January 1, 2013
What you think about the beginning determines how you are going to live in the middle and whether or not you will enjoy your end.
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)
1 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.
3 And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4 And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.
6 And God said, “Let there be an expanse 1 in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” 7 And God made 2 the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. 8 And God called the expanse Heaven. 3 And there was evening and there was morning, the second day.
9 And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. 10 God called the dry land Earth, 4 and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.
11 And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants 5 yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. 12 The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening and there was morning, the third day.
14 And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, 6 and for days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 16 And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17 And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18 to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day.
20 And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds 7 fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.” 21 So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23 And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day.
24 And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. 25 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
26 Then God said, “Let us make man 8 in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.
28 And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29 And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. 30 And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31 And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day.
Welcome to the Story. But don't be fooled, this is no fairy tale. This "story" is anchored in history and is repeatedly verified by hard sciences like archeology, geology, biology, and physics. Yes, there is room for faith here, and plenty of it, but don't think for a second this story is only to make children smile at night as their parents read to them. No, this is a story intended to make children smile because those in positions of influence and authority over them are converted to its truth. This is a story given by the divine author so that everyone in the drama of history might live in unity with history's director and in doing so be rescued from the chaos, despair, darkness, and death that runs through too many lives.
This is the story of beauty lost and recovered. A story of ransom and rescue. A story of a Father of infinite wealth and beauty whose sons and daughters forget Him 'til they see His love revealed in His pursuit, provision, and power over the evil that enslaves them.
Men, have you dreamed of living a noble life that results in your being a heroic rescuer of others? Then learn from the warrior King.
Ladies, have you dreamed of being pursued by a lover that never wavers and woos you with His attentive care?
Children, do you long to sleep securely, knowing your Father is strong, steady, and sensitive to your every need?
This is no fairy tale, this is THE STORY. Know it. Trust it. Live it. Love its author. Find hope in its promise. Find joy in sharing it with others. Dive in!
1. Call or email someone today and invite them to join you in journeying through the story with you. Pray about who it is the Lord wants you to learn with every day and encourage with God's goodness revealed through His Word.
2. Read Colossians 1:15-17 and John 1:1-3. See how many times you can spot the King, the rescuer, the visible image of the invisible God throughout your reading this year.
3. Pray for someone on your Top 10 list and then call them today and tell them that you are praying 2013 is the year they come to understand the story of God's love and radical pursuit of them. Post their name in your Journey comment below, and I'd love to join you in praying for them.
4. Check out http://www.watermark.org/media/why-the-story-you-live-in-matters/296/ to be reminded why the story you live in matters.