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Today's Little Lift

    by Jim Bullington

Two 3:15's
Date Posted: August 24, 2021

Some of this week's devotionals will have a twist. Today's will be the first to highlight two passages corresponding to the month:day date format.

Genesis 3:15 “And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, And you shall bruise His heel.” Many will recognize this passage as giving the first prophetic glimpse of Jesus Christ, the “Seed of woman.” This passage “sets the tone” for the rest of the Bible. It presupposes the need for salvation which is to be made abundantly clear by man's struggles with temptation and sin throughout the rest of the Holy Scriptures. It also gives man his first glimpse of hope in as much as it is clear that someone is coming who will have superior might over the serpent, man's archenemy. This great Hope is to be THE Hope of mankind in his struggle with sin and death.

When God spoke the words of Genesis 3.15, man's dire plight was a direct result of his failure to set God apart in his heart. Man had fallen in two ways: Eve by believing the serpent's lie and Adam by demonstrating that his desire for unity with the woman was greater than his love for God. These two doors of error, once opened by our first parents, have become well worn thoroughfares upon which most of mankind has traveled. In either case (whether sin by deception, or the lack of love for God), man's fall is a direct result of his failure to give God His proper place in his heart. Our next 3:15 passage contains the remedy for these human lapses.

1 Peter 3:15 “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.” To sanctify God in one's heart is to give God His proper place in the heart. Eve, even if God at one time occupied that special place in her heart, allowed someone else to displace God. She believed the lie of the serpent and hence became more trusting of him than she was of the Lord God. Adam's sin was similar, but not entirely the same. Adam's sin, though not the same in every detail, was similar in that he also allowed someone or something to displace God from the special place that He deserved in the heart of the first man.

That which is sanctified is protected because it is special. God's place in our hearts must be a special place, a place unlike that occupied by anyone or anything. When God lives in this place, the way of hope is clear and can be articulated by those who know that hope. In fact, those who allow God to dwell in their hearts by faith, understand that their ONLY hope is found in Him. Because of this, we remain continually ready to affirm the “reason for the hope” that is in us. It certainly is not of our own works or goodness and every person who sanctifies God in his heart knows that. This type of believer manifests a heart of continual gratitude for God's mercy and grace. At the same time, while he continues to display the demeanor of “meekness and fear” in all that he does. He knows all to well that apart from God, he is nothing and his hope is but a wish with no substance!

From hopelessness to a place of real hope is a journey of a million-trillion miles. Without God's help the possibility of successfully completing that journey is nonexistent. Yet, with God's help the impossible task becomes a sure thing for those who grant Him His rightful place in their heart; the serpent's lie is replaced by the truth which makes man free.

Questions:

1. Who or what was to fulfill the prophecy about the “seed of woman”?

2. Why did man need someone to bruise the head of the serpent? Could he not do it himself?

3. What does it mean to sanctify something? What does it mean to sanctify God?

4. Hope exists in man who sanctifies God in his heart. Hopelessness reigns when God is replaced by other objects or people. How were these truths made evident in the lives of Adam and Eve?

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Biography Information:
Jim Bullington - A Christian writer whose insight into the scriptures is reflected in practical application lessons in every article. The reader will find that the Bible speaks directly to him/her through these articles. God is always exalted and His word is treated with the utmost respect in this column.
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