John Alan Turner

Speaker, Author, Mentor, Coach, Facilitator

Advent Reader -- Day 2

"And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel." (Genesis 3:15) ----------

Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. (Isaiah 59:1-2)

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Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned. To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not charged against anyone's account where there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come. But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God's grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many! Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man's sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ! Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous. (Romans 5:12-19)

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Mankind is so important to God. But we are deeply fallen.

God's originally perfect creation included flawless creatures with a spiritual and moral capacity. In the garden, they were given the ability to choose, so that they would be responding in a meaningful relationship. But choice always involves responsibility, and they were warned there would be consequences if they chose to disobey.

Despite the richness of their relationship with God, they allowed the entrance of a powerful evil being into their home. They fell to its tactics of doubt and deception. And they fell into sin by choosing their will over the Creator's. It is a mystery how beings who were created as moral and rational could succumb to the immorality of sin. But it happened, and it has left us in constant battle, life-long enmity with that serpent, dragon, devil.

The desire of the first two created beings to be like God led them to deny him, and the consequences were heavy. There are ramifications in every area. There were physical and spiritual repercussions, and there was the separation, a great separation from the Creator who had sustained them all along.

We are deeply fallen, yet...we remain greatly loved. The fall that took away our purity could not take away his affection. Nothing could. And so the great plan was set in motion, and the need for the baby who was born on Christmas became inevitable. The response of our holy and loving God to the disastrous effects of wickedness is...surprisingly...love.

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Lord of all creation, I bow before you recognizing that my deepest need is to be delivered from the bondage of evil that has ensnared me on account of my own sin. I readily confess that this is beyond my power. Thank you that you have refused to leave me in this condition, choosing instead to send your Son, Jesus. Thank you that evil could not attach itself to him. Thank you tha  he has triumphed over my enemy. Thank you that the judgment that was due me was broken on him and that he has opened the way for me to return to you through the power of his death on a cross. I ask for a clearer vision of the blessings of obedience and the pain of disobedience so that I will grow in trust and take the risks associated with following you completely. In Jesus' saving name. Amen.