From: January 5, 2019
Scripture for today: Genesis 11:1-13:4; Matthew 5:1-26; Psalm 5:1-12; Proverbs 1:24-28
From: January 5, 2018
Abram began a pattern of going “down to Egypt” when famine hit the land of Canaan that his descendants also followed. Although it may not always have been the case, “going down to Egypt” often represented Israel’s dependence on the world rather than on God. Abram, whose name was later changed by God to Abraham, was a man of great faith, but he was also a man with all the shortcomings of humanity.
From: January 5, 2017
Abram obeyed God’s call to leave his home and go to a land that God would show him when he was 75 years old. At an age when most have long since retired, Abram had just got started. Abram obeyed God’s call. And God changed his name from Abram, which means “father,” to Abraham, which means “father of nations.” Abraham believed God and he credited it to him as righteousness.
Do you think it’s too late for you to obey God’s call on your life? Think again.
From: January 5, 2016
This is more an expression of resolve by the petitioner than an expectation that the Lord will hear the petition. “O Lord, in the morning [and every morning thereafter] you [will] hear my voice.” The psalmist David is expressing his determination to begin his days in prayer. He uses metaphoric language in the Hebrew to describe how he will pray. He speaks like an archer, saying “I will send my prayer towards You and to You alone, and watch to see that it hits the target.” Or like a priest, David plans to “prepare” his prayer like a morning “sacrifice,” arranged carefully upon the altar, and then, to watch the smoke arise to the throne of heaven. David is determined to begin his days in the offering up of prayers to God. These will not be sleepy, memorized mutterings, but carefully considered and arrayed prayers… prayers aimed at the heart of God.
From: January 5, 2015
This is the first of the Beatitudes in Christ’s Sermon on the Mount. Each one begins with the word, “Blessed” (Μακάριοι, Makarioi – blessed, happy, completely satisfied). This is not a state related to circumstance, but to God’s divine grace. Each one is also somewhat paradoxical or ironic, in that the recipient of the blessed state is not one usually considered so by the world. This is the world-turned-upside-down, Kingdom economy that Christ introduces. Here, the one who admits his spiritual poverty (“poor in spirit”), who confesses his sin and separation from God, this is the one who will be blessed by God giving him the Kingdom of Heaven. Yet, the opposite is also implied, that the one who thinks himself rich spiritually, already satisfied, this one will not enter the Kingdom. Are you spiritually hungry and impoverished in yourself? The recognition of this is a gift. Admitting your spiritual poverty apart from God is the first step into the blessed life.
From: January 5, 2014
Abram, whose name means father, was called to leave his family and go to a land that God would show him. This is the story of the man of faith, whose name became Abraham, father of nations. He trusted God’s promises before seeing their proof. He obeyed God’s call. What has God called you to do?
From: January 5, 2013
The Jews often referred to the whole of the Hebrew Bible as the Torah (the Law), even though it was the title to the first five Mosaic books only. Here, Jesus is saying that the Word of God is more permanent, lasting, and dependable than heaven and earth themselves. Jesus had such a high view of Scripture that He said even the smallest stroke of the pen would not only be preserved but fulfilled. If Jesus has such a view of Scripture, how should we regard God’s Word?
From: January 5, 2012
Jesus reminded the Jews of God’s purpose for them– to be salty in a tasteless world. Only a little salt adds flavor, heals wounds, and preserves. Jesus now calls us to be salt and light in a wounded, decaying, and dark world, showing forth His glory.