GENESIS 1, MATTHEW 1, EZRA 1, ACTS 1

Genesis 1
"In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth."  Genesis 1:1

It is obvious the actor is God.  It is He who initiates everything.  I was struck by the repetition of "and it was so."  God said it and "it was so."  

Father, as I read Your Word this year would You always remind me that You are speaking to me; that I would see and know that the Bible is Your voice to me.  Please, Father, make me as receptive to Your Word as the original creation.  May it be said of me as I hear Your voice "and it was so."

Matthew 1:22
"All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet."   

Throughout Matthew, we will see prophecies fulfilled.  God always does what He says He will do.  Matthew shows us many of the prophecies uniquely satisfied in the life of Jesus.

My Lord and My God, may I always trust Your Word because You do what You say.

Ezra 1:1-2
"In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom and also put it in writing: 'Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and he has charged me to build him a house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah.'"

To fulfill the Word of the LORD to Jeremiah, God instructed Cyrus, king of Persia, to build Him a house in Jerusalem.  In 2 Chronicles 36:22-23, we are told Cyrus allowed any of the Jews who desired to return to Jerusalem to build the Temple to do so.  To me, Cyrus is one of the intriguing individuals in scripture.  In Isaiah 44:28, the LORD refers to Cyrus as "my shepherd" and in Isaiah 45:1 Cyrus is called the LORD's anointed whose right hand He holds. 

Sovereign LORD, You hold the king's heart like a stream of water in Your hand.  Thank You for the comfort and peace it provides knowing You are in control.  

Acts 1:4-5
"While staying with them he ordered them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the promise of the Father, which, he said, 'you heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.'"

Jesus instructs His disciples to stay in Jerusalem, to wait for the promise of the Father, for the baptism of the Holy Spirit.  Sometimes I struggle with patiently waiting.  I am one of those who is continually looking for the shortest line to the cash register.  Psalm 37:7 says "Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him."  Psalm 46:10 says "Be still, and know that I am God." 

Oh LORD, thank you for keeping Your Word, Your promises.  Please teach me to know faith in Jesus requires me to be patient and wait for You knowing your promises are better than anything I accomplish on my own. 

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