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Do you sometimes feel inadequate or unworthy? Written by Joe Rivers
If people knew you - the real you - would they run the other way? Where does this come from? Why is that voice inside your head so cruel? How can you make it go away?
Lots of self help gurus attempt to address these questions but the true, life changing answer isn't found in the latest best seller. It's found in that simple little story you were told as a child.
Remember Adam and Eve?
God created the first couple, Adam and Eve, and he gave them paradise. Everything was perfect, no death, no crying, just perfect harmony. We find this described here;
Genesis 2:25 states "And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed."
Reading this story as a young boy, I would always get distracted by the word naked. However, think about the situation this is describing. Adam and Eve would have been completely open, transparent, and vulnerable with each other, and with God. Yet they were not ashamed.
So what happened?
We all know what comes next in the story. Adam and Eve knowingly break one of God's rules. Let's zoom in on the result. Genesis 3:7 informs "The eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves coverings."
Suddenly Adam and Eve had something to be ashamed of. They weren't comfortable being exposed so they automatically tried to cover themselves with fig leaves.
You see this desperate hiding continued in verse 8 of Genesis 3; "And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and Adam and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden."
You can almost hear their thoughts.......
"How could God possibly love me after what I've done? If He could see me--the real me--He would run the other way. Maybe if I could just hide the ugly parts, then I'll be good enough."
What do your fig leaves look like?
Figure out how you fill in the following blank and you will find your fig leaves: "If I could just __________ , it will hide my flaws, and then I will be loved, get my needs met, and live a problem free life." Some hide behind success, others behind education or position. What's certain is this; the deeper you bury your shame the more it will eat away at your soul robbing you of the awesome purpose God has for you.
There's a better way
Thankfully, if you are like Adam and Eve, cowering in the trees, desperately trying to cover your flaws with fig leaves, what God does next in the story will change your life.
Genesis 3:9 says, Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, "Where are you?"
God initiates the contact here and thankfully Adam answers; "I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself."
Again, you know the story, Adam and Eve explain what happened and God then tells them the consequences of their sin. Once again, let's zoom in on what happens afterwards. What does God do? Genesis 3:21 tells us; Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them.
Clothed by God
This appears to be the first death in the Bible. The death of an animal to make a covering for Adam and Eve. We don't have the details but you can imagine how much of an impact this would have had as an innocent, trusting, perfect animal was killed for Adam and Eve's sin.
And we know what this points to. That Sacrifice that is described in Romans 5:8 "But God demonstrates His own love towards us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
While you were cowering in the trees, desperately trying to cover your shame with fig leaves, He loved you so much, He allowed His innocent, perfect Son to suffer and die for you.
This changes everything because God says, "You--the real you—shame and all, are worthy of my love."
No longer do you need to hide or fear being exposed. No longer do you need fig leaves to try and feel confident because you have this; Isaiah 61:10 "I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation. He has covered me with the robe of His righteousness. As a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, And as a bride adorns herself with jewels."
God's Plan for you
Do you want to go through life with confidence? Do you want to know you are valuable and silence that voice of self-doubt? Do you want to be authentic and open with everyone you meet? Easter claims to commemorate the death of Jesus Christ to "save you." The tragedy is that Easter is a cheap counterfeit. God's Holy Days can give your life incredible purpose and unlock your awesome potential. Another Holy Day season starts in a few weeks with the Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread. Will you answer God's call as you hide among the trees? Will you allow Him to clothe you? Or will you desperately cling to your fig leaves?
Various theories exist about how humans came into existence and about the purpose, if any, for human life. Is there a reason for us being on earth? Or, as evolution would like us to believe, did we come into existence by pure coincidence? If that were the case, we might as well eat and drink for tomorrow we die. This lesson shows from the Bible the fantastic potential we have from God-not only now, but for all eternity.
Scripture tells us that we, too, need to undergo a transformation - a change, with God's help, from "the old man" to "the new man," a human being "renewed in knowledge" and "created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness" (Colossians 3:9-10; Ephesians 4:22-24). In this lesson we discuss this remarkable change, made possible by the transforming power of God's Spirit.
Is it acceptable to believe we are free to worship God as we wish, to refashion God in our own image? Or has God revealed an approach to life that He expects us to follow? Does it make any difference in the relationship we are supposed to have with Him? In this lesson we examine the answers to these questions and more from the Scriptures.
In this booklet we will examine the Bible's teaching on conversion—it is not just a one-time event. Instead the Scriptures reveal that it is a process. The process begins with God's calling, followed by the key steps of repentance, baptism and the receiving of the Holy Spirit, finally climaxing with the return of Jesus Christ — when the dead in Christ are resurrected to immortality and given eternal life — the ultimate transformation!
Why do you exist? What is your destiny? Is there a reason, a purpose, for human life? These questions have baffled the greatest thinkers and philosophers down through the ages.
Many believing Christians celebrate Easter as a way to honour Jesus Christ's resurrection. But Easter is a day with very different roots—stretching long ago into pre-Christian paganism. The Bible alone has the truth of Jesus' life, death and resurrection, and it shows a different set of celebrations—the Passover and Days of Unleavened Bread—that give us the real story that Easter doesn't tell us.
It’s obvious that our world is plagued with serious problems. Look around at the devastating wars, civil unrest, violent crime, rampant theft, corrupt governments, grinding poverty, hunger, spreading substance abuse, broken homes and families, natural disasters, failing educational systems and much more. These things aren’t new; they’re the sad legacy of human history. Is there any hope that these problems will ever be solved? Believe it or not, there is indeed great hope, and it’s found in the pages of your Bible. It’s called the gospel, a word that means “good news.” And it truly is good news, the message of Jesus Christ’s coming reign over the earth and God’s divine solution to our problems! Learn much more about this wonderful hope and news in the pages of this issue of Beyond Today. Download this issue in PDF. Individual articles will be posted in the upcoming days.