WISDOM FOR LIVING DAILY DEVOTIONAL
JULY 24, 2023
TOPIC: DON’T LOSE YOUR GARDEN BECAUSE OF ONE FRUIT!
BY T. O. BANSO
“And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die’” (Genesis 2:16-17 New King James Version).
1 Timothy 6:6 says godliness with contentment is great gain. Unfortunately, many, thinking they are wise, go against this wisdom of God. They want what is forbidden and crave to have more than what God wants to give them.
In the Garden of Eden, there were many fruit trees that Adam and Eve were permitted to eat from. But the LORD forbade them to eat from one specific tree. “And the Lord God commanded the man, saying, ‘Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die’” (Genesis 2:16-17 New King James Version).
Sad to say, a lack of contentment made Adam and Eve want the fruit of the tree they were forbidden from eating. They believed the lie of the devil that God was lying and disobeyed God. They lost their garden because of one fruit! God expelled them from the garden.
Everybody should be content with what has been given to him legally and not allow greed to move him to go beyond his bounds. Don’t lose your garden because of one fruit!
Gehazi is an example of greed. He couldn’t believe that his master, the Prophet Elisha, would not collect the gift offered by Naaman after he had been healed through Elisha. “But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha, the man of God, said to himself, ‘My master should not have let this Aramean get away without accepting any of his gifts. As surely as the Lord lives, I will chase after him and get something from him’ So Gehazi set off after Naaman” (2 Kings 5:20-21a New Living Translation).
Gehazi collected gifts from Naaman but he lost his place. Gehazi and his descendants were to suffer from Naaman’s leprosy forever. “But Elisha asked him, ‘Don’t you realize that I was there in spirit when Naaman stepped down from his chariot to meet you? Is this the time to receive money and clothing, olive groves and vineyards, sheep and cattle, and male and female servants? Because you have done this, you and your descendants will suffer from Naaman’s leprosy forever.’ When Gehazi left the room, he was covered with leprosy; his skin was white as snow” (2 Kings 5:26-27 New Living Translation).
Beware of greed and covetousness. The two are often used as synonyms. The Greek word for both is pleonexia: the desire to have more. Holman Bible Dictionary defines greed as, “An excessive or reprehensible desire to acquire; covetousness.” Merriam-Webster defines greed as “a selfish and excessive desire for more of something (such as money) than is needed.” Proverbs 15:27 says, “He who is greedy for gain troubles his own house, but he who hates bribes will live” (New King James Version). Some people don’t only have an excessive or reprehensible desire to acquire but they also have an inordinate desire for another’s possessions. This is often called covetousness.
Achan was another greedy fellow. Greed made him violate Joshua’s instructions. He stole the things that God had commanded to be set apart for Him during the war against Jericho (Joshua 6:17-19). When Achan’s sin was eventually exposed, all the Israelites stoned him and his family to death and burned their bodies (Joshua 7:25).
Achan lost not only his place but his life. He brought tragedy to his family. Don’t bring trouble upon yourself and your family. Don’t ridicule Christianity. Don’t let your misdeed give great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to despise and blaspheme Him (2 Samuel 12:14).
Be content with what God has given you. Don’t violate God’s instructions, civil laws, operational guidelines, and code of conduct of your profession, etc. because of greed. John the Baptist told the soldiers who came to him to be baptized, “Do not intimidate anyone or accuse falsely, and be content with your wages. (Luke 3:14b New King James Version). Many have lost their jobs because of a lack of contentment which made them engage in corrupt practices. They lost their garden!
Learn to be content in whatever state you are like Paul. Paul said, “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need” (Philippians 4:11 New King James Version).
Don’t lose your garden because of a certain fruit God has forbidden you to eat. Hebrews 13:5 says, “Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you’” (New King James Version). Don’t lose your garden because of one fruit.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit that you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto You today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and God raised Him on the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank You, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like a palm tree and grow like a cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The Lord be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Holy Spirit, help me not to lose my garden because of greed. I receive the spirit of contentment. I shall not bring trouble upon myself and my family in Jesus’ name. I shall not destroy my destiny because of what God has forbidden me to do.
(For over 900 in-depth and powerful messages by T. O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President of Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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