Genesis 1:1 – “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”
Thank you for joining me on what I pray will be an incredible journey of faith and spiritual enlightenment in 2020! I invite you to embrace the challenge of reading through the Bible, following a chronological reading plan that will take you from the Beginning (Genesis 1:1) to Eternity (Revelation 22:21).
The Scriptures are often profound in their stately simplicity, while challenging us spiritually and intellectually to ponder the Creator’s revelation of Himself, His holy character, moral attributes, and redemptive plan for the highest being of His Creation…Man.
Caution: While we will explore timeless spiritual truths that are decidedly apolitical and immutable; be forewarned that this pastor\author will not shy from addressing both the sins of our churches and the societal lunacy of “political correctness” that has embroiled our world.
Scripture Reading for January 1, 2020 – Genesis 1-3
To understand the chaos and conflict in our 21st century world one must go back…back to the beginning. Accepting the universe was created by God demands faith; however, no more faith than believing this world came about as a result of some cataclysmic event and evolved from some primordial swamp over eons and eons. Rejecting the Scriptures account of Creation leaves man believing the order and delicate balance of life and undeniable evidences of organization somehow arose out of disorder…a scientific impossibility.
The Bible simply states, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1). While a consciousness of the Creator is written on the heart of every man and woman, the beauty and expanse of the heavens give undeniable evidence of His existence. The psalmist writes,
Psalm 19:1 – “The heavens [sky; realm above the earth where the birds soar] declare [tell; shew forth; proclaim] the glory [splendor; majesty] of God [El – Almighty God; ]; and the firmament [expanse of the sky] sheweth [makes known] his handywork [i.e. the product of His hands].”
In his letter to believers in Rome, the apostle Paul states,
Romans 1:20 – “For the invisible things [which cannot be perceived with the physical senses] of Him [God] from the creation of the world are clearly seen [manifest perceived], being understood by the things that are made [Creation is a display of God’s power and majesty; the grandeur of the heavens give testimony of His power and person], even His eternal power and Godhead [deity; divine nature]; so that they are without excuse.”
God has written on the heart and conscience of mankind a moral law; a universal sense of right and wrong (Romans 2:14-15). In the words of Paul, men show or evidence “the work of the law written in their heart, their conscience also bearing witness” (Romans 2:15).
Genesis 1 states with simplicity the facts and wonders of God’s creation. Genesis 2 offers insight into man’s uniqueness in creation (Genesis 2:7). While Adam and Eve’s physical bodies were shaped and formed by God; their souls and spirits were brought to life by the breath of God giving man a consciousness of self and his Creator (Genesis 2:7, 21-22).
Adam was created to serve God as the steward (Genesis 1:28) and servant (laborer) of His creation (Genesis 2:15). God commanded Adam to “dress” and “keep” the Garden [“dress” = to till the ground; garden; “keep” = to guard; to keep it beautiful and in order].
“Why did God put a tree in the midst of the Garden and then forbid Adam and Eve to eat its fruit?” (Genesis 2:16-17)
Adam and Eve were not robots. God created them with “free wills” and gave them an ability to choose to obey or disobey Him. Adam had both liberty and limitation. He had liberty to eat “…Of every tree of the garden thou mayest freely eat: “ (2:16). He had one limitation: “But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” (2:17).
Think of it this way: The forbidden fruit was not a test of God’s love for Adam, but a test of Adam’s love and devotion for God.
Tragically, Adam and Eve chose to disobey God (Genesis 3). Mercifully, the Lord extended salvation to them, sacrificing an innocent animal whose skin He used to hide the shame and nakedness of their sin (Genesis 3:21).
Revealing His plan of redemption, grace, and forgiveness, God promised the “enmity”, the hostility, between Lucifer (i.e. the serpent) and mankind would be settled when the devil bruised the “heel” of a man described as the woman’s “seed” and that same man would crush the head of the serpent.
Who was that man? Who was the “seed” of the woman? Jesus Christ!
1 Corinthians 15:21-22 – “For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”
Copyright 2020 – Travis D. Smith