Monday, January 1
The Tree of Life
Scripture: Genesis 1-2, Luke 1
Genesis 2:9 The Lord God caused to grow out of the ground every tree pleasing in appearance and good for food, including the tree of life in the middle of the garden, as well as the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
Genesis 2:16-17 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree of the garden, 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for on the day you eat from it, you will certainly die.”
In Genesis 2, the tree of life was in the middle of the Garden of Eden and Adam and Eve were free to eat of it! Whatever the tree of life was, it gave eternal life. (Genesis 3:22 The Lord God said, “Since the man has become like one of us, knowing good and evil, he must not reach out, take from the tree of life, eat, and live forever.”) Think of it: we originally had unlimited access to the tree of life! Life to the full! Our rebellion cost us that access to life, but Jesus has come to restore it!
Adam and Eve chose to focus on what they couldn’t do—eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil—and missed what they could do. They could eat from any tree, including the tree of life!
We are tempted to do the same thing: focus on the prohibition (what we can’t do) and miss all that we can do. Many people think that Christianity is fundamentally negative—a lot of no’s, a lot of prohibitions. But it is really God’s life-giving YES! God is offering us life! Life to the full! When we focus on the “no”, we lose sight of God’s great “YES”! Rather than focusing on what I can’t do or can’t have, I want to focus on what I can do and what I have in Christ! I have the tree of life! Everything else pales.
Prayer: Help me to stay focused on your great YES, and not on the small no’s. Thank you for giving me life to the full, Life with a capital “L”! Help me to live gratefully!