Posted in devotion, Holiness, spiritual warfare, wisdom, worship

This Land is Your Land–Genesis 12 Part 2

landAbram was faithful and when God sent him he, his wife and his nephew set out by faith to Canaan–“The Promised Land.” That name has been bantered around for millennia–but, it was in his initial steps of faith that God took Abram aside and promised Abram that he would give him and his descendants the land for as far as he could see. That was a pretty bold promise to a 75  year old husband and uncle.  Abram followed without question.

As we study through the Bible, we see great acts of faith–that only demonstrate their greatness, well after they were taken.  Abram’s inhabiting of Canaan, Joseph’s interpreting dreams, Daniel’s refusing to eat the foods of the King were all monumental steps of faith–yet, at the time each seemed kind of small.

In our journey, we too have opportunities to move forward each day in faith and allow God to be amazing in our lives.  When we do, we never know what impact those steps will have on the lives of others and on our personal faith journey. But, we do know that God promises if we trust him with all our hearts, lean not on our own understanding, acknowledge him in all our ways–then he will make our paths straight! Proverbs 3:5-6.  He did that for Abram, he will do it for us! God only calls us to be faithful–not perfect, that is his job!

God Bless You

Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh and Schechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring[c] I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him.From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord.

Then Abram set out and continued toward the Negev.

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Abram–Picking the Lineage–Genesis 12 Part 1

So, the choice of a lineage, was never based upon God looking for the best–it was based upon God looking for the most faithful.  In a word, That was Abram.  He was one and done–God said Go and he went.  The lesson of Abram, as we will see, is that as God’s chosen, we are always called to follow.  We are never expected to be perfect–although, the closer that we follow the less deviation from God’s plan will happen.  All the while, in good times and bad, and–when we are faithful as well as when we are not–God still leads, guides and protects those who follow.

Abram is very similar to Christians today–the world around us is a mess.  Sin is everywhere and no place feels like home.  We, as God’s chosen, must rise each day and look for just today’s lessons and blessings.  We must only face today’s burdens and trials.  We must do as Paul spoke in Philippians 4–“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and petition–with thanksgiving, bring your requests before God–then the peace of God, which passes all understanding will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus!” Phil 4:6.  Let your anxiety go and, Like Abram–simply go and follow God’s plan for today!!!

God Bless You

The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.

“I will make you into a great nation,
    and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
    and you will be a blessing.[a]
I will bless those who bless you,
    and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
    will be blessed through you.”[b]

So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran. He took his wife Sarai, his nephew Lot, all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired in Harran, and they set out for the land of Canaan, and they arrived there.

Abram traveled through the land as far as the site of the great tree of Moreh at Shechem. At that time the Canaanites were in the land. The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring[c] I will give this land.” So he built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him.

From there he went on toward the hills east of Bethel and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord.

Posted in A Father's Love, Creation, devotion, Holiness, spiritual warfare, wisdom, worship

Following God, the Making of a Hero–Genesis 11 Part 2

After studying the Bible for almost 50 years, I remain intrigued that God was so open and transparent about his plan to save the world.  He actually, like every good author, reveals himself in almost every chapter.  As we focus on the lineage that brings us to Abraham, we realize that the age of men dropped dramatically.  From Adam to Noah–the average age of men landed in the 900’s, now, by Abraham’s time that has dropped by 80%.
 
God knew men would not change–but, he also intentionally used frail men to carry out his plan of restoration.  The other revelation, is that the men that God used were not superheroes–they were normal people who lived normal lives. It was their desire to continue to seek God that distinguished them in the history of God’s plan.  
 
If we, as his chosen people. would commit to remaining faithful to God’s word and plan–we would see that faithfulness shine in this culture.  We truly make a difference, by standing in alignment with God’s plan and walking daily in the path he has made for us.  In addition, we, like the heroes of old, draw closer to him and are sensitive to his direction–making our journey easier to align with God’s leadership.  We need not be timid or ashamed, instead; we must stand tall and firm in the faith, humbly following God at his word.
 
God Bless You
This is the account of Shem’s family line.

Two years after the flood, when Shem was 100 years old, he became the father[d] of Arphaxad. 11 And after he became the father of Arphaxad, Shem lived 500 years and had other sons and daughters.

12 When Arphaxad had lived 35 years, he became the father of Shelah. 13 And after he became the father of Shelah, Arphaxad lived 403 years and had other sons and daughters.[e]

14 When Shelah had lived 30 years, he became the father of Eber. 15 And after he became the father of Eber, Shelah lived 403 years and had other sons and daughters.

16 When Eber had lived 34 years, he became the father of Peleg. 17 And after he became the father of Peleg, Eber lived 430 years and had other sons and daughters.

18 When Peleg had lived 30 years, he became the father of Reu. 19 And after he became the father of Reu, Peleg lived 209 years and had other sons and daughters.

20 When Reu had lived 32 years, he became the father of Serug. 21 And after he became the father of Serug, Reu lived 207 years and had other sons and daughters.

22 When Serug had lived 30 years, he became the father of Nahor. 23 And after he became the father of Nahor, Serug lived 200 years and had other sons and daughters.

24 When Nahor had lived 29 years, he became the father of Terah. 25 And after he became the father of Terah, Nahor lived 119 years and had other sons and daughters.

26 After Terah had lived 70 years, he became the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran.

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The Attitude of the Heart–Genesis 9 Part 2

Starting over was difficult.  The overwhelming nature of the destruction of life, the reset of everything–must have been overwhelming for Noah, and for his sons. But, clearly after settling in, there were clear signs that all the sons would not see the world through the same eyes.  Ham, like the men before him had an eye that searched for evil.  When he found his father drunk and naked, Ham dad not care to assist or protect his dad; he–only look for ways to expose and embarrass him. 
 
His brothers, however, chose to do neither. Respectfully, they covered his body and refused to embarrass or judge him.  Noah’s dignity and frailty was to remain an issue between him and God.  That is why, Noah cursed Ham and his lineage–he saw they would model the people destroyed by the flood–seeking evil and self–over all.  Shem and Japheth, conversely, honored God and their father–they were selfless and protecting.  So would be the attitude of their descendants.
 
In current culture, we see the same attitudes prevail.  Most men strive for self–often, to the expense of all others with whom they come into contact.  They are truly heinous in word and deed.  It is not that they commit one bad act–it is,that their every thought and action is self-centered, and they possess little care for the welfare of others. Sadly, when people emerge whose hearts are still focused upon God, this culture minimizes and exploits them. 
 
The Bible is full of brave and selfless men and women whose lives made a tremendous difference in the world. While their hearts remained pure, their courage and actions met all challenges and won the day.  We need to have the same courage and discernment as did those that have gone before–we need to Love the brothers, fear God, and honor the King! (I Peter 2:17)
 
God Bless You
The sons of Noah who came out of the ark were Shem, Ham and Japheth. (Ham was the father of Canaan.) 19 These were the three sons of Noah, and from them came the people who were scattered over the whole earth.20 Noah, a man of the soil, proceeded[a] to plant a vineyard. 21 When he drank some of its wine, he became drunk and lay uncovered inside his tent. 22 Ham, the father of Canaan, saw his father naked and told his two brothers outside. 23 But Shem and Japheth took a garment and laid it across their shoulders; then they walked in backward and covered their father’s naked body. Their faces were turned the other way so that they would not see their father naked.

24 When Noah awoke from his wine and found out what his youngest son had done to him, 25 he said,

“Cursed be Canaan!
    The lowest of slaves
    will he be to his brothers.”

26 He also said,

“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Shem!
    May Canaan be the slave of Shem.
27 May God extend Japheth’s[b] territory;
    may Japheth live in the tents of Shem,
    and may Canaan be the slave of Japheth.”

28 After the flood Noah lived 350 years. 29 Noah lived a total of 950 years, and then he died.

Posted in A Father's Love, Creation, devotion, Holiness, Marraige, spiritual warfare, wisdom, worship

The Flood and Faith–Genesis 7 Part 1

It must have been a daunting feeling the day Noah and his family entered the Ark.  All of the animals parading in and all the preparation for feeding and caring for the animals,  All of the behavior, the ridicule and scorn as Noah and his clan entered the boat on that sunny day.  Then the door was closed and  well, nothing happened. Nothing happened for a week. I am sure it took some time to get everyone and everything settled in.  I am also sure that as the family prepared, they had to practice the care and feeding of the animals…BUT, by day 6, faith had to be growing weak.  Of course, day seven changed everything.  The world had never seen rain or flood–the people would not have known what hit them, they never would.  Noah and his family would be the lone survivors for the world they knew.

When we are faithful, God will make our lives full and meaningful.  He will put us in positions to test our faith, and in the midst, allow us to experience every human emotion.  We do see through all of Bible history, that God always protects, provides and prepares His chosen for what lies ahead.  He allows our faith to be stretched and pushed–so when struggles hit; we can face them with confidence, not in our abilities–but in God’s character.  We can never lose either faith or hope.  Those things are gifts.  We simply trust him, follow him and allow him to steer the boat–then we will survive!

God Bless You

The Lord then said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation. Take with you seven pairs of every kind of clean animal, a male and its mate, and one pair of every kind of unclean animal, a male and its mate, and also seven pairs of every kind of bird, male and female, to keep their various kinds alive throughout the earth. Seven days from now I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights, and I will wipe from the face of the earth every living creature I have made.”And Noah did all that the Lord commanded him.

Noah was six hundred years old when the floodwaters came on the earth. And Noah and his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives entered the ark to escape the waters of the flood. Pairs of clean and unclean animals, of birds and of all creatures that move along the ground, male and female, came to Noah and entered the ark, as God had commanded Noah. 10 And after the seven days the floodwaters came on the earth

Posted in A Father's Love, Creation, devotion, Holiness, Marraige, spiritual warfare, wisdom, worship

The Importance of Oral Tradition–Genesis 5 Part 1

It is often forgotten that, while Moses wrote the first 5 books of the Bible, prior to that, there was a rich oral history of the beginning of the nation of Israel.  What one learns, as we study these scriptures, is that the people near Noah’s time–still had the ability to talk to Adam and Seth, the 1st two generations.  The discussions about original sin, the garden, and the life of men were bantered throughout time.  It was that generational training and continued worship of God that set this lineage apart from the rest of the men in the world.  In God’s planning, there was a covering of truth and involvement in the lives of these men that made the reality of creation and life stand the teat of time.

In current culture, there are so many influences that can draw men away from God.  It is the personal influence of Godly Christian men and women that sets the Christian culture apart from the rest of the culture.  If we do not share our knowledge of God and his influence on our lives, our kids and friends will become just like the men that have no selfless influence. We can never be afraid to offend others by speaking the truth in love–It is so important to continue the tradition of God so that the lineage of God will continue for the next generation and many to come.  Our prayer, as his children, should be that we will be and raise Godly men and women that will raise Godly men and women.

God Bless You 

When God created mankind, he made them in the likeness of God. He created them male and female and blessed them. And he named them “Mankind”[a] when they were created.

When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth. After Seth was born, Adam lived 800 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Adam lived a total of 930 years, and then he died.

When Seth had lived 105 years, he became the father[b] of Enosh. After he became the father of Enosh, Seth lived 807 years and had other sons and daughters. Altogether, Seth lived a total of 912 years, and then he died.

When Enosh had lived 90 years, he became the father of Kenan. 10 After he became the father of Kenan, Enosh lived 815 years and had other sons and daughters. 11 Altogether, Enosh lived a total of 905 years, and then he died.

Posted in A Father's Love, Creation, Devotions, Holiness, Marraige, spiritual warfare, wisdom, worship

Seth-A new Hope–Genesis 4 Final

When we look at the beginning of the world and the fall of man, Clearly, men did not start well.  Cain killed his brother and built a lineage of selfish and self-absorbed people.  With that came the bully/victim mentality and a push for self-preservation.  But, in the midst of that Adam and Eve had another son, Seth.  Seth represented a fresh start.  He was not a part of the initial pain of sin and death and he was not a part of the outright rebellion of those that proceeded him.  He instead was raised to honor God, It was his lineage that started worshipping God.  Then hope was returned.  God had not given up on men, he simply changed the relationship.  He did not love them less, but was separated by the sin that entered the world, and, as it did, a wall sprang up between men and God.  Yet in the separation, God blessed the line of Seth–the ultimate restoration of the relationship destroyed by sin.

In our day, in our world, we still look back to the restoration started with Seth carried through Noah and settling on Jesus.  It realigned men and God.  It made our choice to worship him be a personal choice, and it allowed us to reach out directly to God with our greatest needs and desires.  We do not need an intermediary–we accept him personally, seek him personally and follow him personally to an eternity of fellowship as was created and intended to be.  Today, we should call on the name of the Lord with the same fervor as did the line of Seth. 

Thanks Lord for being personal and exceptional in my life and the life of those that seek you!

God Bless You

25 Adam made love to his wife again, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth,[h] saying, “God has granted me another child in place of Abel, since Cain killed him.” 26 Seth also had a son, and he named him Enosh.

At that time people began to call on[i] the name of the Lord.

Posted in Fathers Love, Holiness, spiritual warfare, wisdom, worship

The Wise See The World From A Peaceful Place–Ecclesiastes 9 Part 2

So many people seek to exploit every trick and trade to advance themselves.  In the ancient Greek story, Homer tells of a young prince that travels across the world to escape his horrible fate–only to run right into it. Life is very much like that.  We do everything we can to escape our fates, only to find ourselves ensnared and entrapped in life’s circumstance without warning or protection.  What Solomon sees, is that men would live better, fuller and more peaceful lives–if they would simply listen to the wise, and accept the lives they are in, and make the most of them.
 
The trick is not to focus on one’s own circumstances, but, instead to focus on God and his desire to give us a full and meaningful life.  Wisdom dictates that we can live simply, humbly and gratefully; and in that, experience more joy and deeper peace, than if we were buried in ill-gotten fortune or unfettered ambition. There is never enough stuff for those who are obsessed with stuff.  There is never enough excitement for those whose only solace comes from the next adventure. 
 
Amazingly, those that seek God and are content with the life he has provided–find themselves steeped in peace and in joy no matter what circumstance appears.  They celebrate life’s gifts, they endure life’s challenges. They push to be their best and to pour their lives into others, all the while, wisely accepting that control lies in the hand of the Creator. Make no mistake, they are not absolved from struggle and tragedy–they are simply equipped to endure it, and blessed with others with whom they may walk through it.  That is the heart of wisdom, and that is the glory of being in relationship with God!
 
God Bless You
I have seen something else under the sun:

The race is not to the swift
    or the battle to the strong,
nor does food come to the wise
    or wealth to the brilliant
    or favor to the learned;
but time and chance happen to them all.

12 Moreover, no one knows when their hour will come:

As fish are caught in a cruel net,
    or birds are taken in a snare,
so people are trapped by evil times
    that fall unexpectedly upon them.

13 I also saw under the sun this example of wisdom that greatly impressed me: 14 There was once a small city with only a few people in it. And a powerful king came against it, surrounded it and built huge siege works against it. 15 Now there lived in that city a man poor but wise, and he saved the city by his wisdom. But nobody remembered that poor man. 16 So I said, “Wisdom is better than strength.” But the poor man’s wisdom is despised, and his words are no longer heeded.

17 The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded
    than the shouts of a ruler of fools.
18 Wisdom is better than weapons of war,
    but one sinner destroys much good.

Posted in A Father's Love, Creation, Devotions, spiritual warfare, wisdom, worship

The Amzing Nature of God–Ecclesiastes 7 Final

The world has spent its life trying to make sense of things.  It has tried to use everything in its little box to explain the things of God.  As each year passes, men attempt to explain the supernatural hand of God by using simple natural explanations–it always ends up foolish.
blackhole_m106
Solomon was clear–when we base wisdom on men’s ideas and thoughts, it never comes out well.  Men should walk in reverence to God–the master and creator of all; but, instead–they work to minimize his creation and his influence on daily lives.  All that is necessary is simply to look up and see–the vastness of our universe, the creative nature of our planet, the variance in life, and the unique nature of men.  From that ultra-phenomenal view, we should kneel in awe and reverence to a God that did such an amazing thing, and still cares individually for us.
 
 Solomon’s wisdom led him to see that there are none righteous–all have sinned and will sin.  God, who created men and gave them the ability to choose, knew men would naturally pull away from him.  Still, he loved us and on this very occasion of Christmas–came to earth and filled the gap men’s evil hearts have made.  It always comes back to the most simple thing–fear God, live well and love others.
 
God Bless You
In this meaningless life of mine I have seen both of these:

the righteous perishing in their righteousness,
    and the wicked living long in their wickedness.
16 Do not be overrighteous, neither be overwise—
    why destroy yourself? 17 Do not be overwicked,
    and do not be a fool—why die before your time?
18 It is good to grasp the one and not let go of the other.
    Whoever fears God will avoid all extremes.[a]

19 Wisdom makes one wise person more powerful
    than ten rulers in a city.

20 Indeed, there is no one on earth who is righteous,
    no one who does what is right and never sins.

21 Do not pay attention to every word people say,
    or you may hear your servant cursing you—
22 for you know in your heart that many times you yourself have cursed others.

Posted in devotion, Holiness, Marraige, spiritual warfare, wisdom, worship

Don’t Cling to “The Good Ole’ Days”–Ecclesiastes 7 Part 2

cpthegoodoldays_796907061It is impossible to bring back the past. The older we become, the fonder we are of the way things used to be.  It is a phenomenon, but as time passes we forget the bad and cling to the “Good Ol’ Days”.  Truth is, each time passes with its great things and difficult periods.  What Solomon realized was–people must be patient and trust God and allow him to carry us through this difficult but “Amazing Journey.” 

When running a race or even walking trails, we would consider people foolish–if they wanted to go back to a particular part of the course to walk it again, especially if it was because that portion was easier…Each path has the equal numbers of up and down hills.  we cannot enjoy the down hills until we have climbed the up hill–and here is a truth, the down hills pass so much more quickly than the up hills.  God calls us to “Forget what is behind and press toward what is ahead–to take hold of that for which Christ took ahold of us!” Philippians 3 :12-14.  We  must keep an eternal perspective as we live here in this life.  Otherwise, we will cling to the past and be of little use in this present period.

God Bless You

8The end of a matter is better than its beginning,and patience is better than pride.

9Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.

10Do not say, “Why were the old days better than these?” For it is not wise to ask such questions.

11Wisdom, like an inheritance, is a good thing and benefits those who see the sun.

12Wisdom is a shelter as money is a shelter, but the advantage of knowledge is this:

Wisdom preserves those who have it. 13Consider what God has done:

Who can straighten what he has made crooked? 14When times are good, be happy;

but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other.

Therefore, no one can discover anything about their future.