Fresh Hope – 3rd January 2020

Perhaps it is the Christmas break, perhaps it is just the ticking over of the clock and sounding out of Big Ben at midnight, signalling in another new year. For whatever reason, this is often a time for reflection, for planning and making resolutions. Resolutions, that if you are like me, you have probably already broken!

When Adam and Eve were faced with the ultimate New Year, the beginning of creation, God had set out very carefully the world that they were to live in. 

‘and the Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground – trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil’ (Genesis 2:9).

God had provided a world that was both beautiful and fruitful, that provided all they needed. Including a close and personal relationship with God (He walked in the garden in the cool of the day). However, it was a world that had choice at its centre. In the middle of the garden were two trees, one leading to life and the other leading to knowledge of good and evil.

Now knowledge of itself is not a bad thing, but this knowledge speaks of our human belief that we know better than God, that we can be self-reliant and have all the answers. The serpent says ‘you will be like God’. Adam and Eve chose not to obey God and that is often our downfall.  

Resolutions should really be called choices. Choices about how we are going to change from this moment forward. We are faced with the choices at the centre of our ‘garden’, that is the world God has placed us in, every moment of every day. It is a beautiful world that has all we need, but at its centre is choice.

The other tree at the centre of the garden, the tree of life, was not forbidden by God. It reminds me of another Scripture, Deuteronomy 30:19 ‘I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life’.

I pray that each choice I make today will be to obey God and choose Jesus who is the ‘life the truth and the way’.

Richard Ashmore

A daily devotion for a better way of living.