Today begins our 2-year journey through the Bible together as a church. As we travel through the pages and story of scripture, I want to encourage you with some devotional thoughts along the way. Below, you’ll find the first of these. My hope is to be able to put up at least two devotions each week over a passage from our readings. I also hope to have contributions from others in our church.
For the rest of this week, our readings take us through Genesis 1-4 and Matthew 1-2. If you are in need of a Bible reading calendar, a .pdf copy is available here: 2015-16 Bible Calendar (linear).
The idea behind today’s devotion comes mainly from Genesis 1&2 with thoughts from other Bible passages as well: The God Who Speaks…
And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. ~ Genesis 1:3
There exists a particular philosophy about God called deism. Deists believe in a god who created and a god who we discover through reasoning and our studies of nature. Some believe he still may interact with the world through acts of providence, but others do not. As such, deists do not believe in a god who speaks (or at least one who speaks to us).
Many people live as practical deists. They go about their days believing in a god yet they don’t expect interaction from god until they find themselves in a moment of crisis and turn to prayer to seek help.
From beginning to end, the Bible presents God as one who speaks. He didn’t just create and walk away to leave us on our own; nor did he create to silently work in the background to be ignored until we feel we really need him. God created with words and throughout the Bible God continued to display his existence, his goodness and love, and his purposes through words (as well as displays in nature and displays which are supernatural).
Speech, as a means through which God acts and reveals himself, is such a part of his nature that in John 1:1 the apostle writes of Jesus, “In the beginning was the Word and the Word was God and the Word was with God”—language reflecting the opening phrase of Genesis: “In the beginning, God.”
Jesus is the Word of God. The Bible, then, is God’s words about the Word written for our salvation, instruction, and growth in Jesus (John 5:39 & 2 Timothy 3:14-17).
The God who uttered the phrase, “Let there be light;” the God who walked and spoke with Adam in the Garden; the God who spoke to Moses through a burning bush and to Elijah through a quiet whisper; and the God who echoed from heaven about Jesus, “This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased;” this is the same God who continues to speak to us through his living and active word, the Bible (Hebrews 4:12).
So, why do we spend time reading and searching through the Bible? Because through those words God speaks to us, guides us, and shapes us to be utterly fascinated and enthralled by him as we grow to know, love, enjoy, and follow him in all things.