Bible Book: Genesis

Finishing Your Work by Resting

If you are not quite sure what to do on a day of rest from work, God’s example of finishing the work by resting offers pertinent guidance. Find a time when you are resting to reflect on the work you have done recently. Take a delight in its goodness. Recognize ways in which your work is also part of a fallen world. Offer your work to the Lord in worship. Remember that God is sovereign even over your work.

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Why Did God Rest?

According to Genesis 2:1-3, on the seventh day of creation, God rested. Genesis doesn’t tell us exactly why God rested. But the fact that God also blessed and hallowed the seventh day strongly suggests that God rested for our benefit. God wanted us to know just how important rest is for our lives. 

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Unexpected and Foundational Rest

After creating the universe in six days, God set aside a day for rest. God’s action on the seventh day—or, better yet, God’s decision to cease working—is foundational for our understanding and practice of rest. If God rested, then surely those of us created in God’s image should also rest. But God’s example creates a compelling case for the importance and even the necessity of rest. 

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An abstract design with gold paint against a green background, with the faint image of a person's hand behind it

An Example of the Downside of Imagination

Our imaginations will dream up all sorts of things in our minds. Some will lead to blessing; others will lead to suffering. Our responsibility is to take what our imaginations conjure up and consider it in light of God’s grace and truth. We mustn’t let our lives be governed by imagination-inspired fear. Rather, we must learn to trust God in all things.

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A red, juicy apple hanging on a tree

The Downside of Imagination

God has given us the gift of imagination so that we might fulfill our divine callings to serve and glorify God in all we do. What the human imagination inspires can be wonderful. But it can also be terrible. As we see in Genesis 3, the imagination can lead us to turn away from God and God’s purposes. Thus, like the rest of us, our imagination needs to be redeemed and renewed so that it might be used for human good and God’s glory. 

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Paintbrushes, a palette, and a painting of a group of houses

The Imagination of Humanity

The God who exercised imagination in creating the universe made humanity in the divine image. Therefore, we have been given the gift of imagination. We are to use this gift as we fulfill God’s first calling to humanity, to be fruitful and multiply, to fill the earth and exercise authority over it. Though some people are exceptionally imaginative in certain areas, all of us reflect God’s image. Therefore all of us have the opportunity to use our imaginations for good. 

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A green branch against a peaceful rural landscape

The Imagination of God

Though we may not often think in this way, Scripture shows us the imagination of God. We see this clearly in creation. God “sees” what ought to be created and then “creates” in light of this vision. God’s unique imagination fills the pages of Scripture, encouraging us to see God in a new way. 

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A stone stairs in an overgrown forest

But Isn’t the Imagination Evil?

Some Christians believe that the imagination is necessarily evil. They find support for this view in the King James Version of the Bible, which uses the word “imagination” in generally negative ways. But, in fact, Scripture does not single out the imagination as being corrupt. Rather, all human mental activity has been twisted by sin. Every part of us, including our imagination, needs to be redeemed and renewed by God.

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A woman with a cross of ashes on her forehead

The Dustiness of Lent

On Ash Wednesday many Christians throughout the world will hear some version of these familiar words: “Dust you are and to dust you will return.” Today we are reminded of our mortality, of the way sin has hurt and corrupted us. Today we sense once again how much we need a Savior. Today we begin to prepare our hearts for the celebration of Jesus the Savior, whose death and resurrection give us true life. Today, we start to get ready for Good Friday and Easter. 

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Excerpts from the famous Sistine Chapel painting of the creation by Michelangelo, showing just Adam's hand and God's hand

God Didn’t Do It Alone

God could have chosen to redeem and restore humanity without enduring the messiness of human collaboration. But, amazingly enough, God chose to partner with human beings in this crucial work, beginning with Abraham, Sarah, and their retinue. So it is today. God wants to work in you and through you to accomplish God’s purposes on earth. God has chosen not to do it alone.

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A group of people riding through the desert on camels

Abraham Didn’t Do It Alone

The story of Abraham shows us that when it comes to following God’s call, we can’t do it alone. When it comes to receiving the completeness of God’s redemption, we can’t do it alone. And when it comes to delighting in the fullness of God’s blessing, we can’t do it alone

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A woman holding out three apples

Why We Do It Alone

God intended human beings to live in genuine, loving, collaborative community with each other. But sin messed up God’s beautiful creation. Because of sin, we hide from each other, blame each other, wound each other, and abandon each other. Yet God has not abandoned us in our aloneness. Rather, God has extended grace to us through Christ so that we might live and work in community with God and people.

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A sad young woman lying on a bed

Confronting an Epidemic of Loneliness

There is an epidemic of loneliness in the United States. Older adults are lonely. Millennials are lonely. Young people are lonely. Yet, God once said that it is not good for people to be alone. Not only will God help us to experience the warmth of human community, but also God will use us to reach out with love and grace to those who are struggling with loneliness.

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People picking crops in a rainy field

Fruitful in Relationship

You can do good through your individual efforts, to be sure. But you will only experience full and true fruitfulness in relationship with others. If you want to make a difference that matters in this world, you can’t do it alone. Community is essential for fruitful living.

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A number of young people sitting looking out at a lake with their arms linked

Can’t Do It Alone

If you want to flourish in life, you can’t do it alone. God created you to live, work, and love in community with others. Relationships are essential for human flourishing in every season of life. No matter who you are or what you’re facing in life, remember: Can’t Do It Alone. 

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