Tag Archives: Genesis

The Wrong Mountain

file-2I don’t think we could ever overdo the conversation of obedience. Obedience is love. It’s such a big deal that God compares disobedience to witchcraft (1 Samuel 15:23). So, since we’re talking about obedience, let’s talk about Abraham.

Most people know the story of Abraham and Isaac. And the test he went through to prove his love and obedience to God. This test ended with Abraham not having to sacrifice his own son, as was the original command from God.

What I believe, is that Abraham’s obedience saved Isaac’s life. Let’s think about it.

Abraham didn’t know which mountain he was supposed to go to. “Take your son, your only son—yes, Isaac, whom you love so much—and go to the land of Moriah. Go and sacrifice him as a burnt offering on one of the mountains, which I will show you” (Genesis 22:2). God told him to take his son, go to Moriah and then he would show him the mountain. And of course, as the story goes, once Abraham was there a ram was stuck in the bushes which in turn became Abraham’s sacrifice instead of Isaac. But, what if?

What if Abraham wasn’t obedient? What if Abraham didn’t go to Moriah? Even simpler, what if he didn’t go to the mountain God showed him? He would have only partially obeyed God’s command and partial obedience is still disobedience.

You see, I understand the foreshadowing details of this story. I understand the parallels. I understand the test. But what I’ve recently learned is that it was complete obedience to God that kept Isaac alive. Not the ram, not perfect timing, and certainly not coincidence. Obedience.

In essence, what I believe is that God will always provide a ram in the bush, it’s just that we keep on going to the wrong mountain.

 

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Ain’t Nobody Got Time for That!

time

Teach us to make the most of our time that we may grow in wisdom. – Psalm 90:12  (NLT)

It takes time. Don’t we hate hearing that? We don’t want to hear about how long it takes. Nobody wants to take the time, we just want it to be done. We want to hear that the journey was tough, but short. We don’t want to hear that it was 10 years before you found your dream job.

Who likes hearing, it takes time to process the check? Or it takes time to heal? What about, it takes time to work your way up? We don’t want to hear that, much less believe it.

Nobody wants to hear that Abraham was 100 before he had his promised son (Genesis 21:5). Nobody wants to hear that the Israelites wandered for 40 years (Joshua 5:6). Who thinks about the fact that Jesus was on the earth three decades before we have any documentation of His preaching ministry (Luke 3:23)?

Ain’t nobody got time to hear that, right? There’s just not enough time for our microwave society. But, if you don’t make time for, you’re certainly not going to have time to undo what you’ve already mistakenly done.

It is my belief that God is so at work that we just can’t contain all that He is doing in our time frame. God is doing something life changing in His way and we want it momentarily to happen in our way. I believe that when God does what He has planned, we won’t mind the time that He took to nurture and prepare us for it.

See, I still believe that the process is the glory. And when I rush the process, I effect the product. Now, whose got time for an unfinished, untested product?

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A Change is Gonna Come (Part 2)

Change can’t come through my current situation.

  • How many have said nothing good can come from the place I’m in? Does anybody feel this way now?
  • Read Genesis 50:19-21
  • Joseph was sold into slavery, falsely accused and imprisoned, and there is no record of him ever losing faith throughout his life.
  • If God could bless Joseph with His favor while in prison (39:23), why can’t He use us in our current free state?

Change can’t come through me.

  • Read Esther 4:13-17
  • How can you ever be so sure that God didn’t bring you to where you are to be what He needs you to be while you are there?
  • It was risky for Esther to go to the king without being called by him, but the greatest risk was to miss the King’s (God’s) call on her life.
  • Are we willing to sacrifice time, energy, money, friends, or ourselves to be the change God needs? (v. 16)
  • The Bible shows us what the power of one can accomplish. Are we selling ourselves short by doing nothing? Note, it takes one acorn for an oak tree to grow.
  • Frederick Douglass said it best, “One and God make a majority.”

Video  – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0s3ZwaLtqr8

Change isn’t easy but it has to start with us. Are we volunteering? Are we having open discussions? Are we sharing kindness? What is our small group doing to bring change to the world? Are we as excited about being the change as a high school team is about being in the playoffs?

We have an opportunity. Let’s get the job done. God wants your best in everything. Give God your best and He’ll handle the rest. It’s all for One (Him). Seize the moment! It’s game time! Get off the sidelines!

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Tower of Babel

Genesis 11:1-9

At one time all the people of the world spoke the same language and used the same words. As the people migrated to the east, they found a plain in the land of Babylonia and settled there.

They began saying to each other, “Let’s make bricks and harden them with fire.” (In this region bricks were used instead of stone, and tar was used for mortar.) Then they said, “Come, let’s build a great city for ourselves with a tower that reaches into the sky. This will make us famous and keep us from being scattered all over the world.”

But the Lord came down to look at the city and the tower the people were building. “Look!” he said. “The people are united, and they all speak the same language. After this, nothing they set out to do will be impossible for them! Come, let’s go down and confuse the people with different languages. Then they won’t be able to understand each other.”

In that way, the Lord scattered them all over the world, and they stopped building the city. That is why the city was called Babel, because that is where the Lord confused the people with different languages. In this way he scattered them all over the world.

There are a couple of new things the Lord pointed out to me as I read about the Tower of Babel recently. One, He made us to be great. Certainly, do not miss the point that man wanted to be great in his own eyes and build monuments to himself and not God.

But in verse 6 God says, if they can accomplish this they will take advantage of their common language and political unity and nothing will be impossible for them. God made people great. But He also made people to want to be great for Him and not for themselves.

The next thing that happens is that everyone is given a different language to speak. It reminds me of Acts 2:4, on the Day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit filled everyone there and they began speaking in other languages. Babel was confusion, but the Day of Pentecost was when everyone understood each other although they were speaking different languages. So what does that mean to me?

There is oneness in the Spirit.

God created us to be great. And He created us to be one in the Spirit. Languages, ethnicities, and hierarchies are irrelevant when everyone is operating in the Spirit as one. Now, we must ask ourselves, have we done a great job of speaking the Word of God?

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Remembering Your Future: Steps to Everlasting Success (Part 2)

4) Gain (personal gain) – Read Genesis 11:4-6 and 1 Samuel 15:12

* I believe a goal can have eternal value and result in personal gain, but not that a motive of personal gain can result in eternal value.

* God created us to be great, but He created us to be great for His glory and honor, not our own.

5) Excuses – Exodus 3:11-14, 4:10-15

* There is not an excuse good enough for not doing what God called you to do.

* Is anything truly stopping you from your calling or just inconvenient for you?

* God nearly bent over backwards accommodating Moses for a task He had already chosen him for.

Question: Are we asking God to move mountains and pebbles too?

6) Troubles – Genesis 50:20

* God always has a perfect plan.

* Joseph dreamt he would be great. If he gave up every time he experienced trouble he might have missed out on seeing how greatly God can turn a situation around.

* Troubles aren’t excuses because we should expect them regardless.

The Main point to Remember: Jesus beat all the odds.

He never feared what God had already put into place. He didn’t let others’ opinions stop Him, not even family. The Pharisees reaction was that He was powerful because Satan empowered him (Matthew 12:24). Jesus had no desire for personal gain (John 10:18; 1 John 3:16). He didn’t use being human as an excuse to not do God’s work, and He experienced more troubles than we could imagine.

The Main Question: How do I truly produce something everlasting?

Stay connected to Jesus, the Vine (John 15:5 Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit…). Stay connected through study, through prayer, through worship, etc. Stay connected simply by depending on God to meet your needs as you do His will.

Everlasting Gobstopper Video

We were once poor and deprived without Christ. Then we got a taste. And we saw how good He is (Psalm 34:8). And with that taste, we wanted more and more. And the beauty in wanting more of God is that He will always have more. God never loses power by our request. He never grows weary when we need His strengthening. No matter how much I need to pull from God, He never lacks.

He never shrinks, He never depletes, and He never loses flavor.

God is truly our Everlasting Gobstopper and the only way to everlasting success is to remember to stay connected to Him so we can forget about the rest.

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The Heart of the Matter

It was Julie’s birthday and Meanie had been shopping for months for the perfect gift to give to her friend. Finally, Julie’s big day was here and Melanie could finally give her the gift she had been working on for months.

Chris had forgotten about Julie’s birthday so he ran out to the store and picked up the first thing he found and gave it to Julie. Needless to say that since Julie knew Chris didn’t put much thought into his gift, his didn’t mean as much as Melanie’s did.

You might ask why is that the case? They both still got her something, right? Well, Melanie had a desire to make her friend happy. She wanted her friend to be pleased by the gift she had for her, therefore she gave from her heart. Chris on the other hand gave with his head.

God always sees the heart of the matter when it comes to any situation. At the end of the day, if what you have isn’t as good as what everyone else has, but your heart is on pleasing God with your best, God knows that. God sees your heart’s desire to give Him more, and that’s what He honors.

Genesis 4:3-7 (NLT)

When it was time for the harvest, Cain presented some of his crops as a gift to the Lord. Abel also brought a gift—the best portions of the firstborn lambs from his flock. The Lord accepted Abel and his gift, but he did not accept Cain and his gift. This made Cain very angry, and he looked dejected.

“Why are you so angry?” the Lord asked Cain. “Why do you look so dejected?You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.”

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The Flood

Yesterday’s sermon was in reference to Noah and the flood. The sermon used the symbolism of the flood representing sin, and the Ark being the Church.

The Ark was built to close Noah and his family in from the sin that was in the world. And as the Church, it is our job to be a place unlike the world. And in order to stay away from the sin outside we must stay inside the Ark.

Of course this doesn’t mean hide in your church. What it means is that we should be mindful of our lives in Christ. We are to be in the world but not of the world, and the only way to do that is to be and stay in God.

There’s a lot of sin out here. There’s a lot of people doing wrong. And there are people who know it and repent. And there are many who don’t know it. And sadly, there all too many who don’t care.

As a Christian, where I stand is important. How I represent God’s Church is paramount. And the way I have to live is to be of the utmost respect and reverence to God. Where I find myself during the flood matters. I need to be in the Ark. And as true as all of this is, it made me ask myself a question during the sermon.

I am very certain I want to be in the Ark, giving to the Lord’s Church, but truthfully, just how much have I contributed to the flood?

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