January 1, 2017 Genesis 1,2; John 1:1-28

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These are a few of our SOAP notes from today’s reading. We encourage you to read and journal on your own first, then join us in conversation about what God revealed to YOU today. Click HERE to go directly to the daily reading if you wish.

Fashioned and Attended to by the Divine | Tara Wiley

S~ Day One Gen 1:3,6,9,14,26 – but mostly, 1:26 “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.”

O~ Have I ever noticed this difference before? All the creative verses lead off with some variation of “Let there be…”

Let there be light…

Let there be creatures…

Let the waters do this, the land do that…

It’s all somewhat impersonal, a command that seems to go with a wave of the hand – let it be. Let it happen. Let it take place. The Hebrew verb simply means to exist, to come into being. A strong, powerful, creative command, yes. But there’s somehow an abstracted space between the Creator and the created. I envision a mighty king in the age of monarchy, seated in a great throne room, surrounded by pomp and circumstance. The long hall separates the noble from his lowly subjects. He lifts his royal scepter, and announces the command, “Let there be…”

But in verse 26, the scene changes entirely. No longer is there a single king announcing some impersonal decree. Now, the curtain is pulled back and we see the king is part of a holy community, the Trinity, and they draw close, closer, closest, right up against the earth itself.

As Inifinite Triune God creates finite man, His spoken words change. Before, the author Moses had used the Hebrew verb ‘to make’ to describe God’s creative acts, but only now does he place that verb right into God’s mouth. It means to fashion, attend to. Can I pause and listen to Him speak it – “Let us fashion mankind. Let us attend to them.” He breathes His likeness, breath of life into man’s nostrils. How much closer can the Creator come to His created one? He goes another step yet… He speaks to man, He blesses him, and in turn, blesses Eve. He gives them gifts. He instructs them. He walks with them in the cool of the evening.

This nearness begins all the way back with that first turn of phrase. He didn’t just let man be. No, He fashioned man. And attended to woman. He fashioned and attended to… me. And He said, “Very good.”

A/P~ Oh, gracious, creative God, you attended to me in my mother’s womb. Even before then. Even back at the beginning of time, You attended to and fashioned the kind You made me to become. Thank You, tender Father, for Your attentiveness, back then, and even now. Help me to live in the God-confidence Your attentiveness inspires.

In the right time | Trisha Baker

S~ Now no shrub had yet appeared on the earth and no plant had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no one to work the ground. Genesis 2:5 (NIV)

O~ In Genesis chapter 1, God said for the ground to produce plants and vegetation on the third day. I have always assumed that when God saw, it happened immediately and that the trees and vegetation were just there.  But this scripture states otherwise. It is like when God said for the trees and vegetation to show up, the seeds were planted in the ground at that very moment, and they were waiting to be watered so they could grow and appear in the right time, when there was someone to take care of them.

A~ As we are getting ready to start a new year, there are probably lots of things that were spoken into our lives by God last year. I know some of these promises were spoken into my life by God, but I have yet to see some of these promises appear in my life.  Often when that happens, it is easy for me to think that I heard God wrong or that I did something wrong to not allow those things to happen. I never thought that when God said those things, He had in that moment planted a seed that was waiting for the right elements to allow that seed to grow so that it can grow into the promise of the God in just the right moment that God wanted it to appear. Remember, that as this New Year begins, we are bringing all of the seeds that God has planted in the past into it. Just because we have yet to see that seed come to life, does not mean that the promises of God are not coming to life. If we give that seed what it needs to grow, like praying and reading our Bible every day, then when the timing is right, God will bring His promises to life for us to see.

P~ Father God, thank you so much for your promises and the seeds You have planted in our hearts. I ask you Father to help me to become patient in the process. Help me to know that just because I don’t see Your promises with my natural eyes does not mean that Your promises are not coming to pass in my life. Help me to seek You every day and to trust in You that Your promises will come to life in the perfect moment. Thank you for this New Year, and help me to become stronger in You with every new day. In Your Precious Name, Amen.

Choose | Nikki Metzger

S~ And the Lord commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” Genesis 2:16,17 (NIV)

O~ My bible commentary asks why God would even put this tree in the garden if He didn’t want Adam to eat it. Because God wanted Adam to have a choice. Adam’s choices revealed his true heart. Our choices reveal what we worship. God designed us to worship Him, but He gives us the opportunity to choose.

A~ As 2017 starts, I want to think about this new year, this new start. I want my choices to reflect what I really believe about Jesus. Maybe my summative 2017 word is, “Choice”. I always have a choice in everything.

P~ Father, You always give us room to make choices, so our worship is real and true, not forced. This year I would like my choices to reflect what I worship…..You!

Sin and Shame | Kim Chipman

S~ Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame. Genesis 2:25 (NIV)

O~ God just created everything including people. There was not yet sin in the world – so they felt no shame.

shame [sheym] noun 1. the painful feeling arising from the consciousness of something dishonorable, improper, ridiculous, etc., done by oneself or another:

1 John 3:20 Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything.

A~ Shame. Gosh I hate shame. It’s paralyzing at best, toxic at worst. It is a feeling I HATE. Without sin, though, there is no shame. Sin and shame are intertwined.

They feel inescapable.

But I’m pretty sure the root of that is a lie. Shame has to be avoidable, right? I know sin isn’t avoidable, but shame comes from the evil one. The truth is that shame is a feeling, and you are greater than my feelings.

Brene Brown is a shame researcher and she says: “I define shame as the intensely painful feeling or experience of believing that we are flawed and therefore unworthy of love and belonging – something we’ve experienced, done, or failed to do makes us unworthy of connection.” That is not from You. You desire connection with us and you built us to have connection with each other. When Adam and Eve sinned they felt shame and they hid from You.

What do I do that makes me feel shame? What am I thinking when I feel that way? I do want to hide. Sometimes I really do sin and mess up. Sometimes I’m comparing myself to others or I’m worried about what they think and that feeling wells up. I feel flawed. I feel unworthy. You are greater than my feelings, and YOU don’t call me flawed or unworthy. I don’t have to stay there or live there. In You I do not have to feel shame.

P~ Thank You for this reminder today. I’m such a forgetter, I need reminding. I need You, I need Your Word. Apart from You I can do nothing. Help me to remember when my feeeeeelings are a big fat mess because that’s when it’s the hardest to focus on this truth. I love You!

Our team would love the privilege of praying for you! Please share how we can lift you in prayer at prayer@DiscoverOneThing.com

1 thought on “January 1, 2017 Genesis 1,2; John 1:1-28”

  1. LOVE LOVE what you wrote this morning, Trisha. Spot on–it’s so easy to forget that God is still at work watering many of the seed that He has planted. Thanks for this reminder. 🙂

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