January 3, 2021

January 03, 2021
Pastor Jonathan Falwell

When you were young, did you ever disobey, then hid from your mom or dad (or authority figure)? Can you share?


This new year, many—if not most—people are hoping for positive things to happen: a life without masks, or social distancing, able to go to movies and family dinners, and so much more. As 2021 begins to settle in, there are going to be days that will be wonderful, but there will also be days that will be really tough. The Bible has guidelines that will help us keep our focus on God as we seek to see an increase in the good days as well as the faith to make it through the hard times. As we begin this fresh start of 2021, we all need hope that this will be a year of positive changes.

Focal Passage: Genesis 3:1-26, 8:21-22.

What are you hiding from?

  • Read Genesis 3:8-10. Why would God’s word tell us that Adam and Eve “heard” the sound of God walking in the garden? What are some examples of times you relied on hearing someone coming, rather than watching for them?
  • Why did God ask Adam where he was? How did Adam’s answer reveal his state of disobedience? What was Adam “afraid” of?
  • In the opening Ice Breaker, why did you hide from a parent (or authority figure)? Why do we try to hide from God? Does it work?

Stop playing the “blame game”

  • Read Gen. 3:11-13. How did Adam reply to God? Why is it possible to get a sense of disrespect from him here? If this were your child replying, what attitude would you pick up on?
  • How did Eve answer? Why was her excuse of blaming the serpent no different than Adam blaming his wife?
  • Why is it possible that Eve was near the tree when Satan approached her? We have a tendency to attribute to him a silky, sexy tone but how might Satan have questioned Eve?
  • How does he work today, when he tries to make us doubt God’s word? Why does he desire to cause us to sin?

God has promised His presence..and His power

  • Gen. 3:14-15 show us the punishment God gave the serpent, Eve, and Adam. What was Eve’s punishment? What was the hidden blessing in her curse? What about Adam’s curse and blessing?
  • Read Gen. 8:21-22. Later, God made these statements. What is the promise that is still good in our generation of “global warming”?
  • Read Psalm 139:7. What did David realize about the presence of God? Is this the same promise we have in Hebrews 13:5?  


The past nine months have been very difficult, haven’t they? At present, 2021 is just a change in the last digit of the year, not a guarantee that the next twelve months are going to immediately go back to a state of pre-Covid normalcy. The past week has seen a surge of hope that this new year will have a greater potential for days that are good, and it seems everyone is bursting with that hope.

Ultimately, though, there is really only one way we can have a true Fresh Start, isn’t there? The imagery the Bible uses is in 2 Corinthians 5:17, where the apostle Paul says we—i.e., any person who is alive—can be a brand new creature in God’s sight: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things are passed away; behold, all things have become new.” That is truly a new beginning, a time when we have laid down our old life, and taken on a new life that will be lived to the glory of God.

We will continue to have both wonderful days, as well as tough ones. But when the world throws its barbs at us, hoping to cripple us, we can look internally and see new desires, new hope, new joy, peace, and so much more and know within ourselves that the proof of the existence of God is a life that is completely changed. The rest of our lives can be lived with the closeness of a Father who is greater than anything we’ve ever known. He came as a baby to the manger, and went as a sacrificed Lamb to the cross, just to pay the penalty for our sins that we should have paid. That gives us new direction! Our sins—every one we would ever commit in life—were hung on the cross! He will never let us out of His hand. That is the best start for any person there could ever be.

If you’ve never bowed down and called on His name, do so while this year is still beginning. What a marvelous thing, to have a true fresh start in your heart.