This Week in the Bible Highlights: Waiting Patiently for Jesus

If I could sum up this week’s reading it would be patiently waiting for Jesus. When I was a little girl and my mom and dad would go somewhere together and leave us with our grandparents, I always remember anticipating their arrival. I’d wait at the door and watch for their lights to come up the driveway. That’s what these scriptures reminded me of, Jesus telling us to always be watching and waiting for Him because He will be faithful to come back again.

Day 1:
Does Matthew 24 sound familiar to our day?
What sign will signal your return and the end of the world? You can read more about this topic in my devotional “Longing for His Appearing: Words for Watching and Waiting.”

 Jesus told them to watch for deceivers, wars and threats of wars, but don’t panic, Nation warring against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world, but this is only the beginning, more will come including arrest, persecution, and even death just because you believe in Jesus. People will hate you because you follow Him. Many will walk away from the faith, betray each other, and sin will be rampant everywhere. The love of many will grow cold.

“But the one who endures to the end will be saved. And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come.” Matthew 24:13-14

Day 2:
Matthew 24 Continued
Look up! Watch the skies. The sun, moon, and stars will be shaken, then Jesus will appear on the clouds of heaven and then send out his angels with a trumpet blast and they will gather the redeemed from all over the world! (one of my children had a vivid dream about this recently and literally Jesus was “right at the door!” Matthew 24:33

We don’t know which day or hour Jesus is coming so he tells us we must keep watch and be ready all of the time.

“Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning!” Psalm 30:5

Day 3:
I noticed that oil was a connected theme from the old to the New Testament today. Exodus 27:20-21 tells us that part of the instructions for the Tabernacle included keeping the lamps burning with oil continually. The lamps were to burn in the Lord’s presence at all times near the Ark of the Covenant.

Fast-forward to Jesus telling the parable of the ten bridesmaids who went to meet the bridegroom Five didn’t bring enough oil, but the other five did. When the bridegroom was delayed, they fell asleep and then were awakened by a shout because the bridegroom was coming! At midnight the five were panicked because they couldn’t light their lamps to go see him. When they were gone to purchase oil the marriage feast began and the door was shut and locked. They banged the door and asked to be let in, but the bridegroom said, “I don’t know you.”

This is our warning to be ready everyday and Keep watch with faith, even though this seems absurd or countercultural.

Day 4:
Just as Aaron carries the names of the 12 tribes of Israel over his heart as a constant reminder when he goes into the presence of the Lord, we carry the Name of Jesus in our hearts as believers as a constant reminder of who gives us the access to the presence of the Lord. “Now all of us can come to the Father through the same Holy Spirit because of what Christ has done for us.” Ephesians 2:18

Day 5:
“While he was eating, a woman came in with a beautiful alabaster jar of expensive perfume and poured it over his head.” Matthew 26:7 This woman gave excessively to serve Jesus because she recognized that He wouldn’t physically be with them much longer. We live on this side of the cross so what could we learn from her devotion? How can we use our limited life and resources to serve Jesus as we live out our days?

Day 6: Often I get a picture in my mind as I read scripture. This is what I saw when I read Proverbs 8:27-32

“I was there when he established the heavens,
    when he drew the horizon on the oceans.
 I was there when he set the clouds above,
    when he established springs deep in the earth.
I was there when he set the limits of the seas,
    so they would not spread beyond their boundaries.
And when he marked off the earth’s foundations,
I was the architect at his side.
I was his constant delight,
    rejoicing always in his presence.”

God loves the family!

Day 7:
Contrast Exodus 20:18 with Exodus 32: 5-6 and you’ll see how differently people react to the real God vs. the idols they make to worship.

“When the people heard the thunder and the loud blast of the ram’s horn, and when they saw the flashes of lightning and the smoke billowing from the mountain, they stood at a distance, trembling with fear.”

And just a bit later in the story…

“Aaron saw how excited the people were, so he built an altar in front of the calf. Then he announced, “Tomorrow will be a festival to the Lord!” The people got up early the next morning to sacrifice burnt offerings and peace offerings. After this, they celebrated with feasting and drinking, and they indulged in pagan revelry.

Aaron had been designated as the priest with all of these details and instructions. The people had just audibly heard from God and seen His powerful hand, yet how soon they moved on breaking the first two commandments He gave them to not have any other gods before Him and not to make any idols.

This reminded me in parenting when people try to make their kids happy vs. holy. It’s so much easier to be a parent when you go with the flow of the crowd, instead of swimming upstream like a salmon. Good character is not easily obtained, but consistently built over a long period of time.

Aaron traded his character for popularity.

This Week in the Bible Highlights: When the Invisible Becomes Visible

The theme this week seems to be the invisible becoming visible as God shows His hand so strongly even the Egyptians recognize His very real presence in the land.

1/29
“This is the finger of God!” the magicians exclaimed to Pharaoh. But Pharaoh’s heart remained hard. He wouldn’t listen to them, just as the Lord had predicted.

Then the Lord told Moses, “Get up early in the morning and stand in Pharaoh’s way as he goes down to the river. Say to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: Let my people go, so they can worship me. If you refuse, then I will send swarms of flies on you, your officials, your people, and all the houses. The Egyptian homes will be filled with flies, and the ground will be covered with them.

 But this time I will spare the region of Goshen, where my people live. No flies will be found there. Then you will know that I am the Lord and that I am present even in the heart of your land.” Exodus 8:19-22

He is present in the heart of our land, too. Do you believe it’s true?

1/30
If you have put your faith and trust in Jesus read this verse below and see it as a picture of when it’s your time to go to heaven or the rapture comes. Death will pass over us and we will be taken to eternity.

“But the blood on your doorposts will serve as a sign, marking the houses where you are staying. When I see the blood, I will pass over you. This plague of death will not touch you when I strike the land of Egypt.” Exodus 12:13

1/31
“Don’t cross the threshold until morning.” Exodus 12:22 Crossing that threshold was leaving a life the Israelites had always known and setting out on a journey with God, Moses leading the way. A choice had to be made to take that first step that morning in faith.

God’s people had been slaves in Egypt for 430 years so it was engrained in them and they had no concept of freedom. That’s why on their journey they’d continually whine to go back to Egypt.

“And in the future, your children will ask you, ‘What does all this mean?’ Then you will tell them, ‘With the power of his mighty hand, the Lord brought us out of Egypt, the place of our slavery. Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, so the Lord killed all the firstborn males throughout the land of Egypt, both people and animals. That is why I now sacrifice all the firstborn males to the Lord—except that the firstborn sons are always bought back.’

This ceremony will be like a mark branded on your hand or your forehead. It is a reminder that the power of the Lord’s mighty hand brought us out of Egypt.” Exodus 13:14-16

Traditions don’t save us or keep us saved, but they surely help remind a feeble minded people like you and me of what God has done. The hand and the forehead referenced here are a reference to this ceremony influencing their deeds and thoughts (their worldview). If you don’t fear death, you lose your fear in life, faith over fear.

2/1
But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.”

Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving!

Be calm, but get moving! Love this!

Desiring to be pure of heart can be misunderstood by this world, even other Christians, but it is precious in God’s sight. Being pure of heart doesn’t mean that your pure heart saves you, it means you are fully aware of your sin nature and want to above all else, “guard your heart for it determines the course of your life.” Proverbs 4:23

Don’t fear of being called a goody-two-shoes because you don’t do the things the people of your generation do, instead have faith and hear the words of Jesus spoken over you, “Blessed are those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God.” Be about going after God’s heart and He’ll take care of the rest.

Today’s verse in Psalms reminded me of this. “But I am not like that; I live with integrity. So redeem me and show me mercy. Now I stand on solid ground, and I will publicly praise the Lord.” Psalms 26:11-12

Then it’s contrast in Proverbs:

“There are six things the Lord hates—no, seven things he detests: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent, a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong, a false witness who pours out lies, a person who sows discord in a family.” Proverbs 6:16-19

2/2
“It was there at Marah (bitter) that the Lord set before them the following decree as a standard to test their faithfulness to him. He said, “If you will listen carefully to the voice of the Lord your God and do what is right in his sight, obeying his commands and keeping all his decrees, then I will not make you suffer any of the diseases I sent on the Egyptians; for I am the Lord who heals you.” Exodus 15:25-26

We suffer when we dip our toes in the sea of worldliness.

This is only the beginning of the 40 years in the wilderness, which they had no idea the trip would take that long. For perspective, 40 years ago was 1982!

(For reference, Ronald Reagan was president and E.T. was the most popular movie).

If they’d only known, slavery to the promised land would be filled with doubt,
Scarcity mentality, and overcoming generational tendencies engrained in their dna to look back to what was comfortable instead of what was good for them. What they learned through those wilderness years was what they would need to know before they got to the promised land, God provides for their needs, His ways are for their good, He is ever present, and He is the one who carried them through.

Light shines at our lowest: “The Lord is my light and my salvation—so why should I be afraid? The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble? Psalm 27:1

2/3 Moses and Moms
I get the feeling from today’s reading that Moses could identify with the song on Disney’s Encanto soundtrack “Under the Surface.”

Between holding up the staff so his army could win and settling disputes among the million or so Israelites wandering with him “into the unknown,” Moses’ father-in-law finally speaks up and warns Moses in his own words that he’s going to burn out.

Most moms could relate to this scenario. Our children are begging for snacks and a drink while arguing with each other in the back seat as you’re leading them through a time never experienced before in human history (pandemic woes, technology evolving at the speed of light, etc.) trying to keep your sanity while driving a minivan.

The world is on the edge of war or tyranny or maybe both and we’re managing constant notifications from each child’s GroupMe messages from soccer, basketball, softball, baseball, and their classroom teachers while mentally pulling together looks for three kids’ dress up days times five days a week while prepping for an ice storm where we won’t have any heat if we don’t find a heater right-this-very-minute and looking for food that can be eaten if the power goes out for days, all the while working 40 hours and trying to balance marriage and life. Throw an unexpected illness or tragedy in there and the whole thing comes down like a tower of Jenga blocks.



Pressure like a grip, grip, grip and it won’t let go, whoa
Pressure like a tick, tick, tick ’til it’s ready to blow, whoa
Give it to your sister, your sister’s stronger
See if she can hang on a little longer
Who am I if I can’t carry it all?
If I falter

“Under the Surface”

Can you relate? Moses could and that’s why God gave him a community and a system where everything wasn’t dependent on him. He mentored until he finally worked himself out of a job. Enjoy the promised land, I’m worn out and going to be with God. -Moses (as imagined by me)

Our hope:
“Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living.” Psalm 27:13 Amen!

2/4
Today we saw God in a thick cloud, heard a ram’s horn, and witnessed how the people were instructed when it was safe to go up to the mountain. This reminded me of the rapture. Jesus will come on the clouds, we’ll hear a horn, and we will be taken up.

“On the morning of the third day, thunder roared and lightning flashed, and a dense cloud came down on the mountain. There was a long, loud blast from a ram’s horn, and all the people trembled. Moses led them out from the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain.”
Exodus 19:16-25

In my Bible I wrote: “terrifying.” Which is confirmed by Moses in Exodus 20:20 “Don’t be afraid,” Moses answered them, “for God has come in this way to test you, and so that your fear of him will keep you from sinning!” That’s what a healthy fear of God looks like, a fear that keeps you from falling into the devil’s hand by falling into temptation.

Then on down the line God verbally gives the 10 commandments to the people. They audibly hear him just as Adam heard first hand instructions from God’s mouth, yet they still twist the words God had given to not to go past a certain boundary by adding to it that they would die if God spoke directly to them.

We will see very soon how quickly they forget God’s instructions and go way overboard in the rebellion department.

Until then…

Look up,
Em




This Week in the Bible Highlights: Light in the Darkness

This week’s theme: Light in the Darkness. When everything seems dark, there’s always “the reality of what we hope for; it is the evidence of things we cannot see.” Hebrews 11:1

1/23
“The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship. Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known. They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard. Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world.” Psalm 19:1-4

All verses are NLT and photos/graphics are my own.

1/24
Genesis 49:31
“When Jacob had finished this charge to his sons, he drew his feet into the bed, breathed his last, and joined his ancestors in death.”

Jesus said in Matthew 22:32, “‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’So he is the God of the living, not the dead.”

These verses gave me comfort as I watched my Grandmama in her last days in 2012. I had read through this passage in January and it came back to me that March as she laid dying. She was the Matriarch, the spiritual backbone of our family. I held her hand and prayed that she would go peacefully as Jacob did and that she did right after we read a tribute to her that I’d written and played “Soon.” As the last verse ended, she breathed her last.

1/25
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people.” Genesis 50:20

How many times in your life have you endured betrayal, disappointment, loss, or grief and not understood at the time how God would work it out for good? We may not can see the bigger picture in the midst of tragedy, but we can be certain that God is working or our good even if it’s not the path we would have chosen.

1/26
“Look! The cry of the people of Israel has reached me, and I have seen how harshly the Egyptians abuse them.” Exodus 3:9

Looking back in time to see how God dealt with governments who oppress His people gives you comfort that He hears our cries in real time, as well as in the future. Keep praying, Christians around the world, He sees, He knows, He saves!

“I was thrust into your arms at my birth. You have been my God from the moment I was born.” Psalm 22:10 This verse always comes during birthday week at our house and it makes me think of my own walk and the way we dedicated our firstborn (who almost shares a birthday with me) to the Lord from the moment we found out we were going to have him.

1/27
“The poor will eat and be satisfied. All who seek the Lord will praise him. Their hearts will rejoice with everlasting joy.” Psalm 22:26

This week I wandered the halls of our school and read the writing of some 2nd graders who had dreams for poor people to have food. I read this verse after that and realized that one day that dream will come true, until then, we have to be the Kingdom of God to the poor, bringing them food and pointing them to the eternal reality of Psalm 22:26.

1/28
“Haven’t you read the Scriptures?” Jesus replied. “They record that from the beginning ‘God made them male and female.’” Matthew 19:4

There is so much confusion and darkness of simple truth in our day. I trust Jesus with my eternal salvation and also with his clear and straightforward statement affirming God’s word and God’s design for gender and marriage.

I pray something I wrote here encouraged you and built up your faith today. Until next time…

Look up,
Em

This Week in the Bible Highlights: Restoration

January 15: Restorative Health and Well Being
“Restore the sparkle to my eyes.” Psalm 13:3

I was feeling this verse on this day as I was suffering from C*VID. I feel like the new “birth story” is the C*VID story, so here’s mine.

Chilled to the bone.
All alone.
Aches and pains.
Energy unsustained.
I felt I’d never get well.
Brain fog so bad I couldn’t tell,
If I’d ever write on this blog again.
But, friend, He answered my prayers.
He restored the sparkle to my eyes because He cares.

Jan 16: Restorative Rest
These past two years, this has been my story this is my song.

Then Jesus said, “Come to meall of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”

Jan 17: Restorative Prayer
He never leaves us.

“We are now going to Bethel, where I will build an altar to the God who answered my prayers when I was in distress. He has been with me wherever I have gone.”

Jan 18: Restorative Inheritance
Jacob, second born of Isaac, gets the undeserved inheritance just as we are second born to Jesus, but get an underserved inheritance.  “And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory….” Romans 8:17

“God promised everything to the Son as an inheritance, and through the Son he created the universe.” Hebrews 1:2

Jan 19: Restorative Understanding

The more you read the words of Jesus the more you know. The more you turn away from them the less understanding you have.

“To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them.” Matthew 13:12

Jan 20: Restorative Wisdom

True wisdom comes from knowing and heeding the Word of God.

“Get wisdom; develop good judgment.
    Don’t forget my words or turn away from them.”
Proverbs 4:5

Jan 21: Restorative Relationship
In the story of Joseph he’s described as being as powerful as Pharaoh, yet he sat alone at banquet table because he wasn’t good enough for his fellow Egyptians. They hated the faith in God that existed within his heart.

Yet he gets up from his table and fills the plates of his brothers who once upon a time sold him into slavery and suffering.

This stood out to me as a picture of our servant hearted King Jesus who we sent to the cross to die for our sin, yet He was raised to life, and offers us redemption through our repentance, restoration (forgiveness), right relationship, and the reality of eternal life with Him in heaven!

In the world we live in it seems the righteous are rejected and the wicked rewarded, yet Jesus gives us a glimpse of how it will be in the Heavenly kingdom.

“That is the way it will be at the end of the world. The angels will come and separate the wicked people from the righteous, throwing the wicked into the fiery furnace, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” 
Matthew 13:49-50

I hope you are enjoying these highlights. Are you reading through the One Year Bible, too? What was your favorite verse this week? Comment below.

Look up,
Em


This Week in the Bible Highlights: God is Faithful to Our Children

Sometimes I think we overthink things as Christian parents trying to raise over-comers in this ever changing generation. We sometimes look overwhelmed at the mounting pile of fears in the form of visible and invisible traps and temptations that are coming for our children and discount the power of God to work in their lives.

Last week in my reading I was reminded over and over again that God is faithful to lead the offspring of those who hold tightly to virtues and most importantly those who cling to Christ as the giver of light in our lives and the lives of our kids.

Jan 8

Take comfort in God’s words about Abraham…there is no perfect formula to raise perfect kids, Abraham’s story is proof of that, but his faithfulness to “keep the way of the Lord” by doing what was right and just was rewarded.

“I have singled him out so that he will direct his sons and their families to keep the way of the Lord by doing what is right and just. Then I will do for Abraham all that I have promised.” Genesis 18:19

Jan 9

Not everyone who claims the name of Jesus or does work in his name will inherit eternal life, only those who do the will of God to put their faith in Jesus.

Jesus said, “But I will reply, ‘I never knew you. Get away from me, you who break God’s laws.” Matthew 7:23

Jan 10

A prayer for our descendants:

Genesis 24:6 “God of heaven…solemnly promised to give this land to my descendants.” Lord I pray that you will give ALL of four decendants heavenly ground, our promised land.

Jan 11

Here was another example of generational blessing because of Abraham’s obedience. Have you ever thought how many spiritual blessings you have because of a faithful prayer warrior in your life?

Isaac was blessed because of Abraham’s obedience. “I will do this because Abraham listened to me and obeyed all of my requirements, commands, decrees, and instructions.” Genesis 26:5

Jan 12

We don’t sin in a vacuum. Our poor choices hurt others. “Esau’s wives made life miserable for Isaac and Rebecca.” Genesis 26:35

Jan 13

Have you noticed how much violence we may allow ourselves and our kids to watch, yet we censor some other things in movies? I was convicted by this verse: “God hates those who love violence, He will rain down blazing coals and burning sulfur on the wicked punishing them with scorching winds. For the righteous Lord loves justice. The virtuous (those with high moral standards) will see his face.” Psalm 11: 5-7

Jan 14

Adversity often leads to gospel opportunities. Matthew 10: 17-18 “But beware! For you will be handed over to the courts and will be flogged with whips in the synagogues. You will stand trial before governors and kings because you are my followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell the rulers and other unbelievers about me.”

Take-Aways for last week

A Sunday Reminder

Today was a Sunday of reminders.

From the songs we sang like “He is Exalted” which reminded me of the first CD of praise music I listened to on the way from Bellevue back to Ole Miss every week.

To the teenager with a similar testimony to mine getting baptized, to “This is the Day,” a song my daughter so beautifully memorized last year.

To “Thou Oh Lord” reminding me of Who lifted our heads and sustained us this week last year when we lost Paige.

To magnifying God’s name with a room full of believers/church family, to thinking back to the sun streaming through the nursery windows at our first house as I sang “Bless the Lord Oh My Soul” with My 3 and 1 year olds as we tidied up their room.

To the preacher literally saying, this sermon is nothing new, but a “reminder” as he preached a wonderful sermon and ended it confirming what God laid upon my heart in the book I wrote last October.

“It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.” Titus 2:12-13

God is good. Jesus saves. The Holy Spirit is speaking. Church is wonderful. Grace is a gift. #faith

I fully don’t expect anyone to read any of this but if you did and you go to church, isn’t it something you appreciate even more since all of this “mess” started in 2020? I appreciate the opportunity to go to church so much more now.

This Week in the Bible Highlights: Made to Cultivate

We were made to work with joy, planting seeds and reaping what we sowed. After the fall this became more difficult to do. The work and joyful plans of a mother might be interrupted by children waking up sick, breaking up arguments between children, bandaging boo-boos, disciplining things that don’t align with God’s word, and having to balance work outside of the home to make ends meet. All of this came from the fall. The gospel gives us a way to find joy in work again, working as for the Lord and not for men.

On day two we read about the first murder, Eve’s son Cain taking the life of her other son, Able, all because he couldn’t control his anger. As a culture we are chronically fearful which may be the cause of the rising crime rates we are seeing.

As a mom, it’s so important that we ask God to help us master the list of things above, learn to use our words, and help our kids to do the same. Holy Spirit, give us self-control.

I wrote a post about this day earlier this week. You can find it here.

In today’s reading I was reminded of the connection from the Old to the New Testament with prophesy coming alive as Jesus walked in Galilee.

This day’s reading made me ask myself a question. “Have you ever seen a candle light itself? Why no I haven’t!” Therefore I cannot produce any light without Christ dwelling with my heart. I also thought about the burning bush, how no one lit the bush, but it burned on its own, because God, the source of light, made it happen.

One word: Inspiring.

How many times have I leaned on my own understanding, regretted it, and resented the outcome? The cure for living without regret in our lives and the lives of our children is to walk in close fellowship with God, seeking Him first, leaning on Him to help us when we fail.

Have you adopted a One Year Reading plan? This is my 14th year to attempt to read through the Bible. I’ve completed my goal some years, and other years I haven’t, but one thing has remained the same, the thought of reading God’s word gets me out of bed each morning.

I hope your week has been wonderful.

Look up,
Emily

A prayer for our children

And like Enoch…in step with God and out of step with the world.

Sometimes I get my morning prayer inspiration from my daily Bible reading. Yesterday after I finished praying with the kids in our van, my oldest spoke up and said “Noah? I just read about him this morning.”

Knowing he was in the word without me asking him to be was my biggest blessing yesterday.

Post inspired by Genesis 5-7.

Song: https://youtu.be/8PuRklGzVbc

Setting Daily Joy Goals

I’m all over the place if I don’t set daily goals. I used to call it a to-do list, but that felt like it hung over my head instead of inspiring me.

If I don’t make myself intentionally prioritize things that bring me joy, no doubt I’ll spend my time chasing a rabbit hole on Instagram or YouTube on whatever topic is interesting me that day.

This joy goal making keeps me going so that on the normal days my life seems more than just laundry, meals, and dishes. I lay down more fulfilled for having spent my day off doing simple things I love. Whatever is secondary I keep on tomorrow’s goal list.

Here were today’s goals:

If you’re like me and just a little ADD, I thought this visual system might help you bring a little more focused joy to your daily life, too.

On workdays my joy goals are usually one thing per day because of time, but it still gives me something to mark the day when I get a free moment and keeps me from defaulting to browsing on my phone.

Mini joy goals are also how I publish books within 30 days while working full time. Here’s my brain map for success. You can break down your dream goals this way, too, one “bite” at a time.

Look up,

Em

Today I’m Looking At…

January 1, 2022

Today I’m looking at my Bible that is falling apart, so my life is not supposed to be, right?

Even though 2021 was rocky at times my family’s foundation remained sure because Jesus is the cornerstone and the common ground who holds us together.

Today I begin again in Genesis attempting to read through God’s story one more time if His mercy allows.

What will He teach me this year in word and in deed?

Last year I learned right there on page 2 that work came before the fall of man and earth was made for mankind to cultivate. There’s joy to be found in work as we sow seeds and reap the benefits.

Our families, like a garden need tending to as well. The work of a mother and father is never done, but there’s much reward in the long game if we don’t grow weary in doing good.

Our marriages and families start out as seedlings that need nurturing so they can develop deep roots. Harvest doesn’t happen over night and growth sometimes only shows over the span of years.

Much patience is needed for work, the earthly kind or the familial.

On page three I learned that God chose unlikely people to bring forth His Son into the world, unperfected, yet redeemed by faith in the Messiah.

Yet, I can’t live on last year’s words. He has new mercies and a new message for me every morning! Will I have hands to receive, ears to hear, and the courage to share?

Reading the Bible matters in the short term and the long.

I’ll see the same truths this year that were there last but see them slant as God’s taken me further down the road. After all His word is living and active (Hebrews 4:12).

Just like today while reading after seeing an uptick in Nasa coverage on how scientists are trying to see the beginning of the universe with the James Webb telescope, I read Genesis a little more carefully, leaning more on God’s words and less on man’s understanding.

Here’s what I saw:

The earth was formless, empty, and dark, just like an unregenerate soul before the Holy Spirit indwells. God spoke and then comes light, separation, a land (or life) to cultivate, living water to grow, vegetation to enjoy and to share, and seeds to reproduce. A gospel picture right there in Creation!

In the times we live, deception will come in various ways, so opening the truth every morning and allowing God to strengthen you so that you can be grounded in the faith is of utmost importance.

Will you join me in 2022 to read through the Bible cover to cover? My friends have enjoyed this podcast to accompany their reading. I am going to check it out this year.

http://www.thebiblerecap.com/start

I personally use the NLT One Year Bible because I love getting the Old, New, Psalms, and Proverbs every day. But I highly recommend a Chronological plan if you’ve never read through the Bible. It makes so much more sense when you see the broad overview of the larger narrative.