Monday, March 5, 2018

Genesis 2:4b-25

When the Lᴏʀᴅ God made the earth and sky 5 there were not yet any wild plants or field crops growing from the ground. This was because the Lᴏʀᴅ God hadn’t yet sent rain nor were there any human beings to cultivate the soil. 6 (However, the land was watered through springs which bubbled up from below the ground.) 7 At that point the Lᴏʀᴅ God took some of the soil and formed from it a man. He then blew some of his own life into the man’s nostrils and the human became a living being.

8 The Lᴏʀᴅ God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, where he placed the human he had just formed. 9 The land was so fertile that the Lᴏʀᴅ God was able to grow all kinds of trees -- beautiful trees with lots of good fruit to eat. Right smack in the middle of the garden he planted two special trees -- the “tree that gives life” and the “tree that gives knowledge of what is good and what is evil.”

10 The garden is watered by a river flowing into it from Eden. From Eden it divides into four rivers -- 11-12 the Pishon flowing around the entire land of Havilah (where there is pure gold, fragrant resins, and gemstones.); 13 the Gihon, flowing around the entire land of Cush; 14 the Tigris, flowing east of Assyria; and the Euphrates.

15 The Lᴏʀᴅ God took the human and settled him in the garden of Eden to farm it and care for it. 16 Then the Lᴏʀᴅ God commanded the human, “Eat all you want from any of the garden’s trees -- 17 except from the ‘tree that gives knowledge of what is good and what is evil.’ If you eat fruit from that tree it will be the death of you!”

18 After those instructions the Lᴏʀᴅ God said, “It’s not good for the human to go it alone; so I will make a suitable companion to help him.”

19 The Lᴏʀᴅ God once again started creating life from the dirt. He formed all the wild animals and all the birds that fill the sky. He then paraded them in front of the human for evaluation and the man assigned names to each. 20 He named all the livestock, all the birds, and all the wild animals. But none of them were well-suited companions for the human. 21 So the Lᴏʀᴅ God put the man into a deep and heavy sleep, removed one of his ribs, and closed up the opening in his side. 22 With the rib taken from the man, the Lᴏʀᴅ God fashioned a woman and brought her to the man. 23 The man approvingly exclaimed,
“Wow! Finally! A creature made of the same stuff as me. I`m going to call her ‘woman’ because she was made from a man.”
24 This explains how it is that when a man leaves his parents and takes a wife, they unite and come together as one. For they are made of the same stuff.

25 Even though the man and woman were naked, they felt no shame.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

John 4:34-35

Jesus said to his apprentices, "The 'food' that sustains me is found in doing the things on God's to-do list. Indeed, that's why he sent me; and my job is to finish the work that he sent me to do. You might say that there is no great hurry because the harvest is still four months away. But look more closely and you'll see that these 'fields' are ripening rapidly right in front of your eyes and they are ready for harvest now."

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Genesis 1:1-2:4a

1 This is how it all began. God started to create the heavens and the earth and everything in between. 2 At that point, the planet Earth was a chaotic shapeless void. Darkness hung over the deep sea. But a wind from God -- his Spirit -- swept over the waters -- covering it like a brooding bird covers its nest. 3 And God said, “Light!” And light appeared. 4 God concluded that the light was good and life-giving. So he separated it out from the darkness. 5 God named the light “Day” and the darkness “Night.”

That is what happened on the first day.

6 God continued setting order to the soupy chaos by saying, “Let there be atmosphere between the waters above and the waters below.” 7 Thus God inserted the atmosphere separating the waters. There was water under the atmosphere and water above the atmosphere.

And it happened according to his spoken command.

God named the atmosphere Sky. 

That is what happened on the second day.

9 Then God said, “Let the waters under this sky pool together in one place so that the dry ground can appear.”

And it happened according to his spoken command.

God named the dry ground Land, and he named the gathered waters Ocean. God concluded that the Land and Ocean configuration was good and life-giving.

11 Then God said, “Let the land produce plants -- seed-bearing plants and fruit-bearing plants -- unique varieties all across the land.”

And it happened according to his spoken command.

12 The land produced the many unique varieties of plants that bear seeds and those that bear fruit. God concluded that the plants were good and life-giving.

13 That is what happened on the third day.

14 Then God said, “Let there be lights above that will distinguish the day sky from the night sky. They will be signs pointing to my power -- as opposed to themselves being the source of power. They will provide markers for events, sacred seasons, days, and years. 15 From their places in the sky, they will give light to the earth.”

And it happened according to his spoken command.

16 God made the stars and two great lights: the sun, which is larger, to oversee the day, and the moon, a smaller light, to oversee the night. 17 God put them in the sky to shine on the earth, 18 to oversee the day and oversee the night -- to separate the light from the darkness. God concluded that they were good and life-giving.

19 That is what happened on the fourth day.

20 Then God said, “Let the waters teem with life and birds fill the sky.” 21 God created all the unique varieties of huge sea creatures and the tiny living things that so actively swarm in the waters. He created all the unique varieties of birds, as well. And God concluded that the creatures of the sea and the creatures of the sky were good and life-giving.

At his word, God then blessed them with the ability to reproduce and multiply -- the fish filling the oceans and the birds covering the earth.

23 That is what happened on the fifth day.

24 Then God said, “Let the earth produce all the diverse kinds of animals: the domesticated critters, the reptiles, and the wildlife.”

And it happened according to his spoken command. 

God made all sorts of animals -- wildlife, domesticated, and the creatures that crawl on the ground. God made them all! And God concluded that the animals were good and life-giving.

26 Once again God spoke, “Let’s make humanity -- the people -- in our image. That way they can be like us and thus be responsible for the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the domesticated animals, all the crawling things on earth -- and even the earth itself.”

27 God created humanity in his own image, in the divine image he created them -- both male and female.

28 At his word, God then blessed them with the ability to reproduce and multiply with such virility that they’d master all the earth. He told them to “take charge of the fish, the birds, and all the other animals crawling around on the ground.”

29 Then God blessed them further saying, “I am giving you all the seed-yielding plants and the fruiting trees for food. 30 To all living animals -- the wildlife, the birds, and to critters crawling on the ground -- I am giving all the green leafy plants for food.”

And once again, 
it happened according to his spoken command.

God surveyed the entire creation -- including the people and animals -- and declared that they were extremely good and life-giving.

That is what happened on the sixth day.

1 So, God completed the creation of the sky, the earth, and all that is living. 2 By the seventh day, with the work done, God rested. 3 And in doing so God blessed the seventh day and made it a holy day.

4 So that is how God created the sky and the earth -- everything up there and everything down here. It all originates with him.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Galatians 4:4-7

4 But when the timing was right, God the Father sent his Son. He was born through a human woman into a world which was structured around certain demands and expectations. 5 This was no accident. He was born into the system so that he could rescue those living under such systems -- freeing them from obligation to follow the social and religious rules. They were given new status and can now rely on their privilege as adopted members of God’s family. 6 Indeed as privileged members of the family -- sons and daughters -- you don’t function with an external agenda but with the internal prompting of the Spirit of God’s Son, whom he sent to reside in your hearts. So you can call out to God as your dear father. 7 The whole dynamic of the relationship is different. You are no longer a slave with obligations but a child with direct access to the father -- and indeed the privileges that go with being an heir to his estate.

Monday, December 18, 2017

1 Thessalonians 5:16-24

12 Brothers and sisters, we’re asking you to honor the leaders who are working in your midst as teachers. 13 Respect and show love to them because of the work they do. And make sure that you live peacefully with each other. 14 Dear ones, we urge you to warn those who are undisciplined, comfort the discouraged, help the weak, and be patient with everyone. 15 See to it that no one indulges in pay-back behavior.Instead, through the good you do elevate everyone who enters your sphere of influence.

16 Be joyful at all times and in all situations. 17 Likewise, with prayer. Keep at it. 18 And give thanks no matter what happens -- good or bad. This is what God wants for those of you who are united with Christ Jesus. 19-22 Don’t suppress the Holy Spirit or blow off Spirit-inspired messages. Instead, carefully examine every idea, action, and message that comes along. Hang on to what is good and carefully avoid everything which is associated with evil.

23 Now, may the God who is all about peace cause you to be completely dedicated to him -- the whole package of your being -- spirit, soul, and body. Might he hold you together so that your integrity will pay off when our Lord Jesus Christ comes. 24 As overwhelming as it all sounds, rest assured that God, who is calling you to this way of life, is totally dependable and will pull it off on your behalf.

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Mark 1:1-8

The beginning of the good news that comes through God’s Son Jesus Christ. 2-3 As it is written in the prophecy of Isaiah:
Pay attention because I’m sending my messenger as the advanceman. In preparation for the arrival he will raise his powerful voice to clear the way through the wilderness. His message will be:
“Get everything ready for the Lord! He’s coming! So straighten things up for him.”
4 Of course, we’re talking about John the Baptizer, who from his wilderness pulpit was calling people to be baptized as a means of demonstrating that they had a complete change of heart and that they wanted God to forgive them of their sins.

5 He was a big deal and everyone in Judea -- including all the people of Jerusalem -- took the 20-mile hike out to the Jordan River. That’s where John was baptizing people as they confessed their sins.

6 Reminiscent of the ancient and hairy prophet Elijah, John wore clothes made of camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist. His diet consisted of grasshoppers and wild honey. 7 In short, this was the message that he preached, “It’s not about me. Someone more powerful than I will be coming after me. Frankly, I’m not even in the same league. I’m unworthy to function as his slave -- stooping over to unstrap his sandals. 8 I’m baptizing you with water, washing away your old life to replace it with a kingdom-of-God-defined life. He, on the other hand, will baptize you with the Holy Spirit -- the powerful, purifying presence of God himself.”

Sunday, December 3, 2017

1 Corinthians 1:3-9

3 Might God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ extend divine generosity to you and flood your life with peace.

4 I’m constantly thanking God for you; for through Christ Jesus, he has been very generous to you. 5-6 He has enriched your church in every way -- resulting in well-said words that express your deep knowledge of spiritual matters -- all of which verify your testimony about Christ. 7 So, it’s pretty clear that you’ve already got all that God has given -- more than enough to keep you going while you wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 8 God will continue to confirm your testimony about Christ so that on at the grand finale -- the day of our Lord Jesus Christ -- you will be found innocent and blameless. 9 God, who invited you to participate in all this, is totally reliable and will make it happen. You can’t possibly have a better partner than his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.