January 10, 2011

Today you should read: Genesis 7:1-24

Today’s reading is a story of God’s love and God’s justice. The God we serve is a perfect balance of both. As we read yesterday, the world had become so wicked that God had to act. His justice demanded it. Most of us would have simply annihilated humanity – but God loved us – His creation, and constructed a plan that would preserve the life He had made a few chapters earlier.

God looked for someone who was righteous – someone He could bless. He found Noah to be righteous in his generation (v.1). In other words, Noah lived right among a people that practiced the most heinous of wrong. It’s not easy to live right among wickedness. Many of us are faced with that every day of our lives at school, work, – or even at home. God looks for people He can bless – people who will obey Him (v.5) even when it’s not popular.

Micah 6:8 says it well, “o man, what is good, and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”

Ask God today to make you a man or woman that He can bless – one that follows God and seeks Him with all your heart. God is looking for “Noahs” today, too – to use to rock the world for His glory!

Questions to Ponder…
• In what ways do I practice righteousness amidst the wickedness around me?
• In what ways have I been compromising?
• What would it look like for me to practice Micah 6:8 today – to humbly walk with God?

Posted by: Tim Parsons

January 8, 2011

Today you should read: Genesis 6

“Who built the ark? Noah! Noah!”

That’s the song I grew up singing to tell the story of Genesis 6 & 7. You might recognize it from your Sunday school days.

“In come the animals two by two…”

It sounds so pleasant and fun. Much better than the live nativity you may have just seen over the Christmas season. This is a full-blown aqua zoo! Such a happy scene.

The only problem with looking at it this way is… well… the Bible.

This scene may have been happy for Noah and his family because they enjoyed the salvation that the ark would bring, but to the rest of the world, this was God’s stern and righteous judgment on sin. No one else would be happy about this ark. They would eventually be left outside to face the wrath of God and be swept away in the flood. They weren’t “Singing in the Rain” with Gene Kelly.

Genesis 6 is a stark contrast to Genesis 1 & 2 when God created everything — including humans — and said that it was “good”. In this chapter, God is sorry for ever creating mankind.

Why?

There’s no better description than this: “The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil.” (Genesis 6:5). The goodness of humanity was completely tainted because of sin. It’s like the old preacher mantra I’ve heard time and again: “Sin will take you farther than you want to go, keep you longer than you wanted to stay, and cost you more than you wanted to pay.” Sin did just that. And the earth deserved God’s fierce wrath.

But God saw something in Noah worth preserving. Noah found favor in God’s eyes, and the Lord chose to redeem humanity by keeping him alive. He was a man after God’s heart, unlike the rest of his people. While the instructions for the ark were clear, the task was no easy one. It would take years to prepare this oversized yacht. Noah didn’t waver. In fact, Genesis 6:22 says that “he did all that God commanded him.”

This passage should cause great reflection for all of us. It shows God’s displeasure with sin. It shows God’s ability to use a humble, upright person in the midst of a wicked and perverse generation. My encouragement to you upon reading this chapter is simple: be Noah. Be the one that God can use. Be the upright person in our world of wickedness.

Pray today for a passion to make war against sin as you strive to be like Noah.

Posted by: Todd Thomas

January 7, 2011

Today you should read: Genesis 5:1-32

This genealogy is to record the promised seed, the godly line that leads to the coming Messiah, Jesus Christ. Many individuals take genealogies for granted, but the mere fact that this genealogy sets the stage for the coming Messiah is reason enough to not take it lightly. The secondary purpose of this genealogy is to help us realize that life begins and ends as stated in the passage, “and he died.” This phrase should drastically impact the way we view life on earth. We have a limited amount of time that is not to be wasted.

A beautiful phrase we see in this passage is “in the likeness of God.” Do we as believers truly take this in? I know I don’t. If I did the insecurities I have would be cast to the wayside, because I realize that as a born again believer I am made in the LIKENESS OF GOD! WOW!

In verse 1 of chapter 5 the author makes clear that man was originally created “in the likeness of God.” In the next generation we see that Adam becomes the father of Seth and passes the likeness of God through his line, however, this line is tainted. The reason Seth’s nature is twisted is because of Adam’s “original sin” now inherited by all people.

One might ask how someone is born into sin if he has done nothing wrong. Because of Adam’s sin not only do all people die, not only are all people cursed, but we are all by birth held accountable for Adam’s original sin. As stated by Currid, “no black crow ever produces a white dove, nor does a ferocious lion produce a gentle lamb.” The only hope we have? Jesus Christ would save us not only from our original sin, but also from the power of sin to control our lives.

In closing, we see an extraordinary hope in the man Enoch. It is stated of Enoch, “he walked with God.” Matthew Henry says this means…to set Him before us, to act as if we are always under His eye, make God’s Word our rule and His glory our end in all our actions.” This connection is equally possible for the Christian today. “Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus walk in Him.” Colossians 2:6

Posted by: Zach Monroe

January 6, 2011

Today you should read: Genesis 4:1-26

Have you ever been so mad at a sibling growing up that you wished they would have never been born? I know it seems harsh but the reality is that no one can bring out the worst in us quite like our family can. In Genesis 4 we see sibling rivalry at its worst when Cain brutally murders his brother Abel. My first reaction was Cain is a cold blooded monster who murdered his brother. He must have been a psychopath, right? However, as I dug deeper I realized that I relate to Cain in more ways than I would like to admit.

As the story unfolds we see that Cain and Abel both brought offerings from the fruits of their labor but God rejected Cain’s offering (Genesis 2-5). Why? Was Abel better than Cain? Of course not, but Abel’s motivation behind his offering was pure and Cain’s wasn’t. Somewhere along the way Cain allowed sin to creep into his life and it blocked his relationship with God. God judges our heart. If we allow sin in our lives without repentance it will hinder our relationship with God (Proverbs 21:27).

The good news is that God always gives us the opportunity to repent and turn from our sin but the reality is we do not always choose to (Genesis 4:6-7). It is really easy for us to point fingers at Cain and ask why he didn’t listen to God. I mean God spoke to him in an audible voice and encouraged him to fight sin. However, can’t we say the same thing about ourselves? We have God’s word in book form but we ignore it all the time. The truth is if we allow pride to take over we begin to see ourselves as superior to God which always leads to our fall (Proverbs 16:18).

In the end Cain did not master sin and it led him to murder his brother. This one act of sin altered not only the course of Cain’s life but that of his family as well. (Genesis 4:8-26). The fact is that sin always takes us farther than we would ever want to go and impacts everyone around us. Ask yourself today – how am I fighting sin? Am I confessing sin? Do I have accountability? Key Verse: Genesis 4:7

Posted by: Chad Wiles