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January 2

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“Did God really say…?” (Genesis 3:1 HCSB).

From: January 2, 2021


The first temptation by the serpent was to question God’s Word. Not to understand it, but to challenge its veracity. Notice Satan’s use of the word, “really.” He did not ask, “Did God say?” He asked did God “reeeally” say. By inserting this one little word he planted a seed of doubt in Eve’s mind. His evil strategy hasn’t changed. Satan still tempts people to question the “reality” of God’s Word.
To be clear though, is it wrong to question God’s Word? No, not if our purpose is to ask questions for understanding. Indeed, it’s important to come to the Bible with a journalist’s tools, asking, “who, what, when, where, and how” questions of the text for deeper understanding. Even asking “why” questions too, though they are usually more difficult to hear or discover an answer to.
But let us not question the truth of God’s Word. For that leads to death, as our first parents soon learned.
PRAYER: Dear Father, thank You for Your Word. We want to read it everyday and learn how You want us to live. We ask questions of it for deeper understanding, but we do question its truth. Fill us afresh with Your Spirit that we might know and understand Your Word. And even more, that we might obey it. In Jesus’ name, amen.

‘And Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and named him Seth, “For God has appointed another seed for me instead of Abel, whom Cain killed.”’ (Genesis 4:25 NKJV).

From: January 2, 2020


Eve must have received a word from the Lord concerning her third son. For she named him “Seth,” which means “appointed.” By faith she named him as the appointed “seed” that replaced her righteous son Abel, whom her firstborn Cain had killed. How filled with grief she must have been when she lost not one, but two sons. One murdered, and the other driven away from her by his murderous sin. How she must have felt responsible for this loss, since she had been the one deceived by the serpent.
But God in His great grace, appointed another “seed” for her. The language here is unmistakable. For Eve had not forgotten what the Lord had said to the serpent, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel” (Gen. 3:15). The Lord would keep His promise through the “appointed seed” of Seth. The Messiah would one day born into his holy line.
From the time of Cain until the time of Herod, the seed of the serpent has sought to kill the Seed of the woman. But God appointed Jesus, the Righteous Seed, who was “bruised for our iniquities” (Isa. 53:5), crucified, buried, and raised on the third day to set us free from the power of Satan (Rom. 16:20, Heb. 2:14) and give us eternal life. Jesus Christ is the Appointed One, the Son of God and the Son of Man. Jesus is the Promised Seed (Gal. 3:16) born in the line of Seth, just as God promised Eve.
PRAYER: Dear Father, thank You that You always keep Your promises. Even from the beginning, You have promised redemption for those who would place their faith in You and in Your Son, Jesus. How wonderful is the story of Your grace and mercy! We shall one day join with the saints of old and tell of Your great acts and wondrous love as the ages roll on. Until then, keep us and strengthen us for Your work. In Jesus’ name, amen.

“Why are the nations so angry? Why do they waste their time with futile plans? The kings of the earth prepare for battle; the rulers plot together against the Lord and against his anointed one” (Psalms 2:1-2 NLT).

From: January 2, 2019


The Spirit inspired David to write these verses concerning the futility of the world’s kingdoms conspiring against the Lord and against His “anointed one” (מָשִׁיחַ, mashiyach), which is the Messiah, the Christ. Centuries later, the Spirit inspired the early Christians to pray these verses back to God after Peter and John had been jailed and warned by the Sanhedrin to stop teaching in the name of Jesus. In their prayer, they identified Pilate and Herod along with the Gentiles and Jewish leaders as conspiring against the Lord’s anointed one, Jesus, just as the Spirit had revealed to David (Acts 4:23-31). When they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken and they went out and preached the Word boldly.
PRAYER: Lord, help us not only to read and hear Your Word, but also to pray it and preach it. And not just in dry understanding, but empowered by the Spirit, so that we and those around us are shaken by Your presence. And let us not be afraid when the world’s kings and nations conspire and prepare for battle, knowing that their plans are futile, but Yours are perfect and eternal. Now, send us out again with Your Word and Spirit, in the name of Your Anointed One, Jesus, we pray. Amen.

“The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness” (Genesis 3:6-7 NLT).

From: January 2, 2018

Genesis 3 tells the story of what the poet, John Milton called, “Paradise Lost.” For Adam and Eve gave in to the three-fold temptation of eating the forbidden fruit. Notice the three observations that Eve makes of the forbidden fruit: 1) It was “beautiful” to the eyes, 2) it looked like it would taste “delicious,” and 3) the serpent had promised it would make her wise “like God.” At the very “moment” of eating the fruit, humanity’s innocence was lost and so was paradise.
The apostle John recognized this three-fold weakness of humanity. He wrote, “For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world” (1 John 2:16).
Yet, Jesus Christ, as the “second Adam” (1 Cor. 15:45-49), has overcome this three-fold temptation (see Matt. 4:1-11). So, that when we are found in Christ, we are overcomers too (1 John 5:5).

“And as for Seth, to him also a son was born; and he named him Enosh. Then men began to call on the name of the Lord” (Genesis 4:26 NKJV).

From: January 2, 2017

After Adam and Eve’s firstborn son, Cain, slew their son, Abel, they must have despaired of ever seeing the son of promise (see Gen. 3:15) being born to them. Cain’s fratricide had essentially denied them both of their sons. Yet, God “appointed” another son to be born to Eve, and she named him Seth. And to Seth a son was born that he named “Enosh.” The name “Enosh” means “man,” as in “mankind” or “human.” It was to this line, the line of Seth and Enosh, that the promised Messiah would someday be born, who also would be called the “Son of Man” (In Aramaic, “Bar-Enosh,” see Daniel 7:13). And it was this line of Enosh that “began to call on the name of the Lord” in prayer and worship. The doctrines of the creation and of the fall have been introduced, and now the doctrine of salvation begins to unfold. The Bible covers many topics, but it is primarily a love story of God’s redemption of humanity (“enosh”) through His Son Jesus, the Son of Man (“Bar-Enosh”). The entire Old Testament is preparation for this promised Son that would be revealed in the New. Look for Him on every page. Christ and the gospel are the lens through which the Bible is rightly understood. Finding Him there, we join those who call on the Name of the Lord.

“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” (Genesis 3:15 ESV)

From: January 2, 2016

Even within the curse of sin, God gave a promise. Some have called Gen. 3:15 the “protoevangelium,” the “first good news,” because it speaks of an “offspring” of the woman that will “bruise” the head of the serpent. That this promised “offspring” or literally, “seed,” will come through the woman foreshadows the virgin birth of Christ, as women have no “seed.” That this one should be bruised of the serpent (or Satan), points to his suffering on the cross. But that the serpent’s head shall be bruised of him, points to his ultimate victory over evil through the resurrection. God removed humanity from the garden because of their sin, but He left them with a promise that one of their descendants would save them from their sin. In Christ, God has kept that promise.

“…that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying, ‘Out of Egypt I called My Son’” (Matthew 2:15b NKJV)

From: January 2, 2015

Some have asked why are there four gospels? The answer is uncertain, but clearly, each gospel has a unique perspective and purpose. Matthew shows us Jesus the King, Mark describes Him as Servant, Luke sees the Man, and John leads us to worship Jesus as God. In our Matthew reading today there are many references to “fulfilled” prophecies. Matthew is the most concerned to point these out to us. He clearly wrote to a Jewish audience and wanted to give them confidence that Jesus was the true Messiah and the rightful born King in the line of David. The lineage Matthew records in chapter one is to establish legal right to the throne through His adoptive father, Joseph (Whereas, Luke records Mary’s lineage, establishing Jesus’ biological connection to the house of David). In Matthew’s gospel, Jesus is presented as a child living in a house in Bethlehem to which Magi bring Him gifts fit for a king (While in Luke, He is a lowly infant born in a manger). In Matthew 2:15, he quotes from the prophet Hosea (Hos.11:1) explaining His connection to Egypt. In Matthew chapter two alone there are four Messianic prophecies mentioned to point out how Christ fulfilled them.
Why did Matthew write His gospel? I believe the Spirit inspired him to organize his gospel, so that we might see Jesus as the One who fulfilled every Old Testament prophecy to be recognized as the Christ, the Son of David, the Son God and the King of Kings.

“Fear of the Lord is the foundation of true knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline” (Proverbs 1:7)

From: January 2, 2014

The one who reads and studies Proverbs is promised wisdom. What is the foundation of this understanding? The fear of the Lord. In Matthew 10:28, Jesus said not to fear those who can only kill the body, but instead to fear the One who can send both body and soul to hell. For those who have received Jesus, the fear of judgment and hell is removed. Yet, the fear of God’s holy displeasure is not. As His children we want to please the Father. We “fear” (respect, honor) Him so much that we do not want to leave any sin unconfessed. The fool however, has not learned this healthy fear.

“He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” (Genesis 3:1)

From: January 2, 2013

The first temptation by the serpent was to question God’s Word. His evil strategy hasn’t changed. It’s not enough to know the Word, we must also believe it. Let’s counter today’s culture of biblical illiteracy and doubt. Read, know and believe God’s Word.

“You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master” (Genesis 4:7)

From: January 2, 2012

Good advice for a new year. Sin is crouching like a lion ready to pounce. Be ready to fight temptation. We are in a battle, put on the full armor of God!