Advent 2017: Joy to the World: Day 2

The First Promise of the Messiah

by

Today's Text: Genesis 3:1-15, 1 Corinthians 15:45-49, Hebrews 2:14-16

Scripture Reading: Genesis 3:1-15, 1 Corinthians 15:45-49, Hebrews 2:14-16

When old Alberta Hoffman died, I was five years old.

Our family paid our respects at the funeral home across the street from our new house, along with various friends and family in our small Michigan town. I don’t remember much about that day, but one moment has never ceased to haunt me.

The funeral had ended, and ladies in dresses and men in suits were gathered on the funeral home lawn. I was feeling especially proud of the proximity of our house to the event, and in my enthusiasm, I bolted across the street to change out of my too-lacey dress.

“STOP!!!”

He shouted so loudly I was sure the whole town heard. And if they didn’t hear our pastor yelling, they heard the squealing brakes of the blue sedan that stopped just short enough that my tiny hands and torso came to rest on its hood.

My little life was saved, but all I remember feeling was monumental embarrassment. Every eye was on me, and I fought back tears because of my very public mistake. Everyone knows not to cross the street without looking both ways. It was Rule #1, I’d broken it, and the whole town saw it happen.

There are a myriad of differences between my story and the story of Eden, but the few similarities somehow help me understand what happened in the garden a bit more. The consequence of my action and their sin would rightly have been death, but all that concerned us was our shame. And the bigger headline of both of our stories is this: we were saved!

Sometimes when I think of the scene in the garden, I find my self focusing on the consequences. I think about how apparent Adam and Eve’s humanity became. They were naked and afraid and facing lives of painful labor because they broke Rule #1.

But God is good, and wise, and in the business of redemption. In Genesis we see that God disciplined them with both mercy and justice. He promised a plan for humanity’s newly-needed rescue (Genesis 3:15). He disciplined his children (vv.16-19). He covered their shame (v.21). And He sent them out of the garden (vv.23-24), where they would await the fulfillment of the first promise of redemption—the coming Messiah.

Today is an important day. It is our chance to begin the Advent season with this very first recorded promise of a Savior. When we think of our sin, we’re often tempted to focus on our shame, or perhaps on our consequences. Today, as we walk out the consequences of participating in a fallen world, be reminded that the God who made us disciplines us because He loves us. He covers our shame. He saves us from death, giving us life instead (Ephesians 2:4-5).

These next four weeks are all about God’s justice and mercy and His plan to save the world through Jesus, His Son. We’ll read hints and promises and proofs of this plan of salvation in action, so that, when we arrive at Christmas Day, we might have a fuller view of the significance of Christ’s Advent.

We read as people living between two Advents—on the “He did” side of the first Advent of Jesus (celebrating what God has done), and on the “He will” side of Jesus’ second coming (celebrating what He is doing and will do).

As we read, may we remember: we’re reading our very own story of rescue.

SRT-ADVENT-instagram2

Leave a Reply to Adriana R. Cancel reply

/

  • Emily Lange

    Fill with joy that our stories end with God saving us!

  • Morgan Lamb

    Heaven and nature sing, indeed!!! I so enjoyed this and can’t wait to dive in deeper!

  • I’m so thankful for my gift of salvation and redemption. I am so thankful to know the savior loves me, died for me, loves me. I am very lucky that his mercies are new each day, and I am washed in the blood of the lamb. As I walk through a world where many do not believe or accept Chris’s plan and love for they’re lives, I am grateful that my life is his. I am his.

  • Alyssa López

    “Our very own rescue story” ❤️

  • Christina Henderson

    What An amazing God, who never leaves us in our shame, guilt and sin!

  • Kristy Schoyen

    Hey Aimee,
    I had a similar question… so I did a little research. This verse is considered prophetic of the coming Messiah because Jesus is the ultimate offspring of Eve and He is the one who will defeat Satan (who HAS defeated Satan!). Check out Romans 16:20 for a really cool parallel verse that might help make it seem a bit clearer.

    Hope this helps!

  • PronetoWander

    “When we think of our sin, we’re often tempted to focus on our shame, or perhaps on our consequences. Today, as we walk out the consequences of participating in a fallen world, be reminded that the God who made us disciplines us because He loves us. He covers our shame. He saves us from death, giving us life instead (Ephesians 2:4-5).” My focus is almost always on my shame of my sin, and then when I read the word or go to church it’s like God reminds me that he already took care of that and that he loves me still and it’s like a moment of fresh air after staying under the covers hiding. I’m thankful for those fresh moments God keeps having to send me.

  • denise frasier

    lord i thank you for your mercy and your grace

  • Shannon Vansteenkiste

    His mercy endures forever!

  • Bree Heightchew

    God has already shown himself so much and the season still has a way to go. He is so so good !!

  • Louise T

    ❤️❤️

  • Lesli Busse

    How beautiful it must have been to walk in the cool breeze of the evening with God! Yet even Adam and Eve who got to experience that community with God couldn’t keep themselves from sinning. When I sin or make a mistake, it is so easy for me to feel guilt or shame and beat myself up. However, there is grace for me, and his name is Jesus.

    I pray that in this advent season I stop looking at my shame and instead focus on the loving and forgiving face of Jesus.

  • Alexis Horner

    “He is in the business of redemption”! Hallelujah!

  • Danya Ho

    Hebrews 2:14–16
    14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise hpartook of the same things, that ithrough death he might jdestroy kthe one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and deliver all those who lthrough fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery. 16 For surely it is not angels that he helps, but he mhelps the offspring of Abraham.

  • Kayla Shelby

    For some reason, my day 2 and 3 got switched, and I didn’t realize it at first. When I did realize it I got angry, but as I saw that this devotional focuses on the redemption of God, I’m overwhelmed by His goodness. I’ve been struggling with a specific sin, and I finally got the courage to admit it to my best friend today. I was nervous and scared that she would look at me differently or judge me. But God knows our hearts, and I thinks that’s why He sends certain friends to our lives. She admitted that she’s been struggling with the same thing. So now instead of hiding in the shame of sin, we get to walk through redemption together. Praise Jesus for His goodness and grace and mercy, and sometimes, the little technology glitches, too.

    • Karen From Virginia

      Thanks for sharing. God is so good. Freedom comes when we confess. Happy for you

  • this is Advent, right here, right now. We are waiting for the second coming, the second advent while we remember and reflect on the first advent. This is the rescue of ancient people, yes but of US too! MY rescue story! YOUR rescue story! Blessed is He who was and is and is to come!

    • Adriana R.

      HIS STORY is a Tapestry of many stories and many colors, Our Beautiful Savior is binding and knitting us all in his precious and marvelous love! His KINGDOM Come!

  • Danielle Hoffer

    I was thinking the same thing as I was reading this! God removed Adam and Eve to protect them from the continuing temptation. Thank you for mentioning it!

  • Shelby Hamilton

    “our very own rescue story” love this! really needed to hear this.

  • Cookie (Mary) Speer

    Thank you Lord for Redemption
    Thank you for loving a sinner as me. Thank you for the washing of my sins the be as white as snow ❄️

  • I enjoyed this session. Such a wonderful reminder of the first mention of our Saviour.

  • Iciona Taylor

    Consequences are death but in the end we all are saved

  • I need God to show up this Advent season. I would love for Him to show up in a big way but more than that I need Him to show up in the little everyday moments. I need to feel His presence. I need to feel His love. Praying this Advent study will help open my eyes to the little moments when He is just waiting for me to notice that He is there.

  • I’m excited to dig into the word this season. So easily things can become all about me- my plans- my family- my holiday experiences. This year I want less of me and more of HIM. Looking forward to spending time meditating on Christ’s Advent every day.

  • Joy to the world!!! The Lord is come!

  • Vicki Woods

    “God disciplined them with both mercy and justice”… this is what sticks out to me in this passage. So thankful to see His mercy and justice in my life!

  • Kimberly ClarkWood

    ❤️

  • Lindsey Abercrombie

    I love this message:) What a beautiful start to a beautiful holiday! Bless you all!❤️

  • Gabrielle

    Love it!

  • noël gieringer

    like the story here, we shouldn’t feel ashamed of needing to be saved. beautiful truth!!!

  • I’ve been reading this to my Cubbies (4yo twins), what a great lesson for me…his rescue of ME

  • Just love the last line as well “…my very own story of rescue!”
    I think sometimes I can get side-tracked and not realize, “for to us (me) a child is born…”
    He is MY greatest gift…He is YOUR greatest gift…He is man’s gift!!! Joy to the World!!!
    Thank you SRT team!!! What a blessing you are to me! ❤️

  • The story of Adam and Eve reminds me of our want to know God’s plan and understand WHY. The more that we try and figure out his plan for our lives by following through with what we think is best, the more we run in to troubles and hurts and wish we would and stayed under his wing of guidance and just accepted that he knows best.

  • ^thank you SRT for bringing us back to the gospel.

  • Love the last sentence. It really spoke to me. Sometimes I get caught up in just reading and thinking that I’ve heard this all before. Thank you God for saving me.

  • Angelina

    We are alive in Christ! What Ana amazing thought! My shame is gone because of him. Thank you Lord for your Son!

  • Merissa Woltman

    What an amazing thing to remember; paired with beautiful words! “We’re reading our very own story of rescue!”

  • Cristina

    I love this! Also, I have the app, however, when I go to try to view the plans on the app, it states “add to cart for 1.99″. Are they free online but not on the app?

    • Mary Ashleigh

      Yep! To read on the app you have to pay, but always free online:)

      • Corinna

        In the app, if you click on shop and then within the sub-menu click on study you can access the daily readings for free. Sometimes the navigation gets lost and you have to start over but it seems to work ok to access the daily readings.

  • No matter how far away we have gotten from God and no matter how many times we have disobeyed his commands, He is still right there calling out for us and waiting on us. His promises for our life are still true.
    We just have to make sure we are more passionate about our promise giver than His promises!

  • Jenn Jordan

    ❤️❤️

  • Katie Cannington

    Loved the part about us reading our own story. I feel so often we get these blinders on and don’t realize how crazy stories are in The Bible.

  • Lilly Biggers

    This was so beautiful!!

  • For a moderator… I’m only seeing 2 days on my purchased plan inside the app. Can someone help please?

    • Erin Kostun

      I think it just began yesterday. That’s all I see, too!

      • Michele

        It just began on Sunday, (the beginning of Advent) so yes it only reveals the days passed in the plan up to the current day. Hope this helps :)

  • I am currently reading Fearless by Max Lucado and there is a chapter about being afraid that we will disappoint God and it lines up perfectly with this idea that we often focus on our shame more than the forgiveness and rescue of Jesus. Crazy amazing how it lined up that I read that chapter on the day of this devotion! Learning to focus on forgiveness and remembering that the story of Christmas is our rescue story!!

  • Chelsea Morgan

    I need help understand more in depth “he will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.”
    What I am thinking is that there will always be evil(the strike of the heel) but we who are saved will hit evil hard, in the head seems like a harder blow then just the heel. Please feel free to fill in your thoughts…

    • Erica

      I have understood this verse to mean that because of human choices there are evil forces at work in this world and the devil will bring harm and pain to us in our lives. However, this verse also prophecies that Jesus, God in the Human form, would come to deliver a fatal blow to Satan and his plans, by giving Himself to free us from the bondage of sin.

      • Chelsea Morgan

        Erica, thank you so much for your help. This really helped me to understand better.

    • Laura

      Hi Chelsea! Glad you asked because I was trying to process this as well. I pulled out my ESV study Bible and this is what it says “…it has traditionally been understood as pointing forward to the defeat of the serpent by a future descendant of the woman, and this interpretation fits well with the words and the context. This defeat is implied by the serpent’s being bruised in the head, which is more serious than the offspring of Eve being bruised in the heel. For this reason, verse 15 has been labeled the “Protoevangelium”, the first announcement of the gospel.” Of course, this is just one interpretation of this passage and some commentators view this passage as just hostility between men and snakes but I think God is always weaving the story of redemption throughout all of scripture so this beingb the Protoevangelium makes sense to me. Hope that helps!

      • Michele

        Thank you for sharing your study bible’s break down, I really love that idea of Protoevangelium. And, “Yes!” to God has always been weaving our redemption into the story.

      • Chelsea Morgan

        Laura thank you! It did help!

  • LPMoreland

    One thing that wasn’t pointed out but that I believe also goes along with God’s justice and mercy shown to Adam and Eve is this: their removal from the Garden wasn’t JUST about punishment, but also about their PROTECTION. They had already eaten from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God was making sure they also couldn’t eat from the tree of Life and thus live in their broken state eternally. So even things that feel like punishment (like having to leave their first and most-beautiful home) are ultimately for our good. God is always teaching up and shepherding us in and through our circumstances. Which is where 1 Thessalonians 5:18 comes in “give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

    • Danielle Hoffer

      I was thinking the same thing as I was reading this! God removed Adam and Eve to protect them from the continuing temptation. Thank you for mentioning it!

  • Catherine Cornell

    Sorry Jo not no*

  • I noticed something for the first time today after knowing the Genesis story- for a while Adam and Eve’s confession, the first thing God does is not pronounce punishment on them or throw them out of His holy Garden. The first thing He does is curse the Deceiver, Satan, and punish his vessel the snake. In the same breath, He declares His intention to restore His children. He speaks the first prophecy of Christ. God is first about protecting and completing us for His glory. He could have immediately struck down Adam and Eve for disobeying His command, but instead He strikes a blow at the one who lead them to harm, and then He shouts His plan to bring His family back together.

    • Stacy

      Wow! Incredibly beautiful insight. Thank you for sharing this.

  • I’m reading a book called Think Good. The author discusses choosing the spirit over the flesh and references Romans 7. Beginning in Romans 7:15, Paul is writing about how he does things he doesn’t want to do, and he doesn’t do what he wants to do. It’s a battle between spirit and flesh. Reading the verses from I Corinthians (in today’s devotional) reminded me of those verses. We are earthly beings first. Though we may crave the spirit, we are always tied to the physical (as long as we’re alive). But we can battle the flesh with Jesus. He has already won the war. We can share in that victory when we choose to battle our earthly desires.

  • Cassandra Sund

    This is raw and beautiful, Jesus saved me❤️

  • Allison Joy

    Two things: I’ve created a Spotify playlist of instrumental Christmas carols (plus a few Michael W. Smith instrumental Christmas songs and a couple more contemporary Christmas songs/hymns too. Here’s a link if anyone wants to listen while they read. https://open.spotify.com/user/12126697889/playlist/6taBNjV1zXPw6fVFapcQtC

    And now, my comment about the actual lesson. A few weeks ago, the AWANA (a Bible memorization program for kids/teens) kids at my church were going through the story of Adam and Eve, and the speaker pointed out to the kids something I had never noticed before. Everyone talks about Adam blaming Eve. But he actually blames God first. He says, “The woman who You gave me.” As if to say, “Well, God, if you hadn’t given me this woman…” And how often do we do that, too, blaming God for our failings? I love how God can uses even children’s Bible lessons to show adults something new!

  • This was great today. I haven’t been walking with God the way I should be and recently I realized how selfish I have been. This helped me see that I don’t have to feel shame about my selfish behavior because it has already been forgiven. He has already saved me. I just need to continue surrendering and pursuing him.

  • Sonya McGinnissCribbs

    Matthew West

  • Guilt, shame, eternal consequences: these should all be mine for choosing to satisfy my appetite, for biting into that fruit God wanted to protect me from. But I was given life and I was given choice – for forced obedience (even in the name of protection) is not the epitome of love God portrays. The height, depth, and breadth of God’s love is honestly greater than I can comprehend; But I recognize it as the purest, most devoted, and most passionate love I will experience. God loved me so much that He became a life-giving spirit (1 corinth. 15:45) to restore my life. He paid my penalty, giving me the precious gift of life a second time. I in no way deserve a second gift of life when I tarnished the first, but we deal with a God who knows no limit to love, and who will fight for our hearts as long as it takes to win us to Him.

  • How many times do we fixate on our shame and our flaws when Jesus’ resurrection has already covered our sins? Such good news

  • Interesting how the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent meet… Jesus the seed of the woman, and the Saduccees and Pharisees, or the “generation of vipers”. The cunning words of the serpent are replicated in their craft: [Mar 14:1 KJV] 1 After two days was [the feast of] the passover, and of unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by craft, and put [him] to death.

  • Amanda Riedel

    Humbling… I love diving into scripture and want to make a more concise effort in this area of my life…

  • God is good and His ways are perfect!

  • Yolanda Harbon

    ❤️❤️❤️

  • Christina Ballard

    I really love this. I can get caught up in the shame and consequences when I mess up but this reminds me that God loves me and wants to save me from all of they. He had a back up plan immediately after Adam and Eve messed up because that is how much my God loves me. He didn’t give it a second thought.

  • As a mommy of 3, it really stuck out to me that the very first sin was defended by shifting blame. My children do this all the time! And God provided a consequence to both the Eve and the instigator. However, and this is my take away as a mommy…with justice He also provided mercy and grace. Praise God for being the ultimate daddy!

    • Jess Parsons

      I was stricken by that blame shifting as well! I don’t know how I never noticed it in that story before.

      • Julie

        I can see how it may seem that way, but I wonder if it is shifting of blame – to me it looks more like confession – Adam told what truthfully happened including “I ate”, Eve told what truthfully happened including “I ate” – God asked what happened and instead of denying it, they confessed and he provided the covering – forgiveness – and they did not die that day.

      • Michelle

        There was definitely confession but I see the blame shifting when Adam says “the woman ‘who you gave me’” he actually tries to blame God himself.

  • I noticed something for the first time today after 28 years of knowing the Genesis story- after Adam and Eve’s confession, the first thing God does is not pronounce punishment on them or throw them out of His holy Garden. The first thing He does is curse the Deceiver, Satan, and punish his vessel the snake. In the same breath, He declares His intention to restore His children. He speaks the first prophecy of Christ. God is first about protecting and completing us for His glory. He could have immediately struck down Adam and Eve for disobeying His command, but instead He strikes a blow at the one who lead them to harm, and then He shouts His plan to bring His family back together.

    • Jess

      Love this!

    • Emily B.

      Wow. Thanks for sharing that!

    • Jess

      The story of Adam and Eve reminds me of our want to know God’s plan and understand WHY. The more that we try and figure out his plan for our lives by following through with what we think is best, the more we run in to troubles and hurts and wish we would and stayed under his wing of guidance and just accepted that he knows best.

  • Such a good reminder that we are not our pasts and our shame. We are his rescued children who can choose to focus on that true identity.

  • Shealee Owen

    Thankful for a time of preparation and quietness in anticipation for my Saviors come!

  • We are reading our very own story of rescue!!! Yes yes yes!

  • So grateful that the gospel of Jesus Christ meets me today, in my brokenness and sin. Many years after my conversion and I still feel the same and helplessness of sin and not being able to fix myself. I need constant reminders that the Gospel is for the saint and the sinner. Jesus is a present Saviour and He meets us everyday with grace.

    • Jess G

      **I still feel the same helplessness of sin**

    • Julie

      I think acknowledging our limitations – that in this body we do not live up to God standards – is exactly what God wants us to do. Not that we just don’t bother trying, but that we try and trust in His forgiveness in our failures. It’s when we think we can be the judge of good and evil, and be our own gods, that is when we are the most helpless.

  • So often my shame of past mistakes overtakes my thought & I cant help but feel ‘not enough.’ Reading about God’s mercy and love for his first children puts it all in perspective!! We were not created to be perfect, but we can continue to ask for forgiveness, learn from past mistakes, & wall alongside our Heavenly Father!!

  • What a merciful God! Despite our original sin in the Garden of Eden He rescues us from death that he “He might deliver and completely set free all those who through the (haunting) fear of death” Hebrews 2v15. God does not want us to live in fear!
    Something else that stood out to me in today’s readings was 1 Corinthians 15v46 “but it was not the spiritual life which came first, but the physical and then the spiritual.” The message I interpret from this scripture is that it is never to late to start your walk, and that God expects us to struggle! Such a beautiful perspective on our personal rescues.
    Hope everyone has a wonderful day!

  • Adam & Eve felt shame for being naked (Genesis 3:11), which they learned by eating the fruit and sinning against God. In Genesis 3:21, God himself made garments for Adam and Eve to cover their nakedness. Even though Adam and Eve sinned, God still helped them where they were at. Of all the times I’ve heard the creation story, the fact that God made the garments for them after they hurt Him has never made an impact on me. If I keep nothing else with me from this study, I hope I continue to be remind that God meets us, helps us and loves us where we are at.

    • elaine

      Love that!!!

    • Kayla

      Thank you for pointing this out! What an incredible act of God’s love and provision for His children!

    • Hannah

      Such a reminder that we can never get to a place that redemption can’t reach. No matter what we do, how much pain and anguish we cause our Father, He will make us garments to cover our wrong.

    • Elaine

      When God made garments of skin to cover Adam and Eve, it required shedding of blood – a picture of salvation.

  • Elizabeth Fabian

    Reading this gives so much hope to those of us drowning in shame of the past, present and future. He rescues us from all depths of sin and gives us a solid ground to stand on in pursuit of life with Him!

    This helped me forgive others that are struggling with sin, whether it’s an sibling struggling with addiction, my own struggles at being a wife and parent, or having been hurt by someone close to you. This made me realize that we all struggle with sin and want to blame it on someone or something like Adam did and we all carry a hurt or shame from our own sin or the sin of others and to know we have a savior that came to us to carry that burden and that takes that sin and shame away is so freeing! I️ began this advent praying for those around me that are drowning in sin and that carry that shame and that do not know of this freedom!

  • Sarah Herbek

    “It’s healing for a thousand hurts, it’s light for dark nights.” Piper

  • Celebrate why He came!!

  • The third verse to “Joy to the World” brought awe to my soul today:

    “No more let sin and sorrow grow nor thorns infest the ground; He comes to make His blessings flow far as the curse is found, far as the curse is found, far as, far as the curse is found.”

    Jesus came not to lead us to cover up our shame and try hard to rejoice in His love. He came to completely be rid of shame and sin’s curse in our lives. He came to pour His blessings over every angle of sin in us, even the ones we don’t know about or don’t care to address. When He died, He set us completely free from fear of death, failure, loneliness, and messy things. He gave us a 360 degree freedom, giving our lives now full range of motion to dance in His life and grace and joy and love.

    How am I going to dance in joy today?

    • Heather

      ❤️❤️❤️

    • Beth

      Wow! That brings awe to my soul, too! As long as I’ve sung that carol I’ve never connected the curse of the thorns and thistles on Adam to His coming to free us from that curse. I say again, “WOW!” Thanks for that insight.

  • Christina Caldeorn

    ♥️

  • Kathy Martella

    Freedom in christ

  • Meagan Bremer

    ❤️

  • Chelsea Figueroa

    I’m so excited to join in this Advent study with all of you! I started this devotional listening to Audrey Assad’s “New Every Morning” and oddly enough, it correlated exactly to this study!
    I loved Genesis 3:8-9; sometimes in seasons of distance or feelings of shame, we can assume that we are the ones asking God where He is, but as Adam and Eve hid in their shame, it is actually God asking “Where are you?” It is God beckoning us forward, exactly as we are. That sure feels like the beginning of the story of our own rescue.

    • Hannah

      In seasons of distance or feelings of shame, we can assume that we are the ones asking God where He is, but as Adam and Eve hid in their shame, it is actually God asking “Where are you?”

      So true! Thank you for sharing!

  • Emily B.

    One of the main points from the sermon at my church yesterday was how God takes things that “are not” and changes them into things that “are” (using the passage from Ezekiel about the valley of dry bones). Advent is such a good reminder of this—God took people who are not worthy of redemption and changed us into people who are through the birth of his Son. So thankful!

  • My first Advent study and so much spoke to me. I was struck by Gods grace, His greater purpose for our sin. Eve blamed the serpent, Adam blamed Eve … in shame, we try to hide behind others or trees/bushes in the garden. Yet God sees us, He knows our hearts and his forgiveness transcends all human understanding. I see so much hope, love and forgiveness. The hope of salvation in Jesus. So beautiful!

  • Jo Samonte

    Grace abounds Always ! Praise God for this Truth . You’re never too far gone . never too far away from home . ( lyrics from the Song “ Mended “ )

  • Kelsey Lounds

    This is my first Advent study and I am so happy to have found a way to incorporate Christ into my daily life while also getting to interact with WONDERFUL women who help me deepen my thinking and softening my heart. So excited for the weeks to come!❤️

  • I am very excited to be doing an Advent study this year. Growing up, my family would always read from our advent book each Sunday during the season. And I haven’t done anything related specifically to the Advent season in years. I am so happy that I am following this – Advent has such a different meaning to me now since being saved then it did while I was growing up. Today was a great reminder that even though we are sinners and do wrong, God still loves us and cares for us and shows this through His Son Jesus. What an amazing blessing to be reminded of!

  • Love the reminder that the garden wasn’t just the consequences, but the first promise of a Savior. God’s justice is always coupled with mercy.

  • Abigail Renee Edmons

    SUCH an amazing study today! I love the reminder of us reading about our very own story of rescue when we read God’s plan of redemption! I’m so excited to start this study with all of you!!! May God grow your heart in love for Him and your understanding of His Word an incredible amount over these next 3 weeks! ❤️

  • Love that final line of the devotional today!

    The other thing that really stands out to me is how quick humans are to cast blame and not own our actions. It says that Adam was with Eve at the time, which could mean that he heard the whole conversation and he chose to eat the fruit anyway. But he blamed Eve. And Eve clearly knew what she was doing but she blamed the Serpent. I pray that I can take ownership of the things I’m doing wrong so that I can strive to do better!

  • Courtney Stoops

    The protoevangelium! The first telling of the gospel!

  • Daniella Moore

    Happy Advent Ladies!

    Heart- My heart is so happy! I love this time of the year, and I love getting to dive into the ultimate love story of all time. The story of our redemption.

    A couple of things that I just wanted to share. I just am in a season where I love to dive really deep into Genesis.

    First Intro to Evil- Satan’s first act is a total questioning of God, “Did God really say ‘ You can’t eat from any tree in the garden.’ This is total deception and really scary. Satan twists God’s words. Why? Because he ultimately wants to deceive us from the truth. He longs to deceive us from the eternal truth of the love our father has from us.

    Eve’s 1st Response- She uses the sword of God’s word. She arms herself with the truth she clearly knows because she was acquainted with God’s character. She was in deep proximity to God. Therefore, she combatted the questioning with the very truth of God’s word.

    Satan is relentless- He didn’t just stop at the site of the sword. He deceived her again. He told her that by eating the fruit, she would be like God. What angers me the most is that at that moment she forgets who she is. This is something as God’s creation we always forget. We forget that we were made in the image of God. We forget that we are a royal priesthood. We believe the lie that we are not royal. Instead, we believe the lie of Satan instead of the truth of God. She puts down her sword and separates herself from the proximity of God. How many times do we do this!

    Why did Satan choose Eve vs. Adam- I think that this reveals Satan best. Satan was regarded as the most beautiful angel in heaven. I believe that he targeted Eve, not because of her weakness (because we clearly see her strength when she first answers Satan with the word of God), but because he no longer bore the image of beauty. He wanted to corrupt her beauty. I believe that women are refined in their creation. Yes, Adam was created, but Eve was refined. I think that nothing angered Satan more than the beauty of women. Therefore nothing pleased him more than to target women. We see it all the time! You’re not skinny enough, fit enough, pimples, hair, clothes, etc. How many times are we going to question the refined beauty God created us in. We are beautiful; God reveals that in his word. So why do we believe in the lie of Satan? A fallen angel that is jealous of our image.

    The ultimate comeback from God- Gen 3:15. God chooses women to participate in bringing about the promise of redemption, Jesus. Genesis is laced with genealogies. These people came about because God used women to hold new life. He didn’t choose men, not because they are not worthy. But I believe that he wanted us to participate in the comeback story. He wanted to remind us of the beauty we radiate, and the beauty that we bring into the world. He wanted us to not only radiate beauty but to also form beauty from the reality of love. From the reality of love, life is formed. A baby is the physical embodiment of love. Our bodies get to house love in the form of a baby. Ladies, we get to house the image of God, in spirit and in actual physical form. The spirit of God is housed in the temple of our soul, but I keep coming back to the privilege of housing the physical embodiment of love. Wow. It doesn’t stop there. The seed of a woman will bring redemption to the world, Jesus Christ. This comes back to the Satan striking our head. Satan comes from below and stikes our image. From below he says you are not beautiful. You are fat. Your skin is dull, and so it goes. But he is below us. Why are we being dictated by something below? What does God say we do? Through the seed of redemption, we are reminded of what God above thinks about us. We are lovely. So through that truth, we strike Satan’s heel. We remind him that he is not beauty and cling to truth of who we are through Jesus Christ.

    Rest in the beauty of who you are. You are so lovely that Satan wants to rob you of your beauty. You are so lovely, that God redeems you by giving you the privilege of striking back through Christ.

    • Erin

      Thank you for sharing this! I appreciate your beautiful, thorough explaination.

    • E.

      Actually, Eve didn’t recall accurately what God had told them. “Must not touch it”? That wasn’t part of the instructions, only not to eat of it. So maybe she didn’t remember what she had been told or maybe Adam taught her incorrectly? She may have fared better if she had stated God’s rule and consequences rightly? Just a counter-thought.

    • Natalie

      This brought a smile to face. Thank you for these in depth thoughts!

    • Debbie Lanier

      Thank you, Daniella, for your well thought out explanation, and reminder of how beautiful God created us to be! I hadn’t thought of Satan being jealous of Eve’s beauty, and found that an Interesting perspective! I also pray that I won’t drop my Sword and forget who I am in Christ when confronted by the enemy!

  • Gabrielle Lindemann

    Wonderful devotional I loved it

  • Amanda Stewart

    Thank you Lord that you would love us so much! That even though we try we fail and you still are there. Thank you for your redemptive nature. You are the Wonderful counselor, Mighty God, and Prince of Peace. Thank you Lord for your love of us. May we be a people that shows Your love to others this seasons and that we would carry it through the rest of the new year.

  • Courtney-Erin Lowery

    Breaking Rule #1…doesn’t matter how hard we make attempts we are human and fail. Yet God still loves us!

  • Heather White

    This just reminds me so much of the sermon yesterday at my church- Christ came for our freedom, no more shame- “how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.” Heb 9:14 – earlier it had talked about the law only purifying the outer self, where as Christ was sent to cleanse eternally both our outer and inner selves. He is the perfect priest who is the only one who can purify, and does continually. No room for shame, only loving mercy.

  • Amy DuncanHale

    So incredibly grateful that EVEN when we mess up and try to hide in shame, God still seeks us out and loves and provides for us. No matter what we do, He longs for our fellowship with Him to be restored!!! What a reason to celebrate!

  • As we see the culture’s calling evil good and good evil, only God has the right to the knowledge of good and evil. Let us keep in His Word to know what is Truth. Thank You, Lord, that You became flesh and dwelt among us! You are Emmanuel, God with us!

  • Amy Hale

    Just so incredibly grateful that EVEN when we mess up and try to hide in shame, God still seeks us out and loves and provides for us. No matter what we do, He longs for our fellowship with Him to be restored!!! What a reason to celebrate!

  • Crystal Mendez

    “We’re reading our very own story of rescue.” Thank God for His rescue plan – from death to life, from shame to freedom!

  • Heather Mato

    Christmas is our own story of rescue… I’ve never thought of it in that context before. Powerful.

  • I loved this. Beautifully written. Thanks

  • We are reading our own story or rescue…wow…. I’m not sure I️ ever thought about it quite in that way! It is not that I️ do not realize that I️ am a fallen person in need of a Savior and that Savior is Jesus; I️ have just never read into Creation and the promise of rescue in such a personal way. Thinking of this story as my own rescue story is going to reshape my advent.

  • Carissa Nicole Hill

    Hello Ladies,
    2017 has been a very difficult year for me. There has been so much change ( and change is something that I don’t do well in) that it’s been very hard for me to get into the Christmas season. I keep trying to remind myself of the real reason why we celebrate this special time. I am so excited for the Advent plan to help me get there. I have never thought about it in such a way where we are living between two advents, but we really are. Thank you for the encouragement!

  • How often am I️ like eve? Choosing to go against what God has said because I️ am afraid of missing out, or I️ desire to “know” in my own way. Instead of trusting Gods boundaries. So thankful that he has a plan of rescue for me!

  • “We’re reading our very own story of rescue” ❤️❤️❤️

  • Michelle ShellyLynnReichel

    Amazing!

  • God is good, wise, and in the business of redemption! This is our story of redemption. So thankful for these words and the never ending, unchanging love of Jesus!

  • Itsajoyfultoiling

    The headline is salvation … NOT shame! I needed this reminder. Such unconventional love.

  • Kelly Schulz

    As a momma of kiddos ranging 7-13 yrs old….one of my most frequent prayers is that I would be able to discipline my children in a way that reflects my loving Heavenly Father’s care for his children.
    The inside here regarding his discipline been the perfect blend of both mercy and justice… Consequences but also a covering of our shame… this has given me great encouragement and focus as I daily seek to love on my kids with the gospel!
    So thankful for this study and this community!

  • Stephanie

    A lot of the year I focus on me- in good ways, like how can I be better, do better, and live out Christ’s love in the world. My devotional time is spent in prayer and self reflection. I think this is a good time i year to change the focus to just Jesus. To remember him and be grateful that he came into the world.

  • Ashley Motes

    My redemption. Our redemption, not shame. How beautiful is Jesus & the daily reminder we have that he does not focus on our wrongs but on our wills. Happy advent! Merry Christmas!

  • Rachel Thies

    God covers our shame! Love!

  • Susy Nelson

    Although Adam’s sin may not seem significant, just as not looking before crossing the street, it was a sin of disobedience and rebellion.

  • Hope Minter

    Loved so much of this but honestly the very last line just sums it up perfectly

  • Janet Caldwell

    We focus on our shame, God focuses on covering that shame. Thankful for a fresh start this Monday morning. Looking forward to this study of Advent and preparing my heart for the season of celebrating Jesus and his coming

  • I have been using the older studies in this app and this is the first one I am following in real time, and it’s a beautiful one to begin with. God has pulled me toward him more recently in the past few years, and I’ve been drawn to a new church and women’s bible study through that church. I’m thankful to be able to study the story of Jesus with the srt community at this wonderful time of year!

  • Jennifer

    Pushing myself to sit in quiet and reflect on God’s goodness. On His grace and mercy that he had on Adam and Eve, and that He had on us when He sent His Son. Thankful for His promises!

  • Cassie Kendall

    It is so awesome to see something new in a passage you have read so many times! v 4-5:

    4–5 The serpent told the Woman, “You won’t die. God knows that the moment you eat from that tree, you’ll see what’s really going on. You’ll be just like God, knowing everything, ranging all the way from good to evil.”

    “You won’t die”

    How many times do we think the same during temptation? We may think:

    This won’t even hurt anything or anyone
    No one will ever know
    Who cares if we do such and such thing, no one is affected but me
    No harm no foul

    Satan uses the same tricks on Eve that he does for us thousands of years later. He makes sin sound like no big deal so we jump right on a path to destruction. We need to wise up and recognize his lies for what they are- LIES!

    Lord, Help us all to recognize your voice and to distinguish it from the lies that Satan wants us to believe!

  • Churchmouse

    Remembering today that Satan only had power to “strike his heel” – he was never given the power to kill Jesus. Jesus retained the power to strike the final blow to Satan’s head. Jesus is the Victor over death itself! Satan can annoy and frustrate and irritate but he cannot kill me – he can’t separate me from the love and care of my Jesus. Walking in confidence this second day of Advent!

  • Sally Burkholder

    God’s redemptive intention…promising a Savior…restore the Kingdom…forgiveness of sin!

  • You guys…. I have been so connected with God recently. Our relationship has been the best it’s ever been. I’ve felt so uplifted, joyful, and proud of the repairs made. However, someone brought a sin of mine to light that I hadn’t even been aware of. So the next time I acted on that sin I was incredibly shameful. I needed this devotional and these verses more than anything. I could feel myself slipping away to hide because of the shame I felt from my sin. How could I act on it, now that I was made aware?

    It helps though to be reminded that our God is loving

    • Jackie

      And He forgives. We are all sinful, shameful people even when we strive to be blameless and perfect – which we can never attain – but the beauty of Christ and his sacrifice is that we don’t have to be! We are always going to fall and slip up, but He’ll always be there to pull us back up and encourage us on our journey. To hold us and tell us “it’s okay. You’re doing great – don’t give up!” So, now that you are aware of your sin, dear sister, don’t feel shameful but feel encouraged to keep fighting against it and striving towards Jesus

  • Rachel Brown

    My favorite part: “But God is good, and wise, and in the business of redemption.”

  • “The consequence of my action and their sin would rightly have been death, but all that concerned us was our shame.” I’ve read this over and over. This is so true for me even this morning. Big and small things, I’m constantly focusing on the shame. Thank you for this. I need to spend some time dealing with my focus and not staying stuck on my shame.

    • Jackie

      And He forgives. We are all sinful, shameful people even when we strive to be blameless and perfect – which we can never attain – but the beauty of Christ and his sacrifice is that we don’t have to be! We are always going to fall and slip up, but He’ll always be there to pull us back up and encourage us on our journey. To hold us and tell us “it’s okay. You’re doing great – don’t give up!” So, now that you are aware of your sin, dear sister, don’t feel shameful but feel encouraged to keep fighting against it and striving towards Jesus

  • I’ve always struggled with this part of Genesis. I’m ashamed to admit that I never really understood why God couldn’t just let it go and allow Adam and Eve to remain how they were before, just the same. I suppose that when we do something that brings on personal shame though, things can’t ever be exactly the same again. If I were to hurt or betray someone who loved me, we couldn’t really go back to where we were before. But I would hope that through their love and forgiveness, we could work it out and move on. We might no longer live in the garden, but we can still live eternally with his love.

    • Karen

      I think part of the reason He couldn’t let it go was that Satan was right! God had put the tree in the garden so that they would understand the concept of right and wrong. Not eat is right, do eat is wrong. So when they ate they did become like God in that they became wise and knew good and evil….and the sorrow of the consequences of their actions. A just God had to punish the sin but a compassion God brought a way of redemption!

      • Alexis

        “We might no longer live in the garden, but we can still live eternally with his love.” ~ I love this <3

  • Carrie Rogers

    He did! He is doing! And He will! Praise God!

  • This first news of the Messiah is so amazing and incredible! Just as the Shepherds believed the message of the angels and hurried to see the newborn Messiah – may we not delay to run to the feet of Jesus each day.

    And just as they rejoiced and told all they knew about what they experienced and what God had done – may we be so enthralled with our God and King – that we cannot help but do the same!

  • Anna-Bradley Lozier

    I was feeling a little down headed into this Monday morning but I am reminded of the bigger picture. I feel hope.

  • Brittany

    This is the first time I have studied Advent and I love it! Thank you SRT! We studied this Genesis passage yesterday at church and it was the first time I realized that God promised a Savior for us back then and even showed them grace and mercy in the garden. Love digging into Gods word and learning something new each time I read it!

  • “No more let sin and sorrow grow nor thorns infest the ground. He comes to make His blessings flow far as the curse is found.”
    How many times have I sung this? How often have I pondered the impact of this promise?
    Y’all, this is powerful stuff!!

    • EarlyBird

      There is true beauty in the verses of these old carols and hymns that can easily become lost as we sing/hear them from memory since childhood. I’m guilty of not taking them apart line by line, meditating on what is really being said there, hiding the words and meanings in my heart. This is what I need to do this season. “Joy to the World” has appeared before me in several places in recent days, so I’m excited to dig in here, and then sing out loud with fresh, new meaning!

      • KimN

        Love both of these thoughts and ideas Bobbie & EarlyBird!!! I think I will try going through some of my favourites line by line. Thank you both!!!

  • Jody Ojala

    What an important truth-to stop revisiting those feelings of shame, public embarrassment and the fear of consequences and to glory in the greater story-God loves me and sent His Son to die for my sin! I am forever His child and that’s what matters most…

  • Morgan Hoy

    I pray God that I learn to focus more on the loving rescue and less on the shame.

  • Chataine

    “Your eyes will be opened, you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Ponder that for awhile. What did Adam and Eve already know? Only good. Only good! Satan is the ultimate liar. They walked and fellowshipped with God and that is what I yearn for. So, I spend time in God’s word, in prayer, fellowshipping and I humbly ask that my eyes would be opened, that I could be more and more like Jesus!

  • Lindsey Diggs

    Christmas is about the mission of God- His mission of redemption, reconciliation, and renewal. Praise Jesus; He really came! And he is coming again… Hallelujah!

  • PursuedByHim

    I am in a situation in which I must discipline someone today. I want to handle it correctly, so that both parties are treated fairly yet justly. I am eternally grateful that God sent His Son for my sins, and because of that, I want to remember today to discipline as God does…with love and mercy and a plan for renewal.

  • Alyssa Nelson

    I love the reminder that we bear the image of dust & of heaven, breaking the shame with rescue!

  • I’m feeling very much in need of a Savior this Christmas! No huge reason, just discontent lurking in my soul as I am in a restful “waiting” season. Just like Advent. We are waiting for the promise to be fulfilled, and yet it has been. We can be confident in this waiting, knowing that the Savior DID come and even as we long for his return, He WILL come. We are not stuck. In all the broken and unfinished places of life, I find this to be very comforting. I need a Savior, and He has come.

  • So grateful for what He did and what He will do! Thank you for taking away my sin and my shame…

  • May we not keep this best gift ever to ourselves, but eagerly and willingly share not only the gift, but the Gift Giver with others!

  • Honestly, I had never really understood that verse until now. I’m thankful that God had a plan to crush Satans head right from the very beginning.

  • As a momma to four children five and under I look to the wisdom and kindness of Jesus who dealt with His people with both justice and mercy. Help me to demonstrate both with my children and may they also be privy to an understanding of what it means to live in this world between Christ’s two comings. May He save them as He has so graciously saved me.

    • Shannon

      Love this Jennifer. I’m a momma of 3, 3 and under and I often feel as though I’m failing in that area. You’re right – I need to look to God at how HE disciplines us.

  • The promise that Jesus will come again is just as sure as the first promise. While I am in between these two precious promises, may I be a witness to the lost of our glorious Rescuer and Savior.

  • I’m always undone by the kindness of God. He knew…we would sin. He is gracious to give us the choices we make. He is kind…He had a plan already in place before we were here. He loves…sweet Jesus was born to die so that we could live.

  • Abby Miller

    Love the part about God covering our shame, right from the very beginning!

  • Kristine L

    “Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we will bear the image of the man of heaven…” So thankful my story is not complete yet, that there is more to come, and it comes from God! Praises!

  • Bethany Slocum

    Our very own rescue story! Yes! So thankful.

  • Today’s devotion made me think of 1 Peter 1:20. “He was foreknown before the foundation of the world…”. I have this comment written in my Bible. “It’s difficult to grasp the reality of ‘before the foundation of the world’ but there was indeed a time before the Earth existed. And it’s even wilder to realize that before ‘In the beginning God created…’ ever happened, ‘Surely I am coming soon,’ had already been set in motion. ‘In the beginning was the Word’. The word was Jesus – He was God and He was with God in the beginning. Jesus was never Plan B. He was always Plan A. He is the piece that makes all the other pieces fit together.”
    Before God created the first thing His plan of redemption for us was already in place. I am speechless and in awe. “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called the children of God.”
    Be blessed, sisters!

  • Julia Walker

    Thank you for reminding me that the bigger headline is that Jesus saved me! No more shame!

  • Thank you Jesus for destroying the power of death!

  • Amen!

  • I LOVE that right there in Genesis 3, immediately after the devastating sin of Adam and Eve there is the first promise of our saviour- the spiritual Adam who would not fail like the earthly Adam!

  • fionamerrild

    Such a beautiful truth. I am overwhelmed by the great mercy and love of God.

  • We read as people living between two Advents—on the “He did” side of the first Advent of Jesus (celebrating what God has done), and on the “He will” side of Jesus’ second coming (celebrating what He is doing and will do).

    I LOVE this truth…

    Absolutely thankful for what He has done…

    But God…

    His promises of justice and mercy and His plan, to save the world through Jesus, His son, will continue, as we celebrate what He is doing and will do…

    Joy to the world…. Amen.

    Looking forward to walking alongside you my Sisters in this advent season.. Happy monday, with love and warm hugs this cold morning… xxx

  • songbird

    At the moment I’m feeling very restless, because there’s a few things in my life that are about to happen (or not, the not knowing part making it particularly restless); and in need of rest. Due to the latter reason I’m very much looking forward to the Christmas holiday, due to the first, I’m very happy to have bought a reading plan once again: let’s stand still and look at the things live revolves around in the end….

    • SB

      Songbird! I pray for you that you will find calm in the chaos. I have found great comfort in Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for yo declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” I pray that you will fill the Lord holding your hand through this time of unknown. And that you will feel rested and relaxed in a way that can only be explained as God!

  • Claire Bills

    Thankful for Advent. A time to stop and draw close to God once more. I look forward to focusing on what he has done and the anticipation of what he will do .

  • So amazing. Really needed this reading today.

Further Reading...