What did you start doing in January, and have you kept it up? Just like gym memberships for many, the first 10 chapters of Genesis are often the most read during the first month of the year. Unfortunately, few get past Leviticus and Numbers, which are usually the Bible passages for February.
In Genesis we read of the perfect picture of an intimate relationship with God and his creation. We read that God walked in the garden with Adam and Eve in the cool of the day. What an amazing thought – God dwelling with his creation, not distant and absent.
Who do you have in your world that, when you spend time with them, you feel good. Who are your encouragers? You need encouraging. We all do. When was the last time you felt encouraged?
The apostle Paul, in Philippians 2:1-4 writes this to the church:
“Therefore, if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. “
Encouragement comes from unity. Firstly, united with Christ; but also, being like-minded and united with others. We read also in Genesis that, when sin entered the garden, unity was broken. The relationship between God and his creation was changed. We must too be on guard for when sin can cause us to break relationships with others. Paul gives us encouragement as to how to avoid such pain:
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
This week, let us search our hearts for times when we have put our own thoughts, desires and needs above that of others. Let us also look for as many opportunities as possible to connect and encourage those around us, towards faith and good deeds.