Friday, January 1, 2010

Project 4:4--Day One

Happy New Year!!!

I woke up this morning and was excited to get this project underway! Project 4:4 is being initiated by the leaders of my church as a church-wide effort to read through the Bible in a year. We are using F. LaGard Smith's "The Daily Bible" edited into 365 chronological daily readings. We plan to not only read through the entire Bible this year, but to spend time in our assemblies and in our classes studying and learning from His Word together as a church family.

Today's reading was from Genesis 1-3, covering the account of creation and of Adam and Eve. The very first thing that I was struck with as I began reading this passage was that it starts with "In the beginning, God..." It all starts with God. Even beyond that, God is mentioned 32 times in the first chapter alone...a chapter that only has 31 verses! He's mentioned, on average, more than once/per verse!

"In the beginning, God..."

"God said..."

"God saw..."

"God made..."

"God called..."

"God set..."

"God created..."

"God blessed..."

God, God, God, God, GOD!!!!! It's all about Him.

In order to aid in this particular study of the Bible, our church put together notebooks to give out to us, with loose outlines for the weekly readings and study questions that we can prepare to discuss in our classes. I've decided to make an effort to write/blog about each of the daily readings and to use that notebook as a guide, sharing my answers with all of you here. Three of this week's questions pertained to today's reading.

1. How is the "image and likeness" of God reflected in human beings?

--God's image is reflected in us as He has made us spiritual beings, intended to live forever. He has given us dominion over all His creation. He has also given us a higher level of intelligence, with a conscience about what we do, and the freedom to choose our own actions.

2. What can we learn from Adam and Eve about dealing with temptation and sin?

--The most obvious thing we learn is to run away from it. Sin and temptation have so many consequences, none of which are good. Before they sinned, life was, quite literally, perfect for Adam and Eve. Temptation began by Satan making them feel discontent. Then, after indulging themselves, life was complicated. They were ashamed, and they hid. They laid blame and made excuses. They had to deal with the consequences of their sin, the worst of which being that these people, intended to live with God forever, had been separated from Him because of their disobedience.

3. How has your resistance to sin been tested by Satan?

--Satan tests my resistance in a couple of ways. Jesus refers to him as the father of lies, says that lying is his native language, and I feel that's how he operates most of the time: not flat-out trying to get us to do wrong, but deceiving us into not realizing what we are doing and the consequences that go along with it. Also, though, I can sense him starting off with me sometimes, like he did with Eve, by simply trying to convince me to be discontented with my situation.

Perhaps that's why the apostle Paul spoke of learning to be content in every situation and taught that godliness with contentment is great gain.

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