Friday, April 26, 2024

I Know You Will

Read Genesis 18:9-18
9 And they said unto him, Where is Sarah thy wife? And he said, Behold, in the tent.
10 And he said, I will certainly return unto thee according to the time of life; and, lo, Sarah thy wife shall have a son. And Sarah heard it in the tent door, which was behind him.
11 Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be with Sarah after the manner of women.
12 Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?
13 And the LORD said unto Abraham, Wherefore did Sarah laugh, saying, Shall I of a surety bear a child, which am old?
14 Is any thing too hard for the LORD? At the time appointed I will return unto thee, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.
15 Then Sarah denied, saying, I laughed not; for she was afraid. And he said, Nay; but thou didst laugh.
16 And the men rose up from thence, and looked toward Sodom: and Abraham went with them to bring them on the way.

They confirmed with Abraham that Sarah was going to have a son, and Sarah heard it. She thought it was funny, because it was preposterous to think that someone as old as herself and Abraham could have a child together.

When they confronted her about her laughing, she thought she may have offended them, so she denied it. It was not good to offend the strangers, because it would have been inhospitable. You don't bring people into your home to ridicule them. That would be rude!

But, that is not what they were concerned about. They were concerned that she doubted their words. A woman who follows God should believe and know that nothing is impossible with God!

Sarah was going to have a son with-in the next year, and it was hard to believe. Anyone would have had trouble believing such a statement!

So, when God tells you that you are not a failure, even though you are 62-years-old and have been a failure all of your life, and that you will succeed, then you should be like Colonel Sanders, who was 62-years-old when he established Kentucky Fried Chicken for the first time. He was broke and in debt when he did that.

Colonel Sanders died at the age of 90 with a net worth of $3.5 Million. His establishment is still making money for his family today, among millions of other people that it supports around the world.

That is faith in action!

It's not about failure. It's about moving forward, in spite of it. If you keep moving forward with the faith and fortitude to do good with even what little bit God gives you, grasping any opportunity that is consistent with God's will along your way, you will be successful!

Abraham and Sarah may not have believed, but they still did the thing that was necessary to have the child. Maybe it was in pleasure, not intent, but it did the job, none-the-less.

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Angels Among Us

Read Genesis 18:1-8

1 And the LORD appeared unto him in the plains of Mamre: and he sat in the tent door in the heat of the day;
2 And he lift up his eyes and looked, and, lo, three men stood by him: and when he saw them, he ran to meet them from the tent door, and bowed himself toward the ground,
3 And said, My Lord, if now I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away, I pray thee, from thy servant:
4 Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree:
5 And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts; after that ye shall pass on: for therefore are ye come to your servant. And they said, So do, as thou hast said.
6 And Abraham hastened into the tent unto Sarah, and said, Make ready quickly three measures of fine meal, knead it, and make cakes upon the hearth.
7 And Abraham ran unto the herd, and fetcht a calf tender and good, and gave it unto a young man; and he hasted to dress it.
8 And he took butter, and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before them; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did eat.

Three strangers appeared out of nowhere at the door of the tent that Abraham was resting in from the heat. Abraham prostrated himself before them and begged them to stay for supper.

They agreed. So, Abraham ran to delegate tasks to his household, including Sarah, to make the strangers welcome.

It was custom, in those days, to treat all strangers with the utmost hospitality and celebration, because one never knew if they might be angels.

Hebrews 13:2

“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”

Today, people don't treat strangers the way they used to treat them. They are ruled by their fear, even though the Word of God says "Do not fear" 365 times in the Bible.

What would happen if we did not have that fear when we met strangers today? The world would be a much more welcome and joyous place!

How many times have we met strangers that have become like family as the years progressed.

We must remember to let go of our fear when we meet strangers on our journey through our day. By doing so, we are more blessed often-times than if we do not. Nothing happens on God's green earth without a reason. That stranger came to meet you because God sent them, angel or not. Treat them with respect and love, as Jesus did, even in the face of adversity!

Because you never know, they may be the answer to your prayers!

Wednesday, April 24, 2024

God of the Impossible

Read Genesis 17

God changed Abram's name to Abraham, meaning "Father of many nations", promising him that he would be.

He told Abraham that kings and nations would come out of him.

God said He would God to all of his seed after him.

God told Abraham that He did HIS part of the covenant, and now it was time for Abraham to do his part. He commanded that all male children in his house be circumcised as a token of the covenant.

By "in his house", he meant EVERYONE, including servants and slaves bought with his money to be a part of the family.

God changed Sarai's name to Sarah and promised the same of her.

Abraham laughed at this. It was preposterous to think that someone so old could bear a child at their age! He prayed that Ishmael might be God's blessing.

God told Abraham that, indeed, Ishmael would also be blessed. He would father twelve princes, but that he was NOT part of the covenant. Isaac, who would be born of Sarah, was the bearer of the covenant. It would be out of Isaac that all the promises be fulfilled.

Abraham was 99 years old when he took 13-year-old Ishmael and all of his house to circumcise them, as God had commanded.

When God makes a promise, it may seem too preposterous to believe Him. But, nothing is impossible for God, and what God says will always come to pass. We must have faith and believe, in spite of however impossible it may seem to us or others. Our faith is counted for righteousness, just as was Abram's in Genesis 15:6:

“And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.”

Sunday, April 21, 2024

For the Good

Read Genesis 16

It was the custom, in those days, that if the wife could not bear children, she would give her handmaiden to her husband to bear the child she wanted for her.

Abram was a just and fair man, and he had a lot of heart. He wanted to please his wife. So, he did what his wife asked him to do.

Hagar conceived and was pregnant. When she got pregnant, she taunted Sarai with the fact that it was SHE who was pregnant, and not Sarai. Sarai was not fit to give Abram the heir he wanted.

This hurt and angered Sarai. So she went to Abram and told him.

Abram told Sarai that it was her decision to give him Hagar to conceive. Hagar belonged to her. If she was not acting right, it was up to her to straighten the matter out. Sarai was his true love. He would stand by her decision.

Sarai lashed back at Hagar. She was firm and very harsh, until, finally, Hagar ran away.

But, she didn't get far. An Angel stopped her and told her to go back and be submissive to Sarai. He promised that her child would father many people. He would be a fighter, like his mother, in the face of all his brethren.

Abram was 86 years old when his oldest son, Ishmael, was born.

Sometimes our decisions have consequences that we find hard to live with. We must take responsibility for those type of decisions, grab the bull by the horns, so to speak, and move forward.

Our boundaries that we create because of them may cause friction in our relationships with others, but - in the end - we are better off if we accept the consequences and let God work out the details.

We must remember that our main responsibility is to trust God, to wait on Him to keep His promises, and to try to not make decisions that only belong to Him.

If we do, we must realize also that God already knows the future. He knew what we would do, and He has already made a plan for that as well.

Romans 8:28

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”

Thursday, April 18, 2024

God's Got a Plan

Read Genesis 15

God told Abram that he had no need of anything. That he should not fear anything. That He, God, would take care of him and give him all he needed.

Abram did not doubt, but he did wonder, "What's the point? After I am gone, I have no one to leave it to. My heir is Eliezer of Damascus, the steward of my house."

The custom in those days was that the person in charge of the estate before the death of a man was the one who inherited all the man had, if there were no blood heir to leave it to. Today, we call it our "executor", and we have "wills" to tell those who are in charge how to execute the property after the death of the owner.

God promised Abram that he would have an heir of his own seed, or blood-line.

Abram asked for a contract. God gave it to him.

To learn more about this "contract", read these links:

Cutting Animals in Half & Walking Between Them

Genesis 15:10-12 meaning

With this promise comes God's warning of the future. He told Abram what would happen to his descendents. The information seems forboding, but the end of the journey that God foretells has so much promise!

We must remember that our own lives are a journey with God. Not every day is going to be peaches and cream, but if we stay on the path and keep Jesus in the forefront of our visions and thoughts, we will be joyous and grateful in the end!

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!