Genesis 1:1-3, Psalm 139:13-16
At the start, the earth was formless. It had no shape. The word “void” speaks to complete emptiness. Another phrase that might evoke the same imagery is “the vacuum of space.” There was no order of things. The language “darkness over the deep” describes both an absence of light and order. It was an abyss of chaos. Even the word “waters” used is the best way to describe not necessarily liquids, but something shapeless and unstable. Unlike a marble slab that waits for a sculptor to chisel away the excess to reveal the sculpture inside, the universe was a blank emptiness, lacking shape or order. It stood as the darkest canvas, prepared for God to add His medium.
God’s creativity is boundless. Throughout each day God would layer His canvas with different environments. In succession, he would populate each environment with diverse and abundant life. Just as the stars God placed in the sky, every domain stands with countless signs and symbols of God’s character. Ultimately, from the wheat field to the ocean’s marine life tells the story of Jesus Christ.
Humanity was an integral part of God’s creation. After forming man in His image from the dust of the ground, God gave Adam life by breathing into him. God’s breath would carry with it a desire and capacity to imagine and create. It is an attribute that comes from God. God used His creativity to express Himself, and express His son Jesus Christ. As believers, made alive by what Jesus has done, and set apart and sanctified by His blood, our creativity and imagination should produce a self-expression of Godliness and sanctification. As faith wells up from inside, the Holy Spirit guides us in an outpouring of expression, an expression that glorifies God. Today may you create and imagine, may the Holy Spirit inspire in you a new song that tells of the love of God, and witnesses to the glory of Jesus Christ.
1 Samuel 17:38-40
In the Psalms, David declares that God has numbered every hair on our head. In Jeremiah, God tells the prophet “I knew you before I formed you in your mother’s womb. Before you were born I set you apart”. We are God's creation. He creates each human individually. There are no duplicates. As creators ourselves, we understand the value of being unique and individual. We are all born with different talents and personalities. The Lord did not do this by accident. We are born with these differences to His glory.
In 1 Samuel, The Israelites are lined up to war against the Philistines. It was custom back then to put forth a champion from each side to possibly avoid bloodshed. If agreed, the fight would be decided by these two champions from each side, rather than the entire armies fighting. In this case, the Philistines put forth Goliath, a giant. For days Goliath ridicules the Israelites because no champion from their side will come forward to accept the challenge. When young David arrives to the front lines, he boldly is eager to accept the challenge. Saul hears that David is willing to fight Goliath. Although Saul was unwilling to put himself out there against Goliath, he quickly tries to unwittingly conform David to be more like him. He urges David to wear his armor. The symbolism of wearing someone else’s armor in this case represents trying to use someone else’s methods or approach to achieve something for God. David was wise enough to know that He could not use someone else’s armor. It did not fit him. Although David probably didn't fit the description of a great warrior without armor just carrying a sling and five stones, he was exactly who God had created to defeat Goliath. He didn't meet up to the worlds expectations of someone who would triumph, because they couldn't see with God’s eyes. It is often easier to try to learn to copy someone else’s methods to try to achieve something for God. However, God didn’t create our uniqueness and individuality for us to conform to a duplicate of someone else. God didn’t call the armored warrior to defeat Goliath. He called a young shepherd with a sling. Today may you rise up as the unique creation that God has called you to be, free of pressure to conform, and may the unique vision of God shine through your life!
Gratitude, or gratefulness, is the quality of being thankful, or being full of thanks. Paul’s tells the church of Colossae to be overflowing with thankfulness. This quality is displayed from Moses to Mary, praises and songs of thanks are recorded throughout the Bible. It is these exclamations of thanks and praise that indicate an attitude of the heart.
It can be easy in life to focus on the negative. The trials, hardships, and failures of life can loom large. These difficulties can cloud our view and hinder our faith. It is an intentional focus on the grace of God, and gift of Jesus Christ that keeps us in the joy of the Lord, and continues to fill us with gratitude. In every circumstance and season, the blood of Jesus has cleansed us from all unrighteousness. Through Jesus Christ, there is nothing that can separate us from the love of God.
As we are intentional about a lifestyle of praise, our gratitude begins to overflow, and our joy overrides all natural circumstance. The knowledge of Jesus saturates us, and His light shines from our life, no matter our situation. Today, may you be filled with gratitude, and may your praises to God bring glory to God, and health and light to your countenance.
In the book of Amos, the God declares through the prophet judgements on Israel, Judah, and their neighbors. Among the despicable deeds that Israel committed before the face of God, two are mentioned in chapter two verses eleven and twelve. God had given Israel prophets to declare His word to the people. He had also raised up and called Nazirites, those who vowed a special vow to be holy and set apart for the Lord. The Israelites had despised the word of the Lord, telling the prophets to be silent. Similarly, they had defiled the Nazarites, making them drink wine and forcing them to break their vow to the Lord.
The word of the Lord is precious. Although at times it can stretch us, convict us, and challenge us to change significant portions of our lives, we should never reject it or abandon it. God has spoken to us through His scripture. It should always hold weight in our lives. It should be read with reverence. Similarly, the word of the Lord spoken to us should be judged through the lens of scripture, but should never be taken lightly. To those who have received Jesus, the word of God that comes to us is always a blessing. Even as it prunes things out of our lives, it promotes growth. Those that hunger and thirst for God’s word receive its full blessing.
Similarly, holiness should be viewed with a reverence in both our own lives, and in those around us. God has called us out, to be separate and holy to Him. This can look different for each of us as we walk in relationship with the Lord in different seasons and areas of growth. We should never belittle or ridicule those whose convictions restrain them from an activity or those who believe the Lord has spoken to them to consecrate themselves in a particular way. As we each consecrate ourselves to the Lord, we recognize and revere both the holiness of the Lord, and the righteousness that has been granted to us through Jesus Christ. Today may you soften your heart to the word of the Lord, and consecrate yourself, and your daily life, fully to Him.