In the Beginning…God

Genesis 1:1 begins with four words that I think are crucial to our lives…”In the Beginning…God…”

Do we really need any other words for us to find comfort in life? It really gives us more insight into our Christian lives than just the creation story.  Sure, it is the beginning of our story, a story that starts with Adam and Eve.  It is the first of many stories that make up our History as God’s children…but it is so much more for us to think about on an everyday basis.

In the Beginning, God created the Heavens and the Earth (Gen. 1:1) is how the story starts…but I want to challenge you to put this in front of you each day…each moment…

In the beginning of each day…God.

In the beginning of each conversation…God.

In the beginning of each relationship…God.

In the beginning of each situation, circumstance, moment…God.

In every moment we face, if we begin with God we will see things happen that we may never have thought possible.  Begin everything with God…no matter what it is.  A new relationship, friendship, job, opportunity…no matter what…start with God at the forefront and see things change in a mighty way!

I challenge each of you today to begin each day with God.  Open the scripture, read what He has to show you.  As you face new circumstances during a day, pray…open up the gates for God to move in your life and see great things happen for you today!  Do not try and do it on your own…no matter what…just remember today:

“In the Beginning…God!”

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Priorities

What are your priorities? This is a question that we need to ask ourselves daily.  We are faced with situations each day that test our sense of priority.

Jesus spoke directly to this for us when he directed us in Matthew 6:33 to seek first the kingdom of God, stating that if we make that our priority then everything else would fall into place.

When we learn to prioritize our lives in a way that we can see God move, we will begin to see him work in the things that we haven’t had the time to focus on as well.  God will take care of those who trust Him fully.

I issue a challenge to each of you reading this today to begin to seek first the kingdom of God…to begin weighing your options against the scripture and seeking to glorify God with all that you do.  If you feel the need to do something in life that doesn’t align with God’s priorities for you, adjust.

Make sure that you allow for God to move in a mighty way in your life.  If you put God first, seeking Him for guidance in all things, He will begin to work on the small things that you don’t have time to take care of because of the big things He is asking you to take care of.

We must give God the glory, because He is doing great things in and through us…we simply need to be aligned with His will to see the great things that He can do.

Seek the Kingdom first, watch as things fall into place along the way because God is doing great things for you, and enjoy as the Joy of the Lord takes over in your life.  God will do great things if you will allow it!

Matthew 6:33 – But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (ESV)

Rest, Part Two

 

Last week I spoke about a rest that God gives us.  Rest is a vital part of our Christian walk if we want to fully experience the blessings that God has for us.

The importance of this rest is seen in Hebrews 3 and 4 where the writer explores the words of Psalm 95 and then details the importance of this rest.  As we look deeper into this topic, we see that we must find the time to relax and separate ourselves from the world to fully clear our minds.  Today, too many times, we find ourselves fully wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of life, filling our schedule with so much that we barely have time to sleep.

Rest is valued by God.  We see this in Genesis in the story of the Creation.  God worked for six days and rested on the seventh to sit back and reflect on all He had done, seeing that it was good.  God felt that rest was important, and it gave Him time to look over His work.  We should take this same approach to our lives.  If we never rest, we never have time to reflect on where we stand.

We see in Hebrews that those who do not rest will not find rest.  God places this rest as a way for us to renew and refresh, but if we do not help ourselves find this rest, we will never find the rest that God gives.

The writer of Hebrews reflects on the Psalmist’s words, “Today, If you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts…”  He then recounts the story of Joshua and states that there is a Sabbath rest for the people of God, because anyone entering God’s rest has also rested from his works as God did.

The final plea comes in encouraging the Hebrews to enter that rest so that none will fall into disobedience.  The writer then proceeds to discuss the change in the old law, stating that Jesus is now our high priest.

14 Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:14-16 ESV)”

Find your rest today, draw near to the throne of grace in full confidence and receive the blessings you need in your time of trouble.  We have everything we need in Christ Jesus, our Lord and Savior.

Rest, Part One

Rest is a key factor to our everyday lives, and it seems to be a common theme throughout the scriptures as you study throughout.  As I have printed before, being busy can really hamper our Christian growth as we move forward in our lives.

One of the central themes of many of the Psalms is rest.  Psalm 23 states that, “He makes me lie down in green pastures, He restores my soul.”   Psalm 95 paints the picture of a rest that is provided by God to His people:

“Oh come, let us worship and bow down;   let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker! For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah, as on the day at Massah in the wilderness, when your fathers put me to the test and put me to the proof, though they had seen my work. For forty years I loathed that generation and said, “They are a people who go astray in their heart, and they have not known my ways.” Therefore I swore in my wrath, “They shall not enter my rest.”” — Psalm 95:6-11 (ESV).

The rest that the Psalmist is speaking to is the rest that God promises us…a rest that can only be found in all out devotion to Him.

The Sabbath was set aside for rest under the law to give the people a day to reflect, relax, and renew themselves, but too many of us today run ourselves into the ground by letting ourselves over-commit our schedules.  The fast pace of today’s world has caused many to lose sight of the Lord in their lives.  We become too wrapped up in our plans to stop and see the plans that God has for us.

If we would take the time to rest, we would find a renewal of strength that only the Lord can provide.  We must humble ourselves to receive the blessings that God intends for us, but we must make sure that we are not too busy to see when they come our way.

I would like to encourage each of you to look deep into your heart and see where your priorities lie…

The only way for us to fully rest is to take the time to get to know our God, and the only way to do that is to read His word.   We have to fully immerse ourselves in the Word of God to really get to know Him. For that reason we need to get to know His Word so that we can make sure we are living the way we should, as well as making sure that we can discern the lies that the world will throw our way.

I will look deeper into this issue of rest next week as we look at Hebrews 3-4.