain despised weakness and had little patience for those whose work he judged inferior. He paid little heed to God. Independent and strong-willed, he was not above asking for a break when he knew he was beaten (4:13).

After Cain murdered Abel, God gave him a mark. It was a sign to keep hooligans away from him, but it was also a reminder that God still cares for even the worst of criminals.

Cain's story teaches us never to give up on anybody. God's love and mercy reach to people who do not deserve them, whose personalities are toughened and resistant. God never quits on anybody.

When you have opportunities to help toughened people, remember that God was merciful to Cain. If you are a prisoner or ex-con, remember that the very first criminal was still under God's care. If you are a victim of crime, hard as it may be, let God do the judging and sentencing so that your heart may be free to forgive and live again.

God takes control of the most sorry, desperate circumstances and keeps us in his watchful care.

Cain's story is told in Genesis 4:1-17. Cain is also mentioned in Hebrews 11:4; 1 John 3:12; and Jude 11.

January 5

Giving Your Best to God

Abel

Abel brought the fatty cuts of meat from his best lambs, and presented them to the Lord. (Genesis 4:4, TLB)

Every child who knows the Bible and every adult who has darkened the door of a church knows the name of this second son. He is the first innocent to suffer, the youth whose life was snuffed out by the jealous blow of his own brother.

Exactly why God favored Abel's offering is unknown to us but not to them. They knew. The pristine world was not cluttered with noise and distraction; God's will must have been crystal clear.

God's will for us today is clear enough, too. We know that loving service is the centerpiece, that greed and pride are spoilers. We know that "our way or no way" is offensive to God. We know that God wants our devotion, no matter what the cost.

Today give your best to God: your heart trusting in God's care, your mind devoted to knowing God deeply, your will eager to please the sovereign Creator.

Jealousy kills a relationship that God wants to nourish.

Abel's story is told in Genesis 4. He is also mentioned in Matthew 23:35; Luke 11:51; and Hebrews 11:4; 12:24.

January 6

Speaking without Words

Abel

By faith he still speaks, even though he is dead. (Hebrews 11:4)

Odd that a person can "speak" so effectively through centuries and millennia, though the Bible does not record a single word from his mouth. Cain, the perpetrator, gets to talk rather at length in Abel's story (Genesis 4:1-14). Eve speaks, too. Adam had his say earlier. From Abel-nothing.

Except obedience. He brings the offering God desires.

Except eagerness. One cannot read of Abel without the sense that he enjoyed pleasing God.

Except innocent suffering. Abel follows brother Cain to the field and dies with a look of amazement and innocence in his eyes, as millions have since. Why the cancer? Why the accident? Why the war? Why me?

Abel's story reminds us of the evil that darkens our world, of lives lost to treachery and hatred. His death begs for moral judgment, for God to make things right again.

And that is exactly what God promises to do through the victory of Jesus Christ, our Savior. On Easter morning, Abel's life-and yours-was bought back, eternally, forever, by God's mighty power. Jesus said, "I am ... the life" (John 14:6). Today, and each day of your life, trust Jesus Christ, God's Son, our Savior, for life eternal.

Jesus is God's answer to Abel's why.

Abel's story is told in Genesis 4. He is also mentioned in Matthew 23:35; Luke 11:51; and Hebrews 11:4; 12:24.

January 7

The Rapid Growth of Sin

Lamech

If Cain is avenged sevenfold, truly Lamech seventy-sevenfold. (Genesis 4:24, NRSV)

Lamech earns just a few brief verses in Scripture, but those words say much about the rapid advance of sin in the days after Adam and Eve. A descendant of Cain, Lamech was the father of the first musician and the first metalworker. But Lamech's contribution to the spiritual condition of humankind was a pitiful one.

First, we note that Lamech was the first polygamist, taking two wives, Adah and Zillah. This attempt to "improve" on God's design for marriage would bear sorrow and frustration for many who followed in his footsteps: Jacob, David, and Solomon are obvious examples.

Second, Lamech had a cavalier disregard for the value of human life. He tells his wives that he killed a young man (actually, "child" in the Hebrew) for striking him. Instead of showing remorse, he boasts of his deed and throws down a challenge: If anyone would dare settle the score for this murder, Lamech would be avenged seventy-sevenfold! Unlike Cain, who took God's protection gladly, Lamech seems to laugh off the need for any divine discipline or refuge.

Sin is like a weed. It can grow rapidly, even in adverse conditions. Are you ignoring the sprouts that are shooting up in your life? Ask God to help you pull up the weeds of selfishness and rebellion before the problem gets out of control.

It doesn't take long for sin to bear its poisonous fruit.

Lamech's story appears in Genesis 4:18-24.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from The One Year Life Lessons FROM THE Bible by Neil S. Wilson Copyright © 1996 by The Livingstone Corporation. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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