Sunday, December 29, 2013

Read With Me: Genesis: Week 1

Do you have reading plans for the month of January? Planning to start the year with Genesis, the first book of the Bible? Hoping the new year is the year that Bible reading will become a habit that sticks around the whole year through? I'd love to have you join me in reading Genesis in January. You may follow whatever plan you like. I have divided the book up into weekly portions, but, that doesn't mean you have to follow those readings exactly. 

December 29 through January 4; Week 1: Genesis 1-5 
You may start on January 1, if you like, or get a bit of a head start on a New Year's resolution. Whatever works for you. You might also want to take the time to read the book introduction to Genesis if (and only if) you're using a study Bible.

From G. Campbell Morgan's Living Messages of the Books of The Bible:
It is perpetually being asked today whether there are any values in the book of Genesis. In the light of later revelation is there any reason for retaining this book, except, perhaps that of interest in an ancient writing which has yet no vital relationship to our own times? In answer to that enquiry it may at once be stated that the whole system of the Christian religion depends on the accuracy of certain statements made in this book. Without them that system is an erection without a foundation, conclusions without premises. These declarations, at once the simplest and profoundest in the book, constitute its permanent values, not merely because all subsequent Scripture depends upon them; but also because if there were no other writings, these statements supply us with answers to questions which must arise to the thinking mind. (13)
Genesis presents God as Creator, King, and determined Redeemer; and upon these fundamental facts all Christian theology depends. (16)
For the sake of argument, let us suppose that this book is the only inspired word ever given to man. What is its ultimate message? It teaches with unvarying definiteness first, the immediate relation between God and man; and secondly, that the great principle for the realization of human life is such faith in God as expresses itself in obedience to His throne. (19)
Remembering the three main divisions of the book, as indicated in the study of its content, Generation, Degeneration, Regeneration, it is at once evident that the supreme message everywhere is that God has to do with man; man has to do with God. In the first division we see the story of creation, tracing everything from the material order to man, and then describing man as to his nature and office; and behind all the processes of creation suggested, God is declared; and immediately presiding over the final movement by which man appears, God is seen. That is the first great truth. Man is related to God, for He created him, and He alone perfectly understands him, and consequently He only can govern him. The message of Genesis to our own age is, first of all, that of man's immediate relation to God. We need Genesis because it is difficult sometimes to believe that any such relation exists. (20-1)
This conception of the relation between man and God creates that consciousness of what sin is, which fills the soul with fear…this message concerning the true nature of man must create a profound conviction of the awfulness of sin. It is, nevertheless, a message of hope, for it suggests the possibility of renewal. To be without God is indeed to be without hope. (22)
Faith and obedience are always joined together. "Trust and obey, for there's no other way" may be so simple a statement as to be considered doggerel rather than poetry. It is, nevertheless, the philosophy of Genesis, and of the Christian religion. (23)
Thus the book reveals the fact that faith is the basis upon which God can work His will in man, and upon which man can realize the will of God. All this is carried out in greater detail in subsequent books of the Bible, but this is the simple and almost overwhelming message of Genesis to the men of this age. First, that man is not wholly of the dust, but that between him and God there is immediateness of relationship; and secondly, that man only finds himself, and realizes the true meaning of his own life as he places his confidence in God, and obeys Him with unquestioning loyalty. (25)

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

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