She’s still my Sister–Genesis 20

Abraham still was afraid his wife’s beauty would be his end.  She is my sister—He told the King.  The King took her as a wife AT AGE 90+.  Once again, God as a protector of his own, saved Abraham and Sarah.  The King initially was mad.  But, then if you think of it—He did take Sarah.  So God allowed him to make things right.  Abraham prayed for him and his kingdom and they were saved. 

When we follow God, it does not mean we will always be perfect.  We still sin.  But God looks at our faith and our hearts and when we submit and follow him, he will bless us and protect us.  He provides in so many ways we never understand.  I am sure Abraham was astonished when the King came with a repentant heart.  He would have never guessed that.  Often we face insurmountable odds in our lives and see God help bring us through without any help from us.  The Lord wants us to pull up stakes and follow.  He wants us to trust him to meet our needs and protect us.  When we do, we are blessed and we bless others around us.  Abraham should not have feared the King, but, Abraham certainly trusted the Lord and his faith was counted as righteousness.  Help me Lord, to have Abraham’s faith

God Bless You

20 Now Abraham moved on from there into the region of the Negev and lived between Kadesh and Shur. For a while he stayed in Gerar, 2 and there Abraham said of his wife Sarah, “She is my sister. ” Then Abimelek king of Gerar sent for Sarah and took her. 3 But God came to Abimelek in a dream one night and said to him, “You are as good as dead because of the woman you have taken; she is a married woman.” 4 Now Abimelek had not gone near her, so he said, “Lord, will you destroy an innocent nation? 5 Did he not say to me, ‘She is my sister, ’ and didn’t she also say, ‘He is my brother’? I have done this with a clear conscience and clean hands. ” 6 Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know you did this with a clear conscience, and so I have kept you from sinning against me. That is why I did not let you touch her. 7 Now return the man’s wife, for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you will live. But if you do not return her, you may be sure that you and all who belong to you will die.”

Self absorped–Self Destroyed Genesis 19 part 1

The saddest part of complete evil and self-absorption is the inability to recognize it.  When the angels came to Sodom and Gomorrah, the people should have been in fear.  Instead, they were arrogant and abusive demanding to rape and destroy the men of God.  Such arrogance was a reaffirmation of what God told Abraham.  The angels showed God’s commitment to Abraham by literally dragging Lot and his wife and daughters out of the city.  The arrogance was obvious then as the city had to be destroyed.

We need to understand that God cannot tolerate rebellion.  But he does love us so much that he will always keep his commitment and even sometimes drag us kicking and screaming to safety and his providence.  We should be chasing after him and his plan for our lives, but we often miss his plan for us.  When we do, he will take us and bring us back into the plan.  We simply need to continue to follow him with our hearts and listen to his leadership.  Then we can avoid the destruction the world is facing.  Help me, Lord to seek you with my heart and life.

God Bless You

The two angels arrived at Sodom in the evening, and Lot was sitting in the gateway of the city. When he saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face to the ground. 2 “My lords,” he said, “please turn aside to your servant’s house. You can wash your feet and spend the night and then go on your way early in the morning.”

“No,” they answered, “we will spend the night in the square.”

3 But he insisted so strongly that they did go with him and entered his house. He prepared a meal for them, baking bread without yeast, and they ate. 4 Before they had gone to bed, all the men from every part of the city of Sodom —both young and old—surrounded the house. 5 They called to Lot, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so that we can have sex with them.”

6 Lot went outside to meet them and shut the door behind him 7 and said, “No, my friends. Don’t do this wicked thing. 8 Look, I have two daughters who have never slept with a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do what you like with them. But don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection of my roof.”

9 “Get out of our way,” they replied. “This fellow came here as a foreigner, and now he wants to play the judge! We’ll treat you worse than them.” They kept bringing pressure on Lot and moved forward to break down the door.

 

How Low Will he Go? Genesis 18 part 3

So misunderstood—when people read the Old Testament, they often develop an image of God that is harsh, unrelenting and mean.  The truth is that God desires that no one would perish and all would walk with him in freedom.  The story of Sodom and Gomorrah is the epitome of the struggle.  These cities took evil to a new height and were proud of it.  They had become rich and wicked. God knew there was no hope for the city to repent and they were so evil that it would affect the rest of the Land.  But God allowed Abraham to bargain him down to sparing the city for 10 people. 

God does not want to punish or even give up on us.  He longs for us “to get it” and turn to him on a daily basis.  He does not enjoy seeing us stumble and suffer due to our bad choices.  He did not want to destroy the cities and would have spared them if there was any semblance of repentance or righteousness.  At some point, however, there lies the reality of a hardened heart and rejection of God.  In that, the most caring father has to allow the person to walk away.  It is sad and disheartening—but, God cannot force folks to follow.  God told Abraham he would spare thousands of evil folks to save 10 that loved him. 

In our current culture, how low will God Go?  We have rivaled S&G in selfishness and wickedness.  We, as his children, seek him and encourage others to do so in hope that God will spare us and bless us.  We pray that he will do so for those here that truly wish to follow.  Help me, Lord to be one of the reasons you spare our land.

God Bless You

 

23 Then Abraham approached him and said: “Will you sweep away the righteous with the wicked? 24 What if there are fifty righteous people in the city? Will you really sweep it away and not spare the place for the sake of the fifty righteous people in it? 25 Far be it from you to do such a thing —to kill the righteous with the wicked, treating the righteous and the wicked alike. Far be it from you! Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?”

26 The Lord said, “If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake. ”  27 Then Abraham spoke up again: “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes, 28 what if the number of the righteous is five less than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five people?”  “If I find forty-five there,” he said, “I will not destroy it.”  29 Once again he spoke to him, “What if only forty are found there?”

He said, “For the sake of forty, I will not do it.” 30 Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak. What if only thirty can be found there?” He answered, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.” 31 Abraham said, “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there?” He said, “For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it.” 32 Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?” He answered, “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.”

33 When the Lord had finished speaking with Abraham, he left, and Abraham returned home

Sarah laughed Genesis 18 part 2

How big is God? Really? Well he spoke the universe into existence.  He brought life where none existed.  He executed his plan and saved a lost world—in the execution, he did some pretty amazing stuff.  Sarah was 90 + years old.  God made sure there was no question that he was executing his plan.  Only God could prepare for the Savior in the way that he did.  So many times, in his word, God does things in a way that clearly shows it is him and not us.  When he does, we can point to him and feel no pressure to make his plan happen.

We simply have to trust him and follow his lead and he will execute his plan flawlessly.  As we do, we can enjoy watching him work.  We can laugh at how amazing his plan truly is.  He loves showing what he can do.  He simply wants us to step back and trust him.  Help me, Lord to trust you.

God Bless You

9 “Where is your wife Sarah?” they asked him. “There, in the tent, ” he said. 10 Then one of them said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife will have a son.” Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, which was behind him. 11 Abraham and Sarah were already very old, and Sarah was past the age of childbearing. 12 So Sarah laughed to herself as she thought, “After I am worn out and my lord is old, will I now have this pleasure?”

13 Then the Lord said to Abraham, “Why did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really have a child, now that I am old?’ 14 Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son.” 15 Sarah was afraid, so she lied and said, “I did not laugh.” But he said, “Yes, you did laugh.”

How May I Serve you, Lord–Genesis 18 part 1

Wouldn’t it be great if we could instantly tell when the Lord was in our presence.  What an honor to be sitting at home and God shows up.  When Abraham saw God was there, he immediately and reverently honored God.  There was no asking God for stuff, instead the question was “God, would you allow me to serve you?”  Can you stay awhile? May I honor you and sustain you.  That should be the attitude for those who love the :Lord. 

In our daily walks, we still get excited when we pray and God shows up.  But we need to evaluate our prayer and ask are we showing God the respect he is due? God calls us to bring our requests to him. He loves that we understand he is our provider.  But, we need to understand the great honor it is to have our Lord in our lives.  We take for granted he is there.  We need to be respectful, humble and grateful for all he does in our lives.  We need to say thank you for his presence.  We need to have Abraham’s attitude—please let me serve you, Lord.  We approach him as the VIP that he is in our lives and the lives of others.  We simply recognize that He is the Lord of the universe and deserves to be respected and loved.

Help me, Lord to treat you with the honor and respect you deserve.

God Bless You

18 The Lord appeared to Abraham near the great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent in the heat of the day. 2 Abraham looked up and saw three men standing nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to meet them and bowed low to the ground. 3 He said, “If I have found favor in your eyes, my lord, do not pass your servant by. 4 Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and rest under this tree. 5 Let me get you something to eat, so you can be refreshed and then go on your way—now that you have come to your servant.”

Different Journeys–Same Lord Genesis 17 part 3

People’s journeys are simply different.  Abraham was to be the father of many nations.  He had a son named Ishmael and now found he was to have a son named Isaac.  Both boys were prayed for by their dad and yet their journeys were to be completely different.  As a human, it is not easy to understand why God does What he does.  Stories of Job, Joseph, Stephen and other mighty people of God intrigue and perplex us.  Why should these great folk pay such a price?  God has a plan and through his plan the world will be saved.  Along the way as he prepares folk for the daily battle, so much seems unfair.  But, God has been God for a long time and is not looking to retire any time soon.  If we allow him  to work his plan in our life, we will see his plan is preparing us to follow him and be like him.  We simply neeed to believe him and be like him in our daily walks.  Help me Lord, to believe you and be like you in my walk today.

God Bless You

15 God also said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you are no longer to call her Sarai; her name will be Sarah. 16 I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her. I will bless her so that she will be the mother of nations; kings of peoples will come from her.”17 Abraham fell facedown; he laughed and said to himself, “Will a son be born to a man a hundred years old? Will Sarah bear a child at the age of ninety?” 18 And Abraham said to God, “If only Ishmael might live under your blessing!”

19 Then God said, “Yes, but your wife Sarah will bear you a son, and you will call him Isaac. I will establish my covenant with him as an everlasting covenant for his descendants after him. 20 And as for Ishmael, I have heard you: I will surely bless him; I will make him fruitful and will greatly increase his numbers. He will be the father of twelve rulers, and I will make him into a great nation. 21 But my covenant I will establish with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you by this time next year.” 22 When he had finished speaking with Abraham, God went up from him.

 

Covenants–Genesis 17 Part 2

God will always be clear on his covenant.  God wants to bless us.  He does demand, however that we engage in the covenant as well.  God does not make temporary covenants—his are forever.  That is a blessing because as we attack life, we tend to slip away from our commitments to him and forget our promises.  Praise God that he always keeps his word.  But, he expects us as his chosen to keep our word as well.  With Israel the sign of the covenant was circumcision.  It was a clear way to remember that Israel was to be set apart.  In our day, we surrender our hearts and follow him. 

There is a blessing unmatched as a chosen child of God.  Our commitment carries us now and through eternity.  We must follow God and believe he is Lord—not merely Savior. God will keep his word—Please Lord, help me keep mine.

God Bless You

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am El-Shaddai—‘God Almighty.’ Serve me faithfully and live a blameless life. 2 I will make a covenant with you, by which I will guarantee to give you countless descendants.”

3 At this, Abram fell face down on the ground. Then God said to him, 4 “This is my covenant with you: I will make you the father of a multitude of nations! 5 What’s more, I am changing your name. It will no longer be Abram. Instead, you will be called Abraham, for you will be the father of many nations. 6 I will make you extremely fruitful. Your descendants will become many nations, and kings will be among them!

7 “I will confirm my covenant with you and your descendants after you, from generation to generation. This is the everlasting covenant: I will always be your God and the God of your descendants after you. 8 And I will give the entire land of Canaan, where you now live as a foreigner, to you and your descendants. It will be their possession forever, and I will be their God.”