Old Testament

Genesis

Author: Moses

Date: About 1440 BC

Everyday Life Principles:

Beginnings are important, and thankfully God continually gives us opportunities for a fresh start.

Be watching for the opportunities God brings your way. They will present themselves in the situations of your everyday life, such as your relationships, your workplace, the way you choose to spend your time, and issues of personal integrity.

Only as you take advantage of these opportunities can you move forward in God's plans for your life.

Introduction

We often hear the book of Genesis described as a "book of beginnings," but I also like to think of it as a book of opportunities. From start to finish, we read stories of people who were presented with opportunities.

First, we see Eve with the opportunity to choose between good and evil—between God's instruction and the serpent's deception. We see Noah with an opportunity to demonstrate his faith when everyone around him thought he was crazy. We see Abraham with an opportunity to believe God's promise when it was naturally impossible and then to obey God when obedience required a willingness to sacrifice the promised son for whom he waited so long. We see Jacob with an opportunity to deceive, which resulted in all kinds of trouble—and later with an opportunity to surrender completely to God, which resulted in great blessing. We see Joseph with opportunities to forgive and to trust God.

Throughout Genesis, people were blessed when they took advantage of opportunities to choose well—to choose truth over deception, faith over fear, peace over strife, forgiveness over bitterness, patience and waiting on God over trying to force something to happen. I hope the stories and principles in this book will help you recognize the opportunities God gives you and make wise choices that will lead to greater blessings than you have ever known.

Genesis 1:26-27: Life Point

Life Point

Here in the very first chapter of the Bible, God clearly communicates His desire for our lives to be fruitful. Two things necessary to live fruitful lives are balance and pruning. To stay balanced we need to make sure we get the right amounts of healthy nourishment, rest, work, play, time alone with God, and time to enjoy godly relationships.

Pruning is not always pleasant, but it does ensure that the situations, activities, or relationships that are depleting us will not continue to do so. It means something must be cut off or removed from our lives, but God promises great reward as a result—more fruitfulness than ever!

Stay balanced by letting God, the wise Master Gardener, prune your life as He sees fit, and you will enjoy years of fruitfulness and fulfillment.

Genesis 1:28: Speak the Word

Speak the Word

Lord, I thank You that You have blessed me and called me to be fruitful in my life. I pray that I will use the resources You have created to serve You and to serve others.

Adapted From Genesis 1:28

Genesis 1:28: Life Point

Life Point

God created Adam as a living being, in His image (see Genesis 1:26, 27), and gave him authority over everything else He created (see Genesis 1:28). Man was created to rule under God and to be the physical carrier of God's Spirit in the earth. Part of human nature is that we, as living beings like Adam, have a free will. Why? Because God is too loving to force submission from anyone. He wants us to freely choose to love and serve Him. I hope that today you will make a fresh and willful commitment to love and serve God with all your heart.

Enjoy Your Life

When God completed His six days of creation, He took time to look over everything and He saw that "it was very good and He approved it completely" (Genesis 1:31). God took time to enjoy the work of His hands, and we should do the same. In our passion to possess more and more, we often fall into the trap of working, working, working—and we never enjoy the fruit of our labor. Sometimes we should simply take time to relax and enjoy what we have accomplished.

The writer of Ecclesiastes said it is the gift of God for man to find enjoyment in all of his labor (see Ecclesiastes 2:24). I have always been a hard worker. A few years ago, I realized I was working hard but not taking time to enjoy what I was doing. I made a decision to include enjoyment in my life. I no longer just "do" conferences; I enjoy them. When my house is clean and pretty, I take time to look at it and enjoy it. At the end of a year I go over my calendar and remember the various things I have done, and I enjoy the sense of accomplishment. I look at what God has enabled me to do and I say, "It is good."

Many people feel worthless, insecure, and unacceptable, but God looked at everything He created, including man, and said, "It is very good." He approved it completely. God knows everything about each of us, and He loves us unconditionally. God approves of us; He may not approve of everything we do, but He does approve of us as His beloved children. I encourage you to make a decision to not only enjoy the labor of your hands, but to approve of and enjoy yourself as well.

Choosing to enjoy and accept myself is one of the best decisions I have ever made. God does not create junk. He is good, and everything He does is good. We cannot believe that God created us and also believe we are worthless. Begin to accept and enjoy yourself where you are, and God will help you get to where you need to be.