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In the beginning, God

Today’s reading: Genesis 1-2; Matthew 1 (click on the reference to open the reading in a new window)

Welcome to a new year in the Bible. I hope you will join me here as we read and think together about the most important book ever written. In our daily schedule, we will be reading through the Old Testament and New Testament simultaneously, but these Testaments do not describe simultaneous events.[1] There were about 2000 years of history between Genesis and the birth of Jesus Christ in Matthew.

One of the advantages of this reading plan is that we immediately get into the New Testament without neglecting a careful reading of the Old. We get an appreciation for the great cosmic events which set the backdrop for all the rest of the Bible and for human history.

As you read today, consider how God is revealed in Genesis 1-2. He shows His care for the universe and for Man. He makes the first human couple in His image with an implied purpose to reflect His glory and He gives them a very good world with meaningful work.

When we turn to Matthew, we read about the genealogy of Jesus Christ beginning with Abraham whom we will meet shortly in Genesis 11. The birth of Jesus is surrounded with scandal as his mother, Mary, is pregnant before marriage to Joseph. Joseph is reassured by an angel that he need not reject Mary but take her as his wife. Her son is conceived of the Holy Spirit. He will save His people from their sins.

Tomorrow we will learn in Genesis how sin entered into human history making necessary a savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, but take note that in the genealogy of Matthew 1 there are, besides Mary, three mothers mentioned whom we will meet later in our Old Testament readings all of whom experienced sinful abusive relationships. Even in the lineage of Jesus there was a need for deliverance from the ravages of sin.

The God of the Bible is one of power, love, and justice. This book shows how crucial it is to understand how He has acted to create us and all things and to save those who trust in Him from the devastating effects of sin. Before we finish, we will see that He will restore all things and establish a new heavens and earth in which righteousness dwells forever.

[1] As an alternative plan, you may want to consider reading straight through the Bible using my book Cover to Cover: through the Bible in 365 days available at Amazon.com for Kindle readers.

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