January 1st: Genesis 1-2:3 tells us about God’s work in creating our universe. We can draw much from this beginning (Genesis means “beginning”). Today, notice the connection between God speaking and reality forming. Whenever God speaks desire for something new, we find out “and it was so” (Gen 1:3,6,9,11,14,24). For us, desire, speaking, and action don’t always go hand in hand. For God, whatever He wills and speaks, happens. It is no surprise, then, that the person who dwells on and holds fast to God’s words is made like a tree that always bears fruit (Psalm 1:1-3). God’s words give life, strength, and newness. When the Son of God came to earth, the nature of God’s words clarified Jesus’ identity: Jesus Himself would be called the “Word of God” (John 1:1-11). Jesus, God’s ultimate Word, brings life, strength, and a new creation into our world. Even in Genesis we begin to see hints of Jesus’ existence and arrival (note the “our image” when God speaks in Genesis 1:26-27). Truly, for God to speak is for God to create goodness—in the first Genesis and in the new Genesis coming through Jesus. May we hold fast to the words of God and His Word, focusing on both in 2017-2018.