random thoughts from the kitchen sink

I was cleaning the kitchen tonight and as usually happens I started having just random thoughts. Eventually, I rolled around to thinking a bit about what we studied on Wednesday at church. Pastor was talking about God's grace and how we'll spend a lot/most/all of eternity making sense of God's mercy and grace. So then I started thinking about this phone call I heard on Pastor's Perspective radio program. A kid called in and asked why God put the "decision tree" in the garden of eden. I love that he called it the decision tree. I don't remember what their answer was. I know I've answered this question myself a bunch of times. Usually the answer is something like "God gave us choice because then we would be free to choose to love Him" or "He could have made us robots, but that's not love" or something similar. Here's where my mind took that...
It was more than that. He put that tree there so that He could send Jesus for us. Consider that God is outside time. He knows the end from the beginning. The Bible tells us that the plan of salvation was set in motion from the beginning of time. Is. 46:9-10 for example. And Isaiah 48. And Acts 15:18. And especially Eph. 3:9-12. There are many more.
So, He knew Lucifer would rebel. He knew Adam would sin if given the chance. He knew that we'd need redemption. God gave us the Law, knowing we couldn't keep it. There are the sacrificial laws and the scapegoat. Couldn't that have been enough? If God had said so, it could have been. We can't/don't keep the Law, but the sacrifices covered our sins. But God chose instead to send His Son to die once for all. Why was this done? I think not just to fulfill the Law, but to show us how much He loves His creation. It's difficult enough to really comprehend what it means that Jesus came and died for our sins...though watching the Passion of the Christ is a start. I still haven't gotten through that movie. We'll spend eternity coming to grips with the magnitude of Jesus's sacrifice for us. Without the Cross, would you even be able to see God as loving? No, we needed to have a choice in the garden in order to get a glimpse God's love for us even in the limited way in which we probably do.

Maybe that's how we should think of all the choices we have to make every day. God is putting us in a situation where we need to make a choice so He can show us how He loves us. Both the blessings He pours out and the way He sustains us in difficulty.

We choose to do what pleases God because we love Him. And He gives us choices so that He can show us what Love really is....from the foundation of the world.


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