Genesis 1:1-2:25 ~ Matthew 1:1-2:12 ~ Psalm 1:1-6 ~ Proverbs 1:1-6
Today is January 1st. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian. It’s great to be here with you, beginning a brand new year. So we have stepped across the threshold and here we are, the year 2017 all sparkly and shiny and waiting for us to live into. One of the ways we’ll do that is set a rhythm for ourselves, the rhythm of the scripture every day in our lives for the next year. So to many of you, welcome back. Here we go again. Here we are at this amazing new beginning called a new year. And then to many of you, welcome. Welcome! Glad that a friend or, I don’t know, an Internet search or whatever it was in your life that brought you to this place. Welcome! Over the next few days I’ll just begin unpacking little things about the Daily Audio Bible. It takes kind of a week to kind of understand everything that is going on. But the one thing that is centrally going on, no matter what, is this rhythm of the scripture each and every day.
So let’s dive in. Since this is the first day of the year, we’re beginning everything new and we’ll read from some of the Old Testament, some of the New, some Psalms, some Proverbs each day as this rhythm continues taking us through the entire Bible in a year. Every time we start a new book, we’ll kind of do a little fly-over about what it is, where it is going, how it fits into the biblical narrative, but since we’re starting four books today, we’ll just kind of unpack those over time too. So we’ll begin with the book of Genesis.
Introduction of a New Book (Old Testament)
Genesis is not only the first book of the Bible, it is also the first book in a series of books known as the Pentateuch. The Pentateuch is comprised of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy. Genesis doesn’t specifically reveal its author, but it has traditionally been attributed to Moses. Obviously, Moses wasn’t alive in the beginning to be an eyewitness writer of this, so it is believed that Moses, as a new society was being formed, a people coming out of slavery and being reformed by God in the wilderness (we’ll get to all of that), collected all of the oral tradition, all of it together, as well as the law that was being given by God. He collected it together as the Torah or the Pentateuch. Even Jesus believed these were the books of Moses.
Now when we consider the book of Genesis, we consider it to be the beginning of the creation story, the origin of man. All of this is a key part of Genesis. Genesis covers more history than any other book in the whole Bible. About 2500 years are covered in the book of Genesis alone. Actually, Genesis covers more time than the rest of the Old Testament put together. So we’ll start at the creation and go all the way until the children of Israel arrive in Egypt and grow into a mass of people that are becoming a nation. So inside the first 11 chapters of Genesis, we’ll cover a couple thousand years and a couple thousand miles and then we’ll slow things down and cover a couple hundred years to the end of the book.
So we begin for this brand new year reading from the New Living Translation this week, Genesis chapter 1 verse 1 through 2:25.
Alright, so right here at the beginning, the first day of the year we come out of the gate quickly and cover some serious ground that lays the groundwork for everywhere we will go this entire year. So we begin in the beginning, God created, a Creator Father hovered over this world and crafted it. And at the end of this unparalleled act of artistry, this masterpiece of creating an entire world that is in perfect harmony, every nuance balanced and pleasing, he did something remarkable. He created a species of being that was made after his own image. And he breathed his own life into this being that was created after his own image and it became humanity.
What we get a glimpse of right here on the first day is how we got here, but also a look into what a perfect world looked like before anything bad ever happened. So we get to look back across time at the way things were supposed to be for us. That is an important juxtaposition based on all the things that will happen next in the Bible, but all we have to do is spin in a 360-degree circle and see the world as it is and compare that with the perfection of the world as it was created and we can see the contrast. We’ll learn all about how we got here and our role in the redemption of this place that we live in as we go through the Bible. But the book of Genesis gives us a glimpse, a glimpse not only of our origin, but a glimpse into a time of perfection. This perfection would later be given a word, a term: Shalom, which means wholeness, the peace and order of God in all things, at all times, in all places. This is a glimpse into that.
Then we move into the book of Matthew and begin the New Testament and yes, we begin with these genealogies. These are people that we are going to get to know. The genealogy of Jesus also gives us this very, very quick glimpse into some storylines that we’re going to be following and some people that we’re going to be meeting and seeing how this whole story is a story of God coming to earth in person to redeem something that was broken but something that he would not abandon, humanity. This image of God that was created by God and his breath was given to it, he would not abandon that to its fallenness. He came for us. So this is where we begin in the New Testament.
Father, we thank you for bringing us to this day, this day that no matter how long we’ve had a relationship with the scriptures, is this day a brand new day, a brand new beginning. So we invite your Holy Spirit to speak through your word into the deepest places of our lives, informing how we are to live and shaping us from the inside out as we learn of our own story. Because that is what we will learn this year, our own story. It will become much more apparent and vivid as we see it in the lives of our forbearers. As we see the choices that they make and where those roads lead, you will offer us the choice, the fork in the road at every turn in our own lives. So come Holy Spirit, we invite you into this year. We thank you for bringing us safely to this year and we place our trust and our hope in you for this year. Come Jesus, we ask in your precious name, amen.
Www.DailyAudioBible.com – that is the website. That is where you find out what is going on around here. If you’ve been here for a while, you know a lot of this stuff, but to the thousands of you who are tuning in for the first time today, welcome! What you have found is definitely a way to get through the Bible in a year, but a whole community, hundreds of thousands of people wrapped around the world in every culture, on every spot of the globe is here. We affectionately call this the Global Campfire. It’s just always burning because there is always someone listening to the spoken word of God here at the Daily Audio Bible. As we go through the next week or so, we’ll just start unpacking the different things, ways to connect, what everything is about, how everything works. So over the course of a week, we’ll kind of find the rhythm where you know everything that is going on, how it works, and how to engage.
Probably the first thing that I should talk about, at least today, is what the Daily Audio Bible family of programs contains. So you’re listening to the Daily Audio Bible. This is going through the entire Bible in a year in community read fresh every single day, and we’ll take this journey together every day this year. But if you have the Daily Audio Bible App or you’re listening on the online player, you’ll notice there are other programs.
The Daily Audio Proverb is one chapter of the book of Proverbs every day, going through the entire book of Proverbs in a month and you can go through the book of Proverbs 12 times in a year if you want. The thing about the Proverbs and what makes that an important choice is that this is the wisdom of the ages that has stood the test of time. The book of Proverbs is revered as one of the most beautiful pieces of literature, whether you’re religious or not, of all time. It has stood the test of time. So when you are listening to a chapter of Proverbs, you are pouring unfiltered wisdom, the wisdom of the ages into your life in practical ways. If you do that every day, and it’s about five minutes a day, yeah, you will be becoming wise.
Then there is the Daily Audio Bible Psalm – a psalm a day. That just takes a few minutes as well. A lot of people go to Proverbs for wisdom and they go to Psalms for comfort, to put words to things they are feeling inside. Psalms is like Proverbs, one of the most respected pieces of literature, whether you are religious or not, in all of the world. But it speaks to the human condition. It faces humanity in all of its nuance and fallenness and struggle, but also all of its joy and transcendence as well. So that is Daily Audio Bible Psalm.
There is Daily Audio Bible for Kids. If you’ve got kids in your family or in your life, this is going through the New Testament in a year for kids.
There is Daily Audio Bible Teen, which my daughter China has been reading almost as long as I have, just three years short of me, and she is going through the Bible chronologically this year at Daily Audio Bible Teen, so you can check that out.
There is Daily Audio Bible in Espanol – so a whole team, both in Nicaragua and in Texas moving through the entire Bible just like the Daily Audio Bible only in Spanish. So if Spanish is your native tongue, you may want to check that out. There is Daily Audio Bible Proverbios, which is the Spanish version of the Proverb a day. There is Daily Audio Bible Salmos, which is the Psalms in Spanish per day.
Then there is Daily Audio Bible Japanese, Daily Audio Bible Arabic, Daily Audio Bible in French, and the French team also has the Proverbs per day and the Psalms per day. There is also Daily Audio Bible in Portuguese and Daily Audio Bible Chinese.
So these teams and communities are beginning today in their languages just like we are here in English, so you can check those out.
Now, I mentioned the website and I said this is where you find out what is going on around here. It is. Check it out. Look around. You’ll find out everything you want to know about the Daily Audio Bible and all kinds of ways to connect and everything that is going on, things that I’ll kind of be going over the next few days. I’m just going to take it a little piece at a time, get us moved into the year without taking a lot of time every day. So yeah, check it out.
Now, friends, welcome back. Those of you who were here for last year or have been here for years, I know it was just yesterday, but when we step over into a new year, it is this incredible feeling of newness, this refresh, this restart, and in so many of the areas that can be a struggle in life, it is this fresh start.
Those of you who are brand new today, who are like yeah, I was moving between Christmas and New Year thinking about the things you wanted to change in your life and spirituality was one of those things and kind of found this through a Facebook post from a friend or just looking around and saw this and thought, ‘oh, I’ll check this out,’ welcome. Really, we’ve been waiting for you. We’ve been praying for you. I mean, that might sound odd, but it is true. We’ve been waiting and praying for you and what you’re going to find here is just a community of people. You can dive in as much or as little as you want. We’re just here. There is a beautiful community here that shoulders each other’s burdens and that has just grown up over the last 11 years that we’ve been doing this. The Daily Audio Bible has been read fresh every day for 11 years, seven days a week all over the world, so we welcome you.
Here’s the deal. I encourage you to take a look in the mirror today. At some point today just take a long look in the mirror. Look into your own eyes. Look at your countenance. Look at your face. Consider your life right now. Consider where it is. Consider the struggles, the challenges, the things that you’ve overcome, the things that you were victorious in. Just think about where your life is and you may be here gasping. Life can be nothing like you thought it was going to be and it could have been a really hard year. 2016 was a really hard year for a lot of people around the world, myself included. So you could have come crawling here and it has just been a mess and you’re just trying to find some little strand of hope that tomorrow could possibly be better than today. You have come to the right place. But it is not going to look like you think, because transformation that begins to happen from the inside out actually begins to happen from the inside first before it spills outward.
So often we’re looking for the exterior changes, thinking that is going to fix what is inside. The Bible works in the reverse. The Bible works from the inside out. If you stick with this for a week, you will start feeling that change. You stick with it for a month, and you will know what I’m saying. If you go through the entire year and work your way through the entire Bible in community, well then go back and look in the mirror again. Go back and look in the mirror again on December 31st of this year, 2017, and you will see a different person. The way you look at the world, the way you look at your life and the circumstances that are in your life will be different. There will be a different kind of alignment. The things that are the most important and critical will have been moved to the top and all of those things that were kind of pulling you apart and tearing you down, they will be put into proper alignment in your life.
So look in the mirror today. Maybe even take a selfie and do the same at the end of this year and look at the change in you. It really doesn’t matter how you got here, it is just important that you did. Someday you’ll look back and see that you were on a collision course with God’s word for a long time, that God had been there all along, pulling you forward. Things will change. Things are about to change. You cannot keep the scriptures, the word of God, something that is alive and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword that can pierce to the level of where soul and spirit are divided, what sword could you hold in your hand that can do that? What we’re talking about here is something that speaks to our identity at the deepest level. Having that in your life every day changes you.
So welcome! It doesn’t matter what happened yesterday. This is today. It doesn’t matter what happened last week or last month or any of last year, no matter how the road twisted and turned. It doesn’t matter how you got here. You’re here. It’s a fresh start. It’s a brand new year. Everything is wiped clean, shiny, sparkly and we get to choose what it is going to look like. We do that with the choices we make each day, moment by moment, day by day. The choices that we make create the life that we live in the world around us. We have a role to play in that. Life isn’t something that is happening to us. We are happening to it and we get to choose what that looks like.
So it doesn’t matter how you got here, you did. Well done. Welcome. It is going to be an amazing journey. It will be the journey of a lifetime to take the trip through the Bible in a year. So welcome back or welcome home. Either way, may the rhythm of the scriptures become the rhythm of our lives and may the rhythm of our lives be the beating of our hearts as we move intentionally toward wholeness and shalom, toward that glimpse that we got in the book of Genesis today to a time that was as it should be, a life in collaboration with God. This is the offer of the gospel – that we are reunited and what has been irreversibly broken can be made whole again.
SONG played on today’s DAB “Heartbeat” The Waiting Kind http://apple.co/2hjXmqm