June 19, 1984August 1, 2004May 12, 2005June 16, 2006December 7, 2014These dates all have one thing in common: they all mark the beginning of something in my life.June 19, 1984 marks the beginning of my life—the day I was born. August 1, 2004 denotes the beginning of my walk with the Lord—the first time I repented and believed and loved Jesus as my Savior. May 12, 2005 signifies the beginning of my life as Cameron Dodd—my wedding day. June 16, 2006 was the beginning of parenthood—my first time being a mom. And December 7, 2014 was the beginning of a whole new life here in Papua New Guinea.There are many beginnings for everyone, I suppose. And as 2015 has arrived, we are all welcoming yet one more. But as I’ve been thinking about beginnings these past few days, I’ve been distracted by one in particular.“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” Genesis 1:1In the beginning, God was creating a multitude of things out of nothing, imprinting His eternal power and divine nature on every thing that has been made as a beacon of Himself for the duration of the earth.“By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.” Hebrews 11:3The transformation of a formless, void, and dark world into one teeming with light and life and seasons and ecosystems was the matter of a few simple words to God.And in the beginning, He was not alone.“He (Jesus) was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made.” John 1:2-3“The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.” Genesis 1:2Together, God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit were there, bringing life to the lifeless and light into darkness.This beginning is wonderful. But the reason it has been such an encouragement to me these past few days is what came before the beginning. Because before God spoke light into existence or gave breath to Adam, He had a plan that would involve every single human being ever made and every day that would ever open and close.And that is not all He had.Before the beginning, He had glory.“And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.” John 17:5Before the beginning, He had love.“Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.”And before the beginning, He had a plan: the eternal plan of God for the salvation of sinners yet to be created, yet to fall, yet to be redeemed.“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love, he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.” Ephesians 1:3-6“…everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of the Lamb who was slain.” Revelation 13:8Before He created us, He knew how much we would spurn Him, knew the havoc we would wreak, and determined a plan to save us. In His infinite wisdom and providence, He planned my creation, salvation, and eternal well-being. It is thorough and the Bible tells us that it cannot be thwarted. Perhaps if God were anyone else, this would be a terrifying prospect.But He is God and He is good. We know that because this very plan–the one ordained from before the beginning–came at a great cost to Him. My salvation–my eternity–cost Him His Son.“Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them…there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place.” Acts 4:24, 27-28(speaking to the men of Israel shortly after Jesus’ death and resurrection)“…this Jesus, delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of lawless men. God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it.” Acts 2:23-24“And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven, given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12As we begin a new year and celebrate the hope of another beginning, I have found great hope in looking to the first one-and before.God knew then every day of my life. He knew every single trouble and tear, every joy and jubilee, every curse and condemnation—and from eternity past He sent His Son to pay for my condemnation, to set me free from my sin, and give me the hope of living with Him in eternity future.God knows my beginning and He knows my end. He knows every day of 2015, the good and the bad. He has brought me safe thus far and I know He will bring me safely home.
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