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A STORY FROM THE BIBLE, 1/13/2012

Friday, January 13, 2012

ISAAC, Following In The Footsteps Of Faith, 1/13/2012

Genesis 26:12-25
THE REALITIES OF A PILGRIM’S LIFE, Part 1a

The Patriarch Isaac was a man who lived in the shadows. If you think about it, he lived his live first under the shadow of his great father Abraham, then he lived his live in the shadow of his great son Jacob. Abraham is the star of some 14 chapters of the book of Genesis and Jacob is the central figure of another 12 or so. But Isaac, is only featured in a handful of chapters. It is only here, in this 26th chapter of Genesis that we are allowed a glimpse into the life and work of this man.

Among the things we note about him is that he was a man of faith, (v. 2-5). In fact, he is listed in Hebrews 11:20 among the great heroes of the faithful. We can also see here that he, like the rest of us, was far from perfect, (v. 6-11), because he was guilty of committing some of the same sins that his father Abraham had committed. Another thing we notice about this man is the fact that he was a pilgrim. That is, he moved from place to place, like his father, not actually owning any of the land upon which he lived.

It is in his role as a pilgrim that Isaac pictures the child of God. If I may I remind you, the Bible teaches us very clearly that we are “strangers and pilgrims” in this world, (1 Pet. 2:11). The word “strangers” means “a stranger, a foreigner, one who lives in a place without the right of citizenship”. And, the word “pilgrim” means, “sojourning in a strange place; a metaphor for one who sojourns on earth”. In fact, the Bible tells us that every saved person is a citizen of heaven, (Phil. 3:20, 1 Pet. 1:4-5).

Today, I want to examine the life of Isaac the pilgrim. Because in his pilgrimage through the world, encounters many of the same problems and he experiences many of the same blessings that cross paths with us as we journey toward glory. Let’s take a few minutes today to examine the life of this man, and as we do, I just want to point out The Realities Of A Pilgrim’s Life. There is help and hope in this passage today for everyone who is walking the pilgrim’s path!

V. 12-14a IT IS A LIFE OF GREAT PROVISIONS

The Size Of The Provisions - We are told that Isaac enjoyed a 10,000% return on his investment! What makes this all the more astounding is the fact that this occurred during a time of famine, (v. 1). While everyone around him was going broke and starving to death, Isaac prospered. His crops flourished while the crops of others dried up. His flocks and herds grew while the flocks and herds of others starved and died of thirst. It seemed like Isaac had the golden touch.

The Source Of The Provisions - Some may have called it good luck, others may have looked upon Isaac and wondered how he did it, but the fact of the matter is this: God was just blessing him! Isaac wasn’t a better farmer than the other farmers. He didn’t know more about botany, horticulture or zoology than the other men around him. But, he did have an advantage, he knew God and that translated into blessings in his life when others were experiencing defeat! You see, when the famine arose, there was evidently a temptation within Isaac’s heart to flee to Egypt like Abraham had before him, (v. 2). However, in obedience to the Lord’s command, he stayed where he was, in the midst of that famine, and God honored his obedience! I would just like to point something out to every believer here today: the very fact that you know God in a personal way places you in a position to enjoy His wonderful provisions in your life! You may look at your situation today and say, “Friend, it sure doesn’t look like I’m receiving a 10,000% return on my investment! I’m saved, following the Lord and trying to be obedient, but I’m just about flat broke and everything is falling apart in my life!” Just because God isn’t paving your path with diamonds and giving you a new Rolls Royce every year doesn’t mean that He isn’t blessing you!

Look at it this way: you may have it as bad, or even worse, than those around you who aren’t saved, but you have something they do not have! You have a personal relationship with the Lord God of Heaven! What does that give you? Well, the list is almost endless, but a few of the benefits are:
1. Eternal salvation - never lost!
2. The presence of God in your life - never alone!
3. The power of God working in your life - never in a hopeless situation!
4. The promises of God active in your life - never without hope!
5. The Word of God to guide your life - never without direction!

The list could go on, but you think about it; if you are saved and your neighbor is not, who’s children have a better hope of heaven? What kind of a value do you on place on that? Would you rather have “money or the Master“? Well, if you have the Master, He will take care of all the real needs in your life anyway!

Isaac enjoyed the great blessings that he did because he was obedient to the command of God, (v. 2-4). The same thing holds true for you and me. If we will put God where He belongs: FIRST; then, He will see to the rest of our lives,( Matt. 6:33). No one said this life would be easy, in fact the Bible teaches the opposite, but, those who walk with God know that He is in control, “The unseen hand of providence“! What looks like the worst disaster you ever faced can be used of God to bring into your life some of the greatest blessings you have ever enjoyed, (Rom. 8:28; 2 Cor. 4:17).

TODAY”S HYMN and BLESSING!
COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS by J. Oatman and E. Excell

When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Refrain
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.
Refrain

When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings. Wealth can never buy
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.
Refrain

So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be disheartened, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.
Refrain

TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW!

  
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INFLATED 1/14/2012 1:49AM

    1 Samuel 2:30 Wherefore the LORD God of Israel saith, I said indeed that thy house, and the house of thy father, should walk before me forever: but now the LORD saith, Be it far from me; for them that honor me I will honor, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.

The last part of this Scripture.

My husband works about 90 miles from our home. He is gone 14 hours a day during the week. In spite of making more money than he ever has, the price of everything takes it all.

We bought a house with a wood stove in 2008. In 2009, we put in a heat pump and central air conditioning. It was heated with electric baseboard heat. In 2009, we tried the wood stove after having the chimney cleaned and checked out by a chimney sweep. We bought wood and it was expensive. We needed another vehicle because the motor on my husband's Ford Explorer had over 200,000 miles on it and it was constantly needing repairs. He bought a pickup truck, a Ford Ranger.

A man he worked with wanted to move a half-pipe, a thing skateboarders and bikers use to perform tricks on. He lined up several people to help him move it on a weekend. When the time came to move it, my husband was the only one that showed up. There were two halves to the thing and again the man asked men to help him move it. My husband was the only one that showed up to help. We had been buying wood from this man. He had several acres of wooded property and there were downed trees on the land. He told my husband he could have all the downed trees for free. We hauled wood every year from there for three years. This year there was no more.

We asked at church if anyone knew where we could cut fence rows and take the wood for cutting down the trees along the fences. A brother in Christ told us that someone had cut down wood and cut it to stove length, but never returned to get it. He said he would ask his landlord if we could have it. That wood was given to us too. We hauled about 9 pickup loads from there. It will all fit in the wood stove, some just needs to be split because it is so big around.

I am not a prosperity believer. I think since Adam sinned, we have to work for what we get. I don't give preachers "seed money" and then expect God will take care of all of our bills. We do tithe and give an offering above our tithes. However, we have not had to pay for wood since 2009!!! God has used many people to give us junk furniture which we break apart and burn- old lattice, an old baby crib, furniture missing a drawer, in addition to seasoned oak and elm logs.

A neighbor that lives on the street in back of our house, said his wife wanted him to cut down a cherry tree because she was afraid it would damage their new roof in a storm. He cut it down and cut it into stove lengths, even hauled it to our house and threw it over the fence into the back yard. It is on pallets seasoning for next winter. A lady told the people that do her yard work to cut down an old apple tree and to give it to us along with wood she had in a garage and in front of an old shed. Again, it was delivered and unloaded for us.

I write about it in my blogs here at Spark People. It astounds me! I am sure the Lord has given us several thousand dollars worth of wood and I count into that figure the people's time in sawing it, loading/unloading it, and helping me to get it onto our property because my husband leaves at 4 AM and doesn't return until 6 PM. The men treat me as though I were a widow needing help and they do the heavy work of loading and unloading the trucks. I know God has provided for me even when I was lost, but He has been astonishing me in my old age. I am 60. I can sure attest to your study that God gives us what we need according to His Will.

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RORYLYONS 1/14/2012 12:40AM

    How beautiful the song & amazing story...Many blessings! emoticon emoticon

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DAWADDELL 1/13/2012 9:21PM

    Love it, thank you!!

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CHUM48 1/13/2012 11:07AM

    Thank you

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GROEDER 1/13/2012 8:13AM

    The many blessings that I recieve are not always what I ask for, but He knows what I NEED!!!! God is always there to take care of those things because I believe. VERY COMFORTING!!!!
May He bless you greatly today and every day!!
Gregg

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A STORY FROM THE BIBLE, 1/12/2012

Thursday, January 12, 2012

ABRAHAM, Following In The Footsteps Of Faith , 1/12/2012

Genesis 25:5-10
ABRAHAM GATHERED TO HIS PEOPLE! Part 30b, Continued From Yesterday!

HOW HE LAID DOWN HIS LIFE

In his life, Abraham was a wonderful example of what a believer should be, but even in his dying there are precious truths that can be seen in him that should mark all those who know the Lord Jesus!

He Laid It Down With Readiness - v. 8 - "He gave up the ghost" - There was not struggling to stay, but a simple releasing of life when it came time to go. He had lived a full and long life, 175 years, but when the time came to make the crossing out of this life into the next, Abraham did so with grace and serenity. Why? Because he had spent his life looking for a particular city. Not a city that can be found on this earth, but an everlasting city made by the hands of God in Heaven, (Heb. 11:10). Abraham knew that Sarah was waiting on him on the other side. He knew that the only way to reach that city and to be with Sarah again was to give up the ghost. That he did without fear, fretting or fighting. His deathbed scene was one of peace! Everyone in this room has looked beyond the years to a day when we too will make this crossing. It isn't something we discuss, but it does come to mind from time to time! I have noted that the passing years seem to bring the thought around more often. However, those who know the Lord have a great assurance when we look at the day of our departure! We have the Lord's promise concerning that day. For us, it will be a time of laying aside the temporary for the permanent, (2 Cor .5:1). It will be a time of leaving the land of the dying to enter the land of the living, (John 11:25-26). It will be a time of passing through the veil to stand in the presence of the Lord Himself, (2 Cor. 5:8). It will be nothing more that a "departure", (2 Tim. 4:6), from this life and an entrance into a new and better life in that same city Abraham looked for. Abraham knew it before there was even a Bible from which to read it! He knew it by faith and so do I! How about you?

He Laid It Down With Reassurance - The Bible tells us that he was "gathered to his people." This does not have reference to the grave! No, he was buried with Sarah in Canaan. His people had died in Haran and Ur. Abraham was gathered to those who had died before him in faith! He went to that place where those died in faith were waiting for him, (Luke 16:23)! They were all waiting for another One Who came into their midst with some glorious news one day! When Jesus died on the cross, He descended into Paradise with the glorious news that redemption had been purchased for all those who had died in faith! With that news, He lead them out of Paradise and into Heaven in a glorious parade of triumph and victory, (Eph. 4:8-10; 1 Pet. 3:19)! Somehow, Abraham knew this by faith! You and I have a better assurance that even Abraham had! He was to go to Paradise to stay until the price was paid. Neither he, nor anyone else, knew how long that would be! They were looking forward to that event. We look backward at that event today! It is finished! The way is opened and all those who died in faith are immediately gathered home to the presence of the Lord in Heaven!

HOW HE LOVED HIS LORD

A third characteristic of Abraham's life that is worthy of note is how he loved the Lord.

His Love Was Displayed - All through his life, he simply obeyed what the Lord told him to do! When the Lord said go, he went. When the Lord said do, he did. When the Lord said stay, he stayed. He obeyed even when the command was difficult and costly. He obeyed when every instinct within him told him to do the opposite. You see, the true essence of love for the Lord is that genuine love always manifests itself in obedience to God, regardless of what He says to do! This was a truth that became crystal clear because of the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ, (John 14:15; 21). We can say anything we wish about the level of our love for Him, but the ultimate expression of our love for Jesus will be found in how we obey Him in whatever He tells us to do!

His Love Was Declared - As you read the Bible, you see the love of Abraham declared. But, it is never declared by Abraham! Isn't that strange? There are lots of people who want to tell us how much they love the Lord. Abraham didn't talk about it, he just did it! There is a big difference! However, the love of Abraham is declared in the Bible. It is mentioned by a man named Jehoshahat in (2 Chr. 20:7). God Himself talks of this man Abraham and his love for the Lord in (Isa. 41:8). Both of these references refer to Abraham as being a "friend" of the Lord. This means "one well beloved by another." You may wonder how I can make to leap from Abraham being called a friend of God to his love for the Lord. The answer lies in what Jesus said in John 15:14 and John 14:15. Taken together, those two passages tell us that one who is God's friend in one who is obedient to the Lord. And, those who walk in obedience are those who really love Him!

Conc: As you consider these characteristics from the life of Abraham, I wonder how your life measures up. How is your life being lived? Are you ready to lay it down the right way when the time comes? Do you really love the Lord this evening? These are extremely important questions that need to be addressed in your life and mine today. I don't want to be Abraham, but I do want to look at those areas in my life that could be changed to line up more clearly with what God found pleasing in his life. We should all want to glean the best of Abraham's characteristics and make them true in our own lives as well!

TODAY’S HYMN and BLESSING!
“THERE IS A HABITATION”
Words: L. H. Jameson Music: J. H. Rosecrans

There is a habitation Built by the living God For all of ev’ry nation Who seek that grand abode.

Chorus
O Zion, Zion, I long thy gates to see O Zion, Zion, when shall I dwell in thee?

A city with foundations Firm as th’eternal throne Nor wars nor desolations Shall ever move a stone.
Chorus

No night is there, no sorrow No death, and no decay No yesterday, no morrow But one eternal day.
Chorus

Within its pearly portals Angelic armies sing With glorified immortals The praises of its King.
Chorus

NOTE:
TOMORROW WE WILL MOVE ON IN OUR STORIES TO ISAAC, THAN JACOB and JOSEPH!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CTUPTON 1/19/2012 7:19AM

    emoticonthank you for this. Chris

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LOSTLIME 1/13/2012 5:19AM

    I hope to be more like Abraham when it comes to my time. I want
to thank you for these Bible stories and how they pertain to our everyday lives. Have a wonderful day,Vic!!

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SNUZSUZ 1/12/2012 10:59PM

    So, is it true that when we die, "all those who died in faith are immediately gathered home to the presence of the Lord in Heaven!" That it is "immediate"? Does it say so in the Bible? Would you tell me where? I have been wondering a lot about what happens when we die in faith. Don't we have to wait until the Jesus comes back, and calls all those that have died from the graves, and the sea, and such? I remember reading something about that, but I don't know where it was.

If I still smoke cigarettes when I die, will I still go to heaven? Because I have been trying so hard to stop, but what if I don't stop before I die? I know I should be able to give up smoking for the Lord, but it has really been a struggle and I haven't been able to yet.
I appreciate your time that you put in everyday to help other's like myself understand God's word! Your posts have been such a blessing!

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GROEDER 1/12/2012 8:17AM

    Abraham's life is a shining example of what I long to be. I will never live up to those standards, but I pray for a better relationshop with God so I will be a better friend, and deciple for Him.
The examples in these Bible stories are helping me along the way.
Have a very blessed day, Vic.

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A STORY FROM THE BIBLE, 1/11/2012

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

ABRAHAM, Following In The Footsteps Of Faith , 1/11/2012

Genesis 25:5-10
ABRAHAM GATHERED TO HIS PEOPLE! Part 30a

These verses record the end of a great life! Abraham was taken from among a pagan people and make the Father of the Faithful. He was taught the harsh lessons of faith and obedience. He suffered for God and he enjoyed the best God had to offer. In the end, his life is concluded by the words "and was gathered to his people."

As I consider the life of this great man, I realize that there are certain characteristics that were present in his life that need to be found in me as well today. I would like to point out just a few of those characteristics as we conclude our study of this great man of faith. As we come to the end of this study and to the end of Abraham's life, I see some similarities with what could have been said about him and what might be said about us when we too leave this world. These similarities are made clear by the characteristics I want to point out. So, while we have this time to look into the Word of God, let's consider this thought, "Abraham: Gathered To His People."

When someone dies, three things usually come up at some point during a discussion of the deceased individual's life. Those three things are: 1.) How they lived their life; 2.) Some of the events surrounding their death; and 3.) Where did they stand with the Lord. These are the three characteristics I want us to consider.

HOW HE LIVED HIS LIFE

It Was A Life Of Faith - One of the clearest and most striking things about Abraham's life is how he lived everyday and took every step by faith in God. His faith was not declared by him, but it was declared years later by the writer of the book of Hebrews - (Heb. 11:8). This is the kind of life that God wants everyone of His children to live - (Heb. 11:6; Rom. 14:23; Hab. 2:4; Rom. 1:17; Gal. 3:11; Heb. 10:38). If the people of God could ever learn to let go of their lives and leave them in the hands of the Lord, it would revolutionize our lives and forever end the struggles we have with worry and fear, (Phil. 4:6-7). Faith is not just for the super saint, it is for all believers. Even you!

It Was A Life Of Following - Heb. 11:9 tells us that the life of Abraham was one lived in the acts of following. Wherever the Lord pointed him, that was the direction he took. It would seem that Abraham had no life of his own, but that his life was one totally given over to the will of the Lord. A life spent following the Lord is a life that will always end up in the right place! Why? Ps. 37:23 teaches us that when God leads, the destination is assured!

It Was A Life Of Favor - Because Abraham walked in faith and followed the Lord regardless of where He led him, God abundantly blessed the life of this amazing man. He blessed him financially, militarily, physically, spiritually and He blessed Abraham's family as well. Of course, this had been the oft repeated promise that Abraham had been given by the Lord, (Gen. 12:2-3; 17:16; 22:17). God had promised to bless him and God did just that! I can guarantee you that a life lived for the Lord is a life that will not lack blessing! He may not bless you in the ways you want Him too, but I can guarantee you that He will bless your life in the ways that matter the most (Eph. 1:3). It is worthy of noting how the life of Abraham fleshed out the list of graces that are to characterize those who believe in the Lord (2 Peter 1:5-11). He had all of these great attributes in his life and it proved that a work of grace had been done in his heart! By the way, we are to be abounding in these things as well! Why? When we have them in our lives in abundance, they make us fruitful,(v. 8); they give us assurance of our salvation, (v. 9); they help prevent us from falling, (v. 10); they give us a glorious entrance into the kingdom, (v. 11).

TODAY’S HYMN and BLESSING!
“OH, THAT WILL BE GLORY”
Lyrics and Music: Charles H. Gabriel

When all my labors and trials are o’er, And I am safe on that beautiful shore, Just to be near the dear Lord I adore, Will through the ages be glory for me.

Refrain:
O, that will be glory for me,
Glory for me, glory for me,
When by His grace I shall look on His face,
That will be glory, be glory for me.

When, by the gift of His infinite grace, I am accorded in heaven a place, Just to be there and to look on His face, Will through the ages be glory for me. Refrain:

Friends will be there I have loved long ago; Joy like a river around me will flow; Yet just a smile from my Savior, I know, Will through the ages be glory for me. Refrain:

TO BE CONTINUED TOMORROW!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SNUZSUZ 1/11/2012 10:52AM

    Thank you for the lesson for today and for the spark goodie, and note:)

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GROEDER 1/11/2012 8:30AM

    The blessings from God often come in ways very different than what we pray for. Life with Him is a marval of unexpected pleasures.
Have a super day, Vic.

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A STORY FROM THE BIBLE, 1//10/2012

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

ABRAHAM, Following In The Footsteps of Faith, 1/10/2011

Genesis 24:51-67
WILT THOU GO WITH THIS MAN, Part 29

Abraham the old patriarch is dying. Before he does, he wants to find a bride for his son, Isaac. He sends a nameless servant to his relatives home to find this bride. The servant does what he was sent to do. He finds a bride for Isaac and succeeds in his mission returning home with a bride for his master’s son, Isaac. For Rebekah, her encounter with Abraham’s servant came down to one important question, “Wilt thou go with this man?”, (v. 58). She said, “I will go” and this response changed her life forever!

From a spiritual viewpoint, everything boils down to the very same question. You see, in this story, Abraham is a picture of God the Father. The Servant represents the Holy Spirit. Rebekah represents the church, or those saved by grace, and Isaac is a picture of the Lord Jesus Christ. God the Father has sent His Holy Spirit into this world to call out a bride for Jesus Christ, (John 16:7-11). Like Abraham’s servant, the Holy Spirit does not promote Himself, but He talks about Jesus and calls lost people to come to Him for salvation, (John 16:13-14). Those who have Jesus revealed to their hearts by the Holy Spirit, and hear Him say, “Wilt thou go with this man?”, are brought face to face with the greatest question man will ever face! How you answer that question determines where you spend your eternity!

Today, I want to look at this passage from Rebekah’s perspective. I want to point out a few thought that should make saying “Yes!” the answer to the question: “Wilt thou go with this man?” a little easier.

I. SOME MATTERS ARE VERY CLEAR TO REBEKAH

Isaac Is A Man Of Mystery - The name of this man is not even revealed to Rebekah! This servant had to travel over 500 miles to teach Rebekah about Isaac with his bag of riches. To a lost person, Jesus Christ can be mysterious and frightening. Lost people have all kinds of questions and fears The best way to learn about Jesus is to come to Him by faith. The Spirit of God will teach us all about Him as we journey toward home! The Holy Spirit is in the teaching business -( John 16:13-14). We will never get to know Jesus completely until we get home!

Isaac Is A Man Of Money - Everything Abraham owns is in the hand of the servant, (v. 35-36) and will belong to Isaac. Laban is very interested in this! Everything the Heavenly Father owns has been given to His son, (Rom. 8:17), and He shares all He has with His Bride (The Church). The scope of this thought is seen in Deut. 10:14; 1 Cor. 10:26. Look up and look around, everything you see belongs to Jesus and to us ( 1 Cor. 2:9)! He is well able to care for His bride!

Isaac Is A Man Of Matrimony - V. 4, 34-49 - Isaac is a man looking for a bride! It was every woman’s desire, in that day, to marry and have children. For Rebekah this must have been thrilling! Out of all the women this rich, eligible man could have chosen, God chose her to be Isaac‘s bride! Don’t take the call of God to be saved lightly! To be called to come to Him for salvation is an honor beyond compare! When you think of man’s lost condition,( Eph. 2:1-3; 12) and what the Lord wants to do for him, (Eph. 2:13-22), it is an honor to be called and chosen to come to him for salvation!

II. SOME MATTERS ARE VERY CONCEALED TO REBEKAH

Her Road Is Concealed - She does not know what lies between where she is and where he is! There are many unknowns along the way, but the servant has all the necessary resources to make the journey successful! Some of the questions she might have had were known by the servant! None of us knows what will happen between here and Heaven! But, we can rest in the sure knowledge that God knows and plans the road ahead, (John 10:4; Ps. 37:25), and that He will go with us all the way home, (Matt. 28:20; Heb. 13:5)! Not a single one who begins the journey with Jesus will fail to make it home if they remain faithful and obedient! The road may be rough and it may be fraught with peril, but we are ALL be going through them with the help of the Lord!

Her Reception Is Concealed - When he sees her what will he think of her? Will she be accepted? Will she be loved? Notice that all her fears were in vain, (v. 67)! Friends, you need not wonder whether Jesus will have you or not. If you will come to Him, He will never turn you away, (John 6:37)! If you are already saved, you need not fear His rejection at the end of the journey!

Her Reward Is Concealed - What is in this for Rebekah? Is this offer for real? If I could answer her, I would tell her, “Rebekah, you get a new Father, a new Family, a new Faith, a new Fortune, a new Future, and a new Fame. Rebekah, you get more than you could ever imagine when you get Isaac!” The world, the flesh and the devil, will try to tell the believer that there is no payoff in serving God. But, you remember this: the rewards for coming to Jesus are without number and without limit, (1 Cor. 2:9; Rom. 8:32; Eph. 1:3).

III. SOME MATTERS ARE VERY CERTAIN TO REBEKAH

She Is Willing To Choose - v. 58 - Even though she does not know all there is to know about Isaac, she knows that she wants to be with him. She doesn’t have all the information, but she has enough to choose! He sounds just like the man she wants to be married to. Salvation boils down to your wanting Jesus more than you want anything else in life. Being saved means coming to a place where you are willing to choose Jesus over your sins; Heaven over Hell; God over Satan. Salvation is about you reaching a place where you want to be free more than you want to be bound! Salvation is about you coming to a place of faith in Jesus Christ alone, (Acts 16:31; Eph. 2:8-9). Rebekah looked around and said, “I want him more than anything I have here. I will go!” Salvation comes down to your being willing to make Jesus your choice, after He has made you His choice, (John 15:16)! Don’t allow anything to stand between you and your soul’s salvation! Nothing you can name in this world or in the world to come is more valuable than your being saved, (Mark 8:36-37; Mark 9:43-48)!


She Is Willing To Change - Rebekah has come to the place where she esteems Isaac as being more valuable than anything else in her life. She is willing to turn her back on everything to go be with Him. She is willing to live in a new place, in a new way, under new management! This is the essence of salvation. It is a total life change, because it is a new life… period, (John 3:3, 7; 2 Cor. 5:17). Coming to Christ means coming to the place where you are willing to turn your back on the old life forever and embrace a new way of living and walking (Eph 4:22-24). Many balk at this point, but a heart of repentance is a necessary component of salvation,( Luke 13:3)!

She Is Willing To Commit - Rebekah has reached the place where she is willing to commit the rest of her life to being Isaac’s wife. She is willing to give her all to him! Salvation is not about mere profession, it is about total commitment! There is no place in the church for so-called “easy-believism”. Salvation is a radical commitment to follow Jesus Christ for the rest of your life, with no reservations! Salvation comes when a lost sinner is convicted of his sins and is drawn to Christ. When that sinner believes the Gospel and repents of sin, confesses Jesus as Lord, and puts Him on in baptism, he or she is saved! Salvation is a total, radical, permanent commitment!

Conc: Rebekah made her decision to go to Isaac. As a result, she was loved, blessed and lived a happy, joyous life. It all happened because she said, “I will go!” when she heard the question, “Wilt thou go with this man?” What about you my friend? Jesus is calling, isn’t He? In your heart, you are hearing that same question asked today, “Wilt thou go with this man?” Well, will you? If you will come to Jesus, He will save you and change your life forever. You and you alone can decide what you will do with Jesus!

TODAY’S HYMN and BLESSING!

Jesus is standing at your heart's door. Standing and knocking, He's knocked before;This is the question we face once more: What will you do with Jesus? At your sad heart He is knocking still, Longing to enter your soul to thrill; You must accept or reject His will: What will you do with Jesus? Oh, will you leave Him alone outside? Or, will you choose Him whate'er betide? This is the question you must decide: What will you do with Jesus? What will you do with Jesus? What will you do with Jesus? Neutral you cannot be; Someday your heart will be asking: What will He do with me?

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SNUZSUZ 1/10/2012 8:59PM

    You have a real talent for getting the message across in a way that is so easily understood, thank you!

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DOTTIEJANE1 1/10/2012 11:04AM

    I opened the door ,and have been blessed ever sence. Enjoyed your blog. Wishing you a success day.

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GROEDER 1/10/2012 7:47AM

    I feel very blessed to be learning more every day as I read these stories from the Bible!!!
God has given you a real talent for spreading His word.

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A STORY FROM THE BIBLE, 1/9/2012

Monday, January 09, 2012

ABRAHAM, Following In The Footprints Of Faith, 1/9/2012

Genesis 23:1-20
STANDING UP FROM BEFORE THE DEAD, Part 28b, Continued From Yesterday!

V. 17-20 IT WAS A TIME OF FAITH

The fact that Abraham buried his wife in the cave in Hebron, shows the depths of his faith in the Lord God. Of course, Abraham's faith is well known and documented, even in the New Testament, (Heb. 11:13-16). In Abraham's life, we can see faith exhibited in three areas.

We See His Faith In The Promises Of God - He was able to buy the cave with confidence seeing that he already owned the land in trust. It had been given to him by the precious promise of God, (Gen. 13:15-17). He knew that one day, he and his descendants would be buried in this very cave. But, he was able, by faith, to see far beyond this. He was able to see a day when he would stand with Sarah, in the presence of the Lord in Heaven, (Heb. 11:9-10)! This same faith dwelled in the heart of Job, (Job 19:25-27). It should dwell in our hearts as well, (John 14:1-3).) When we are able to look beyond the present to the things we have been given in promise, by faith, it secures the heart, frees the mind, and strengthens the hands to work, (Heb. 11:1)! When we know we are going home some day, it makes the trials of this journey bearable!

We See His Faith In The Plan Of God - Abraham knew that even as he buried Sarah here, there would come a day when his descendants would inherit this land and would dwell there. Because of this great knowledge, Abraham was able to endure his grief, his pain and his losses. He knew that God's plan is always best, (Rom. 8:28). If we could ever grasp that truth it would change our lives! It would spell the end of our second guessing, our worrying and our "why?" and "What if'". God has a perfect plan and it is not meant to hurt you, but it is meant to produce His image in your life, (Rom. 8:29). It is meant to glorify His name and to further His kingdom in this world. The best thing we can ever do is to submit humbly and wholly to what the Lord is doing in and around us!

We See His Faith In The Power Of God - Even as he stared death in the face, Abraham was able to walk in victory because he knew that he was serving a God Who controlled all the affairs of life and of death! He knew that even though his pain was great and his loss was terrible, in the end, he would come out a winner because God resides on the throne! Would to God we could remember that today and forever! We are not going to be in this world with all its pain and heartache forever! The day is coming when we will leave this world for a new home in glory. When that day comes, we will enjoy the victory! The bottom line is this: We have read the conclusion of the book! We have already won all there is to win. We must now wait until the victory we already hold by faith in our heart is beheld by the eyes!

Conc: There are times when we all look at an impossible situation and wonder how much more we can take. Let me tell you now that God's grace is sufficient for you in everything you will face in this life, (2 Cor. 12:9). He will give you grace to stand up from your dead and to go on for His glory until the battle is over. I do not know what you might be facing today, but I do know that faith is where your victory lies, (1 John 5:4)! What will it take to get you to stand up from your dead? Whatever it is, the Lord has it. Come get it!

TODAY’S PSALM and BLESSING!
Psalm 46:1-7
New International Version (NIV)

1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, 3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. 4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. 5 God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. 6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. 7 The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SNUZSUZ 1/9/2012 8:52AM

    Exactly what I needed to read today!

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BUTTERFLY742 1/9/2012 8:16AM

  Well......... I'm glad I (happened) along here to your site. Now we both know is wasn't a coincidence, or that it just happened. God led me to your site and I'm glad he did.

I enjoy your writing, and will read more.

God bless you.

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WENDYSPARKS 1/9/2012 8:07AM

    Thank you!!!

Wendy emoticon

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GROEDER 1/9/2012 8:01AM

    How perfect this Psalm is!!!!!! It is as relevent today as it was when it was written.
Have a great day, Vic.

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