I grew up in the church. I fell in love with Jesus the summer before I started high school, and I was baptized two days after my 20th birthday.
But life isn’t easy. One of my favorite Scriptures is Psalm 118:17 where it says, “I shall not die, but I shall live, and recount the deeds of the Lord.”
Whenever I am having a bad day, or just get in a funk, going back to the beginning helps me like nothing else.
And I have had a lot of bad day’s lately. So, I thought that’s what we could do today. Just go back to the beginning and recount the deeds of the Lord.
In The Beginning…
In Genesis we read about the way God created the world. From the deepest valley to the highest mountain, God created them all. He spoke them into existence.
He created the animals, the birds, the fish in the sea, everything.
And then He created man in His image.
That’s one of the most amazing things to me. The God who created the sunsets looked at the world He created and knew it wasn’t complete without us.
God didn’t need to create mankind, but He wanted us. 1 John 4:8 says “God is love” – that’s why He created us. He created us to love us.
Jeremiah 31:3 says God loves us with an everlasting love.
And the end of John 17:24 tells us that He loved us before the foundation of the world.
We have a God that loves us beyond measure.
We Rejected the Love of Jesus
When He first created Adam and Eve in the garden, they had such an amazing relationship with Jesus. He literally walked in the garden with them. They had a face to face, real-as-life relationship with the One who created them.
But God loves us so much that He created us with free will, because a forced love is no love at all.
Adam and Eve took advantage of that free will and rejected the love of God. They let Satan get a foothold and they questioned whether God really wanted what was best for them. In doing so, they questioned His love for them.
Thus, we were separated from God in a way we never had been before. Adam and Eve chose to reject God’s love, and we, as a human race, have been doing so ever since.
But God didn’t look at us, shake His head and walk away.
First, He clothed Adam and Eve. Yes, there was a punishment, but there was also a provision. He let them know that even though there was a consequence for their sin, He still loved them.
And not just them. But their sin was also the beginning of something new.
God’s Love is Unending
God started wooing the people He made in His image back to Him.
His love for us is unconditional.
Psalm 136:26 says, “Give thanks to the God of heaven, for His steadfast love endures forever.”
Adam and Eve started a domino effect that has rippled through humankind for all time. Romans 3:23 explains it by saying, “all have sinned and fall short the glory of God.”
But you probably know what comes next.
John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”
And Romans 5:8 says, “God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”
Yet too often that’s where we stop.
Jesus is the Gift that Keeps on Giving
We know Jesus died for us, we accept that we are sinners in need of a Savior, maybe we even get baptized, but then we assume we’re good. We just get on with our lives as normal.
But the gospel isn’t a once and done event, it’s an all the time, every moment of every day thing. When we accept Jesus as our Savior, we acknowledge Him as the Lord of our lives and start a relationship with Him that lasts for all eternity.
It’s true that once we are covered by the blood of Christ, nothing can pluck us from His hands. But being in His hands is life changing because it restores that relationship we were meant to have with Him from the very beginning.
The Gospel Changes Everything
When we surrender our lives to Christ, we lean into His love for us. And that changes everything.
- It changes the way we feel about ourselves – because we were created in God’s image, and we are loved with an everlasting love. We are God’s workmanship, created with a purpose.
- It changes the way we look at other people – because they were created in God’s image just as much as we were, and God loves them just as much as He loves us.
- It changes the way we handle failure – because we know that our sins are covered by the blood of Christ.
- It changes the way we view death – because we know this world isn’t all there is.
- It changes the way we define success.
- It changes the way we spend our time.
- It changes the way we raise our children.
- It changes the way we manage our money.
- It changes the way we speak.
- It changes the way we see the world around us.
- It changes our priorities.
It literally changes everything.
But at the same time, it changes nothing.
Jesus Isn’t A Genie In A Bottle
When Jesus comes into our lives the world stays the same.
We still have to go back to the same job. We still have the same family. The same friends. The same life.
And Satan would love nothing more than to use those things that stay the same to make us question the reality of God’s love for us. Or to question the significance of the gospel. I mean, did anything really change if everything seems the same?
Because life is hard and being a Christian doesn’t change that.
Jesus is God with Us
But being a Christian means we no longer have to face this world alone.
- When we don’t get our to do list done, we can trust that God’s timing is perfect.
- When we feel alone and unloved, we can know that God loves us and is with us. He is the God who sees us, even when no one else does.
- When our heart is breaking, we can have faith that God heals the brokenhearted.
- When we are weak, we can trust that God is strong.
- When we wonder how we are every going to make it through, we can know that God is Jehovah-Jireh, which means “The Lord will provide”
- When it seems like all hope is lost, we can turn to the One who gives hope to the hopeless.
- He is Jehovah-Shammah, The Lord who is present. He will never leave us for forsake us.
- Jehovah-Rapha, the Lord our Healer
- Jehovah-Shalom, The Lord our peace.
- He is our Adoni – Our Lord.
He is Yahweh – The great I AM; our everything. The alpha and omega. The beginning and the end.
So, no matter what we are going through, no matter what life brings us, we can face it because of Jesus.
Recounting the Deeds of the Lord
Over and over again in the Psalms, David recounts the deeds of the Lord. He looks back over what God has done in the lives of the Israelites. But what about you? Do you ever recount the deeds of the Lord?
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