Friday, September 26, 2014

A very Great Reward

“After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision:
 ‘Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.’”
Gen 15:1

God spoke words of comfort to Abram, He telling him to not fear. Abram had stood for God in dealing with the king of Sodom. (Genesis 14:21-24)
God says very comforting words here. He tells Abram, “Do not be afraid. . . ” A person’s fears seem to mould one’s personality or at least their mindset. I have found that a lot of people’s peculiar behavior stems from their fears.
God then tells Abram, “I am your shield. . .” A shield protects us from the elements. We have windshields in our cars. We carry umbrellas to use when it rains. I carry one in my purse, just in case. 
God also identifies Himself as Abram’s “. . . very great reward.”  The Creator of the universe cared enough about the stand Abram took to give him a special relationship as a reward for how he approached one who was from the world.
God is also our “very great reward.” We don’t deserve Him being our friend. We don’t deserve His love. But, He chooses to love us in spite of all our short comings and our sins.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Do We Believe This?

“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life.
 He who believes in me will live, even if he dies; and whoever lives
and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?’”
 John 11:25-26 (NIV)

Jesus arrived at Bethany after Lazarus had died. His sisters Mary and Martha were grieving and upset.

Because of her grief, Martha spoke harshly to Jesus. “Lord, if you’d been here my brother would not have died.” The discussion continued. Martha believed God would do what Jesus asked.

She also believed her brother would rise again in the resurrection at the final day. He had to help Martha understand His role in God’s plan.

The words of our focus verse are read at Christian funerals and memorial services. They bring comfort to those who grieve. The question Jesus asks Martha is one we all have to ask ourselves and answer with honesty.

In our 21st Century world we, as a society, have not always dealt with this issue of what we believe or to what degree.  Our attitude is ‘What’s in it for me?” “What about me?”

Overall, we have ignored the needs of our brothers and sisters, our neighbors, the ones we pass on the streets. We wait for the racy tabloids to come out with the latest scandal or the dirt on those who have held our attention in the media. We seem to thrive on the misfortunes of others. Only God, through Jesus Christ can forgive us for our behavior.

Monday, September 22, 2014

“Do not be Afraid”

“I am God, the God of your father,” he said,
“Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt,
for I will make you into a great nation there.”
Gen 46:3 (NIV)

God speaks to Jacob here. He identifies himself as God, the God of Isaac. (Isaac had a relationship with God. Because of this, Isaac had prayed for his wife Rebekah because she was barren.)

Then God promises to make Jacob into a great nation. He also promises to go down to Egypt with Jacob and He will bring Jacob back to his homeland. (46:4)
In the 21st Century, God promises His children that they are not alone, because He, the One True God, is with them.

These are not words to be taken lightly. God is Who He Says He Is. And He is where He says He is—right beside us as we go through our days.

Whatever we go through-times of surgery, times of unemployment and job hunting, times of mourning, times of illness, times of weakness—God is there because he says, “I AM God.”
In our 21st Century world, we see events unfold that are not necessarily from God. These happenings hone in on one particular issue and can try our patience. We, me included, need to discuss these things with God. In fact, I recently needed to repent from the attitude that I had one recent week.

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...