Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Dying by degrees

Genesis 1: 11-13

11 Then God said, "Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds." And it was so. 12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening, and there was morning—the third day.

I’ve been cleaning out my studio, getting paintings framed, hanging work on the wall, and more or less trying to get the studio better organized. I had found that I just kept stacking up work in the storage closet and it was just getting too full. In years past I put them in a basket and sat out in the gardens at Callaway with them while I paint and sold them on the spot, but since I’ve struggled so with my knee, I had to quit doing that. After taking almost 18 months off, I’m ready to get back out, but still wondering if I need to pick up that heavy basket. Maybe a better solution would be to leave them in the car and just carry photographs. Then if someone showed interest in the basket items I could tell them I have more in the car and let them thumb through the photos. I don’t have a clue if that would actually work, but I think I might try and see this next April.

This morning’s passage really talked to me about what an exact plan God had in His creation of man, and all the things it would take to support His creation. When I think about man being made in the image of God I am awed. He called both male and female Man, so I suppose that is where we get the word human. Man must have been a spectacular creature and it’s heartbreaking to finally understand that sin destroyed that and made Adam and Eve die by degrees outside the beautiful garden God had made for them. Their off springs wouldn’t be the beautiful “man” God had created but mere sinful mortals.

Matthew Henry commentary says it like this: Adam was made in the image of God; but when fallen he begat a son in his own image, sinful and defiled, frail, wretched, and mortal, like himself. Not only a man like himself, consisting of body and soul, but a sinner like himself. This was the reverse of that Divine likeness in which Adam was made; having lost it, he could not convey it to his seed. Adam lived, in all, 930 years; and then died, according to the sentence passed upon him…to dust thou shalt return. Though he did not die in the day he ate forbidden fruit, yet in that very day he became mortal. Then he began to die; his whole life after was but a reprieve, a forfeited, condemned life; it was a wasting, dying life. Man's life is but dying by degrees. (Ge 5:6-20)

Also speaking to my heart this morning is how vital it is that we follow God’s plan. All of man kind would be living a different life had it not been for that first sin and the sin seed that was passed on to Adam and Eve’s children and passed on to us even today. That’s why we are so weak and it is so necessary to listen to God, receive His instruction and do as He asks.

I thank God for my life, for the blessings He brings into my life each day realizing more and more each day how unworthy I am. Still through all that unworthiness, I feel as sense of being loved and happiness beyond anything I can compare. He wants the very best for all of us and will work everything out for our good no matter what problems we might face.

Joel Osteen’s introduction in a companion journal of his book ‘Your best life now’ says this: “Happy, successful, fulfilled individuals understand that the future begins with what happens today. They make the most of the present moment and build their future one day at a time.”
The only thing I would add to that is … one day at a time, putting God first and in obedience to Him.

oil, 2006
Azalea Garden at Callaway Gardens, Pine Mountain, Georgia


Karen said...

I loved this post. It is very appropriate for me at this time in my life. I visited you yesterday also and I think I used one of your verses I found, on my blog. thanks for visiting me and your comment.
Your painting is so beautiful.

pfranklin said...

Thank you so much karen. It pleases me that you found a verse on my blog that spoke to you to. :)

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