Archive for the ‘Servant Leadership’ Category

Dad-Son

A careful man I want to be –
a little fellow follows me.
I do not dare to go astray,
for fear he’ll go the self-same way.
I cannot once escape his eyes.
Whatever he sees me do he tries.
Like me he says he’s going to be –
that little chap who follows me…
He knows that I am big and fine –
And believes in every word of mine.
The base in me he must not see –
that little chap who follows me…
But after all it’s easier,
that brighter road to climb,
With little hands behind me –
to push me all the time.
And I reckon I’m a better man
than what I used to be…
Because I have this lad at home
who thinks the world of me.

~Anonymous

In the third chapter of Genesis, things get a little dicey. Different interpreters will say different things about the different characters, so I’m going to keep it simple and just go with the specifics that scripture does give us without looking at any cultural input that may have existed when Moses penned this God inspired book. Chapter 3 starts out telling us about the serpent, telling us that he was crafty, it does not tell us this was Satan, but some believe it was, in any case, the serpent was the one who brought Eve’s attention to the temptation presented by the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The serpent is able to take the words that Adam shared with Eve, “You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, nether shall you touch it, lest you die” (Gen 3:3, ESV) and twist them. He convinces Eve to try the fruit and then she shares it with Adam, “who was with her” (Gen 3:6, ESV).

adam-and-eve

Here we are, not even halfway through the third chapter of the first book of God’s book, and we find Adam sinning. Many of you may be asking what I mean, it was Eve that sinned, right? Actually, if you believe as I do, you see that it was not Eve’s sin that caused the fall, but Adam’s. Adam was with her when the serpent tempted her. Adam was hanging out, but he wasn’t grabbing the serpent and killing it. Adam was present, but he wasn’t standing between Eve and the tree. Adam was passive.

It was not Eve that God had commanded not eat of the tree, it was Adam. Look at Gen 2:16-17, “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.” (ESV) God spoke this command to the man, not to the woman. It was after this command that God created Eve, trusting Adam to lead her, as she was created as His helper or “ezer”.

So Adam messed up, but God is a forgiving God, right? The first thing that Adam and Eve do after eating the fruit is run to create clothes. As God is all knowing and all present, he knew that they had eaten of the fruit, but he gave them time. Even when he entered the garden, he gave Adam a chance to step forward and confess, but instead Adam and Eve hid from God. When God calls them out, Adam tried the old deflection method (or really the new one as he was the first to use it) and blames the woman that God gave him, thus blaming God for Adam’s failure. Eve is a little more straightforward with it, stating that the serpent deceived her and she ate.

It is here that the curse is laid out. I’ll sum it up quickly here.

1: Serpents will crawl on their belly, and there will be enmity between serpent and woman. (a little more depth but I’ll touch that in a second)

2: Childbirth will be extremely painful, women will desire to control their husband, but will be ruled by them instead.

3: Man will have to work for his food, working the field by the sweat of his brow until he dies and is returned to it.

After this in verse 21, we see the first death. God made garments for them of skins, killing the animals to do this. and then he casts man and woman from the garden.

Whew! Rough chapter! But we also see the first prophecy of Jesus. Look again at the curse to the serpent: Gen 3:15 “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.” Many theologians believe that this references Satan and Jesus. Mark Driscoll shares this “This is the first intimation at a virgin birth. This passage says that the foretold male child would come and battle Satan and that Satan would harm and wound him, but the child ultimately would defeat and crush Satan” (found here). God knew when he created Adam that Adam would fall, but He also planned for the fall and made a way for us to be redeemed, through the blood of Christ, who was crucified on the cross, descended into Hell and defeated Satan, rising on the 3rd day.

So here’s the challenge we face from this passage:

Lead faithfully, not passively. Stand up and defend our family as we lead them on His path.

 

Until the Whole World Knows,

Paul

In the beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth.

creationAnd the arguments began.

So, the first chapter of Genesis, the first chapter of scripture, was written by Moses and inspired by God. What does that mean for us? What can Moses, a man who was born so long before modern scientific methods, tell us about the creation of everything? To tell the truth, I’m not sure that Moses could tell us much. If we look at his writings, they describe events at least 1000 years before he lived. But God on the other hand; God can tell us a lot. And that is what I believe he does in Genesis.

So what does Genesis 1 tell us? God tells us that the earth and everything on it was created in 6 days, but modern science tells us that isn’t possible. So is Genesis 1 wrong? I don’t believe so. When we examine God’s qualities, we see Him as omnipotent. This means He is all powerful. He can do anything, so He can create the Heavens and the Earth in 6 days. He can do it in a second if he wants. Or He can do it in billions (or more) of years. So is Genesis possible, sure, and God could even make it so we couldn’t tell that it was done this way. I’m not saying He did, but I am saying God is all powerful. So the timeline is an argument point.

Most religions believe in a creation story, and most line up pretty well with what we read in Genesis 1, but they differ in a few key points, one of these is who was the creator. Even Atheists have theories on this, ranging from random chance to an alien race (but who created them I ask). So who is the creator? I believe that this is the question that Genesis 1 is answering, not the how, but the who. And I believe that the who is God. We see reference to all three persons of God being involved in the creation:

Father: Gen 1:1 In the beginningGodcreatedthe heavens and the earth.

Son: John 1:1-5 In the beginningwas the Word, and the Word was with God,and the Word was fully God.The Word was with God in the beginning. All things were createdby him, and apart from him not one thing was createdthat has been created.In him was life, and the life was the light of mankind.  And the light shines on in the darkness,but the darkness has not mastered it.

Holy Ghost: Gen 1:2 Nowthe earthwas without shape and empty,and darknesswas over the surface of the watery deep,but the Spirit of Godwas movingover the surfaceof the water.

So the who is answered here. Now let me hit the big one for us here at Hardcore Christian Men. What does this mean for a God’s man?

Gen 1: 26-30 Then God said, “Let us makehumankindin our image, after our likeness,so they may ruleover the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the cattle, and over all the earth,and over all the creatures that moveon the earth.” God created humankindin his own image, in the image of God he created them,male and female he created them.God blessedthem and saidto them, “Be fruitful and multiply! Fill the earth and subdue it!Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and every creature that moves on the ground.”Then God said, “I now give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the entire earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.And to all the animals of the earth, and to every bird of the air, and to all the creatures that move on the ground – everything that has the breath of life in it – I giveevery green plant for food.” It was so.

In this passage, God gives us a job. We were created in His image, and we were created to rule over the world. We were created to multiply and fill the earth. We were created to eat and enjoy the earth. The things that stand out to me in this section is that we were created in His image (both man and woman) and that we are to rule over everything on the earth. So what does this mean? If we look at how we’ve lived here so far, it does seem that we’ve subdued it, but I question if we’ve ruled it as scripture teaches us to.

Throughout the Bible, we are given examples of good rulers and bad. From David to Herod, we are shown different styles of rule, but all fall short of the example God showed in His Son, Jesus. So what is the example the Jesus shows us? I’ve hit on this topic many times, but this question is one that theologians have been studying and discussing since he walked the earth. The key to the discussion is love. Jesus showed us how to be a leader by being a servant. That is what we must do.

Genesis 1 teaches me that we as God’s men are called to rule the earth through servant leadership and love. Are you up to the challenge?

Until the Whole World Knows,

Paul