We love beginnings. A new school year is beginning after a good break over summer. And, while kids as well as college students may not be overly excited about homework again, it is a pleasant experience to reunite with friends, have a fresh start to learn, and look forward to the first football game of the year.
Even the weather suggests a new beginning as fall approaches. Today offered a crisp, cool morning. Maybe you even visited Hobby Lobby over the weekend to shop for new fall items for the house as the new season approaches.
We love beginnings in all shapes and forms. God also loves beginnings, and the Scriptures are full of them. As Creator, he began all that we see and enjoy. He began it all with words that he spoke. After the rebellion of Genesis 3, God began a process toward restoration with the people he had formed. After overwhelming the earth with the flood, he began something new with Noah and his family. With the patriarch Abraham, he began making a people for the glory of his name and the good of those whom he calls to himself. He began a theocratic kingdom with Saul and then David. He began a restoration of his people by bringing them back home from exile.
In the New Testament, he began something new among those who called on him in faith, the church. The Spirit of God began coming on his people in a new way. God gave the church a new commission that would last for ages to come. And finally, God spoke of a new beginning yet to be, the new heavens and the new earth to be formed at Christ’s return.
This is not to mention the new beginning that every single person experiences at the point of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ. It is actually described as a new birth in John 3. God begins something very new in every person he calls to himself and rescues in Jesus Christ.
God loves beginnings. He is always at work to bring something new out of the old. He brings new life out of death and decay.
This Sunday, we will launch a new series in Genesis titled “The Purpose and Promises of God.” We will begin in chapter 12 and go through chapter 35. These chapters (and those preceding) explain the very beginning of God’s redemptive plan and how he raises up a specific people for his name. In Genesis 12-35, he begins with Abram (soon to be called Abraham) and continues with Isaac and Jacob. From there, the rest is history.
Here are two reasons why I am excited to explore these chapters of Genesis together:
- It is always worthwhile to consider the purpose and promises of God. He is Creator. He is orchestrator. He is sustainer. All that we see and experience fits into his sovereign design and oversight. The world began because he determined it would. The people of God were formed because he determined they would. We are alive and well and follow him today, as his chosen people, because he determined we would. He purposed it before time even began (2 Timothy 1:9). It is worth our time to review and celebrate this truth, because it elevates our view of him and leads us into worship.
- The people of God today, even our specific church family, fits into the wonderful plan of God. We exist because of God’s call and care. He called a man named Abram in Genesis 12, and he calls people into his kingdom in Lafayette, Indiana in 2018. We personally fit into the purpose and promises of God. What we experience is just as purposed and designed as were God’s plans for Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
God began something new millennia ago. We fit into that wonderful plan by God’s grace. One of our questions throughout this series will be, “How do I get on board with what God is doing in this world?” I look forward to unpacking some of the answers to that question.