Category Archives: Genesis

Genesis 17-19; Luke 5; Psalm 3

“I am God Almighty;
Walk before Me, and be blameless.” Genesis 17:1 (NASB)

When one comes face to face with the almighty God of the universe, that encounter demands a response. And, our response will often show the condition of our heart. Abraham fell on his face. Simon fell on his face, eventually. Lot, well, Lot is too busy scrambling to smooth out wrinkles in his less than ideal situation.

Let’s look at a quick summary of these interviews:

God showed up (Genesis 17), Abram fell on his face, God promised great blessing, humanly impossible blessing.

  • God appears again and hangs around long enough for Abraham to prepare him a meal and promises a son within the next year

Side note, Sarah’s response is also noteworthy as she becomes defensive when God points out the truth of her heart – she denies laughing out of fear.

Immediately after this rendezvous, comes the revelation of the judgment of Sodom.

Lot tried to get family members out of the condemned city, but it seemed like he was joking to his sons-in-law (the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing – I Cor 1:18 NIV).

What an incredible contrast – Abraham that seeks after God, falls on his face in worship when given a command – walk before me. And, Lot – city is destroyed, wife turned to salt, he impregnates his daughters while inebriated. And yet, God brings two nations from this – Moab and Ammon.

Jump to Luke 5 –

Simon has a middle of the road response – are you serious? (v. 5) But, then he obeys. And then, he responds the same way Abraham did – on his face.

They left everything and followed him.

Then, Psalm 3 pulls it all together with absolutely beautiful imagery.

Psalm 3:3 (NASB) — But You, O Lord, are a shield about me,
My glory, and the One who lifts my head.

Whether I respond like Abraham, Sarah, Lot, Simon, or some other way entirely, God continues to love. He is my shield; He lifts up my head. Such a sweet, tender response.

Can you picture it? A father, gently lifting the face toward his with a finger under the chin. Eyes shining with love.

We humble ourselves out of respect for His majesty, but then we get to savor His relationship as well.

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Genesis 9-12; Luke 3

Lord, let me build my altar to you.

Ancestry–a lineage from Adam to Jesus. In these passages, I linger in Noah’s story. I witness a tower project–and a scattering. I travel territories with Abram. He stops. I notice what he does.

Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “I will give this land to your descendants.” And Abram built an altar there and dedicated it to the Lord, who had appeared to him. After that, Abram traveled south and set up camp in the hill country, with Bethel to the west and Ai to the east. There he built another altar and dedicated it to the Lord, and he worshiped the Lord. Then Abram continued traveling south by stages toward the Negev (Genesis 12:7-9, NLT).

I’ve read lots of reflection on a finished year, and I consider my own. In a digital age, the altars are images and words. Am I making monuments of milestones–or altars of angst? Still fresh, coming out of a year-end reading of Job and Revelation, was 2018 the year I lost (a sense of everything) or the year I was restored?

Ancestry–a lineage in a genetic test kit. I read my results with wonder. I think of sea views and mountain views and snowy valleys–journeys traveled through the ages leading here. This place. My place in the story of a history.

Lord, let me build my altar to you, grateful for your work in me and in my life.

I celebrate your majesty, your sovereignty, your faithfulness and love. I worship you here. Thank you for restoring me. You are near, and I am thankful.

Courtney (66books365)

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Genesis 5-8; Luke 2

I have a friend and we enjoy a lunch at least once a month.  Our lunch is always filled with stories of what our life has been experiencing and catching up on how and what needs to be put in the front burner of our prayer life.  After lunch, we walk. It does not matter where, we just walk.  When we walk, we talk non-stop. Crazy for two men to be talking so much but we both love Jesus and we both take time to bring Jesus into our discussions that we had over lunch. Sometimes I think that is what Jesus did too.  I know He walks with us.

I loved the story of Enoch walking with God.

Enoch walked with God[b] after he fathered Methuselah 300 years and had other sons and daughters. Thus all the days of Enoch were 365 years.Enoch walked with God, and he was not,[c] for God took him.       Genesis 5:22-24  ESV

I am challenged more than I thought I would be on Noah’s walk with God. There is no way Noah could have done what he had to do if he did not. I loved how the Genesis author wrote this verse —

But Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. – Genesis 6:8  ESV

Noah was not alone, the favour of God was on him.  That is the prayer my friend and I pray often.  I know that I cannot do what God wants me to do without His favour.

As the Christmas season has just passed, I pushed through to the last portion of Luke 2 to rediscover some truths about Jesus’ childhood.

And when they had performed everything according to the Law of the Lord, they returned into Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth.  And the child grew and became strong, filled with wisdom. And the favor of God was upon him. – Luke 2:39-40  ESV

As a disciple of Jesus, I pray that I may look for and find lessons as to how I can learn and grow in spiritual maturity too.   This is my prayer —

Father, the testimonies of Enoch and Noah have inspired me once again.  I loved the encouragement to walk with You and I want to walk with You. Both Noah and Jesus have the added words that Your favour was upon them. I ask humbly, that as I walk with You, may Your favour be upon me as well. May I find myself being filled with wisdom and walking with confidence and strength in my faith in You. Amen.

Erwin (evanlaar1922)

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Genesis 1-4; Luke 1

Zechariah said to the angel, “How can I be sure this will happen? I’m an old man now, and my wife is also well along in years.” Then the angel said, “I am Gabriel! I stand in the very presence of God.  It was he who sent me to bring you this good news!  But now, since you didn’t believe what I said, you will be silent and unable to speak until the child is born.  For my words will certainly be fulfilled at the proper time.” Luke 1:18-20 NLT

Zechariah’s response takes me back to a time in my life when I was having trouble having a baby.  After two miscarriages I went to doctor after doctor to find out what was wrong.  The wait seemed so long. Scientific answers  were found.  But, to this day, I wonder if it was God’s timing all along.  I couldn’t imagine life without the four children he has blessed us with.

“In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a village in Galilee, to a virgin named Mary.  She was engaged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of King David.  Gabriel appeared to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you!” Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean.  “Don’t be afraid, Mary,” the angel told her, “for you have found favor with God!  You will conceive and give birth to a son, you will name him Jesus…Mary asked the angel, “But how can this happen? I am a virgin.” Luke 1:26-34 NLT

Mary was confused, but she responded in faith and not fear.  Will I be able to look back at this new year and remember all the times I did something afraid?  Will I be able to say that I was stretched out of my comfort zone, but trusted that God was with me? Recounting the mighty ways that he showed up in my life?

“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  The earth was formless and empty, and darkness covered the deep waters.  And the Spirit of God was hovering over the surface of the waters.  Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.  And God saw that the light was good.  Then he separated the light from the darkness.  God called the light “day” and the darkness “night.”  And evening passed and morning came, marking the first day.” Genesis 1:1-5 NLT

This passage is so familiar that I can lose the wonder of it.  And the way he can be so interactly involved in my life, but so powerful at the same time.

Help me Lord, not to lose my awe of you.  Thank you for new beginnings and fresh starts.  A new year to see how you will work in my life.  I pray that I never lose sight of you.  Amen.

Amy(amyctanner)

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Genesis 16-18; Ephesians 4

Two very interesting passages of Scripture this morning, especially Genesis 18 and Ephesians 4. Both approach organization in different ways, but appropriate for the age in which these admonitions were given.

Jethro saw his son-in-law working way to hard to govern the people of Israel so gave Moses a plan by which the people would be well cared for and Moses would keep his sanity. Jethro states in chapter 18,

I will give you advice, and God be with you! You shall represent the people before God and bring their cases to God, 20 and you shall warn them about the statutes and the laws, and make them know the way in which they must walk and what they must do. 21 Moreover, look for able men from all the people, men who fear God, who are trustworthy and hate a bribe, and place such men over the people as chiefs of thousands, of hundreds, of fifties, and of tens. 22 And let them judge the people at all times. Every great matter they shall bring to you, but any small matter they shall decide themselves. So it will be easier for you, and they will bear the burden with you (Genesis 18:19b-22 [ESV]).

Jethro gave Moses a plan that worked in that time and that situation. In a different age Paul gives the church in Ephesus and us all a way to organize the work of the church. He shares this,

11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes (Ephesians 4:11-14 [ESV]).

Our leaders in the church have been given to us to equip us to carry out her work. We are all given tasks to do and ministries to lead and serve in. The Holy Spirit in this age gives us all Gifts that we can use in the service of the body. If you have crossed the line of faith you have at least one of those gifts, perhaps one in the list above.

God has also laid a passion on your heart. An unmet need that He wants to see met and he has placed that burden on you. Then he comes along through His Holy Spirit and equips you with a gift to see that unmet need met.

Do you know what your spiritual gift(s) would be? Are you using them to meet those unmet needs that are on God’s heart today. 

That’s how we are organized for fruitful service in this age.

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Exodus 1-3; Galatians 5

We come to two juxtaposed passages of Scripture this morning. We have Moses not acting out of love or having a close relationship with God and then the Apostle Paul giving us the fruit of a loving relationship with the God of the universe. Paul writes:

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires (Galatians 5:22-24 [ESV])

God has a plan that reaches across the ages and we don’t fully understand it all, but what if Moses instead of being a person who tried in his own strength to free God’s people was a person of love and peace? Perhaps the Jewish Nation would have been relieved of their suffering 40 years earlier.

The fruit of the Spirit that Paul lists are not something we strive for, but what we bear because of our loving relationship with the Father.

What kind of fruit are you producing? Is this fruit coming from a loving relationship with God? Just think of the things God can do through you and the people you can affect  through the overflow of your relationship with the Father.

What does your fruit look like this morning? How can you grow closer to God so that you can produce more of it in changing your life and those around you?

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Genesis 41&42; Mark 16

37 This proposal pleased Pharaoh and all his servants. 38 And Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find a man like this, in whom is the Spirit of God?” 39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has shown you all this, there is none so discerning and wise as you are. 40 You shall be over my house, and all my people shall order themselves as you command. Only as regards the throne will I be greater than you.” (Genesis 42:37-40) ESV

We recall all the things that Joseph experience. He was betrayed by his brothers, then by his owner’s wife and then by a fellow jail mate. He spent years (for some of us not that long [he was 30 here]) but still years marking time at least or worst suffering along the way with no hope or deliverance in sight. Then comes this great picture of him standing before Pharaoh and interpreting a dream that will deliver millions of people. And Pharaoh’s observation? Can we find a man like this, in whom is the Spirit of God? In the midst of suffering and hopelessness there was no leaving the God he loved. He was full of the Holy Spirit to the point that even Pharaoh saw it.

How many times do we let the circumstances we face, the disappointments in life, trial and sickness pull us away from God. We focus on us and not on the God who can deliver and want a growing relationship with us. In the midst of all these trials Joseph grew closer to God. How bout if today we welcome those negative events and circumstances into our lives as a way of pushing us closer and growing our relationship with the Holy Spirit? What difference will that make? Let’s see!

Father God help me today to look at the negative things that come my way as a means to growing my relationship with You and Your Holy Spirit. Grow me in you today God! I pray these things in Jesus Name, Amen!

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