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14-08-21 the cool of the evening     From Nothing but the Blood Audio
They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day —Genesis 3

Who do you walk with in the cool of the evening? Your clients? People you hate?

No, we walk in the cool of the evening with those toward whom we’re in (and looking to grow in) relationship.

The first two chapters (out of the entirety of Scripture) show us a picture of how things ought to be. We see God the Father, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit—together, in community—working to build a home. In Their labor, They create a place; beautiful and perfect. It is . . .

. . . Eden and it is good.

God creates Adam. God creates Eve. And together, They walk with Adam and Eve in the cool of the evening. You can almost feel the Spirit moving from the surface of the waters through the leaves in Eden. And Jesus was with God and was God.

But in relationship, the gild always comes off the lily.

At the beginning, it is easy to abide in another. She’s all you think about. Everything you experience flows through the prism of her experience. “She would have loved to see this.” “I can’t wait to tell her about that.”

But as relationship continues, you see that the other has a will, preferences, needs and expectations. So you negotiate. That works well—for a while.

But again, you get to that other’s non-negotiables—the things that the other looks to as core to their self. Sometimes it’s manners or a clean house. Sometimes it’s the outdoors or another’s perception. But when each reach the other’s non-negotiables there are only two choices. Either one struggles to:

1. Accept the other's non-negotiables which leads to greater intimacy, or

2. Dig in to protect their own non-negotiable which leads to hardness.

Consider a mother with two children. She loves them. She loves their attention and holds on to the weepy promise of motherhood. But as they grow, they need more and more and she loves other things, too. Society doesn’t help this single mother, and eventually, she just can’t keep them any longer. Their non-negotiable need for, well, everything slams into her non-negotiable need for her self—time, money, things, drugs. The boys are taken away to foster care, but their need for her hasn’t changed. Neither has hers.

They’re labeled "Runners" because each Saturday, they wake early and light out of foster care. Running, busing, hitching and on trains, they eventually stand at their mother’s door. And for a few hours, everyone plays like it’s working. But she can’t accept their neediness. And they can’t accept her selfishness. The visits become fewer and more terse, and eventually, everyone becomes hard.

In one bite of the apple, mankind and God came against the others’ non-negotiable. God’s generosity and love couldn’t abide mankind’s sin-the Community of God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit could not include mankind's sin. But you and I know that I can’t not sin.

Adam ate the apple and in one second broke 100% of the law. Jesus said the standard is beyond our reach so I ask you: What law have you not broken? The only difference between me and my father in Adam is that Adam broke them all faster. I tend to take my time.

This is an important point to get because if the Bible is true and Adam+Eve started it all, then their blood, their nature, their choice courses through my veins, too.

I love you.

This is the second part in a multi-part post expanding on an exceptional talk Billy Graham gave at the University of Cambridge in 1955 with influences from Tim Keller's sermon series Christ: Our Treasury (The Book of Hebrews). To hear an overview of this material, consider listening to the original Nothing but the Blood audio, linke here (it'll stream from a mobile device), read all the posts to date by clicking #nothingbuttheblood, or hear the most recent version of the Nothing but the Blood talk by streaming it on the player, below. If you'd like to get these posts sent to you via email when they come out (and you're not already), click here to register and make sure to click that you're a Back Porch Friend.

The next in this series, Part 3 - There's Something About Blood is available by clicking here.

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