Beginnings – January 1, 2019

Genesis 1.1-2.25
Matthew 1.1-2.12
Psalm 1.1-6
Proverbs 1.1-6

Beginnings are important. Often, how you start something can predict how successful you will be at completing that particular task or event.

Given that truth, it is interesting how each of the four areas of the Bible we will look at every day throughout this year (Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, Proverbs) begins.

Our Old Testament readings begin with the creation of the world. How did all of this get started? What should we understand about the one who made us? We discover that God created the world. If you take nothing else from these first chapters of Genesis, know this: “In the beginning, God created…”

But we also discover something about God’s concern for us, his creation. Notice that he cares that Adam is alone, that he has no suitable partner. Relationships are important to God, not just our relationship with him, but also our relationship with others. God doesn’t just place us in the world to fend for ourselves, he places in the world in the midst of others with others with whom we have relationships.

Matthew begins with a listing of the genealogy of Jesus. It is an indicator of his roots, his background, where he’s from. It places him firmly within the line of Abraham, God’s chosen person from long, long ago.

We will discover that God makes a promise to Abraham that he will become a great nation. This man Jesus, who comes to earth under a star and is searched out by wise men, is the culmination, yet also the beginning, of that great nation in its fullest sense. God still is seen as active in moving toward people to draw them into a relationship with him.

Psalms serve as a songbook of God’s people. It describes the praises of God’s people to God and their response to his actions in their lives. Is it any wonder then that the first psalm in the book reminds us that those who “delight in the Lord” and his laws are the ones who are blessed, the ones who find joy in their lives?

Finally, the Proverbs remind us of the instructions important to following God. Want to find that good life the writer mentions? It is found in the wisdom of God’s word.

As we begin a year of reading through Scripture, allow today’s readings to remind you of the importance not just of the habit of daily reading, but also the value of that which you will be reading throughout the upcoming year.

Let these readings be the first day of great beginnings.

Questions:

Genesis shows us that God had concern for Adam, specifically that he had no one with whom to have a relationship and as a result, he was alone. In what ways have your relationships with others been “sacred,” that is, helped you strengthen your own relationship with God? How can you develop relationships that help you do this better?

What sort of joy do you feel when you discover signs that point you to Jesus?

Do you delight in the law of the Lord? What are some ways you might be able to delight more in his word and allow his word to guide you even more than it does now?

We often find ourselves seeking ideas or knowledge that help us live a better life. What sort of things have you seen recently (especially around this time of resolving to better ourselves) that people use for their own betterment? How do these compare to the things the Proverbs writer lists as how to live “disciplined and successful lives?”

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