Friday, April 12, 2024

Street Preaching

Recently, while scrolling through Facebook, I came across a post from someone who was angry about the preachers who were at the fair inviting people to come to know Jesus, and telling them that as long as they continue not focus on God, they will always focus on men. While I understand the revulsion some feel to preachers who touch a sore spot in people's emotions and convictions, preaching out in the streets and in public places, I have to say this:

If a preacher just preached to the choir, he'd never be heard by those who need to hear him.

Expecting preachers to just keep their preaching at church is like telling someone who is giving you a warning about an impending disaster to go into their basement and say it, and hope someone comes in to hear it. That's not how it works.

God told preachers to go out into the world.

I'm sorry if it hurts your feelings or makes you angry to hear the truth, but if the preacher doesn't preach it out loud where people who need to hear it can hear it, on the streets, or in any other public place, where the needy are, then they are not doing what God told them to do. They are hiding their light under a bushel.

And, by "needy" I am referring to anyone who needs to hear the truth!

Granted, I do believe that some preachers take it too far, or do it in such a way that it repels those who are needing what he is preaching about, and that is something they need to work on. Love is the answer. You can catch more flies with honey.

But, to tell him to go sit down and shut up and stay inside the church building ain't going to happen if he is a preacher of God.

Originally, I posted this on MY timeline, not as a comment on the post I was inspired to write this about, because it is something I personally believe to be true, and I don't wish to start an argument or offend the person by diluting their own timeline or Facebook page with my own thoughts on the matter; but, I figured I should share this here at God Inspires as well.

If someone doesn't like this, scroll on. It's the truth, according to the Word of God.

Romans Chapter 10

14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

But, at the same time, we also need to remember the next verse, so as not to take it out of context:

15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

Monday, March 25, 2024

World War

Read Genesis 14

Four different city kingdoms decided to ally themselves together to go to war against five other kingdom cities that had allied themselves together.

The story goes that all of these kingdoms were united under Chedorlaomer and paid tribute to him for about twelve years. In the thirteenth year, some of them rebelled, and they fought.

The biggest battle took place in the Vale of Siddim, which had a lot of slime pits. Sodom and Gomorrah fell there and the survivors fled into the mountains.

The victors of Chedorlaomer took everything and everyone in the cities, including Lot and his family.

One of the men got away and ran and told Abram what had happened.

Well, Abram was not in the war. He stayed out of it, until he got the news that his nephew was held captive.

That couldn't stand.

So he organized all of his trained servants and they went to rescue Lot.

He was victorious, and brought all of the people back, including his nephew and all of the city's belongings.

The kings met Abram on the way back and blessed him.

Melchizedech was a king that served God. He was a high priest. He took tithes from everyone and tried to give it to Abram for payment.

All the king of Sodom asked was that Abram give him back his people. He didn't care about the goods. He gave Abram all the goods that he had brought back.

Abram refused the goods, even. He said, "I don't want it to be said that YOU made me rich. I won't even take a shoe lace from you. All I ask for is that the young men who served with me in this war not be owing you for the food they ate, and that they can keep their portion of the pay."

Abram did not do what he did to be paid. He did it because Lot was family.

You shouldn't serve your country, or the Lord for that matter, because the pay is good. (Most of the time it is not). You should do it because it is the right thing to do. The Lord will bless you accordingly.

Sunday, March 24, 2024

The Promises of God

Read Genesis 13

Abram and Lot and all of their substance (cattle, servants, and riches and belongings) went back to Bethel, where the altar was built after God showed Abram the Promised Land.

Because Abram had lots of cattle, and so did Lot, their herdsmen were arguing over which cattle would eat and drink where. Abram and Lot grew tired of their skirmishes.

Finally, they met together alone to discuss the problem and come to a solution.

"We are family! Our families should not be arguing this way!" they said. Abram decided to be the bigger person. He told Lot, "You choose, and whatever you choose, I will go the other way. I think it is time we split up for the good of our relationship and that of our family's." Lot looked and saw that Jordan was well watered. And there were cities on the Jordan for him to dwell in. So, Lot chose Jordan, where Sodom and Gomorrah resided.

Abram went to the Promised land and dwelled in the Land of Canaan.

When he got there, God told him to walk the length and breadth of the Promised Land, and again, that He would give it to his descendants, and that his descendants would be many. In fact, his descendants would be so many that it would be impossible to number them all.

Abram went to the Hebron, in the plain of Mamre, in the Land of Canaan. There, he lived and built an altar to the Lord.

Abram worshipped God and gave thanks - for something He had not yet received.

If only we could have the faith of Abram and believe that one day, we too, would receive the promises of God!

Friday, March 22, 2024

God's Protection

Read Genesis 12:10-20

10 And there was a famine in the land: and Abram went down into Egypt to sojourn there; for the famine was grievous in the land.
11 And it came to pass, when he was come near to enter into Egypt, that he said unto Sarai his wife, Behold now, I know that thou art a fair woman to look upon:
12 Therefore it shall come to pass, when the Egyptians shall see thee, that they shall say, This is his wife: and they will kill me, but they will save thee alive.
13 Say, I pray thee, thou art my sister: that it may be well with me for thy sake; and my soul shall live because of thee.
14 And it came to pass, that, when Abram was come into Egypt, the Egyptians beheld the woman that she was very fair.
15 The princes also of Pharaoh saw her, and commended her before Pharaoh: and the woman was taken into Pharaoh's house.
16 And he entreated Abram well for her sake: and he had sheep, and oxen, and he asses, and menservants, and maidservants, and she asses, and camels.
17 And the LORD plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai Abram's wife.
18 And Pharaoh called Abram, and said, What is this that thou hast done unto me? why didst thou not tell me that she was thy wife?
19 Why saidst thou, She is my sister? so I might have taken her to me to wife: now therefore behold thy wife, take her, and go thy way.
20 And Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him: and they sent him away, and his wife, and all that he had.

There was famine. No water for miles around, and what little they found was scarce. So, Abram decided to journey on toward Egypt.

Abram's wife was very beautiful. Because of this, Abram was concerned for their safety. He was afraid the men of Egypt would take her from him, and kill them all to have her. So, he told Sarai to tell everyone they meet that he was her brother, not her husband. At least, if he was her brother (which was half true), the men would try to buy her from him, or win his favor, rather than take her forcibly, as was the custom.

The Pharoah and all the princes of Egypt lusted after her. He gave Abram cattle and jewels and servants and they wanted for nothing. And, he took Sarai into his house.

God caused great plagues to come over their house until they figured out that it was because of Sarai that all the bad things were happening. They found out that she was, indeed, Abram's wife and the Pharoah confronted Abram.

The Pharoah had not yet taken Sarai into his bed as his wife.

He asked Abram, "Why did you lie to me? I might have taken her to wife!" It would have been taboo for him to take another man's wife into his bed.

He sent Abram away from him, and told his soldiers not to harm him him, and told him to leave the country. He didn't even want his gifts back.

So, Abram left that place richer than he had entered it.

Thursday, March 21, 2024

Beulah Land

Read Genesis 12:5-9

5 And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother's son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came.
6 And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land.
7 And the LORD appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the LORD, who appeared unto him.
8 And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Bethel, and pitched his tent, having Bethel on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the LORD, and called upon the name of the LORD.
9 And Abram journeyed, going on still toward the south.

Abram had spent some time in Haran before he journeyed on. During that time, his family had acquired much material wealth, and many servants. Abram gathered them all up to begin the journey with him.

They travelled. And, when they got to the land of Canaan, God told Abram that his descendants would one day own all that land.

Again, God did not tell Abram that he would possess it, or own it. Instead, God told him that his descendants would. The land was "promised". That is how it became known as "The Promised Land".

Abram went East, to a mountain on the East of Bethel, and he built an altar to worship the Lord.

Back in those days, there were strict guidelines as to how to build altars, or even temples. Anything that was dedicated to the Lord had to be built with certain specifications. One, being, it could not be built using man made tools or material. Altars were built using stone and clay. No nails (nails were man-made).

After worshipping the Lord there, They travelled onward to the south of the "promised" land.

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

The Promise of Obedience

Read Genesis 12:1-4

1 Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:
2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:
3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
4 So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.

God told Abram it was time to leave Haran and go to the place He will show him.

God did NOT tell Abram that it was going to be his home.

God told Abram that if he obeyed Him, He would make Abram a great nation. He promised to make Abram's name great, and that through his seed, all the families of the earth would be blessed.

God also said that anyone who blessed Abram and his seed would be blessed. Anyone who cursed him would be cursed.

Abram took his brother's son, Lot, his nephew. (Yesterday I said Lot was Terah's nephew, and I was mistaken. I have corrected that on the blog). Abram took his wife, Sarai and all of his servants and Lot's family and servants.

He was 75 years old when he left Haran. If you notice in the geneology of chapter 11, their lives were half as long as they were before the flood, and life expectancy had started to wane.

Just like Noah did, Abram obeyed without question. So, when God tells you something is going to happen and He wants you to do something, you should obey without question and trust Him.

One of the hardest lessons I have ever learned is that God doesn't wait until you are ready. He asks of you when it is in HIS time, not yours. Remember, it is not our job to reap the harvest of the seeds that God is asking you to plant. That job belongs to God.

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Abram

Read Genesis 11:9-32

About 1,603 years after the creation of the world, (approximately 392 years after the flood), Abram was born.

Abram grew up and married Sarai, his half-sister.

Terah's vision was to go to the land of Canaan, which was "The promised land" that God promised Abram. He left the Ur of the Chaldees and travelled with his son, and his son's sons, but he only got as far as Haran, where he died.

So Abram and Lot and their families lived in Haran, but when people asked, they said they were from Ur of the Chaldees, the place of their birth.

Abram and his family worshipped God.