Another year, another journey in God’s word.
Today I cracked open my new ESV Journaling Bible, given to me for Christmas by my second daughter. My plan, consistent with the last several years, is to read through the Bible using the old M’Cheyne reading plan. So it was Genesis 1 (and Ezra 1, Matthew 1, and Acts 1) for me today. Here are some thoughts from my time in God’s word today.
In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. (Genesis 1:1)
The first thing we read is that God created. Everything. The heavens and the earth. An all-encompassing statement about all that we can observe and the One who brought it into being.
And then we read of the means by which God created.
And God said, … (Genesis 1:3)
At least 10 more times that phrase is repeated in chapter 1. God speaks. His voice is heard, and the result is that the heavens and earth come into view. All that we can observe, all that there is, is brought into being by the word of God.
God’s word is powerful.
Think about it. We speak hundreds and thousands of words each day. But none of them have the ability to bring something out of nothing, to bring order out of chaos. At least not in the way we see God’s word work. His word has the ability to bring light into darkness, to bring life out of nothing, to bring purpose and meaning to what was formless and void.
God’s word is important.
The Bible’s creation account does not tell the tale of cosmic dust and impersonal matter. It does not tell the mythological tale of gods in conflict. All that is comes about by God’s word. The prominence and preeminence of “and God said” should ring out as something important, something of value, something that deserves our attention. He speaks, and we listen. We must listen.
God’s word is good.
At the end of the day, it really matters whether or not something is good. Does it have purpose? Does it have beauty? A thing is good if it functions properly and has appealing aesthetic qualities. A thing is good if it has form and function.
And God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:10)
God’s word is good because it brought forth good. Light, sky, sea and land, sun and moon, birds and fish, animals and man, all are good. God’s creation is beautiful. It has purpose and meaning. It has harmony. And at the end of the creation account we read God’s own assessment of the works of his word.
And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. (Genesis 1:31)
God’s word in my life, and yours
God’s word is powerful, important, and good (among other things). God’s word did not cease at the end of creation. God continued to speak. His words are recorded for us in Scripture. The Bible is the source of his revealed word, his intentions, his purposes and plans, his design for us.
All Scripture is breathed out by God … (2 Timothy 3:16)
One of my prayers for 2018 is that I would experience God’s word in a powerful way, that I would come to know in a deeper way the importance and good of God’s word. And I pray that this will be true for you as well.
And one more thing.
[The Word] was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. (John 1:2-3)
For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible or invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities — all things were created through him and for him. (Colossians 1:16)
May you be moved to devour God’s word in 2018. May you be filled with a desire, a hunger to know God more deeply and to see the beauty of His Son Jesus, the fulfillment of all of God’s promises and purposes for creation. May you come to see the centrality in your life of the Word made flesh. Your and my only hope for 2018.