2 Timothy 1:8-12 Video Devotional

“Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, for which I was appointed a preacher and apostle and teacher, which is why I suffer as I do.” (2 Timothy 1:8-12)

Creation, fall, redemption. That’s how most people look at the story of the Bible. And, it is true – if you start reading in Genesis 1 and go straight through, that is the liner view we get. However, that is not the actual order of how it happened. As we can see in verse 9 (above), God gave us grace and purpose before the ages began. Let’s unpack that.

Imagine being able to go back before the world was created. God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit were all sitting around and talking about what they want to do. Brainstorming this act of creation. At that point, while the world was still formless and void, you were on the mind of God. They gave you purpose and grace before creation happened. In order to do that, it also means that redemption was planned before the world was created. I imagine it like this (this is a scenario I imagine – not scripture).

“We should create a race of beings that we can love and bless. We could show them the purest form of love and pour that love out on them in droves. Let’s give them real, sacrificial love. We should give our life for theirs! Sacrificing for our creation would show them the best love. Jesus will go to earth, sacrifice Himself to free people from their sin and give them eternity and purpose. Cool – let there be light!”

Redemption, creation, fall. That is the actual order of how the world came to be. Before the ages began, friend, you were on God’s mind. He has had a purpose and plan for you, along with loads of grace, waiting for your time on the earth. You were intentional, planned and are fully loved – from before the ages began!

That’s the God we serve, follow, trust and love. Enjoy Him today!

Genesis 1:1-2:3 Video Devotional

“And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished his work that he had done, and he rested on the seventh day from all his work that he had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all his work that he had done in creation.” (Genesis 1:31-2:3)

Humanity is naturally inquisitive. We can’t help but look at things and desire to understand how it works; what makes it tick. This is no different when we look at spiritual things. We want to understand how God did certain things. Miracles astonish us because they defy natural order; crisis-es (such as the one we are dealing with today) frustrate us, because there is no clear answer; and death frightens us because we can’t see past it.

If we can’t take it apart and figure out how something works, as humans, that things becomes bothersome. We are naturally curious; we have to know the answer. This part of our being is a good thing and has led us to many advancements in society, but is not all good. It has a tendency to push us past of point of acceptance on some things and refuse to take the answer we are given. Again, in many cases this is good – but it is not always.

Case in point: the tendency in reading the first chapter in Genesis is to seek to find how God created. We look for details and connect “facts” together. Many read this chapter literally. They see words like “morning and evening, the first day” and take that as a 24 hour period. They read what happens on day 5 and make conclusions from there.

The problem is that Genesis 1 is not a literal, step by step recount of the act of creation. Reading the complete “creation account” of Genesis 1:1-2:3 is not prose with detailed evidential backing. It is a song; a poem. Look at the rhythm, the rhyming, repeated phrases. It reads more like a beautiful worship chorus than evidential law.

This doesn’t necessarily change anything; but it shows us that we are asking the wrong questions here – our curiosity has gotten the better of us. Instead of asking how or why God created, Genesis 1 is more interested in answering the question of WHO created. Who is this God that took chaotic nothingness and gave it order, made it beautiful, and gave it life?

I challenge you to read Genesis 1 everyday for the rest of this week and dwell on the God who did it. His power, His beauty, His goodness. Enjoy the music of creation; not just the words on the page, but the sounds of birds chirping in the backyard, the wind humming through the trees, and the laughter of a loved one. Don’t worry about how He made this world. Just enjoy the God that did. He gave this world life and personality – which means He has personality and desires love and relationship with you. He is artistic and this world (including the truth of what we are going through today) is His art!