In The Beginning Genesis 1:1

These words are the beginning of the greatest Book in the world. They are the first words of the first verse of the first chapter of the first book of the Bible.

The Jews call the book of Genesis “the Book of the Beginnings” because the first word in the Hebrew Bible is the word which our translators have rendered, “In the beginning” It is a splendid name.
Genesis is a book of beginnings. It tells of the beginning of the world, of the beginning of man, of the beginning of the Jewish nation, of the beginning of God’s promises.

Now I think that our text is specially a text for boys and girls. You are all “beginnings”—beginnings of men and women. But what kind of men and women you are going to be depends largely on how you begin.

1. So I want to say to you first—begin well. A good start means a tremendous lot in a race, and a good start means a tremendous lot in the race of life. Sometimes we are inclined to look upon the years of girlhood or boyhood as a time of waiting. The long, long years stretch out in front of us and it seems as if we never would grow up. But they are years of preparation too—the most important of our life. They are the years when we lay up stores of knowledge, stores of goodwill, stores of character. If you lose the opportunity of getting ready then, you will never make it up.

A famous writer tells us that once, when he was a youth, he had a strange dream. He thought that he was an old, old man standing at a window on the last night of the year and looking out into the darkness. He saw a star falling from the sky and he exclaimed in unutterable sorrow, “That is myself!” For he had wasted and misspent his life, and he felt that he was no better than a wandering star that would presently be extinguished in the blackness of night. Then he cried out with a great longing, “Give, oh, give me back my youth!”

At that moment the bells rang out to welcome the New Year and the youth awoke to find it was a dream. He had begun to follow wrong paths, but he was still young. Life with its glorious opportunities still lay before him. He could still make it something noble, something worth living.
And, boys and girls, you have all got that magnificent opportunity — the opportunity to make something splendid of your lives. Don’t wait longer to begin. Begin now.

2. And the other thing I want to say to you is— begin with God. It follows from the first, for you can never begin well unless you begin with God.

Will you look again at the text and notice the word that follows—“In the beginning—God.” Yes, God is at the beginning of every beginning.

There was a famous professor once who was giving a lantern lecture to children about plants and flowers. He explained how the seeds became plants, how the plants became leaves and flowers, how the flowers developed seeds again. Then he went on to tell how all the different parts of a plant were built up of tiny cells, and how all these cells were filled with a wonderful substance called protoplasm, a substance which is contained in all living bodies and which makes them live and grow. Finally he said that no one knew what gave to protoplasm its power of living and growing. That was a closed door, and behind the door was unfathomable mystery. Then one of the children asked a question—“Please, sir, does God live behind the door?”

And that was the very best answer that could have been given. Behind every closed door, behind every beginning is—God. Behind the tiniest insect, behind the smallest blade of grass is God, and God is love.

God is in the beginning of every beginning, and He wants to be in your beginning too. He made you, He made you for Himself, and you will never reach the full glory of your manhood or womanhood unless you take Him into your life.

Do you want to make your life noble and grand, do you want to make the very best of it? Then take this as your motto—“In the beginning God.”

James Hastings' Children's Great Texts Of The Bible - This material seems appropriate for children ages 8-12.  Like the Great Texts Of The Bible (For Adults), this series examines the Great Texts of the Bible, but from a child's perspective. Each section begins with a scripture, and Hastings uses illustrations to relate the meaning of the passage for a child's life.  Hastings focuses on practical lessons and the moral of the story that children might apply to their lives. Because Hastings studied the classics as an undergraduate, many sections include classic poems and classic literature quotes.