Leaving home in hopes of finding abundance and happiness. (The Bible’s Impact on Acts of Mercy [Apr 1])

Many years ago I got to a point in my career where I was in need of making a change. I had gotten as far as I could get in my current role in my current location and so I gave my options up to my parents and my in-laws. I told them I either had to leave Microsoft or leave the country. I didn’t want to make the decision alone as we had just had our first child which would mean they would be impacted by the decision. Both of them said I would be crazy to leave Microsoft and so we started the journey to find a new role outside the country. I didn’t realize it when I was doing it but God was going to use this moment as a teaching moment for me to show me how He would bless me. I applied for 3 jobs and while interviewing got lost in the hallway taking a right instead of a left and ran into someone I knew who asked me what I was doing in town and when I told him, he said I should talk to his boss. So after my interview I found his boss and let him know. He got me flown back a week later and I went through another round of interviews and took that job. Not my plans God’s plans. We had researched online all the places to live and found an area that had good ratings for safety, schools, and the commute wouldn’t be too bad. Again God had another plan and the “randomly” assigned real estate agent that Microsoft got me whose parents happened to live 15 minutes away from my old house wanted to show us another area first, which ended up being better than anything we saw and so we moved there. A week or so later, we got an invite from a church we had been driving by daily to come to a Christmas production. We went and felt so at home we haven’t stopped. During our growth and development the key of it being about having a relationship with Jesus “aha” moment happened and that was the beginning of a new adventure – it was like someone put a jetpack on my back to help me get through all the learning and wisdom to get me caught up. During that time was when the “aha” about my parents and my in-laws happened as I had started reading the Bible and got to the story of the 10 commandments where I read “Honor your father and mother” (which is the first commandment with a promise), that it may go well with you and that you may be long-lived on the earth.” Who knew that my decision to give the ultimate decision of should I stay or should I go to my parent would just be the beginning of incredible relationship with Jesus and incredible blessings as things go well. God’s ways are so much better than our ways. His rules aren’t to limit us but they are to protect us. His rules aren’t to hold us back but to set us up for the incredible things that are yet to come. His Word isn’t to ruin our fun but to help us have safe fun that will last forever. Jesus didn’t come to condemn the world but rather than through Him we can be saved. As today is Easter this rings so much clearer because Jesus isn’t dead, He is risen! He paid the ultimate sacrifice necessary to satisfy the justice required by God in order to make a way when there didn’t seem to be a way for us to be made right with God. God’s plan isn’t that anyone would perish but rather come to repentance. God’s been leading me and guiding me ever since that first day. He’s been speaking to me in so many ways and I have so many stories (most captured on this blog) of how He has helped me from the lowest of lows to the highest of highs. How thanks to my relationship with Jesus, I don’t need to go through it alone. And strangely enough, it isn’t just me but the theme of people looking and searching and seeking continues from back in the days of Adam, Abraham, the Israelites, and so many others right until today and probably won’t end till we get to see Jesus face to face and hopefully we all will have made the decision to make Him our Lord and Savior so that we can spend the rest of eternity with Him in heaven.

Are you seeking? Are you search? Are you looking for something? Have you asked God? Have you invited Jesus into your heart? Have you had the life transforming encounter with Jesus? Will today be your day as we celebrate Easter [if you are reading this on the day I wrote it]? Will today be your day as you celebrate today [if you are reading this any other day]? Praying that today will be the first day of the rest of your life in a relationship with Jesus. Why not take hold of the truth, the way, and the life which is Jesus and invite Him into your heart? Let’s pray this together…

Sample Sinners Prayer

If you prayed this prayer congratulations! Not only am I excited and celebrating with you but so are the angels in heaven who celebrate when one person turns back to God and receives Jesus as their Lord and Savior.

Today’s reading comes from Genesis 3…

The Fall

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.'” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” The Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this, cursed are you above all livestock and above all beasts of the field; on your belly you shall go, and dust you shall eat all the days of your life. I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be contrary to your husband, but he shall rule over you.” And to Adam he said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, ‘You shall not eat of it,’ cursed is the ground because of you; in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life; thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you; and you shall eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your face you shall eat bread, till you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for you are dust, and to dust you shall return.” The man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all living. And the Lord God made for Adam and for his wife garments of skins and clothed them. Then the Lord God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat, and live forever—” therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. He drove out the man, and at the east of the garden of Eden he placed the cherubim and a flaming sword that turned every way to guard the way to the tree of life.

— Genesis 3

Today’s devotional from the Global Impact Bible starts our reading and devotionals on the subject of the Impact of the Bible on Acts of Mercy and comes from Genesis 3:23.

‘therefore the Lord God sent him out from the garden of Eden to work the ground from which he was taken. ‘

–from Genesis 3:23

Apr 1 - Genesis 3_23 - Bibles Impact on Acts of Mercy - The expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise - Benjamin West

Today’s devotional has the topic of HOME. In today’s reading we see how Adam and Eve were driven from their home and the longing for a home or to go to or a place to return to. A longing for a place of abundance. A longing for a place of happiness. This was just the beginning of this theme that repeats throughout the Bible. We see it with Abraham leaving Mesopotamia and his family. We see it with the Israelites as they leave Egypt and the oppression. We see it in the story of the prodigal son. We are all searching for a place to call home. We are all searching to find that place. The key to finding it is to receive Jesus!

Heavenly Father,
I thank You Lord for this day of celebration and rejoicing as we celebrate that the tomb is empty, the battle is won, our sins are forgiven, and Jesus lives, sitting at Your right hand interceding for us. Lord, I pray for those who haven’t received Jesus that today You will touch their hearts and they will be touched and transformed into the kingdom of God. I pray for those who are seeking Lord that they will find as You promises in Matthew 7:7 and that as they ask You will answer them, and as they knock Lord that You will open it. Help them Lord to see the truth, the truth that sets them free! Help them Lord to hear You knocking on the door of their heart as you tell us in Revelation 3:20 and hear Your voice and opens the door, so that You will come in to him and eat with him, and he with You. Lord we become new creations when we receive Jesus and so I pray Lord that today there will be many transformations and lives turned back to You. I pray and ask all these things so that in and through it all You will receive the praise, the honor, and the glory in Jesus’ name. Amen.