2017 Day 1 – In the Beginning

January 1, 2017

It makes sense that the first words in my One Year Bible (English Standard Version) come from Genesis 1:1: “In the beginning…” So, this beginning day of 2017, I begin another year of blogging my devos. What did I learn today?

In the beginning, God.

He’s the beginning and the end, the Alpha and Omega. He’s really all I need – although I realized this past year how much I look elsewhere to find my longings satisfied, to solve the problems at work and home. But I really really want Him to be my #1.

Jeremiah 29:13 says that if I seek Him, I will find Him. And I want to find more of Him, to find Him more deeply.

As I read today’s passages, I saw things about God – most that I knew, but all reminders of how great He is. Some of those reminders touched my heart:

– And God said… God is not silent!

He talks a lot in Genesis 1. And his Words have power. He speaks the universe into existence. He names what He creates. He blesses His creatures. He blesses the rest He gives us. And I know that when I read the Bible, I get to listen to God. I can hear Him. And His Word can powerfully change me.

– He put man into a place – the garden (Gen 1: 9).

You can thank Eugene Peterson for this insight (I’m reading “Christ Plays in 10,000 Places”). I’ve been known to be a bit frustrated at the place (the circumstances) in which God puts me. I want to leave. But God’s selection of my place is not random. It’s good. It’s good for me. I can submit and learn and grow – or fight it and die. Adam and Eve fought it. They didn’t trust that God had their best interests in mind when he limited access to a tree in the place He put them. I can trust and thank. Or not. And I can remind myself that God’s choice of a place is ALWAYS good. The second tree – the cross – proves it.

– Women are not second fiddle in the Bible.

Genesis 1:18 says God made a helper (ezer in Hebrew) for the man. The word “helper” refers mostly to God in the Old Testament. Helpers help people who NEED help. Sorry guys, but we are here to help you where you are weak. (Of course, you help us too). We are not second class citizens with a second tier role to play (as some people think the Bible teaches). We’re not “just” helpmates! And I love, love, love that God very specifically points out 5 women in Jesus’ lineage in Matthew. And not just any women: a rape victim, a prostitute, a gentile foreigner, an adultress, and a out-of-wedlock pregnant teenager. Yep, God loves women and he exalts the humble and the humbled.

– Jesus came to save his people from their sins.

Matthew 1: 21. God has called me to the business of helping women share the Good News of Jesus. There’s a lot of discussion about why Jesus came, what this Good News is. But Matthew gets right to it, right out the gate, right at the beginning. Jesus was called Jesus because his name means “Jehovah Saves.” And that’s what he came to do: save us from our sin.

– Jesus is both intimate and transcendent.

Jesus shepherds his people (Matthew 1: 6). I imagine him caring for and carrying me, his little loved sheep. But kings fall down and worship Him, too (Matthew 1: 11). He’s the king of the universe. It’s so easy to forget that the one who died for me, my shepherd, is also my king. He’s the Creator God of the Universe! I need to live more like both things are true – that He cares about every detail of my life – and He’s the King who my life represents. My life needs to better reflect the king and kingdom from which I hail.

– Jesus has amazingly let me bear fruit

I quoted Psalm 1: 1-3 in my high school yearbook by my picture. Too many years later (!), I’m amazed that God has actually used my life to have an impact on the lives of others – to bear fruit. Who me? The God of the Universe can use me? WOW!! And I love that the tree mentioned in Psalm 1 reminds me of the tree in Revelation 22:2 – God’s people and His kingdom will never stop bearing fruit.

– He’s the source of wisdom.

Proverbs 1: 2 – I need SO MUCH wisdom. I need God’s instruction. As a mom. As a friend. At work. Thank God that He has all the wisdom and instruction I need!

Dear Lord: Thank you that my friend Doris suggested I blog my devos this year. I have tears in my eyes knowing that as I seek you this year, I will find you. Thank you for all the truths that you brought to mind in your Word today. Keep those truths in front of me the rest of today and this week. And this year. Amen.

P.S. For anyone reading these musings, please know that I won’t always write so much! LOL

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