January 4, 2011

Today you should read: Genesis 2:1-25

We have just experienced the beauty and wonder of the Creation story. God has made a wonderful universe full of unspeakable beauty and majesty. Now we get a close up view of the climax of His creation, us.

We see that God has just finished creation and is resting. Now, we know that God did not need to rest, He is God. This is a rest of satisfaction and completion. God has just finished creating the universe and, as we read many times before, “it was good.” God is also setting an example for us to rest. How are you doing with this? Are you a workaholic? Take this example as an opportunity to adjust your work schedule however you can to add rest to your life.

Now we are taken to the scene of man’s creation. The Lord God formed Adam from the dust and breathed into him the breath of life. Think about that for a moment. God formed us. All the rest of creation was spoken into being but God took the time and care to stoop down, take the dirt and make us. Then we see that He gave us life by His own breath. This should give us a great sense of worth and dignity as we are not just another part of God’s creation but we are the specially made and designed apex of His creation.

God takes Adam and places him in the Garden of Eden to care for it. God warns him concerning the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. God tells Adam, “if you eat of its fruit, you will surely die.” (NLT) This is speaking about a spiritual death that we now are all born with because of Adam and Eve’s one sin of disobedience. Adam is in the garden and God decides to show Adam his need for companionship and love by allowing him to see how all the animals are paired up. Adam notices that every animal has a male and a female that look similar but have slight differences. This prepared Adam for a helper that would suit him. God put Adam to sleep and took one of his ribs. From the rib He formed a woman and brought the woman to Adam. At this point Adam is extremely happy and now realizes that this is a God ordained union, the first marriage. This shows us the importance of and sanctity of marriage as a God ordained covenant between a man and a woman. The chapter ends with comments that Adam and Eve were naked and felt no shame. They were not yet self conscious about their appearance as we certainly are today.

Posted by: Robbie Byrd


January 3, 2011

Today you should read: Genesis 1

Welcome to JumpStart! I’m so excited that you’ve decided to take the journey with us. Today we start at the very beginning… the beginning of time (as we know it), the beginning of human life, and the beginning of God’s Word to us.

The creation story is captivating! It begins with the assumption of God – no questions – no debate… it simply says, “In the beginning God…” Creation is an act of God’s grace. God carefully and meticulously made everything…and He did it in just the right order – the order that it would take to sustain itself.

First He created the earth itself and the space above it (the heavens) (v.1-2). Next God made light – a necessary ingredient to life. Light is what causes plants to produce oxygen. Light is what allows us to know time – to understand what a day and a night are. Then God named them… (v.3-4).

Next He made the space we live in – where our air exists. He separated the waters which were below from the waters which were above (v.6-8). He made land – and the land was carefully designed with the necessary supplies and nutrients to sustain the plants that would soon inhabit it. Then God made the vegetation – trees, plants, grass, and flowers – all seed bearing to reproduce after their kind (v.9-13).

The next day, God made sun, the moon, the stars, and the planets. Sun for heat and light – the stars for navigation and to help us determine the seasons, the days, and the years (v.14-19).

Now God is ready to make life – He’s prepared everything necessary for it. Land, water, sunlight, and plants to produce the needed oxygen. God begins with marine life. He makes all the fish and sea creatures as unique as they are. He also creates birds – all carefully designed to reproduce – to keep the earth growing and clean (v.20-23). It’s time now for animals – on day six, God makes them. Mammals, reptiles, each animal is intended by God to fit and fulfill a necessary purpose. God knows them all – Jesus told us that not even a sparrow dies without the Father being aware (Matthew 10:29).

Then God makes His crowning creation – man. All of the Trinity is involved (v.26). God makes man in His own image – to look like Himself. He creates us to rule the earth – to reign over all other creation. He gives man the responsibility of naming the animals and reproducing to fill the earth with mankind as we will read tomorrow. God made Adam and Eve as kings and queens in the world He designed. And everything was perfect…at least for now.

For many years and to the tune of billions of our dollars, our world has tried to disprove this story. When they couldn’t, they made up an alternate theory called evolution that says that we came here by accident. When no one believed it, they simply dismissed and outlawed creation – they ridicule it and try to make it go away, while the theory they propose is crazy and makes no sense. Why? Because if there is creation – then there is a Creator – and if there is a Creator He must be in charge.

Today, worship your Creator – nearly every book in the Bible talks of God’s work in this way. Thank Him for His design of the world and you! He loves you… you can trust Him!

Posted by: Tim Parsons