Time with God Daily Devotional by John North

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Time with God - January 29

Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Genesis 3:8-10a (NLT)

"Toward evening they [Adam and Eve] heard the LORD God walking about in the garden, so they hid themselves among the trees. The LORD God called to Adam, "Where are you?" He replied, "I heard you, so I hid. I was afraid."

Perfect love allows us to trust and remove our masks!

A team of volunteers from Canada went to the Dominican Republic to help build a Christian school for children in a remote rural area. The team, led by Brian Hamilton, Ambassador for Christ International's Canadian director, worked during the morning and afternoons in the heat and humidity, and in the evenings they led evangelistic services in the area.

Foreigners are not commonly seen away from the cities and beaches on the coast, so the children of the area were curious about the team. The team encouraged them by trying to communicate in their limited Spanish, by giving them candy, and with lots of smiles. Most of the children responded joyfully to the attention they were receiving.

The team especially noticed one little girl who was wearing a Spider-Man mask. She seemed to want to get closer to them, but she refused any suggestion to take off the mask. The women in the group paid special attention to her, encouraging her to take off the mask, but she wouldn't tell them her name or let them see her face. But their loving persistence paid off. After 2 days, they noticed a new face in the group of children. The little girl had decided to trust them and remove the mask.

For Adam and Eve, one of their first new experiences after their disobedience was the sensation of fear. The knowledge they had failed God produced guilt and fear of well-deserved punishment that corroded the companionship of their relationship with him.

Fear or uncertainty regarding the way God regards or treats us is still with the human race. Our fear of his disapproval is a major obstacle to completely trusting him. It results in us not wanting to be close to him, holding onto our ways of feeling safe, thinking that the burden for our lives is only on our shoulders. The result of not trusting, as with Adam and Eve, is hiding from God.

The Apostle John reminds us that perfect love casts out fear because fear has to do with punishment (1 John 4:18). The Apostle Paul reminds us that our Lord Jesus died on the cross to take away our sins. As a result, we are holy and blameless as we stand before God (Colossians 1:22). The next time you feel badly about past sins, or recognise you are not trusting God, will you remember the wonderful sufficiency of God's grace?

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