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Friday, March 1, 2013

Genesis - The Beginning of a Relationship

When I look back on the bible - the most important book written - Genesis has always been one of my favorite books.  We get to know about God and who He is, and we get to know something about ourselves.  It's a book of introductions.

Getting to Know You

Let's say I grew up in...I don't know...the Arctic Circle.  My parents have shown me pictures of my aunts and uncles and grandparents, but I've never met them.  Finally, my dad tells me one day that I'm finally going to see my grandmother.  I'm traveling to her place in Peru.

Yes.  I'm making this up.  I don't know why I picked the Arctic Circle.

So I get on a plane, a boat, and a llama and travel out of the icy cold, down to South America, through the Amazon wilderness, through the Inca ruins, and arrive at my grandparents house.  Different language.  Different setting.  Different people.  In fact, I experience a little culture shock.  I try to get a handle on the routines of the house, the difference in the food, and even try to make some friends.  But most of all, I'm going to get to know my grandmother.  I may establish a relationship with the land and the history, but my grandmother is more important to me.

Genesis is like that.  There's a Jewish culture involve.  The book was originally written in Hebrew.  But the point of the book is to introduce you to God.  You may have heard about Him from others. You may have seen Him painted on the Sistine Chapel.  But it takes drawing near to really get to know Him.  I like Genesis because it helps me to get to know God.

God shows Himself to be Creator

The first few lines of the bible begins with "In the beginning, God created..."  He created the earth, the sun and moon, the waters, the mountains.  Then He creates man in His own image.  He gives them the task of taking care of the earth and having children.

God shows Himself to be Judge

Sin comes into the world through Adam and Eve.  It actually causes a break in the relationship between them and God.  They get rejected from the garden.  Later on, God takes action against man because of sin, and instructs Noah to save his family and the animals by building an ark.  Then it rains.  It rains and rains and rains.  Every other living thing is wiped out.  God pronounces judgement on the rest of humanity, and starts over again with Noah and his family.

God shows Himself to be Love

Then we come to Abraham.  You know the song: "Father Abraham, had many sons.  And many songs had Father Abraham."  You can stand up and do the dance if you want.  I won't tell.

But God shows something more of Himself.  Abraham and his wife, Sarah, were without children.  God made a promise to Abraham that would be for him and all his descendants after him:

Now the Lord had said to Abram: "Get out of your country,
From your family
And from your father's house,
To a land that I will show you.
I will make you a great nation;
I will bless you And make your name great;
And you shall be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you,
And I will curse him who curses you;
And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed."

God makes a promise.  A covenant.  He begins a relationship with a man and his family.  And it's a relationship of love.  Of blessing.

Looking at it, you may think "That was thousands of years ago.  What does that have to do with me?"  Everything.  Because the way God blessed you was through Abraham.  You see, one of Abraham's descendants had a big part to play in your life:

Jesus

Jesus came from Abraham's line.  The beginning of John (another great book of the bible) begins this way.

In the beginning was the Word.  And the Word was with God,
and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.
All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. 
It's talking about Jesus.  He was the one who created everything.  And he came down to earth for a purpose.  It was to judge your sin, my sin, every one's sin.  And then to die for all our sins.  He did this on the cross so that you can know him, and in knowing him you can know life.  If you put your trust in him, he will raise you up a new person just like he rose up from the grave.

A New Relationship

God wants you to know Him.  He wants you to know His love.  Will you draw near to Him?  It takes getting on your knees and reaching out to accept His love.  If you want that life...that love...take a moment to pray to Him now.

"God.  I admit that I've sinned against you.  In my thoughts.  With my words.  With my actions.  I know you love me.  I want to know you and draw near to you.  Please forgive me of my sins.  Jesus, come into my heart and make me new so that I can have life more abundantly."

If you prayed to Him, take time to get to know Him.  Open up the bible read the book of John.  And read Genesis!  Get connected to a Christian church and enter into a wonderful relationship with God and other Christians.

By the way...I don't live in the Arctic Circle.  I live in California.  We have cows.

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