This week we continue on in the beginning of Genesis, with the story moving from the beauty of God’s new creation to what then goes wrong in the world. Adam and Eve make their defining choice of disobedience, and the world descends further into broken tragedy. The creation which started so pure and beautiful, has been willfully corrupted. The relationship between God and mankind is changed, and although the consequences are serious, I was struck while reading by the mention of God making clothes for Adam and Eve when they feel the shame of their nakedness. We are reminded of of God’s gentleness, and his ongoing heart for humanity. God does no give up on us, but reveals His heart of mercy by persevering and working to save the what good is left from destruction.
We also start this week with the final snapshot from Hebrews 13: the exhortation to love and to stay close to the Lord in all things and be encouraged that our God is always with us. Just as God has never abandoned us, we are called to stay true to the gospel and allow our hearts to be strengthened by grace.
As we move into the start of 1 Timothy, we get some insight on Paul and Timothy’s relationship. Paul looks out for Timothy in both his faith and his leadership, and we see how much he loves Timothy, referring to him as his son. Paul shows vulnerability as he speaks of his own experience of God’s great mercy and grace in his own life, and gives Timothy the challenge of staying true to the gospel, along with a whole bunch of practical instructions.
Some things to ponder this week:
1. In the more familiar Genesis narrative this week, try to spot and meditate on something you haven’t noticed before. This is our first introduction to God in the Bible – who is he?
2. Hebrews 13 says that God will equip us with good things to do his will. Reflect on how God has equipped you, and what has he been using you for recently.
3. Paul is keenly invested in all Timothy is doing, and is on hand to pray and give advice. Is there someone who has this role in your life? If there is – thank God for them and pray for them! If not, think about who might be a good fit for you in this mentoring role – pray that God would provide, and be brave in asking.