Journey Church
Awe - Week 1 Bible Reading Plan
Locations & Times
  • Journey Church
    3500 Spring Forest Rd, Raleigh, NC 27616, USA
    Saturday 11:00 PM
Welcome to week one of the ‘Awe’ Reading Plan.
Welcome to week one of the ‘Awe’ Reading Plan. Our hope and prayer over the next six weeks is to introduce you (or, maybe reintroduce you) to the God of the Universe through the truth of the Bible. Although we won’t be able to get into all the details of the Bible, we believe that if you commit to reading for the next 42 days, you’ll have a good overview of God’s story from beginning to end. In addition, if you stay with it, it will not only be worth your time, but it may just renew your sense of awe for the God who created you.
“In the beginning, God created.” The Bible begins with five very powerful, intentional words. It sets in motion the greatest story ever told. A lot of people get caught up in the argument of whether or not God really created the world in six literal days. But where you land on that discussion is beside the point. The real focus of today’s reading, and the creation story in general, is not necessarily the creation as much as it is the Creator, God. He has always existed, and from nothing He created and designed everything that is. Just think about that for a moment. There isn’t one beautiful thing that you see, hear, or experience that God didn’t first see in His mind and then create. As if that was not enough, He created man and woman, the pinnacle of His creation, in His own image. As we’ll see in the coming days, our tendency is to mess with His design. We tend to work hard on creating our own image, don’t we? We buy certain clothes, we carry ourselves a certain way, we spend time on how we look, AND we decide what we will and won’t do with our lives. We often ignore that, by design, we were created in the image of God to reflect Him into the world and bring Him glory with our lives. Take a moment today to thank God for His creation, for the gift of life, and commit to reflect Him well today.
God had a perfect design for Adam and Eve, the man and woman He created, just as He has a perfect design for you and I. But, sometimes we like to twist God’s design and God’s words to serve our own purposes. From our reading today, we learn that it didn’t just start with us. We are introduced to the enemy of God, and thus the enemy of His creation. Satan, the deceiver, makes his entrance into the story as a serpent questioning the design of God by tempting Eve, and then Adam, to question whether or not God really had their best interest at heart. They decided God did not. They chose to reject God and his design, and sin entered the world. Sin means to miss the mark,’ and the mark we have missed is God’s design for image bearers. Adam and Eve missed it, passed that on to their kids, and mankind has been missing the mark ever since. Today, we still miss the mark. We often decide that we know better than God, forgetting that He is the Creator and Designer. Today, surrender to the Creator and to His design. The way He created us to live will yield the greatest gain, not only for you, but for those around you. Ultimately, it will please your Creator and bring Him glory.
As we open the pages of the Bible for today’s reading, we are introduced to Adam’s family line. Through them, people began to fill the earth. But, as we learned yesterday, the desire of all people to live outside the design that God created for them also filled the earth. In fact, things got so bad that God made the move to limit the number of days and years a man would live saying, “I’m not going to contend with men forever.” Worse, God even states that He “regretted that He made man!” In other words, God felt this deep sense of sorrow that man had chosen to operate outside His perfect design for them. When we look around, or turn on the television, we see a lot of things we would characterize as deeply wrong. And, if we are honest, we don’t have to look beyond the mirror to see a key contributor to what’s wrong in the world. In spite of all that’s wrong in us and around us, we have a loving God who is long-suffering with us. That doesn't mean He overlooks what is wrong, but He is willing to do something about it. He walks with us, calling us back to His design for us. We see a glimpse of the mercy of God in today’s reading. Although God wipes out the entire population with a flood, He sustains life through a man named Noah. It is a picture of a far greater rescue to come later, as the story of God unfolds. Today, take a moment to thank God for the love, grace, and mercy that He shows us when we fall short of His perfect design for us.
Have you ever been asked to do something that made absolutely no sense at all? Maybe you ended up doing it, but only because you trusted the person who was asking you. As we learned in yesterday’s reading, mankind had become so evil, and God’s design had become so distorted, that God basically decided to hit the reset button. In all the world, only Noah found favor in God’s sight, but that favor came with some crazy directions. God wanted him to build a boat the size of a cruise ship to shelter he and his family from rain...enough rain to flood the earth. As crazy as it sounds, Noah responded, and did exactly what God asked Him to do. Sometimes in our lives, doing the right thing seems crazy because it goes against what everyone around us is doing. Today, as God is speaking to you through His word, commit to trust Him, even if it means going against the tide of what everyone is saying and doing around you.
God never forgets us. Never. Sometimes it may feel like He is distant, or even absent, but He never leaves us. When God flooded the earth, Noah and his family spent one year on the ark. This wasn’t a cruise ship where they could walk around, enjoy the ocean, and have a cocktail as they watched the sunset. That’s a whole year shoulder-to-shoulder with family and two of every kind of animal on earth (can you imagine!?). Do you think, at some point during that year, Noah and his family questioned whether or not God knew what He was doing? Was He actually in control? Would He, could He, make good on His word? Sometimes in our lives, we are left to wonder if God is going to come through. He will, just as He did with Noah. Afterwards, God promised Noah that no matter how bad it got, He would never again destroy the world by a flood. We are reminded of God’s promise every time we see a rainbow. Surely mankind learned its lesson from the flood event, right? No such luck. Soon after the flood, as the population began to grow, mankind again decided to act independently of God. That is sometimes true of us, isn’t it? We experience God’s faithfulness, only to quickly forget and go back to life as usual, as if He isn’t in control. Today, thank God for His faithfulness and goodness to you, ask Him to help you keep the right perspective, and then commit yourself to His leading in your life.
Today, and tomorrow, we take a quick break from the creation story and jump into the New Testament. In politics, it is almost always the case that elected officials take office and promptly blame their predecessors for all the problems they have been charged to address. In fact, many campaigns for election consist of promises to ‘fix’ everything that the current administration has broken or has not been able to fix. In today’s reading, we confront the reality that we inherited a problem from Adam, a sin nature. Unfortunately, though, we can’t just blame him for it and move on. We don’t have to read far into Genesis to see that man’s natural tendency is to go against the design that God has for us. We sin every day because sin is in our very nature. However, we see through our reading today that the sin nature we inherited from Adam isn’t the end of the story. We are not hopeless because we can be set free from that nature by Jesus. As we continue our journey through the Bible, we’ll see over and over again that all paths eventually lead us to Jesus. Each week, we will help you make the connections, so that you can see how God has always intended for you to live in relationship with Him through Jesus. Today, thank God for creating a way through Jesus for you to be right with Him and to be free from the chains of sin.
Addicts often talk about their addiction as a disease. They will usually admit they are powerless over it, and while they don’t always understand why they do what they do, they know that their disease has the power to ruin relationships, and other parts of their lives. They get stuck doing harmful things, all while knowing it will cause problems. That sounds an awful lot like the sin nature we are all born with. In today’s reading, The Apostle Paul tells us about his own struggles in the battle with sin. Like us, he knows what is right, but that knowing doesn’t keep him from doing what is wrong. Sound familiar? Paul reminds us today that if we have a relationship with Jesus, He gifts us His Holy Spirit so that we can draw our strength and ability from Him to overcome sin. We are not trapped or enslaved to a life of sin. Through Jesus, we have the power to live by God’s design. Today, confess the sin that plagues you, ask for Jesus to forgive you, and ask for the indwelling Spirit of God to help you walk victoriously over your sin.