January 5th, 2024
Happy New Year to you!! The closing of a year allows us to reflect. There are successes to celebrate, even small ones, and opportunities to do it better next time. This year’s end, I found a common theme in many conversations about goals for the new year.
“Next year must be different.” And I agree.
When we think of a good life, we can imagine good things like a big house, fancy car, six-figure salary, and good standing in high society as prosperity. We don’t see the toil and labor of a life spent trying to gain those things, only to discover they are not what matters.
Today, we will find the source of a truly good life, and take the first step to making sure 2024 will be good.
We ended the year by looking at the word “good” in Genesis 1. That seems like a fitting launch word for 2024. I say that because making lasting and wise decisions requires having a standard of what is good, and we do have that standard.
God is good. In other words, God knows what “a good life” is because He didn’t just invent it. Good life came from Him. Let’s look at the word “good” in the original Hebrew.
(Note: Hebrew is written right to left. Also, remember that each letter has a meaning that adds to the whole meaning of the word).
The letter b (bet), above, is represented by the symbol of a house. If you were looking down on an ancient mud hut without a grass roof, you would see mud walls with an open entrance and an inner room. This was the basic design of ancient family dwellings and became the symbol for the letter bet.
The first letter of Genesis 1 is also bet. Letter by letter, Genesis 1:1 says, “In the beginning, God made His house in the heavens and the earth.”
What a beautiful thought. God so loved the world (humankind) that He desired us to exist and to live with us.
If we add the meaning of “bet” to the shortened form of the word “God” (Elohim) or “El,” we get the word “bet-el” or House of God. How cool is that!
But that’s not all. While we think of a house as a physical dwelling, scripture attaches an underlying meaning of “family.” Therefore, “bet-el” can also be translated as Family of God. In fact, this is what it means to be the “head of the house.” It means to be the originator or starter of a family which will henceforth bear your name.
There’s one big problem. “Elohim” has two possible meanings: God or False Gods.
A family can only have one actual head of the home. So, scripture often clarifies which Elohim is being referred to by the phrase “the LORD God.”
What happens if we add “LORD” to the word “God?” LORD (Yehovah) means “The Living One Who Causes All Things To Live” or “The Living God.”
“The House of the LORD God” means “The Family of the Living God Who Causes All Things To Live.”
We can now recognize a false Elohim by the lack of life, growth, fruit, and hope for a good life. There is only the tilling of the ground and reaping thorns. Doesn’t that sound familiar?
Psalm 127:1 - "Unless the LORD builds the house, they labor in vain who build it."
When there is still confusion about which god is head of the house, the scriptures sometimes add yet another word: “your.” Redundant but necessary.
The LORD Your God
You are of “The House of the LORD, Your God.” Now, your title is:
“The Family of the Living God Who Causes All Things To Live Whose God Says, “I Am Yours.”
Now, that “yours” implies full commitment.
Still, that is a long last name to take, and how can we be really sure He is our God?
No worries. There is a paternity test for this.
- Are you living and breathing? Then, you are of His lineage.
- Do you have the ability to grow and accomplish great things? Then, you resemble His image.
- Do you have a mind that reasons, chooses, believes, and acts on those beliefs? Then, you are behaving in His likeness.
Just as a tree is known by its fruit, the fruit declares which tree it came from!
The LORD God declares He is the head and origin of our house, but He also provided legal evidence that we are His:
- by a living Spirit (We were chosen to live by His breath (spirit) in the beginning and sealed by His Spirit for redemption in the end – I Peter 2:9; Ephesians 1:13).
- by blood (Ransomed – I Peter 1:17-19).
- by adoption (Children of God – Ephesians 1:5).
- by rebirth (Co-inheritors with Christ – Romans 8:17).
- by marriage (The Bride of Christ, spotless and blameless – Ephesians 5:25-27).
- and by love (The Evidence (fruit) of God in Us – I John 4:12).
The false god who promised we would be like gods enslaved and robbed us of our inheritance. Our God made a way to restore to His house and family! All you need is to believe Him, and the LORD God will be Your Father, Your Husband, and Your Friend who sticks closer than a brother.
Sign your name by faith that God wants to give you hope and a future, and it will be yours. Even if you have already done that, you can forget your rights and settle for a second-rate life like the Prodigal Son. It may be time make your claim.
That brings us to the first decision we must make.
The first step to a better 2024 is to come Home.
This House is not just a place, but a PERSON. It is a blood relationship. Your Father loves you more than life itself, and His promises are your inheritance.
You belong here in the gardens of goodness and mercy, surrounded by fountains of joy. You have a seat at His bountiful table, your cup overflows, and there is help in every time of need.
You lack no good thing.
What a beautiful family to call yours. Why would anyone want to live anywhere else?
Psalm 23:6 – "Surely Your goodness and love (mercy) will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever."
Do you believe that? Then, Child of God, whatever 2024 holds, The LORD Your God is for you and not against you. He is taking you by the hand and commanding, “Be strong and courageous because the LORD Your God is with you wherever you go.”
Beloved, I think we are ready for more in 2024.