The snake was the most intelligent of all the wild animals that the LORD God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say that you shouldn’t eat from any tree in the garden?” 2 The woman said to the snake, “We may eat the fruit of the garden’s trees 3 but not the fruit of the tree in the middle of the garden. God said, ‘Don’t eat from it, and don’t touch it, or you will die.’” 4 The snake said to the woman, “You won’t die! 5 God knows that on the day you eat from it, you will see clearly and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
Friends, that snake is a liar! In this story the snake is slithering around, whispering lies to children of God. It is introducing doubt, fear, pride, and selfishness.
The result? Adam and Eve hid from God. Then they started the blame game. “It was her fault!” Adam said. I wonder what that did to Adam and Eve’s relationship with one another. Let’s be honest, Adam threw her under the bus without even hesitating. Oh, that snake is a liar and lies cause destruction.
Nice story, but what does it have to do with you and me? Everything.
There are still lies whispered in our ears each and every day.
-“You are a self-made person. Everyone should just work as hard as you!” LIES
-“Keep working hard and you’ll have the house and the car and the happiness you think others have.” LIES
-“Do your own thing when it comes to faith. You don’t need a church or other people. LIES
-“You don’t matter. You aren’t pretty. No one loves you unless…” LIES
Did you know that you are first and foremost a child of God? Galatians 3:26 says, “You are all God’s children through faith in Christ Jesus.” You and I are different in many ways, no doubt, but we share an identity in God’s family. Children. Loved. Saved by the blood of Christ.
The Good News is that God didn’t give that lying snake the last word. Jesus died for us, even in the midst of our sin. Over the whispered lies, God is shouting words of love and hope.
-I knit you together in your mother’s womb…and I feel the same about your neighbor.
-You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.
-You are part of the body of Christ, my Church.
-You are loved. You are beautiful in my eyes, and what you have done doesn’t define you.
I need the love of God, sayings like you just read, on repeat. I constantly need reminded that God already loves me. I’m not defined by some metric that measures my effectiveness in ministry, Sunday’s attendance, how fast I can run a mile, the food I eat, the compliments I receive, or some accolade from years ago. I am a child of God and nothing I do can makes me more loved.
When I forget this love, it changes how I see others. I suddenly realize I’ve become hard-hearted. I find myself focusing on what others are saying about me. Their perceived ignorance fuels my actions. Then I imagine things are worse than they are. I’m short-tempered with my kids and forget to hug my wife as much. The problem? I’m listening to the lies instead of God’s love.
But when I realize I’m already loved, I am better able to love others. I forgive. I slow down. And I allow God to use me to let others know they are beloved children of God.
Friends, the snake is whispering lies but God is shouting how loved you already are. Listen to the love of God and don’t be defined by anything else.
I never liked snakes anyway.