June 02, 2016

Breathing Spirit

Genesis 2:4-25

The Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

—  Genesis 2:7

The soap opera As the World Turns aired on American television from 1956 to 2005. The title has a vaguely mysterious, even philosophical ring, and it’s unclear exactly what it means. A more interesting question is “How does the world turn?” 

God’s Word tells us that his Spirit set the universe in motion and continues to uphold it each day. This means that all things living—animals, vegetation, organisms—live and have their being through the Holy Spirit’s power.

As the Spirit breathed life into our first parents, Adam and Eve, so also he has breathed life into all who have lived and who live today. That alone makes all living things precious—and, above all, us human beings, for we are made in God’s image!

The Holy Spirit gives life in another way as well. The creation account goes on to explain how each of us, starting with Adam and Eve, has turned away from God (see Genesis 3). Apart from God, the Bible explains, we are dead in our trespasses and sins.

But the same Spirit who turns the world also turns hearts and minds to Jesus, creating new hearts to love and serve God. Praise the Holy Spirit today for creating and sustaining the world. Praise him also for turning our hearts to Jesus.

“Creator Spirit, by whose aid the world’s foundations first were laid . . . from sin and sorrow set us free and make thy temples worthy thee.” Amen.

About the author — Kurt Selles

Kurt Selles is the director of ReFrame Ministries and serves as the Executive Editor of Today. He is a graduate of Calvin College and Seminary, and received his PhD from Vanderbilt University. Before coming to ReFrame, he served 19 years in Taiwan and China with CRC World Missions. Kurt later taught missions at Beeson Divinity School, where he also acted as the director of the school’s Global Center. Kurt and his wife, Vicki, reside in Grand Rapids and have three adult children.

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