Genesis 3:1-13 (NLT2) 1The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the LORD God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?” 2“Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied. 3“It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’” 4“You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. 5“God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.” 6The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. 7At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves. 8When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the LORD God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the LORD God among the trees. 9Then the LORD God called to the man, “Where are you?” 10He replied, “I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.” 11“Who told you that you were naked?” the LORD God asked. “Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?” 12The man replied, “It was the woman you gave me who gave me the fruit, and I ate it.” 13Then the LORD God asked the woman, “What have you done?” “The serpent deceived me,” she replied. “That’s why I ate it.”
Hebrews 4:12-13 (NLT2) For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God. Everything is naked and exposed before his eyes, and he is the one to whom we are accountable.
Romans 3:23-24 (NLT2) For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins.
Psalm 34:8 (NLT2) Taste and see that the LORD is good. Oh, the joys of those who take refuge in him!
Psalm 23:6 (NLT2) Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the house of the LORD forever.
Can you see the goodness of God in your life, despite the bad? Take a moment to find evidence of His goodness throughout your week or your day.
If you can’t see the goodness of God, can you hear what He’s saying to you about your situation?
If you can’t see God’s goodness, and you can’t hear what He’s saying, you can always remember what He has done for you in the past. Take a moment and reflect on all that God has done for you in the past months or years. Celebrate His goodness in those moments by thanking Him and bringing Him an offering of praise.
Read Psalm 34:8 with your small group. How does the Christian life “taste” to you: Sweet? Sour? Spicy? Salty? Bitter? Bland? Why? Or have you only sampled God? Why is that?
Do you relate with Adam and Eve? What have you “eaten” that caused fear and shame?
See the points under “How to Win the Fight over Fear and Shame. Which stood out to you the most?
In messages liberally sprinkled with humor and filled with straight – and sometimes tough – talk, Kevin reaches out to people with God’s message of grace and love.