Three words stand out seven times in Genesis 1, the first chapter of the Bible:
“And God said…”
These words are important because they are the “how it was done” follow-up to the very first verse in the Bible:
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth…” (Genesis 1:1)
The seven times the phrase “And God said…” appears also represent the perfection of God’s plan. God is the immortal, invisible One who thought of and spoke all things into being. God is the One and Only Initiator of all things seen and unseen. The dictionary defines the word “initiate” as follows:
“To begin, originate” (Source: dictionary.com)
People can be tempted to lose sight of God in this age of technological innovations. I once heard a fictional story about a scientist who challenged God. The man told God He wasn’t needed because science had determined a way to create a person out of nothing. God asked him to explain how this took place. The scientist answered, “We take elements from the earth, form it into a being, and breathe life in it.” God replied, “Please show me!” As the scientist stooped down to gather elements from the ground, God said, “Since you don’t need me, you must create your own soil out of nothing—please don’t use anything I created!” The scientist stood dumbfounded and bewildered, unable to do anything.
Although God created us to be creative, we must acknowledge that we are finite beings who can only create things out of what was already created by God.
God is not only the Initiator of all creation; He is also the Initiator of the plan to save us from our broken condition. From the moment the first humans were separated from God and sent away from the garden because of their rebellion, God initiated the perfect plan to redeem and restore people. God is the One whose love for you and me poured out in a plan that would cost him dearly! It’s humbling and astounding to ponder that God thought of you and me as he set this plan in motion:
“For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters…” (Romans 8:29)
God initiated his plan of salvation through the incarnation, life, death, and resurrection of His own Son, Jesus Christ:
“But God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!)… God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God…” (Ephesians 2:4-5. 8)
God did all this out of unfathomable love for you and me. He is still speaking today, and someday God will say the word to initiate the inauguration of His forever kingdom.
“We tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not meet him ahead of those who have died. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the believers who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever…” (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17)
In my God alphabet the letter I is for God, the Initiator:
- Of all created things, both seen and unseen;
- Of the plan to save and restore people and creation;
- Of the soon and coming eternal kingdom,
- And most importantly, God can initiate a new start in your life, circumstances, and eternity! No matter what you’ve done—good bad, or indifferent—God stands ready to give you a new heart, a fresh start, and a new trajectory in life and through eternity. It begins by letting go of all your failed human efforts and receiving Jesus Christ as the One and Only Source and Initiator of a restored relationship with God. I hope that you, like me, look forward to celebrating this someday with Jesus Christ and all who receive the free gift of life and salvation He offers.
God bless you!