|Precious Tree of Life - I am here (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
And so in this Nurture Group we are continuing the theme of the Psalms and as we
look to Psalm 15 & 16 we continue to look at Worship.
We have seen how we can let things get in the way between us and God and how
things can desolate our lifes ...how sin can lead to death and shipwreck
How we can be in a desert experience, where the golden
calf can become an idol or we can look back at Egypt and long for the old times.
In our old life When it seemed we had all we needed and even though we were slaves to
Egypt ( the world )we felt we were looked after and now here we are in this wilderness
and we hunger and we thirst and we cam moan and groan and we walk on with God before us
and yet we still look back and moan and groan and long for days gone.
We can seek to serve two masters and yet we have neither one nor the other.
We can watch the Moses ahead of us and we can see the way he worships
and the sacrifice He makes and how he lays down His life to serve
us and yet we complain.
For we let that abomination that causes desolation effect not just our past life but
our new life now and that desolation effects our worship of God who leads us on.
We watch Moses go up that Holy Hill and we stay at the bottom " unclean " and we
worship the god in our life
And as it says in Psalm 15
" WHO may enter your prescence on your Holy Hill ? "
Lets come to Him now and lay down that god before His feet and see ( dagon 1 Samuel 5 )
tumble over and smash before the one and true God ,
Lord God In Jesus powerful name we lay down anything that may get between us and you,
if we have a god, Lord we lay it down before your feet.
We lay down our very lifes and
let us know joy when you know joy and sadness when you know sadness and pain when you
know pain and anger when you know anger and hurt when you know hurt.
you laugh and fellowship as you see fellowship and friendship as you see friendship and
let us see through your eyes and know as you know and perceive as you perceive and think
as you think and begin to love as you love.
Let us know your heart Lord...
Let us be a representation of you, as Jesus was and is an exact representation of you.
Let us represent you Lord and show others what you are like
Not some made up, make believe story but a story of a true and living God who works in
and through His people that people might say " HE IS ALIVE "
Not some religious out working of man or some outpouring of a heart that seeks it own
ends but that of a heart layed down ...that lets go of self in order to gain.
Let us not hide behind good works and charity, as though these things would cover us
over and hide our sin and hide our false charade, but let us hide in you Lord and
let others see the result of what you do through us
Let that work be a work that
does not fall down over time and become a house built on sand but let it be an enduring
work from you and of you .
Not of flesh but of Spirit and let that storm come and let that
house stand and let not the thief steal away from that house but let Yourself come and
steal us away and let us be in complete abandonment to you
We do not seek to gain and loose our souls, but we seek to loose in order to gain and
our gain is you Lord for in you is all and all is in you.
We lay down these things to gain life .......... everlasting life not of ourselves but
of you , an eternal spirit world of our own is nothing withotu you Lord...
YOU ahve eternity and YOU are eternity.... what is eternity without you ?
We lay down our lifes to gain Your life, that we might have life and have life in
abundance in Jesus name amen
And so lets begin with the first mention of the Cross figuratively speaking,
and we come to the Tree in Genesis and we turn to Genesis 2:16 - 17
You see ? we could say that through our disobedience that we fell !!
Did you have parents who never seemed to be satisfied with anything you did ?
Are you a parent who wants your children to be what you could never be ?
Have you found that you had too prove yourself to others ?
did you in your need to be accepted do things you regret because you wanted to be in
a certain group ?
Have you known peer pressure ?
None of us will ever be good enough, all of us have missed the mark...
All have sinned and fall short, all of us are or were guilty and sentenced.
But God in His love ...in His unconditional love...sends a valentine gift..
Not just for one day but for eternity and He says He loves you and me..
Whatever we have done and whatever we have been and however far we have fallen and
however much we have missed the mark and however guilty the enemy may make us feel.
God in His Son says " YOU ARE FREE.,...I LOVE YOU....YOU ARE NOT GUILTY "
In this relationship He gives us a love that outpours and saturates and overflows.
His blood can make the foulest clean and He loves you no matter what...
All of us whether we are Christians or not fall, but have we anyone to pick us up ?
We cannot always rely on man ,....can we ?
When was the last time someone let you down ?
GOD NEVER LETS US DOWN,.......it may seem that He might...BUT HE NEVER LETS
His promises are true and what HE says... He does, He is a God of action .
And so we come to the Tree in Genesis ...what do you think or Whom do you think the
tree might signify ?
Look at this another way maybe ?
Lets look at this story from a different angle and see ourselves taking from this tree !!
"For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain...having the desire to depart and be
with Christ, for that is very much better"
Said Paul in one of his letters...
Paul had learnt the secret of loosing His life to gain,he had learnt the secret of
" The Sabbath Rest "
You see when in disobedience we take from the Tree.....God knew we would !!!
Jesus knew we would ? you see we eat from the Tree of life and we have eternal life
with God , nothing can separate us can it ?
But then we eat from the Tree of ? good and evil !!!
We find separation don't we ? even as Christians we might feel like theres something
there ? something is getting in the way ? an abomination ? a god ? a sin ?
So we take from the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil , in other words we as Christians
Picture Jesus on the Tree/Cross taking our sin away and here is where we die to sin.
We lay down before the feet of Jesus that sin that is separating us.
We basically fall down and here Jesus takes on Himself our sin that we might continue
to eat from the Tree of life.
Which Tree are you taking from ?
But again you come back to Christ as you eat from His Tree of life now and when again now
as a Christian you do that thing you know you should'nt !! you turn and die ....
You lay down that thing before the feet of Jesus and you cause that thing to die in your
life for if you do not it will desolate you , it will cause you to fall.
Sin leads to death...cut it off
He prunes us, He gives us the nourishment to produce fruit that He uses, He forgives, but we
also play a part
But as you come to that Tree and you come to that Cross so Jesus takes that sin on
Himself even now ...who was and is and is to come, He takes that sin right now at this
very moment and takes it upon Himself.
You see it takes two in a relationship, it takes you to go to God and talk to God and In Jesus
name you give over to Him and ask for forgiveness and repent and in turn He takes it and
releases you and makes you new and cleanses you and your relationship is restored and
But you also die to self in Him, you die to your ways and live in His ways.
You cut off that thing that causes destruction and harm , for far better to enter heaven
without that sin than to enter hell..Mark 9:43-48
God also prunes us and as we abide in Him we produce fruit John 15:1 - 8
But it takes two in a relationship and we put to death htose things which are not of God
You put that thing to death at the Tree and it dies and you gain.
What do you gain ? the Tree of life !!
Now lets go on and look at some Cross References and a Cross reference takes us to !!
Genesis 3:1 - 3
" The serpent said " EAT OF THE TREE YOU WON'T DIEEEE ! ?
Don't believe the enemy, you will die, for one sin leads to another and to another.
And we all have testimonies of where we went and the journeys we walked before salvation
Sometimes we might have to get to a place in our lifes where we eat and feed with the
pigs like the prodical son, sometimes we have to get to a place where we cannot go
And we get to a place where we meet with Jesus and we might find He takes us and
welcomes us back home and we reach a place where we die to self to gain Christ
who is life
But What a great thing to loose your life and gain eternal life !!
What a great thing to see that sin die, what a great thing to lay down to gain.
This is exactly what Jesus did Himself...He layed down His life to gain and what an
inheritance, what a train....what a family He has
You see Adam and Eve would take from that Tree ..they always have...we always have
But this is the reason for Jesus hanging on the Tree that we might have life and
have life in abundance not just in eternity but NOW.
We all have a choice, many may want to live in the " world " but some walk through
the narrow way and find the Tree of Life and the Tree of the Knowledge of...
To die is to gain and to live is to serve as Christ served and gave Himself as a ransom
that many might have life and have it in abundance not in a desert experience
all the time ...
But we have to go through a desert experience to learn and to grow and to seek
and to find..it is in the desert experience that we learn the most sometimes and
this is where the tree grows its roots the deepest, let your roots grow deep into
Gods word .
into that garden of plenty and take from that Tree of life that we might have that
abundant life now and take from the fruits of the land of plenty and know that fruit in
our lifes NOW.
To take from the Tree of life and to know that land flowing with milk and honey NOW.
Yes we have to go through the wilderness to reach the promised land and in that
preparation God teaches
us and prepares us and talks to us.
He leads us and nurtures us and cares for us and
provides fo us and gives us manna and quail and water and food and oasis and spring and
well and mountian and hill and times of plenty and times of distress and times of hunger
and times of plenty.
But He has also given us this land that He has prepared called the promised land,
we can walk into it NOW and taste and see
IN THIS LIFE..NOT JUST IN THE LIFE TO COME.
Now we can begin to live the fullness of life in abundance and know the inheritance
and begin to live now in eternity
But what of the Tree of the knowledge of good and evil ? its still here is'nt it ?
Very tempting is'nt it ?
Very tempting to disobey...is'nt it ? even as Christians we can be disobedient can't
we ? the tree is still around is'nt it ?
satan said to Jesus " You can have the whole world ..all these kingdoms" in Matthew
4 verse 8..
But what is the profit if you gain the whole world .. but loose your soul ?
Lets look at Another Cross Reference
In Isaiah 14 and from verse 12 onwards we read about pride and those lofty things
that would set themselves above God and seek to be above the Holy One who made all
Whether you interpret Isaiah 14: 12 onwards as satan falling from heaven or whether you
interpret this as Senacherib or King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylohn makes no difference,
the forces that lie behind this are pride and greed and those things that would try to set
themselves above God Himself.
2 CORINTHIANS 10:3-5
3For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh:
4(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the
pulling down of strong holds;)
5Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the
knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of
We can seek to build our own kingdoms, we can seek in our hearts to be empire
builders and build a " tower of babylon " we can seek in our hearts to have power and
influence before man, we can seek to build our house , but unless the Lord builds the
House they labour in vain that build it.
We can believe that we are gods unto ourselves and our lifes are ours for the making and
the world is our oyster and seek to build and own and live for our needs and wants and
pleasures and prosper and enjoy life now and live for today.
But this is folly and satan himself knows that time is short and the demons know that time is
short and even if you gain the whole world and even if satan comes to you and shows
you all the empires and kingdoms of the world with all its wealth and all its glory and
says to you " you can have all this if you worship me "
It is nothing compared to Christ....
What do you think it means when satan says " worship me " ?
What does He mean by worship him ? the moment we start to think about taking from
that fruit of that tree of disobedience and begin to walk in the opposite direction
to what God would want for us and what God has planned for us and we turn away from
God and we seek to build our own lifes ...
Do our own thing and we deny God and we take from that tree of the world ....
the moment we start to think about
how good Egypt was ( our past lifes ) and start to think about going back and we turn
and take !!
We begin to worship another god and sin starts to creep in and begins to creep up slowly
like an ivy but the world with all its pleasures and all its attractions are nothing
compared to Christ.
Why take from the Tree of good and evil when we can take from the tree of life ?
In Isaiah 14 we read about the one who fell from heaven and we come back to where
we started in the Garden of eden where we see the serpent full of pride and greed
We also see kings mentioned here which can be interpreted as kings of the earth and
babylon but whatever way you look at it and interpret these verses it is satan behind
the pride , satan is speaking and deceiving.
Funny how sometimes we can hear the enemy speak but not God is'nt it ?
Strange how people can be more excited about spirits and the dead than God is'nt it ?
Strange how the world always looks more atractive than Church is'nt it ?
Strange how the forbidden can always seem more atractive than those things that
are allowed is'nt it ?
satan fell from heaven here in Isaiah as the king of babylon falls and anything that tries
to exalt itself above God will fall.
Lets look at one more Cross reference
18And He said to them, I saw Satan falling like a lightning [flash] from heaven.
Jesus was there when satan fell ....
satan tried to exalt himself above God and he was cast down..
kings try to exalt themselves as gods and are cast down...
people try to exalt themselves above God by thinking they are gods themselves and
are cast down.
Our very thoughts and imaginations can exalt themselves above God and are cast down
5Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the
knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of
Anything that exalts itself above God will always be cast down because there is no
And again we see that when we take of Christ we have the authority robe of Christ
19Behold! I have given you authority and power to trample upon serpents and
scorpions, and [physical and mental strength and ability] over all the power that the
enemy [possesses]; and nothing shall in any way harm you.
20Nevertheless, do not rejoice at this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice
that your names are enrolled in heaven.
Lets come to Jesus now and lay down those things that would seek to get in the way
and exalt themsleves in our lifes above God and become an abomination that leads
Lets come to God now and lay down our very lifes at the Tree that we might loose
our lifes to gain life.
To be in complete abandonment..... to let Him have control...to walk up that hill and
be a sacrifice of a life laid down for Him
Let us holf nothing back but come to Him who is above all things that when we let go
and let God......we might see that by loosing we gain
Pray with me and let go at the Cross
Lord I come to you and lay my life down before you that I might gain you above all
else and nothing else matters and nothing is above you for in you all things move
and have there being and hold together.
Lord I come to the Cross and I lay myself down before you , use me Lord and take
my life ,
Let me know the power of your resurrection life as I abandon myself to you.
Lord I take from the Tree of life and I walk away from all that which would seek
to have control over me
That you might reign and rule and have your way in me In Jesus name amen