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Genesis is the book of beginnings, which is what Genesis means. In it we see the beginning of the universe, earth, plants and animals, and human beings. We also find out God sent a flood on the world because of its sin. God also created all the different languages of the world at the Tower of Babel. Finally, God gave a great promise to Abraham, that through him all the world would be blessed. Abraham was the father of God's chosen people, from whom came Jesus. Through Jesus the whole world has been greatly blessed.
You will find that Genesis is a fun book to read because it's full of stories. Learn about how the first great peoples began. Also, see God's faithfulness to his people and you will know that he will also be faithful to you.
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
3 And God said, "Let there be light," and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light "day," and the darkness he called "night." And there was evening, and there was morning-the first day.
6 And God said, "Let there be an expanse between the waters to separate water from water." 7 So God made the expanse and separated the water under the expanse from the water above it. And it was so. 8 God called the expanse "sky." And there was evening, and there was morning-the second day.
9 And God said, "Let the water under the sky be gathered to one place, and let dry ground appear." And it was so. 10 God called the dry ground "land," and the gathered waters he called "seas." And God saw that it was good.
11 Then God said, "Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds." And it was so. 12 The land produced vegetation: plants bearing seed according to their kinds and trees bearing fruit with seed in it according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good. 13 And there was evening, and there was morning-the third day.
14 And God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night, and let them serve as signs to mark seasons and days and years, 15 and let them be lights in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth." And it was so. 16 God made two great lights-the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. 17 God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, 18 to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19 And there was evening, and there was morning-the fourth day.
20 And God said, "Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky." 21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22 God blessed them and said, "Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the water in the seas, and let the birds increase on the earth." 23 And there was evening, and there was morning-the fifth day.
24 And God said, "Let the land produce living creatures according to their kinds: livestock, creatures that move along the ground, and wild animals, each according to its kind." And it was so. 25 God made the wild animals according to their kinds, the livestock according to their kinds, and all the creatures that move along the ground according to their kinds. And God saw that it was good.
26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, a and over all the creatures that move along the ground."
27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.
28 God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."
29 Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food. 30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds of the air and all the creatures that move on the ground-everything that has the breath of life in it-I give every green plant for food." And it was so.
31 God saw all that he had made, and it was very good. And there was evening, and there was morning-the sixth day.
2 Thus the heavens and the earth were completed in all their vast array.
2 By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work. 3 And God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done.
Adam and Eve
4 This is the account of the heavens and the earth when they were created.
When the Lord God made the earth and the heavens-5 and no shrub of the field had yet appeared on the earth and no plant of the field had yet sprung up, for the Lord God had not sent rain on the earth and there was no man to work the ground, 6 but streams came up from the earth and watered the whole surface of the ground-7 the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.
8 Now the Lord God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. 9 And the Lord God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground-trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
10 A river watering the garden flowed from Eden; from there it was separated into four headwaters. 11 The name of the first is the Pishon; it winds through the entire land of Havilah, where there is gold. 12 (The gold of that land is good; aromatic resin and onyx are also there.) 13 The name of the second river is the Gihon; it winds through the entire land of Cush. 14 The name of the third river is the Tigris; it runs along the east side of Asshur. And the fourth river is the Euphrates.
15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, "You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; 17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."
18 The Lord God said, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him."
19 Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field.
But for Adam no suitable helper was found. 21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man's ribs and closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.
23 The man said,
"This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called 'woman,' for she was taken out of man."
24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.
25 The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.
The Fall of Man
3 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'You must not eat from any tree in the garden'?"
2 The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, 3 but God did say, 'You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.'"
4 "You will not surely die," the serpent said to the woman. 5 "For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil."
6 When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.
8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 But the Lord God called to the man, "Where are you?"
10 He answered, "I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid."
11 And he said, "Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree that I commanded you not to eat from?"
12 The man said, "The woman you put here with me-she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it."
13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, "What is this you have done?"
The woman said, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate."
14 So the Lord God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this,
"Cursed are you above all the livestock and all the wild animals! You will crawl on your belly and you will eat dust all the days of your life.
15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel."
16 To the woman he said,
"I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing; with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband, and he will rule over you."
17 To Adam he said, "Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, 'You must not eat of it,'
The Bible: Genesis 1
The Bible is probably one of the coolest places you'll ever visit. Why? Because it is more than just a book-it's an adventure. It has stories with real life people experiencing real problems! Not to mention cool life-changing lessons, important laws, wise stuff and also 2,000-year-old letters written by ancient pen pals.
Just when you think there can't be any more, there is! Stories about good people making big mistakes and bad guys actually going toe-to-toe with God! Can you imagine God helping one uncertain girl save an entire nation? Or kings being stuck in jail because they didn't listen to God?
All this to say, God didn't give us a book full of perfect people. God gave us the Bible so that he could tell us about his love so we can build a better relationship with his son, Jesus (1 John 5:13).
The Bible is full of important stuff you'll want to know!
God Did Good
READ: Genesis 1 (especially verses 3 to 4)
EXTRA: John 1:1-15; Colossians 1:1-17
Imagine it. God began everything with this sentence: "Let there be light!"
Instantly, light banged out everywhere. When God was done, he said it was good. Not in an "okay" that was (yawn) good way. We're talking "fantastic, mind-blowing awesome" good! Creation rules!
Hey, God thinks you're fantastic, too. After all, he created you in your mother's womb. But (sigh) it's so easy to get all negative about ourselves. We start thinking we're too short, too big or too dumb-too just about anything. Kind of like a girl named Kaitlyn ...
She frowned at the mirror and pulled at her hair! "Why is my hair so straight! Why is my nose sooo long!" When Kaitlyn looks in a mirror, she imagines all kinds of things that are wrong with the way she looks. And no matter how good her assignments in school are, they never made her happy because she always looks at what isn't right instead of what is right.
Maybe these thoughts will help Kaitlyn cruise on positive power! Okay, take notes! God made Kaitlyn exactly the way he wanted her to be-perfect! Whether you're really funny, an artist, skateboard maniac or a brain-o-matic, you have a ton of excellent qualities and some you haven't even discovered yet!
God never ever makes mistakes. Even if you have some type of disability-that's still part of what makes you unique. If he made you a different way, you'd be somebody else and not you. Remember, God has matched you perfectly to the amazing challenges and adventures (purposes) he has for you.
PRAYER: God, thank you for giving me life. Thank you for what I look like and what I'm good at. Help me to understand what your purpose is for me. Amen.
WEEK 1 Turn to page 6 for your next devotional
The Bible: Genesis 1
The Bible contains 66 books-39 in the Old Testament and 27 in the New Testament. Over 40 different authors wrote these books over a period of 1500 years. The Bible contains stories, poetry, drama, teachings, laws, wise sayings and also letters from one person to another. God didn't give us a book full of perfect people, but one that shows real people struggling, making mistakes and learning to put their trust in God. That's a book worth reading.
Friendship: Genesis 2:18-24
God wants you to make new friends and get connected with the human race. Sharing friendships, thoughts, good times and helping each other is the way God meant the world to work. And someday God might connect you with someone to marry! The thing to remember is that a good one-on-one relationship actually involves three-you, the other person and God.
READ: Genesis 2 (especially verse 18)
EXTRA: Ecclesiastes 4:9-12; Matthew 19:1-6
Hang up that phone! Got mail?-Don't think so. What if you woke up this morning and discovered you were the only person on the planet? You run down the street banging on doors. But no one answers. Would you be scared? Big-time lonely? Got that right.
Even though God is your best friend, you'd probably still want to hang out with other people. Hard to play team sports all by yourself! People need people!
Which brings us to the beginning of time. When God first made Adam, the guy was trekking solo because there wasn't anybody else. But God realized being alone wasn't a good thing. So God made Adam a wife-Eve. And they liked each other a lot! Now let's flash to today and meet Sam.
Kids find it easy to forget about shy Sam. Just call him Mr. Invisible. Sam stands alone on the sidelines, watching the guys play ball. But he doesn't stand long; Josh and Miguel race over and drag him into the game. They always remember to include Sam because they're his best friends. More on this totally cool friendship later.
So go ahead ... look around! God's given you an entire world of people to know, love, be friends with and help! But on those days when you feel stuck in lonely-ville (like Sam)-pray for God to help smash those lonesome blues. God will help you make the first move by saying "Hi" to somebody else. Could be the start of a beautiful friendship!
PRAYER: Lord, thanks for my friends. Help me love and encourage them the way I'd like to be loved and encouraged. In Jesus, Amen.
WEEK 1 Turn to page 8 for your next devotional
God's Forgiveness: Genesis 3
God's forgiveness is truly amazing. The following passages tell us about how God forgives and then forgets the sins we've committed in life:
Micah 7:19: God has cast our sins into the "depths of the sea." They're out of sight.
Isaiah 43:25: God will not "remember" our sins. They're out of memory.
Psalm 103:12: God has removed our sins as far as "the east is from the west." They're out of reach.
Isaiah 44:22: God has blotted our sins out like a disappearing cloud. They're out of existence.
Excerpted from ReaLife Devotional Bible by Mark Littleton Marnie Wooding Copyright © 2008 by Zondervan. Excerpted by permission.
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