January 6, 2019
DISTRACTIONS THAT MUST BE CHASED AWAY Abram had prepared the sacrifice as the Lord had commanded. Yet, as he waited on the Lord, vultures swooped down to eat it. Abram chased them away. He would not let them distract him from waiting on the Lord. He was focused on hearing from God. When we
January 6, 2018
What did Abram do to be considered righteous? It was not “what” he did, but “Who” he believed. For it was by believing the Lord that he was “counted as righteous.” The apostle Paul wrote of this saying, “The words ‘it was credited to him’ were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead” (Rom. 4:23-24). When the crowds following Jesus asked, “‘What must we do to do the works God requires?’ Jesus answered, ‘The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent’” (John 6:28-29).
Neither the Old, nor the New Testaments, teach that righteousness comes through law-keeping. Righteousness is credited to those who have put their faith in Jesus. As the Scripture says, “Believe in the Lord Jesus and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31).
January 6, 2017
Abram gave his nephew, Lot, first choice of the land and Lot chose the Jordan valley, so Abram stayed in the hills of Hebron. Later, the people of the valley were caught up in a war and Lot, his family and possessions were taken as spoils. Abram mustered his men and pursued those who had taken Lot. He defeated them and brought back Lot with all the people and goods taken. Upon his return, Abram gave a tithe of the spoils to Melchizedek, but refused to keep any of the spoils for himself, insisting that he had sworn an oath to the Lord that he would take nothing lest they should say, ‘I have made Abram rich.’ Abram let Lot choose the best of the land, and after rescuing him and all the people and goods taken, he refused the spoils. Yet, after returning home from this great victory empty-handed, he must’ve had some fear and anxiety. For God came to him in a vision telling him not to be afraid, for the Lord Himself was his “shield” and his “exceedingly great reward.”
When we choose to answer God’s call and depend on Him for our provision, we will encounter days of doubt and fear. Often, these days will come right after a great victory. On days like this, be encouraged. For God Himself is our protector and our “exceedingly great reward!”
January 6, 2015
After Abram (His name before God changed it to “Abraham” – “Father of nations”) had divided the sacrificial animals and arranged them according to God’s instruction, a great sense of “horror” came over him with the setting of the sun. God was approaching. One commentator has observed, “Holy fear prepares the soul for holy joy; God humbles first, then lifts up.” This meeting with God was preceded by Abram’s questioning of God’s promised seed. Abraham had questioned, “Lord God, what will You give me, seeing I go childless?”
Have you ever spent the night in prayer questioning God and waiting for an answer? If you have, you may have experienced what Abram did, holy terror. God let the hem of His holiness touch Abram and it was enough to horrify. Then, God made a covenant (Literally “cut” a covenant, as the origin of the word covenant implied the shedding of blood to seal it.) with Abram by passing between the sacrificed animals, prophesying his offspring’s slavery in Egypt and God’s deliverance. When the sun arose the next morning, Abram’s questioning and terror had been replaced with faith and holy joy.
January 6, 2011
We fear loss. Loss of possessions, family, life. But God says He is our shield, our Protector. We fear an empty future. But God says He Himself is our very great reward.