BSF Genesis: Week 11, Day 5

Today’s Scriptures

Questions:

11.
a.
Psalm 105 God controls famines. Rom 8:28 we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him. Yes.

b.
Abraham connived to lie about his wife. Trust in God was missing

12.

a.
12: they will kill me, 13 lie, 15: she was taken int Pharaoh’s house, 17: inflicted serious diseases on Pharaoh, sent on their way

b.
exiled from Egypt. He bore God’s wrath until he plead for forgiveness

c.
Diseases were on Pharaoh and his household, not Abram and Sarai. They were sent with all they had (much wealth)

13.
a.
Same altar he had built and again called on the name of the Lord

b.
Return to the altar, return to the name of the Lord. Even the great patriarchs, chosen by God fell to doubt and self-reliance, but they walked back to God and repented

My Daily Journal:

A “But the Lord…” moment.

I love verse 17a of Genesis 12.  After this action of unbelievable faith Abram has demonstrated, to trust in a God he barely knows and leave everything behind, we see just how human he is.  Not only does he take matters into his own hands, deciding to venture into Egypt, but out of fear for himself he connives to lie, convinces his wife to lie, we don’t even know what has happened to Lot, and puts his wife into a very precarious position of becoming a wife to the Pharaoh.  When Abram takes matters into his own hands so many others are in the line of fire to get hurt, all because of self reliance and fear.  When we head off on our own path, lying comes naturally.  Christ called Satan the “Father of lies”.

But then there is the turning point of the story in 17a.  It begins with the critical words, But the Lord.  God was always in control, whether Abram knew it or not.  Was all of this a test?  It doesn’t say, but did it test Abram? Absolutely.

When teaching you will sometimes let students venture down a path, just to see if they can figure out and learn from their mistakes.  But you don’t let them go too far or get too embedded in that path.  And, if others are misleading them and encouraging them, you step in even sooner to avoid harm.

That is what God does, too.  Satan loves to grease the path.  Why else do you think deceit so often pays off monetarily?  Lying and cheating people do prosper in this world and sin sells.

But we also all have had those “but the Lord” moments.  When God steps in and says enough.  The truth comes out and we reach a pivot point.  Do we fight and deny and continue back down a path of lies and deceit or do we return to the altar and call on the name of the Lord?

BSF Genesis: Week 11, Day 4

Today’s Scriptures

Questions:

7.
a.
Faith

b.
Trust in God for business and livelihood. Lot’s of changes at work, new directions and needs for income. Each day I turn it over to God and trust Him to provide.

c.
Not be put to shame

8.
a.
4: So Abram went, as the Lord had told him

b.
Lot, Sarai, servants

9.
a.
To your offspring I will give this land (not to him, but to his offspring)

b.
Built an altar to the Lord

c.
I am best as a leader when I am following God’s word.

10.
a.
Built an altar and called on the name of the Lord

b.

  • continue in faith, established and firm with hope held out in the gospel
  • continue to live our lives in Christ Jesus as Lord, rooted and strengthened in faith
  • mature in christ, not repeating the same sins
  • with confidence, perseverance to do the will of God, live by faith
  • by feeding on pure spiritual milk to grow up in salvation

 

My Daily Journal:

Leading by following.

The application question today made me think about how I live out my faith in the way Abram did.  I think it often comes down to a decision, do I lead by leading or lead by following?

My daughter was in marching band during football season at her high school.  The musicians were spread out across all 100 yards of the field, often pointing in different directions.  The band instructor had selected three students to be drum majors.  They were positioned at different points on the field and each conducted from their point.  But they didn’t each set their own tempo (at least not intentionally).  Two of the drum majors always were watching the third.  That one had received specific instruction and training from the band teacher, who followed the score of music set down by the composer.  Each lead by following.  Had any decided to go his own direction, chaos and noise would have ensued.  But by following, they provided leadership.

BSF Genesis: Week 11, Day 3

Today’s Scripture

Questions:

5.
a.
Make you into a great nation, bless you, make your name great, you will be a blessing, bless those who bless you, curse those who curse you, all people on earth will be bless through you.

b.
1. Nation of Israel, 2. Given a son in his old age, 3. Credited with righteousness (Rom 4), 4. Abraham saves Lot from capture 5. Joseph saved Egypt from drought, 6. Egypt’s losses through the plagues in Exodus, 7. Romans 9 – Promise through Jesus to all who are children of the promise through faith in God

6.

  • blessed in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ
  • the hope to which he has called you, riches of his glorious inheritance, holy people
  • raised up with Christ, seated in the heavenly realms in Christ, riches of grace, kindness
  • Invisible things God prepared revealed to us by his Spirit
  • Portion and cup, security, pleasant boundaries, delightful inheritance

My Daily Journal:

Who have I blessed?

God’s promise to bless those who we bless comes up not only here for Abraham and his descendants, but also in the beatitudes that Christ preached.  I pray for others.  I teach others, particularly children.  I strive to live a life that reflects Christ’s love.  But I don’t spend much time thinking about how I can bless others.

I think it may be because, in comparison to the power and wisdom that I know God has, my words and actions seem so insignificant.  I end up standing back and, in prayer, try to direct God to all the places I think he should lead and go and pour out His power.  But that isn’t what this says, is it.  In these promises, God calls on us to put ourselves into the game.  Does that mean I am any bigger or God is any smaller, of course not.  But it means I’m engaged in the blessing.   And when I engage, God magnifies.

So, who can I bless?  Who can I send a card of encouragement to?  Who can I buy a meal or cup of coffee for?  Who can I call?  Who can I smile at?  Who can I share a word about the joy of the Lord with?  I’m looking forward to see what God does.

BSF Genesis: Week 11, Day 2

Today’s Scriptures

Questions:

3.
His country, his people, his father’s household – His way of life.

4.

  • Called Apostles to leave fishing, follow him, become fishers of men, immed left boat, home
  • Follow me and let dead bury their own
  • Deny yourself, take up cross and follow-save live=lose it, lose for Him & gospel = save it
  • Love Jesus above all others (mom, dad, wife, kids) cost of discipleship is total sacrifice of self
  • Called out of darkness and anything of this world

My Daily Journal:

Do you have to leave home to become a fully devoted follower of Christ?

For most of us, the first response to that question is, “of course not.”  But, let’s look at all of those verses again.  Let’s look at the call to the apostles.  Let’s even look at Jesus’ life.

I think the challenge is that our neighborhoods shape us into their likeness more than we would like to believe.  We feel the pressure to spend our time picking up leaves when neighbors on both sides have leaf free lawns.  We get drawn into conversations about neighbors, teachers, who bought what, who is doing what, too much gossip.  We suffer from the “keeping up with the jones’ syndrom.”  All, whether we like it or intend to or not.

Do we have to leave our homes behind?  Not necessarily in a physical sense, if we are willing to do it in a spiritual and relationship sense.  As Christians our primary neighbor is Jesus.  Not only is He our neighbor but He is our Lord, the one we serve.  Our “norms” should be set by His commands for our life.  Our language should reflect the joy in our hearts for Him.  Our passion for others should always be an outpouring of the love He has for all of His creation.

What do you know about the 8 neighbors around you (the ones whose homes encircle yours)?  What do they know and see about your walk with God?  How do they see you spending your time, talents and money?  How much of your life do they see conforming to the neighborhood vs. living differently and transforming into holiness?

Maybe moving would be easier.