Thursday, December 22, 2011
ABRAHAM: Following In The Footsteps Of Faith , 12/22/2011
THREE SIDES OF A MAN NAMED ABRAHAM, Part 18b, Continued From Yesterday!
Gen 18:9-21 THE MESSAGE FOR A SAINT
God always rewards the faithful service that is rendered to Him. In Abraham's case, He does this by reassuring Abraham regarding the birth of Isaac. Verses 18-19 tell us of the great affection, knowledge and care God possessed for this man Abraham. God knew what caliber of man Abraham was. He knew that Abraham would stand the test and be all that God wanted him to be. He is clearly pictured as God's saint in these verses.
V. 9-15 A Message About A Child - God had given this promise repeatedly to Abraham. The last time, (Gen. 17:17), Abraham had laughed for joy when he heard again the glorious promise of hope from the Lord. This time, the promise is repeated for the benefit of Sarah. All she had heard was second hand promises from Abraham. This time she hears the promise directly from the mouth of God. Her reaction is vastly different from that of her husband. He laughed for joy, she laughs from doubt! She is confronted and rebuked for having doubted. This episode is a reminder that God knows everything there is to know about you and me. He knows our motives, our secret sins and all things that we do. Nothing is hidden from His eyes (Heb. 4:13).
V. 16-21 A Message About A City - This is a precious point in Abraham's relationship with the Lord. Because of who he is, how he has conducted himself and the future he is to enjoy, God is determined to share His heart with Abraham. Imagine being in a position of closeness to the Lord that motivated Him to share His heart with you. No doubt this is among the passage that prompted the Jews to refer to Abraham as "the friend of God.", (James 2:23; Isa. 41:8; Ex. 33:11). God wants to have that same kind of relationship with each and every one of us today! When we are in a position of closeness to Him, He will share His heart and His will with us. Never feel that this kind of relationship is only for the super saints! I will remind you of the great truth that as we seek to get closer to Him, He responds by moving closer to us (James 4:8).
Gen 18: 22-33 THE MEDIATION OF A SON
The message that the Lord had shared with Abraham was a difficult message to hear. It had been revealed to him that his kinsmen, Lot and his family, were in danger of death and destruction. "The cry" of that place and their "grievous sin" was the reason for the coming destruction. To many, Sodom must have been viewed as a showplace and a success story. They probably bragged about how it had been rebuilt after the great war of Gen. 14. Abraham knew different. He knew the city was slated for destruction. Those of us who know the Bible know that our world thinks awfully highly of itself. However, it too is slated for destruction! May we learn to pray like Abraham did so that we can see the world saved! He received the message and it motivated him to action before the Lord. Perhaps this was a factor in God's desire to share the message with Abraham! Perhaps he wanted to motivate Abraham to move deeper in his relationship with God. We have seen Abraham the servant. We have seen Abraham the Saint. Now, we are given a chance to see Abraham the son speaking with his heavenly Father!
V. 22-23 The Distance Between Them - Abraham stood before the Lord and when the angels departed, he drew near to the Lord. I praise the Lord for the truth that God's children can approach Him and draw as near as they please to their heavenly Father. Listen to His invitation to you and me (Matt. 11:28; Heb. 4:15-16; Rom. 8:15-17).
V. 24-33 The Dialogue Between Them - Abraham's prayer to the Lord arises out of several burdens he carries because of the revelation he has just received. First, he is concerned about God's reputation. If the Lord simply destroys the people of Sodom, Abraham is concerned that people will get the wrong impression of God and of His love for sinners. Secondly, he is thinking about Lot and his family, who live in Sodom. He wants to see them spared, at the very least. So he begins to talk to God about the situation and gets God to agree to spare the city if just 10 righteous people can be found there. In Lot's family, there was Lot, his wife, two unmarried daughters and at least two married daughters and their husbands. This was a total of at least eight people in that family. Abraham must have thought that Lot would have at least won his family and a few others.
Although Abraham did not know it at the time, his prayer was answered! God did spare the righteous when He destroyed the wicked. This will be true also in the judgment! When the morning came and Abraham looked toward Sodom and saw the smoke of that place (Gen. 19:27-28), he must have been discouraged. However, his prayer had been heard and it had been successful (Gen 19:29). Sometimes, our prayers seem to be very ineffective and weak, but only in eternity will we know the full impact of our personal ministry of prayer in the lives of others. Therefore, do not be discouraged, just pray and trust the Lord to bring it to pass!
Conc: If there is anything that you need to take away from this lesson, it is this: a close, personal relationship with God is possible for anyone who seeks it! Are you in your heart honestly as close to the Lord as you would like to be? Are you His servant, running eagerly and speedily to do His will? Are you His saint, listening intently as He reveals His will and ways to you? Are you His son, His child, interceding before the throne of the Heavenly Father on behalf of those who do not have access to Him? Do you need to work on one or more of these areas of your relationship with the Lord? If so, there is help to be found at His altar!
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE and BLESSING,
New International Version (NIV)
1 Praise the LORD, all you servants of the LORD who minister by night in the house of the LORD. 2 Lift up your hands in the sanctuary and praise the LORD.
3 May the LORD bless you from Zion, he who is the Maker of heaven and earth.
Wednesday, December 21, 2011
ABRAHAM: Following In The Footsteps Of Faith , 12/21/2011
THREE SIDES OF A MAN NAMED ABRAHAM, Part 18a,
Everyone today wears many different hats. For instance, I am a husband, a father, a son, a brother, a minister, a teacher, a friend, among many other things. This passage reveal three sides of the life of this man named Abraham. In this passage, he is visited personally by the Lord, and gives us a glimpse at three sides of this great man's life. As Abraham is revealed to us here, we see some characteristics in his life that need to be seen in every Christian’s life. For a few minutes, let’s look into this personal encounter between the Lord and Abraham, about THREE SIDES OF A MAN NAMED ABRAHAM. Let's examine our lives to determine whether or not we are made of the same stuff as this great man was.
Gen 18:1-33, THE MINISTRY OF A SERVANT
The identity of Abraham's visitors. One of these beings was the Lord Jesus Himself. The other two were angels. It seems that Abraham recognized the heavenly origin of his guests, because he sprang into action to serve them when they appeared. That reaction sets a good example for us because you never know when the Lord will show up at your place! When He does, He is looking for the same servant heart He found in Abraham. Notice three aspects of that servant's heart.
V. 1-6 The Quickness Of His Ministry - Abraham springs into action speedily trying to supply every need of his heavenly visitors. He may be 100 years old, but there is no hesitation as he flies from one task to the next, until all is completed. Here is a man who recognized his duty and set about to do it as quickly as possible! May I just remind you that the Lord deserves the best service we can give Him? When we are serving Him, regardless of how menial the task, we should do our best to recognize Who we are serving and we should seek to do the best possible job for the glory of the Lord! (Col. 3:23; Eph. 6:6-7). If it is worth doing for the Lord, it is worth doing right (2 Cor. 10:13).
V. 7-8 The Quality Of His Ministry - Not only was Abraham swift in his service to the Lord, but he was also sacrificial in his service to the Lord. He went to his flock and personally selected, killed and prepared a calf for their meal. You haven't really become a servant until your service costs you personally. Being willing to sacrifice for your master is a sign that you possess a servant's heart. Whether the service is time, tithe or talents, it is willingly rendered at the request of the Master and for His glory. The greatest sacrifice you can offer, of course, is yourself (Rom. 12:1)! That is a sacrifice that no one else can give to Him! By the way, when He has you, He has everything you have anyway!
V. 8 The Quietness Of His Ministry - While his visitors were eating their meal, Abraham stood quietly by to serve them in any way they might need. He simply stood beside them, adopting the pose of a servant, listening for the voice of his Lord! Imagine the reaction of Abraham's servants as they watched him assume the role of a servant to the Lord. What a powerful testimony it was to them! Others may be watching, so make sure your service and testimony are all they should be! Real servants of God are those individuals who make themselves ever available to the Lord and His work. They are ready and willing to serve Him on a moments notice. When there are no orders to follow, they continue to do the last thing He told them until new orders come. They are His and they have no will of their own, but they are lost in His will for their lives! That is a servant's heart!
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE and BLESSING,
New International Version (NIV)
1 Out of the depths I cry to you, LORD; 2 Lord, hear my voice. Let your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy. 3 If you, LORD, kept a record of sins, Lord, who could stand? 4 But with you there is forgiveness, so that we can, with reverence, serve you. 5 I wait for the LORD, my whole being waits, and in his word I put my hope. 6 I wait for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning. 7 Israel, put your hope in the LORD, for with the LORD is unfailing love and with him is full redemption. 8 He himself will redeem Israel from all their sins.
TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW!
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
ABRAHAM: , Following In The Footsteps Of Faith , 12/20/2011
THE GOD OF THE EVERLASTING COVENANT, Part 17,
Some fourteen years had past since God last spoke to Abraham. Not since his disobedience in the matter of Hagar had Abraham heard the voice of God. The times of His silence are most devastating when they come our way. We need to learn that our disobedience almost always brings His silence.
In this passage, the Lord speaks again. When He does it is to reveal even more of the details of His covenant with Abram. Here we have the opportunity to learn more about the faithfulness and work of God in the lives of His people. This passage allows us to catch a glimpse of The God Of The Everlasting Covenant. As we look into the details of this passage, let us take this opportunity to learn more about the God we serve. May we be reminded that He is a God Who keeps His Word and works out His will "according to the counsel of His own will."(Eph. 1:11).
In V. 1-5, THIS IS GOD'S NEW REVELATION
V. 1 A Revelation Of His Person - For the first time, God reveals Himself as "the Almighty God". This name is from the Hebrew name "El-Shaddai". It carries the idea of "Nourisher; Strengthener; Satisfier." It identifies God as being the "All-sufficient One". There is a tenderness in this name because the word "Shaddai" comes from the Hebrew word for "breast". Just as a baby receives strength and nourishment from its mother's breast, so the children of God receive all they need from the hand of the "Almighty God". Because God is "the Almighty God", He demands that His people walk before Him in "perfection". This is a command to walk in righteousness and holiness before Him (1 Pet. 1:16). This “perfection” is possible only through and by Jesus Christ.
V. 2-4 A Revelation Of His Promise - God simply reminds Abram of the promises He has made to him in the past. God will make of him a great nation and He will bless Abram. God's revelation and reminder cause Abram to fall at His feet in worship! Would to God that the Lord's people today would see His blessings as a catalyst to worship and praise. In v. 4 "As for me" indicates that this covenant is one-sided. God will bless Abram because He wants to! In other words, the covenant is good because it depends on God and not man! Thank God, our salvation is in His hands and not ours, (1 Pet. 1:5).
V. 5 A Revelation Of His Plan - Here, Abram receives a name change. His name is changed from "Abram", which means "Exalted Father", to "Abraham" which means "Father Of A Multitude". The reason for this rest in the fact that God has made Abraham the father of a numberless multitude. Of course, to Abraham it does not appear that this is the case. However from God's perspective, it is a done deal! Notice the words "I have made thee." Even though Abraham couldn't see it, God had already completed His plan through Abraham. Life is never like we think it is! All we can see are the obstacles and the trials that we face in life. However, God sees our present as well as the future that He has already accomplished. The essence of faith is merely walking in the present, holding in your hands the things God has placed in the future (Heb. 11:1)! Whatever you may be facing today, God has already taken care of it for you. You merely have to be patient until you arrive at that time where His provision is manifested. Elijah is an example at the dry brook and the widow's house in 1 Kings 17 .No wonder Abraham worshiped the Lord! If we ever got a grip on all that He has done for us, we too would glorify Him in praise, adoration and worship!
In V. 6-8; 15-22 THIS IS GOD'S NEW REASSURANCE
V. 6 Concerning His Fruitfulness - God promises Abraham Children, Crowds and Crowns. God promised him things that, at that moment in his life, he couldn't even imagine! Sounds like us doesn't it? Think of where He found you, what He has done in your life and where you are headed. Sounds too good to be true doesn't it? The farther I travel down this road, the sweeter His promises become to me! I am thankful that every single one is true! By the way, He will make your life fruitful for His glory if you will abide in Him (John 15:5).
V. 7-8 Concerning His Faithfulness - God promises not only to bless Abraham, but his children and all the generations of Abraham's seed as well. This is a covenant that is as good as the Name of God and that will endure forever and ever. Thank God that we can count on His faithfulness! (Lam. 3:22-23). Thank God that He is faithful and true. He will not renege on His promises. He will not fail us. We may fall short, but He never will! He is ever faithful! God promises to be a personal God to the seed of Abraham. Friend, it is a blessing to serve a God that desires a personal relationship with the likes of you and me! I praise His name that our walk with Him does not hinge on what we do! It is personal and it is everlasting! What a blessing!
V. 15-22 Concerning His Future - God's promise to Abraham is extended to Sarai also. She is to have this child of promise and she is to be the mother of multitudes. Her name is also changed from "Sarai", which means "My Princess" to "Sarah", which means "Princess". When Abraham hears this he laughs. It is not a laugh of doubt, but of joy at what the Lord is about to do in his life. He is so excited thinking about the power of God that he prays for God to bless Ishmael also. This prayer is heard and answered by the Lord! Here is a man who was looking at a bleak future when the day began. Now he is thrilled by the possibilities. I just want to remind us today that no cause of hopeless when it involves the Lord. Your future is as bright as the size of your faith! When we involve God in the situations of our lives, the impossible becomes immediately possibly (John 6:1-13). Remember the God we serve holds today and tomorrow in His hands, and He is greater than both!
In V. 9-14; 23-27 THIS GOD'S NEW REQUIREMENT
V. 9-11 The Nature Of This Requirement - Here, Abraham and all his descendants are required to be circumcised. They were to be identified as followers of the Lord by a mark in their bodies. Submitting to circumcision was a statement that "this person is part of the Abrahamic covenant, and the promises of God are his." This mark was both painful and private. Whether anyone else knew of it or not, the person circumcised and the Lord knew about it. You and I are not required to do this to be followers of the Lord today. However, the New Testament speaks of a "circumcision of the heart" that must be performed before a person can enter in to a personal relationship with Almighty God, (Rom. 2:28-29; Gal. 5:6; Col. 2:11; Gal. 6:15).
V. 12-13 The Nationality Of This Requirement - Every male in the nation of Israel, whether they were young or old, bond or free were required to observe this rite, if they were to be allowed to be part of this covenant of promise. Without it, they were left out. While physical circumcision is not required for a relationship with the Lord, spiritual circumcision is! Without it, no person can ever hope to enter the presence of God, or go to Heaven when they die (John 3:3; John 14:6). God's perfect, precious plan of salvation are for those who believe, obey and follow Jesus Christ!
V. 14; 23-27 The Necessity Of This Requirement - Without being circumcised, no one could enter into this covenant relationship with the Lord. They were to be cut off from the people. They were out of the covenant. As has already been said, spiritual circumcision is necessary for a relationship with God. This is accomplished through coming to Jesus Christ by faith and doing what He says. Many in our day think that religious rituals are still how one approaches God. Nothing could be farther from the truth! Works can never save the soul (Eph. 2:8-9)! It takes faith to please God, always has and always will (Heb. 11:6)! It took faith to follow God and carry out this command, which Abraham did without hesitation (v. 23-27!) Have you experienced that spiritual circumcision that forever changes your life and your destination? Are you obeying and following Jesus?
Conc: I am thankful today that we serve a God Who is interested in His people. I am thankful that when we exercise faith in His Word, that He honors that with blessings which cannot be calculated for value. I wonder, what are you trusting Him for this day? Is there a dark spot on your today or on your future? Let me just remind you that we serve a God Who keeps His Word! What He has promised, that will He do! Bring it to Him, fall down before Him and worship Him like Abraham did and He will bless your life!
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE and BLESSING,
Psalm 90 (NIV)
1 Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. 2 Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the whole world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. 3 You turn people back to dust, saying, “Return to dust, you mortals.” 4 A thousand years in your sight are like a day that has just gone by, or like a watch in the night. 5 Yet you sweep people away in the sleep of death— they are like the new grass of the morning: 6 In the morning it springs up new, but by evening it is dry and withered. 7 We are consumed by your anger and terrified by your indignation. 8 You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence. 9 All our days pass away under your wrath; we finish our years with a moan. 10 Our days may come to seventy years, or eighty, if our strength endures; yet the best of them are but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away. 11 If only we knew the power of your anger! Your wrath is as great as the fear that is your due. 12 Teach us to number our days,
that we may gain a heart of wisdom. 13 Relent, LORD! How long will it be? Have compassion on your servants. 14 Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. 15 Make us glad for as many days as you have afflicted us, for as many years as we have seen trouble. 16 May your deeds be shown to your servants, your splendor to their children. 17 May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us— yes, establish the work of our hands. “AMEN! PRAISE GOD”!
Monday, December 19, 2011
Abraham: Following In The Footsteps Of Faith , 12/19/2011
THAT TROUBLE WITH HAGAR, Part 16b, Continued From Yesterday!
THE REACTIONS TO THE TROUBLE
All three of the participants in this fiasco reacted differently to the situation, and all three reacted badly. By the way, when sin and its problems, or any problem from any source, for that matter, arrives in our lives, most of the people today will react to it in one of the three manners as we shall see below.
In V. 6 Abram Reacted By Being Unaccountable - He tried to pretend that there was no problem and that if there was a problem, it was Sarai's to deal with. He totally ignored his responsibility in the whole situation. Many people try to deal with their problems by simply ignoring them. This will never work! Left unsettled, small problems grow into bigger ones in a short time. In 2 Sam. 13:1-39, David ignored the problem of Amnon and Tamar and the problem grew until Absalom took matters into his own hands and killed his brother! Therefore, whether it be a problem in the home, on the job, in the community, at school or in the church, it must be confronted and dealt with or it will get out of hand. Just ask Abram!
In V. 5 Sarai Reacted By Being Unreasonable - Sarai was miserable because of the pride and haughtiness of Hagar, so she tried to make everyone else around her miserable too. She tried to blame Abram for the problem. She tried to blame Hagar for the problem. She even dragged God into the problem. She fleshed out the proverb: "If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!" There are many who approach the problems of life with a similar attitude. If they are unhappy, they want everyone else around them to be unhappy as well. So, they get grouchy, mean-spirited, short-tempered and become hard to get along with. Lest we forget, this is not a Christ-like response to trouble and problems, (Gal. 5:22-23; 1 Cor. 13:4-8)! He would have us learn to handle the problems of life without attaching others or attempting to make them as miserable as we are!
In V. 6b-9 Hagar Reacted By Being Unavailable - Hagar decided that the answer to her problems was flight. She just packed up and left to get away from the problem. This is the most common response of all! Some examples are as follows: When problems arise at church, don't seek a solution, seek a new church. When problems arise on the job, don't fix it, find a new job. When problems crop up in the marriage, don't work it out, just find yourself a new mate. The giants of Canaan and the children of Israel are another example. They ran from them the first time, (Numbers 13-14); but before their descendants could claim the land, they had to face and defeat their problem, (Deut. 9:1-2).
I would just call your attention to the fact that God sent Hagar back to the family, (Gen. 16:9). It takes two to have a conflict, and only one to end it. He did this for several reasons, but among them is the fact that God intended to use this situation to help each of these three people to learn to face their problems God’s way. Abram had to face it. Sarai had to deal with it. Hagar had to live in it. God's first order of business isn't to make you happy, but to make you holy! Forcing you to face your problems is one way of accomplishing that end!
In V. 10-16 THE RESULTS OF THE TROUBLE
Proverbs 13:15 says, "Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard." Numbers 32:23 says, "...be sure your sin will find you out." These and other verses remind us of the sad truth that sin brings with it troubles and trials. The situation before us today is no different!
In V. 11-12 A Difficult Son Was Born - Ishmael is called a wild man. Many parents seem determined to raise their own "wild men" through lack of standards and discipline in the home! He would be difficult to handle and would be aggressive towards others. Ishmael represents the difficulties that arise when sin is allowed to divert us from God's path for our lives. Remember, sin brings it's own club. Ishmael is a picture of that truth. What might your sin give birth to in your life? Remember Gal. 6:7-8, we reap what we sow!
In V.9-11 A Dysfunctional Family Was Burdened - As Ishmael grew, the tensions surrounding him grew as well. In other words, the sin of Abram and Sarai, even after many years, still brought heartache and trouble into the home! I would just remind you that your sins, no matter how small and insignificant you may think them to be, always affect you and those around you! They poison your spirit, they sabotage your family and they hinder your walk with God. Many families are burdened today by the so-called hidden sins of those in that family! The answer to sin is to drag it into the light, (Pro. 28:13). Sin cannot live when it is brought out of the darkness into the marvelous light of the glory of God, (John 3:19-21).
In V. 10-12 A Divine Plan Was Bolstered - Even though this sin was accomplished by the will of men, it was going to be used for the glory of God. Those involved could not see how things would play out in their day. Yet, much of the trouble the world is dealing with today, especially in the Arab world, is a direct result of Abram's sin with Hagar. The Arabs are going to figure heavily in God's plan for the end-time events. You see, nothing, even our sins, catches God by surprise. He can take the worst of our failures and use them for His glory. That is not an excuse for evil, but a reason to get up and go on after we fall. Therefore, when sin is committed in your life, do not run from it. Rather, run to the Lord and fine the cleansing and forgiveness He offers thought grace, (1 John 1:9).
Conc: So many areas of our lives have been addressed in this message that I would be surprised if there was a single person today who has not been spoken to directly. While we live in this world, there will be sins and there will be times when we react badly to the trials and problems of life. But, my friends, those sins and those bad reactions do not have to mark our lives! There is a place, called the altar, the place for prayer, where we can go to find the help, forgiveness and restoration we so desperately need. If this text has spoken to your life today, please bring it to the Lord and let Him have His way in your life!
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE and BLESSING.
New International Version (NIV)
16 But to the wicked person, God says: “What right have you to recite my laws or take my covenant on your lips? 17 You hate my instruction and cast my words behind you.
18 When you see a thief, you join with him; you throw in your lot with adulterers. 19 You use your mouth for evil and harness your tongue to deceit. 20 You sit and testify against your brother and slander your own mother’s son. 21 When you did these things and I kept silent, you thought I was exactly like you. But I now arraign you and set my accusations before you. 22 “Consider this, you who forget God, or I will tear you to pieces, with no one to rescue you: 23 Those who sacrifice thank offerings honor me, and to the blameless I will show my salvation.”
Sunday, December 18, 2011
Abraham: Following In The Footsteps Of Faith , 12/18/2011
THAT TROUBLE WITH HAGAR, Part 16a,
It is amazing the depths to which God's Own people can sink. Here is Abram, a man who is following God by faith. He has believed God enough to leave his homeland and his family behind. He has trusted God through battles and trials that would have made many men turn around in defeat and return home. Yet, for all his faith and his good deeds, Abram is still a human. He is still made of sinful flesh and there is still within him a pull towards the world and its allurements.
We all know what this passage is about. Sarai and Abram try to help God give them a son by having Abram take Sarai's maidservant, Hagar, as his wife. Of course, this was never God's will for their lives, but, as with us, this did not stop them from rushing headlong into it anyway. Their decision brought with it far reaching consequences for them and for our world today. Let's spend a few minutes in this passage on the thought That Trouble With Hagar.
In V. 1-4a THE REASONS FOR THE TROUBLE
While all the reasons behind this fiasco are far too many to mention, there are three reasons that warrant mention.
The Acceptance They Were Desiring - In that society, it was considered a disgrace for a couple to be childless. In our day, many couples choose that lifestyle for themselves and that is okay. Others have that choice forced on them by physical reasons. In Abram's day, regardless of the reasons behind it, if a couple had no children, they were mocked, looked down on and largely were not accepted in society.
This was a society that also thought nothing of multiple marriages. If a man like Abram were to take Hagar as a concubine, or secondary wife, no one around them would think a thing of it. If that concubine were to bear a child, it would be considered to be the child of the first, or the primary wife. In this way, Sarai could get the child she desired and be accepted in the community. God's children are often guilty of lowering their standards to those of the community around them in order to fit in better. It is better to please God and be rejected by men that it is to please men and be rejected by God (Acts 4:19)! There MUST be a clear line of demarcation between the people of the Lord and the world around them, (2 Cor. 6:17.) Many churches are falling into that trap today!
The Baggage They Were Dragging - The Bible tells us that Hagar was an Egyptian. She is part of the possessions that Abram brought back with him from his sinful journey into Egypt, (Gen. 12:10-20). Had he never journey to that country, there would have been no Hagar to marry! He is still reaping the harvest he sowed in Egypt! You never go into sin and come out clean! There is always some reminder, some evidence, that you were there! That is the Law of Sowing and Reaping, (Gal. 6:7-8).
The Promises They Were Doubting - Gen. 15:1-6 tells the story of God's great promise to Abram. When the promise was given, Abram reacted in faith, but as time has gone by, Sarai has begun to doubt. He, along with Sarai, decides that God needs help in fulfilling His promise. After all, God only said that Abram would father a son; He didn't say by whom he would father that son! It is my conviction that doubt towards the Word and promises of the Lord accounts for more of our troubles than anything other single thing. We can read what He has promised us, but when the promise isn't fulfilled immediately, we begin to doubt and try to find way to make it happen ourselves. When will we ever learn that: God always keeps His Word, (Heb. 6:18; Rom. 4:21; Ps. 119:89); God is a God of order and that He doesn't run on our schedule; for example, Jesus - Men needed a Savior for 4,000 years before He came, but God sent Him "in the fullness of time", (Gal. 4:4.); and God doesn't need us to take matters into our hands in order to accomplish His will, (Ps. 50:12.)
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE and BLESSING;
New International Version (NIV)
7 “Listen, my people, and I will speak; I will testify against you, Israel: I am God, your God. 8 I bring no charges against you concerning your sacrifices or concerning your burnt offerings, which are ever before me. 9 I have no need of a bull from your stall or of goats from your pens, 10 for every animal of the forest is mine, and the cattle on a thousand hills. 11 I know every bird in the mountains, and the insects in the fields are mine. 12 If I were hungry I would not tell you, for the world is mine, and all that is in it. 13 Do I eat the flesh of bulls or drink the blood of goats? 14 “Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High, 15 and call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you will honor me.”
TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW!
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