I found a “Two-Year Bible Reading Plan” on YouVersion and if anyone would like to join me in this plan, I would be grateful for the company. I just completed a couple of three-day studies with my small group; it is a fun and fascinating way to learn and grow intimately with God and friends. This Two-Year plan does not have the option to discuss the daily reading but perhaps we can figure out some way to communicate the things that God has shown us as we’ve read! There is much to gain from the knowledge of others!
This morning the assignment is Genesis 1 and Matthew 1. I am reading from the English Standard Version (ESV). I did, however, start out in the New Living Translation which is what I always gravitate towards but as I began my reading this morning, I felt moved to do this plan with the ESV.
I was paused at Genesis 1:27 which says:
“So God created man in his own image,
in the image of God he created him;
male and female he created them.”
I then read the Study Notes (ESV) for this Scripture:
“Traditionally, the image has been seen as the capacities that set man apart from the other animals–ways in which humans resemble God, such as in the characteristics of reason, morality, language, a capacity for relationships governed by love and commitment, and creativity in all forms of art.”
If we possess all these godly characteristics, how much more does God possess?
We were created in His image; all these characteristics are from God which is extremely reassuring because if we have them, so does God, but even bigger. It can be difficult to understand just how wonderful God is but if we can look at our own inner workings regarding love, compassion, encouragement, forgiveness, and care, we can relate them to God. These are not qualities that just spring to life. They were created, are grown, and put to good use by God, for God.
In knowing this, we can experience God because He becomes relatable. He loves us and because our hearts are filled with His love, we love others. Our relationship with Him becomes more intimate as does our worldly relationships. God doesn’t seem so far away when looked at in this perspective! He is our Source! He is God! This brings Him up close and personal. I like this!!
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you that we are made in your image! Thank you for equipping us with love, kindness, faithfulness, peace, gentleness, joy, patience, goodness, and self-control. How truly elevating this news is! Lord grow this fruit within us. Help us to apply all these wonderful gifts to all those around us so that YOU can be seen! You don’t just reside up in heaven but YOU reside in the hearts of your children. You have come down from the heavens and you live in and through those who love and follow you. How amazing you are!
Father, this world is in disarray by our human understanding. We know that it isn’t a surprise to you. We trust and have faith that you have the whole world in your hands and you are turning what’s meant for evil into good (Genesis 50:20). Hallelujah!
Father, give us the courage, strength, power, will, and wisdom to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ, in word and action. Let your love reign in our hearts and in this world. As the early Christians fought so bravely for their faith, let us do the same. Let us be filled with that same passion! Help us to release those things that belong to this world and grasp on to You. As we read your Word together, help us to gain wisdom and understanding of who YOU are, and let us come out of each reading with a deeper intimacy with you. Hold our hearts in your Truth, let nothing distract us, and keep your Holy Spirit fire burning bright!
Thank you, Jesus, and it’s in your Name we pray, amen!
YouVersion. (n.d.) The bible app: 2-year bible reading plan [Vol. 1]. Riverside Church.
Thank you, CSTU and Professor A.M., for your teachings on the Early Christians!
Please note, I do not hold a degree in anything at the moment! I do know and love Jesus which is most important! He is my personal Savior and so much more. I am growing in my knowledge of Him and would love to grow with you! So, I encourage you, to speak out if I’ve said something that does not line up with Scripture, correction is good! I always welcome the thoughts of others!
God bless you and may His perfect peace always be with you!