Generous HeartsHave you ever been the recipient of someone else’s generosity?
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When God Speaks
I will [create] you into a great nation (v.2).
I’m no gardener. The surest way to kill your flowers
or vegetable plants is to ask me to care for them.
So I marvel at those who are gifted at working with
all things green and growing. Some gardeners have a
practice (whether it is superstition or has merit, I can’t
say) of talking to their plants. They’ll lean over their
azaleas, daffodils, or young sprouts and whisper, chat
. . . even sing. They insist that their words spur growth.
The Bible regularly presents God as one whose words
bring things to life. In Genesis, humanity’s early history
is ugly. Repeated human rebellion leads to the desolate
admission that Abram and Sarai have no children. Sarai
is barren. Humanity, as a result of their attempts to make
life on their own, is desolate.
As Walter Brueggemann put it, “This family (and with
it the whole family of Genesis 1–11) has played out its
future and has nowhere else to go. Barrenness is the
way of human history. It is an effective metaphor for
hopelessness. There is no foreseeable future. There is no
human power to invent a future.”
Then, the story turns with these simple words: “The
Lord . . . said . . .” (12:1). God spoke into the barrenness
and chaos. It was as if He said, You’ve done your best,
and this is where it has gotten you—now step aside.
Still early in the Genesis story, these words remind us
of another time God spoke into darkness and chaos.
Before God began to create, the “earth was formless and empty, and darkness
covered the deep waters.” Into nothing, “God said . . . ”
God spoke and light erupted, vegetation blossomed, humans appeared. This
is still what happens whenever God speaks.
Read Mark 5:35. How did most of the people respond to Jesus’
words? How did Jairus’ daughter respond to Jesus’ words?
What is the barren place in your life right now? What do you sense God
is speaking into that place?
- Generous Hearts - Have you ever been the recipient of someone else’s generosity?...read more
- Persecuted but Growing - Have you ever seen God use something negative or discouraging to accomplish something amazing?...read more
- Autumn Moments - What season of life are you in right now?...read more
- Where Love Flourishes - How does the love of a man and woman united in Christ reflect the love God has for us?...read more
- You're Needed - How are you serving the body of Christ?...read more
- Not Coming Back - How does Jesus’ sacrificial example inspire you today?...read more
- Everything Matters - In God’s vision for the world, everything matters....read more
- Valid! - Our value comes from God in whose image we all have been created....read more
- Cupcake Face - Do you have a sin in your life you’ve been trying to hide from God?...read more
- Four Views - Have you ever wished that the Bible was written differently or in a way that was easier for you to understand?...read more
- Perfect Peace - Are you living out God’s “perfect peace”?...read more
- Cherished Possessions - Do you share the same love, empathy, and care for sinners?...read more
- Is This Heaven? - What do you think about heaven and earth?...read more
- Another View - How can the suffering of another person be used by God to help others grow in Him?...read more
- Good Company - How do you choose the company that you keep?...read more
- Real Faith - Read 1 Peter 1:6-9 and consider how real faith is tested and refined....read more