Seven Minutes with God

If you would like to grow in your friendship with God, how about beginning each day with God, reading a bit of his word (the Bible) and praying to him?
Pick up the card at the back of church entitled ‘How to have a daily prayer time: 7 minutes with God’, as an aid and us the notes below as a guide to which passages to read daily.

As you read the Psalms think about these Big Questions:
1. What does it teach me about the Bible (what it is and what it does)?
2. What does it teach me about God (his attitude, his character and actions)?
3. What does it teach me about the person who loves God (attitude, actions)?
4. What do I need to learn/or do/ or believe/ or ask God for - as a result of this section?

Mon 3rd Psalm 119:1-8 - Seek Him with all your heart
Tue 4th Psalm 119:9-16 - Get the word into your heart
Wed 5th Psalm 119:17-24 - Lord, open my eyes to see your word
Thu 6th Psalm 119:25-32 - Teach and strengthen me
Fri 7th Psalm 119:33-40 - Turn my eyes from worthless things

Mon 10th Psalm 119:41-48 - Freedom!
Tue 11th Psalm 119:49-56 - Comfort!
Wed 12th Psalm 119:57-64 - The earth is filled with God’s love!
Thu 13th Psalm 119:65-72 - Troubles can teach us
Fri 14th Psalm 119:73-80 - How to survive suffering

Mon 17th Psalm 119:81-88 - Fainting and failing
Tue 18th Psalm 119:89-96 - What lasts?
Wed 19th Psalm 119:97-104 - What do I love?
Thu 20th Psalm 119:105-112 - Where should I turn in the darkness? 
Fri 21st Psalm 119:113-120 - Whom should I fear?

Mon 24th Psalm 119:121-128 - Time to act
Tue 25th Psalm 119:129-136 - What grieves us?
Wed 26th Psalm 119:137-144 - Promises, promises
Thu 27th Psalm 119:145-152 - Day and night
Fri 28th Psalm 119:153-160 - Great compassion
Sat 29th Psalm 119:161-168 - Great peace
Sun 30th Psalm 119:169-176  - Seeking the lost

During October each day we will be reading through Genesis 1-12, the opening part of the opening book of the Bible.
‘Genesis’ means ‘origins’ or ‘beginning’ and that’s very appropriate because the book introduces us to the origins of:
- our universe, the sun, moon and stars, planet Earth; 
- plants, birds, fish, animals and humans; 
- sex, marriage, family life; 
- civilisation, government, arts and sciences; 
- our human selfishness, greed, lust for power, death and war. 
- God’s rescue plan to save us - choice, promise, mercy and sacrifice.
So in chapters 1-12 of Genesis we have, in effect, a potted history of humanity.

Not only does it deal with origins, Genesis also deals with the ultimate questions of life. Where did our universe come from? Why are we here? Why do we have to die? No human being can answer those questions. Historians record what people have seen or experienced. Scientists observe what is observable now and suggest how things may have begun. Philosophers can only guess at the answers. The only person who can really answer these questions is God. Many people have dismissed the book of Genesis. They've said it’s simply humankind’s projection of our own imaginings on to God; a book of myths. Well let me encourage you to read it this month with an open mind and come to your own conclusions.

As we read the opening pages of the Bible, may God not only speak to us (He will!!) but may we grasp something of the immense beauty of our world, the huge tragedy of what has gone wrong with us, and the amazing love of a God who, despite our ignoring Him, will not give up on us.

As you prayerfully read each section of Genesis 1-12 think about the questions below.
Mon 1st - Genesis 1:1-2 - The start of all things
1. Who was there at the beginning and what does that tell you?
2. How are things described? What do we learn?
Tue 2nd - Genesis 1:3-5 - Out of the darkness
1. What does God do? What happens? What does that say about God?
2. In the Middle East the day begins with sunset and ends with morning. What’s the significance in God bringing light from darkness? (look up Isaiah 9:2, 49:8-9, 60:1-3)
Wed 3rd - Genesis 1:1-13 - Three days’ work
1. What is done each day? What is the picture of God which emerges?
Thu 4th - Genesis 1:14-25 - Filling up
1. How do the second three days match the first three? 
2. How many times are we told it was ‘good’? What does ‘good’ mean?
Fri 5th - Genesis 1:26-2:3 - Mirror image
1. List all the things that are special and different about humankind. 

Mon 8th - Genesis 2:4-17 - In the Garden
1. Chapter 2 zooms in on one garden in this big, beautiful world. What responsibilities, privileges and duties did the Lord God give man and woman?
Tue 9th - Genesis 2:18-24 - Two into one
1. What do you reckon is the lesson to learn from verses 19-20? 
2. What are we being taught about marriage? 
Wed 10th - Genesis 3:1-12 - How it all went wrong
1. How are Adam and Eve enticed into sin? 
2. What is their sin? What do we learn about temptation? 
Thu 11th - Genesis 3:13-24 - Reaping the whirlwind
1. List all the consequences of Adam and Eve’s disobedience here. In what way are they still with us today?
2. What glimmer of hope is there that God hasn’t finished with us? (cf v15, v21)
Fri 12th - Genesis 4:1-16 - From bad to worse
1. Hebrews 11:4 tells us that Abel offered his sacrifice to God with faith, but Cain didn’t. What does that provoke in Cain and how does that develop?
2. How do we see God at work with Cain?

Mon 15th - Genesis 4:17-26 - The developing world
1. Look through the list of these 7 generations how do they reflect the creativity of God in the first 7 days?
2. How does Cain’s violence spiral put of control in Lamech? Yet, how is v26 an encouragement?
Tue 16th - Genesis 5:1-32 - The Family likeness
1. Why, in verse 1, do you think we’re now reminded again of 1:27-28? How is this encouraging after all we’ve seen?
2. What are we told in verse 3? How do we now reflect God AND Adam?
Wed 17th - Genesis 6:1-7 - The end of the beginning?
1. How does verse 2 remind us of Eve in Genesis 3?
2. What does God see? How does he feel?
Thu 18th - Genesis 6:8-22 - Noah and his family
1. How does what we’ve been told about Noah in Genesis 5:29 prepare us for him?
2. What’s different about Noah in this passage? Verse 6-7 sounded like the end, but what actually happens (v13-14)? Why?
Fri 19th - Genesis 7:1-24 - The waters rise
1. What does Noah do? What does God do?
2. Why are verses 21-23 tragic verses to read (remember chapters 1 & 2!)

Mon 22nd - Genesis 8:1-22 - The waters recede
1. What do verses 15-19 sound like?
2. What does God now promise, despite knowing what we are like?
Tue 23rd - Genesis 9:1-17 - Back to the beginning?
1. What does God say and do to show his commitment to Noah and his family?
2. What is God making a covenant with Noah important?
Wed 24th - Genesis 9:18-29 - Back to reality
1. It all looked so good back in verse 1, but how does sin quickly begin to stain this brand new world once more?
2. What are we being told about ourselves here?
Thu 25th - Genesis 10:1-32 - Filling the earth
1. Remember what God had commanded in 1v28 and 9v1,7? How are these verses showing progress?
2. Look through the list - how far do the descendants of Noah spread out? What skills and abilities begin to emerge? 
Fri 26th - Genesis 11:1-9 - Making a name
1. Chapter 10 showed us the positive progress of human society, what does this incident show? What is the big issue?
2. How does God’s reaction remind you of what he did in the Garden and in the Flood? Why does he do this?

Mon 29th - Genesis 11:10-32 - Families again!
1. Now the account takes us back to Noah’s family once more, and the line of Shem (Remember Noah’s drunken curse/blessing in 9:26-27?). What happens with each son that’s born and grows up? (verses 10-26)
2. But what are we told about Abram in verses 28-29? What is the problem?
Tue 30th - Genesis 12:1-9 - A new dawn
1. How does God start again with Abram? What amazing promises does he make him - remember 11:28-29! What are we being told about God here? 
2. What is God’s intention in working in and through this one man?