START AT THE BEGINNING

Part Two, THINK

A RECAP:  If you have been following “Daily Manna with Your Mug”, you are realizing I like to write short, personal writings that are created from my own “conversations” with God and then passed on to you each morning.  When I rise each new day, I get a large mug of coffee and a bowl of Cheerios and “have breakfast with Jesus.  It begins with prayer, reading, thinking, and then writing.  Since completing the Book of Revelation last week, I am led to go back to the beginning—the Genesis of God’s message to us and for us. 

Yesterday we learn how to READ, part one of learning steps to understand what we are reading so we can more readily begin living what we read.  This way to understand the Bible has four parts:  READ, THINK, PRAY, LIVE.  We discussed READ in Part One, now let’s learn to THINK.

THINK

After reading, the next step is to really think about what the Bible is saying.  This may seem obvious, but there is a difference between letting your ind wander over a few verses or chapters and trying to figure out what it means. 

Have you ever been to the Grand Canyon?  There are some people who drive up to the edge, jump out of their cars, poke around for a few minutes, mabe take a few pictures, and then head off to the gift shop to buy T-shirts or snow globes to take to their friends back home.

There are others wo spend an entire day seated quietly away from the noisy tourists, simply watching from their own private spot.  That may sound boring, but to some, the Grand Canyon is a place of incredible beauty and power—one quick look isn’t enough.  They want to soak it all in.  Those people will often come back year after year, to sit in that same spot—and every time, they see a different show. 

We can THINK about the Bible in the same way.  You can read a sentence or two, quickly decide what they mean and make a mental check next to them, and then head off to the gift shop.

OR, you can spend days and weeks (or even months) meditating on what a particular passage is really talking about—turning it over in our minds, reflecting on it, soaking it in.  We can consider what those words mean against the changing backdrop of real life, our lives! 

God’s Word is personally written to each one of us.  You can begin to perceive the importance and subtle meanings of each word that’s found its way from God to you.  You can learn to identify the sound of God’s voice as you get to know him better.  You can think about them from all sorts of different viewpoints, even putting yourself in the shoes of the characters you’re reading about.  

You can certainly ask the Author to help you soak it all in: “With your very own hands you formed me: now breathe your wisdom over me so I can understand you” (Psalm 119). 

Our cues for read, think, pray, live will always come from God’s Word to our hearts, feeding our minds and souls with the best meal we’ve ever had.

“I ponder every morsel of wisdom from you.

I attentively watch how you’ve done it.

I relish everything you’ve told me of life,

I won’t forget a word of it…

My soul is starved and hungry, ravenous!…

Insatiable for your nourishing commands…

Your words are so choice, so tasty:

I prefer them to the best home cooking.  (Psalm 119)

Go back and READ Genesis 1 again.  Now spend some time to THINK about who God is, what He has done with reflection upon what He has created in each of us.  Get ready to sit down, relax and eat until you are full!  The Bible is not fast food to be eaten on the run!

Genesis 1, The Message

Heaven and Earth

1-2 First this: God created the Heavens and Earth—all you see, all you don’t see. Earth was a soup of nothingness, a bottomless emptiness, an inky blackness. God’s Spirit brooded like a bird above the watery abyss.

3-5 God spoke: “Light!”
    And light appeared.
God saw that light was good
    and separated light from dark.
God named the light Day,
    he named the dark Night.
It was evening, it was morning—
Day One.

6-8 God spoke: “Sky! In the middle of the waters;
    separate water from water!”
God made sky.
He separated the water under sky
    from the water above sky.
And there it was:
    he named sky the Heavens;
It was evening, it was morning—
Day Two.

9-10 God spoke: “Separate!
    Water-beneath-Heaven, gather into one place;
Land, appear!”
    And there it was.
God named the land Earth.
    He named the pooled water Ocean.
God saw that it was good.

11-13 God spoke: “Earth, green up! Grow all varieties
    of seed-bearing plants,
Every sort of fruit-bearing tree.”
    And there it was.
Earth produced green seed-bearing plants,
    all varieties,
And fruit-bearing trees of all sorts.
    God saw that it was good.
It was evening, it was morning—
Day Three.

14-15 God spoke: “Lights! Come out!
    Shine in Heaven’s sky!
Separate Day from Night.
    Mark seasons and days and years,
Lights in Heaven’s sky to give light to Earth.”
    And there it was.

16-19 God made two big lights, the larger
    to take charge of Day,
The smaller to be in charge of Night;
    and he made the stars.
God placed them in the heavenly sky
    to light up Earth
And oversee Day and Night,
    to separate light and dark.
God saw that it was good.
It was evening, it was morning—
Day Four.

20-23 God spoke: “Swarm, Ocean, with fish and all sea life!
    Birds, fly through the sky over Earth!”
God created the huge whales,
    all the swarm of life in the waters,
And every kind and species of flying birds.
    God saw that it was good.
God blessed them: “Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Ocean!
    Birds, reproduce on Earth!”
It was evening, it was morning—
Day Five.

24-25 God spoke: “Earth, generate life! Every sort and kind:
    cattle and reptiles and wild animals—all kinds.”
And there it was:
    wild animals of every kind,
Cattle of all kinds, every sort of reptile and bug.
    God saw that it was good.

26-28 God spoke: “Let us make human beings in our image, make them
    reflecting our nature

So they can be responsible for the fish in the sea,
    the birds in the air, the cattle,
And, yes, Earth itself,
    and every animal that moves on the face of Earth.”
God created human beings;
    he created them godlike,
Reflecting God’s nature.
    He created them male and female.
God blessed them:
    “Prosper! Reproduce! Fill Earth! Take charge!
Be responsible
for fish in the sea and birds in the air,
    for every living thing that moves on the face of Earth.”

29-30 Then God said, “I’ve given you
    every sort of seed-bearing plant on Earth
And every kind of fruit-bearing tree,
    given them to you for food.
To all animals and all birds,
    everything that moves and breathes,
I give whatever grows out of the ground for food.”
    And there it was.

31 God looked over everything he had made;
    it was so good, so very good!
It was evening, it was morning—
Day Six.

Lord,

You are God and we are not.  Jesus, you were there at the beginning of it all, too.  Everything you created was very, very good.  Then you gave us free will to choose you or not.  When we choose evil, you created a Way to come back to what is very, very good, all that is You!  Your love is amazing.  You are amazing!

Lord, you are in control and have never relinquished your control because you created all and in all and compassionately care for all you created!  What an awesome God you truly are!  You provided for all you created.  You lovingly cared and magnificently created all that we need.  Thank you for loving us the way you do.  I’m still meditating on the fact that we are created in your image, with your character traits in our DNA.  Wow, I will THINK about this all day long.

In Jesus Name, For Your Glory, Amen

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
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