Daily Devotional

Self-denial

There is today no element in nature we behold

That of itself has not a special lesson to be told

Of God Who is eternal is Creator and our Friend

Who planned before He made us that our life should have no end

There is no plant or flower below but makes His glory known

As every great and mighty plant comes from the seed that's sown

Though tiny in comparison and plain as it appears

Each cell within this tiny seed reveals a God that hears

The call for rain and sunshine that this little seed might be

All that by God it was designed in love for us to see

For beauty and for function in its purpose for mankind

When in our time of innocence He held our heart and mind

But one tree was not given for the freedom of our use

And out of all creation only this did God refuse

To let us have His blessing and from it to freely eat

For doing so would only lead at last to our defeat

And for a time our parents did not linger by that tree

As like so many others it was similar to see

And though its fruit looked tasty in this it was not unique

And there was not a special thing upon it they should seek

Except that its restriction pricked their curiosity

And after years of living near this once forbidden tree

The test of self-denial for the woman was too strong

And when she should have not been there she lingered there too long

And let the devil tempt her on this ground she had not known

Until he placed within her doubt that God had never sown

And doubt became rebellion that became the sin of death

And Adam fell because in truth he also failed the test

That caused the course of nature to be turned to death and pain

From which there could be no return to life with God again

Unless the One Who made us Who designed us as His own

Would leave His throne in glory to be cursed and die alone

The death that we should suffer separation from our King

Who still in fallen nature by His grace gives everything

To show how much He loved us and how much He loves us still

When we through self-denial grow to know His perfect will

Genesis 3:1-9; Matthew 16:24-27; Luke 9:23-26

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