Day 1

God Created the Heavens and the Earth

from the This Is the Gospel reading plan


Genesis 1:1-25, Isaiah 45:12, John 1:1-5, Hebrews 11:3

I remember when I first understood the gospel. It was January 21, 1989, at around 7:30 p.m., in a small retreat center in rural Indiana. I was fifteen years old, in love with the pastor’s daughter, and new to the youth group. I had grown up around the church since I was in kindergarten, but Christianity was something my parents were involved with. As their son, I was along for the ride.

But at a youth group retreat in the frozen fields of the midwest, I heard the gospel and it took hold of me. I knew my life was going to be transformed by the simple yet profound message of God’s mercy and grace given through the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus.

The gospel follows a basic four-part trajectory: creation, fall, redemption, and restoration. God created the world and human beings as good. We rebelled against Him, breaking our relationship and falling away. The only way for that relationship to be redeemed would be for us to somehow live up to God’s perfect standard of holiness, which we could not do. So God sent His Son to live in our place, pay the wages of sin on our behalf through His death, and defeat the power of death by rising from the grave. Jesus lived the life we’ve all failed to live, died the death we all deserve to die, and offers His perfect record of righteousness as our substitute, restoring us to our Creator forever.

Today’s scriptures focus on the beginning: creation. God made this world and everything in it. And what He made was good. There was a time when things like sickness and death, deception and decay, betrayal and grief and greed had not entered into the heart of man. And the promise of the gospel is that there will come a day when those things will be done away with forever. But for now, we all live with the ache in our hearts that longs for everything that is broken to be made right. We feel this way because we were created to live in a world that is unbroken and untouched by sin. Today’s scriptures speak to that.

I have much to learn and I’m far from perfect, but my life has been transformed by the truths you will read in this reading plan. Millions of others around the world and throughout history share the same story. The gospel, as the apostle Paul says, is the transforming power of God for those who believe (Romans 12:2). I pray your time in these verses from God’s Word would encourage, clarify, and transform according to the Lord’s perfect will for your life. May He do the same in me.

Written by Russ Ramsey

Post Comments (28)

28 thoughts on "God Created the Heavens and the Earth"

  1. Joel Porter says:

    I find it interesting that God created the light and saw that it was good on the first day, but didn’t create a source of light until the fourth day: “the two great lights—the greater light to rule over the day and the lesser light to rule over the night—as well as the stars.” (Genesis 1:16). So what, then was the source of the light on day one? The very light that the waters were separated under, that the sky was illuminated with, that the dry land appeared under, and the vegetation sprang up with? I can only deduce that the world was illuminated first with the glory of God.

    Also, I find it interesting that amidst the darkness, God called the light into existence and saw that it was good. The Bible doesn’t say that He rebuked the darkness, but He saw that the light was good. So good, in fact, that on day four, he created e lesser light to govern the night. Even in darkness, God still wanted there to be light. And it’s good.

  2. Charles Shinn says:

    I pray that my heart will seek to reach out to those that are yet to be born spiritually.

  3. Troy says:

    Thinking of God’s provision for us in the Creation as I stopped to give thanks for my lunch today. As I considered the food on my plate, it occurred to me that EVERY ingredient had grown up from the Creation. That God had not provided this food in a merely indirect way, but that by His continual Providence and Goodness, He had caused the earth to yield its fruit as He designed it to do from the Genesis (aka the Beginning). Without His empowering of the seed to yield a plant and that plant to bear fruit, my plate would be empty. And so would my stomach. So… in what other “unseen” ways, is God providing for you today?

    Realizing that it doesn’t stop there either… that He made Man in His image, to cultivate the land, to bring increase to what God had given, and to be in relationship with Him through it all. And the story goes on…

  4. Nick Williams says:

    Now I see the Light
    Bright enough and waiting till it burst
    I took my simple and unconfident self on journey
    No, not a new or spiritual discovery but the truth hidden behind a in who I was. Displace and now discovered the life I meant to live. Even if I never promised a so-called easy life. Most things that are worth doing must be worth dying for. Amen

  5. Kevin Curtis says:

    What God made was good. All of God’s creation is good. It is the sinfulness of man that taints God’s creation. We have an opportunity to see God’s creation in its full perfection if we believe in His Son and are saved.

  6. Mark Wetters says:

    we all live with the ache in our hearts that longs for everything that is broken to be made right. We feel this way because we were created to live in a world that is unbroken and untouched by sin.

    Best explanation of why our hearts ache. Because we live in a broken world

  7. Gary Matos says:

    It’s so beautiful how God sent his only son to come down on earth to die for our sins of the past and future sins that we might fall into. Jesus is such a perfect example and I’m so happy to have a role model like Jesus Christ! Truly makes me want to be exactly like him. Each day I strive to be like him. All I want in life is to be like him. Lord please help me be strong during the moments of my struggles, give me strength to say no to all temptations that arise in my life. Help me be more like you Jesus! Thank you for everything you have given me despite my imperfections and brokenness. I love you!

  8. Nathan Huebner says:

    “Jesus lived the life we’ve all failed to live, died the death we all deserve to die, and offers His perfect record of righteousness as our substitute, restoring us to our Creator forever.”

    He took our place. He took the punishment. He sacrificed himself so that we could be with God forever.

  9. Drew Roe says:

    The gospel is such an amazing gift. To think how it all started – so perfect and glorious. We have now shattered that creation with our sin, yet God has given us a way of redemption, and promises restoration. What an amazing gift, that He “makes all things new” (Revelation 21:5), including us! When the world seems like too much, when our propensity to sin is overwhelming, when we are reminded of just how wretched we are, may we also meditate on His words – indeed, His promise – that He has redeemed us, and that He will renew us to perfection.

  10. Joshua Holman says:

    Creation seems easy to understand when you read about it. It can get complicated when you really start to think about it the context of what God’s done for you. I’m grateful for the new life God gave me almost 25 years ago.

  11. Adam says:

    It’s easy to forget that God set out to create a world that is good-and he did actually do that. But, we have fallen. It’s easy to attach our our pension for evil as an attribute of God. However, he made this world good, people good, Heaven good, but we turned. Because there is evil in this world, does not mean it was created to be that way. It’s great to see how God intended things to be and it helps strengthen my hope for eternity in Heaven. It’s no place for fat baby angels and harps. Instead a place where evil is defeated, right is done at all times and God’s ultimate vision of perfection is displayed for us to enjoy and worship. Death is the gate to this place.

    Also, far outside the box, it seams that the story of creation may follow typical scientific order of creation-going from space, then land mass, then water, the n water creatures and birds (amphibians/dinosaurs), then land animals and mammals and finally humans. We know the Lord operates outside of time and space. A day to him is like thousands of years to us. Therefore, the narrative could be accurate if we attribute one day as millions of years. This brings me peace and expands my curiosity. How could a simpleton just come up with that order of creation 2000 years ago? It does seem that through divine intervention humans were told accurate info that for the most part could be confirmed by science.

  12. Zachary says:

    I struggle the hardest with the story of creation. It makes me feel like I need to qualify everything — well, did it really happen like this? Well, does the biblical timeframe line up? It’s a great and beautiful thing, though. I think some subtext is left out and waiting for us to fill in the blanks. The sun is the absolute perfect distance away from the earth. How could this have happened without the guiding hand of a beautiful Creator. I owe God my assessment of the complexity of our world; He is clearly there (in between the verses)

  13. Joshua says:

    The Holy One has always been the separating God. And what He sets apart for Himself He is good in His eyes (and that must be Really Good).
    If the natural light is good when it’s separated from the darkness, nurturing all creatures in happiness, how much more better the supernatural light, the light of the world, the life of man, when He removes the blinders of the eyes of the heart, breaks forth into depth of depths with His holy goodness, and gathers for Himself a people as treasured possession? Called out of darkness into His marvelous light, set apart for good works before the foundations of the earth were even laid.
    Is He not the source of all true-lasting pleasures? Indeed, we have no good apart from Him.

  14. Baz says:

    Creation is what pulled me back to faith. It’s too complex, too artistic not to have God behind it, designing it and tinkering with it. God is creative and delights as his children create too.

  15. Nathan Bruley says:

    It’s comforting to know that God had a plan, a diagram to the ins and outs of our lives and this world

  16. Jonathan says:

    Creation
    Fall
    Redemption
    Restoration

    The world was created through that which was not logical. God made us and this universe we live in, and that’s pretty mind boggling. Sometimes I gaze at the stars in the evening and am almost overwhelmed by the sheer thought of their size. ‘Who am I in relation to the universe?’ is my hearts cry. I’m like a speck of sand, unrecognisable and useless in the grand scheme of things.

    ‘You are loved, you are special, and you are mine.’ Is His reply.

  17. Jonathan Flores says:

    Testing this Feature out.

  18. Ryan Boddy says:

    It’s hard to stop and think about the fact that God is the creator of everything. You can go on trips to beautiful places and see the majesty of the Earth, but you don’t think about the fact that every speck of dirt we walk on when we’re heading in to the office was also spoken into life by God himself. There is not a human being who will ever live who could have the power to create what God has.

  19. Ipsan Gonzalez says:

    This is part of God’s plan. He’s given us everything; what have we (I) given back in return? I plan to start with at least giving time.

  20. David DeVore says:

    I thought it was important that he was talking in past tense until he talked about darkness and light. During this one sentence, he said that THE DARKNESS HAS NOT OVERCOME THE NIGHT. This is a big deal to me.

    I have always like hearing about how God crafted everything in existence with his own hands and time. It shows how intricately designed we were and how vastly the body works in comparison to the universe.

  21. Jordan Olesen says:

    God created everything, and all of it was good. He made all systems of life, like a husband building a house for his bride, to prepare to be in perfect fellowship and provide all we needed to survive and enjoy that fellowship ceaselessly.

    But we didn’t think that was enough. We choose not to trust his goodness and ability to care for our well being than we could, so we ate of the tree, deciding good and evil for ourselves, and the effects of that go on to this day.

    The tragedy is we live in a fallen world that does not give the God that created it and sustains it, even now, the glory and praise and honor that he deserves. We live as entitled to this life and world we live in and worship the gifts rather than the giver.

    But in his perfect patience and love he radically left the comforts and fellowship of heaven into our filthy sin tainted world and took on the full brunt of what we deserved on the cross, crushing him. There by opening the way to all who would repent and believe it him to be restored in relationship to there creator, now and for eternal life.

  22. Joshua Whitney says:

    I need to stop sinning. Not because it makes me not feel good, or because I’m told not to, or even because of my wife. No, this goes back to the gospel. My son is what put Jesus on the cross. Every time I sin I sin against God and make a mockery of the payment made for me.

    Lord, help me to see your sacrifice as sufficient and not keep bringing back the dead man. Help me to walk in your light.

  23. Jaron Covey says:

    God is good!

  24. Zach Morris says:

    God made all existence. I love how this devo stopped just short of where God makes humanity because it really puts it in perspective for me. Before we ever arrived, God made this good world for me to live, to enjoy, to serve, to love, to have significance. He made it. Not me. So many times I live out of a “creator” mindset instead of a “created” mindset and I manipulate His creation for my good instead of seeing to it for His good. All thanks to Jesus for redeeming me to actually see the word as God as created it. GOOD.

  25. Megan says:

    I think that the gospel hasn’t clicked into my mic during yet. I want it to so bad and I try so hard but really I am just following the actions in church and not really living them out.

  26. Josh Head says:

    Especially as I have become more closely acquainted with the actual Gospel, I have become convinced that much of my life has been spent pursuing a striving and working salvation. I am so grateful. I am so grateful that I don’t need to strive to earn or complete my salvation. I have rest and can pursue rest in Christ everyday. I am so thankful for a second chance at this life in Christ, that as I close out my twenties my life can still be radically formed by the message that has been given to us. The Gospel.

  27. Del’Shawn says:

    I was struck by the verse in Hebrews that talks about how our faith is a reflection of the wonders that God created with His word. Nothing that was created was visible but with the WORD of GOD, everything came into existence. It’s a testament that with God’s word, nothing is impossible, rather all things are possible with faith.

  28. suba suba says:

    Preceding to you choose to create your own checklist to add an idea linked with what camping checklist ought to. Actually A listing can be better than what you need.

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