2019-06-24 – Genesis 15-6
Verse of the Day: Genesis 15:6 Then he believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.
Abram was told by God not to be afraid for He would shield Him. Moreover, Abram would be given a great reward. However, Abram responded to God with by asking “What will you give me, for I am childless, and my heir will be Eliezer my servant. (In nomadic tribes, if a man was childless, his heir was his chief servant). Then we read in verse 4, “Then behold, the word of the LORD came to him, saying, ‘This man will not be your heir; but one who will come forth from your own body, he shall be your heir.’” Then He tells Abram that if He could count the stars, that would be the number of his descendants.
What is amazing about this story is that Abram was somewhere between 75 and 85 years old, while Sara would have been between 65 and 75 years old, long after the age of childbearing. However, as we see in our focus verse, Abram believed God, and because he believed, God declared Abram righteous.
There are two things we can glean from this. First, God can do anything no matter how impossible it may look to be. If God promises us something, it will come to pass. There is no doubt. So, you can look at the promises of God throughout the scriptures and know that they can and will be done. And second, this is a beautiful picture of the gospel. If we truly believe that Christ died, was buried and then rose again for us, then our salvation is sure. Note Jesus’ words in John’s gospel, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16 Do you truly believe? If so, then God has declared you righteous. Rejoice!
2019-06-25 – Psalm 34:18
Verse of the Day: Psalm 34:18 The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
This is an encouraging verse. The Lord will always be by our side when we are heartbroken. We all experience these times. And they are difficult times.
The idea of broken hearted is pressed and weighed down with afflictions, by intense sorrow. So, during these times, we can trust that we are never alone. The language is figurative. As an omnipresent being, God is always equally near to all persons. In fact, He is everywhere at the same time. So, the idea is He is always with us. Jeremiah put it like this, “Am I a God who is near,” declares the LORD, “And not a God far off? Can a man hide himself in hiding places so I do not see him?” declares the LORD. “Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?” declares the LORD.” Jeremiah 23:23-24.
We serve a God who is always near and attentive to us. He knows everything we do, think, and what we are going through. And He loves us with a love that is so great it is incomprehensible. Take comfort in this, for we can always cry out to Him and He is there to comfort us and help us through. And trust Him that he is faithful to us.
Two more verses that is a comfort to me. “God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.” Psalm 46:1 and “The LORD of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our stronghold. Selah.” Psalm 46:11
2019-06-26 – James 2:18
Verse of the Day: James 2:18 But someone may well say, “You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”
It is easy to tell someone you are, let’s say a computer expert, but when they ask you to assist them with a relatively simple task, like printing a document, you have no idea. So, you hit a couple of keys and tell them to reboot and all will be well. When the computer comes up and it still does not work, they begin to think you are not what you claim to be. Then when they see the printer is powered off, and then power it up it prints just fine, they know you are not.
The same thing can be true regarding our faith. Many people proclaim to be Christians, but their lives and focus tell another story. Remember what Jesus said in His Sermon on the Mount. “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter.” Matthew 7:21. We can call Him Lord all we want, but if we do not live as if He is, then do we really believe it? Do our priorities have His will first, or ours? Are we All-In with Christ, or only partially in? The proof of our faith is our works. If there is no works, then is their really faith? James says no in a very definitive way. “Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.” James 2:17. And people will notice it.
If you really have faith, then show that faith by living that faith. The world is looking for reality. Walking and talking your faith shows that it is real. Talking alone will have them question it.
2019-06-27 – Proverbs 17:7
Verse of the Day: Proverbs 17:17 A friend loves at all times, And a brother is born for adversity.
True and faithful friends love in the hard times as much as the good times. There are many people who act like true friends when things are going well and does not cost anything (money, time, or anything else). All too often, when there is a change in a person’s situation whereby there is a negative effect on the relationship, they forsake the person and look for someone else that will be more fun.
Paul wrote to the Romans the following, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” Romans 12:15. As Christians, we are to stand beside our friends in all situations. For instance, they receive a great promotion at their job, get together with them and rejoice, celebrating this great thing that has happened. However, likewise, if they find out a close relative has died, go to them, comforting them by helping them deal with this great loss. Weep with them, as they cry in their great mourning.
What a beautiful picture of true love. Not envying or coveting what good they received, even though you would love it too. And, not avoiding them because it is an uncomfortable situation. Show yourself to be a true and loving friend by being there with them in the good times and for them in the bad. You will honor God through it and show what a true friend really is. Who knows, someone watching you may be positively changed by your actions.
2019-06-28 – John 15:4
Verse of the Day: John 15:4 “Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.
If we have a branch on an apple tree, healthy and vibrant, during the right time we will see fruit on it. However, if we cut the branch off the tree and take it home because we want to grow fresh apples, we will be disappointed. You see, the branch does not, on its own, have what it takes to produce fruit.
It is the same with us. We must abide in Christ and let Him work through us, and then we bear fruit. It is not what we do, but what we allow God to do through us. Paul said basically the same thing to the Philippians. “for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.” Philippians 2:13.
God will never leave us alone. He has a work for each one of us to do. However, what we need is to submit to Him and He will do it through us. He will take us where He wants us, give us the words to say and the strength to fulfill it. We must be in a constant attitude of prayer, always ready to hear what He has to say and follow His lead. Then we will bear much fruit and glorify God in the process.