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Attempting to obey God and follow Jesus Christ our Lord

Posts tagged “Abraham

Radical Obedience

Yesterday, as we continued our series, Into the Wild, the title of the day’s message was Radical Obedience. The message was based on Genesis 17, as God continued to ask Abraham to step out in obedience, in order to walk blamelessly before Him. As the story unfolds, three key points were conveyed.

1. Obedience isn’t a suggestion, it is an expectation. God Almighty expects us to live blamelessly in obedience to Him. We ought to obey because He is worthy. What He asks of us is not to restrain us, but rather to free us into what will be. (As He knows the ultimate outcome of all things.)

2. Obedience requires sacrifice. There is always a personal cost to do what God asks of us, yet His return, is far greater than any price we may initially invest. Abraham had to give up comfort and endure pain, yet He entered into a covenant that was sacred between he and God, that was to last for many generations to come. To be considered God’s chosen people, was well worth the temporary pain.

3. The outcome of obedience is a change in our hearts, not just in our actions. (see Hosea 6:6) When we obey for the sake of stuff instead of for our heart, it’s religion. When we obey to change our heart, it is relationship with our Redeemer.

(three points outlined by Pastor Matt Ramirez @ gcfw.org)

May we seek to obey,Radical Obedience

for the sake of our heart;

to honor our great God,

follow Him from the start.

Allow no sacrifice,

to steer our hearts away;

for whatever the cost,

will be worth it one day.

Our great, Almighty God,

alone worthy, indeed;

let us live without blame,

so His return we’ll see.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You call us into radical obedience unto You. Thank You that You do not just want part of us, but rather, You want all of us – heart, soul, strength and mind. Thank You that as we choose to sacrifice our own selfishness, the return in You, is far greater. Forgive us for our disobedience, or for obeying in hope of getting stuff. Help our hearts hold You in the proper place, so that our motivation is Your worthiness, and our desire to know and honor You. May we grow deeper roots in our relationship with You. Let us live and love as You love us, so that many may come to know the saving grace that You so generously give to all who call on Your Name. Be glorified through every act of obedience. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make His face shine upon us. – Psalm 67:1

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Ye Are All One in Christ Jesus

Galatians 3

King James Version (KJV)

24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

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The Just Shall Live by Faith

Galatians 3

King James Version (KJV)

3 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?

2 This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

3 Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?

4 Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain.

5 He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.

7 Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.

8 And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed.

9 So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

10 For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them.

11 But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith.

12 And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them.

13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

15 Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto.

16 Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

17 And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect.

18 For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise.

19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.

20 Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.

21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.

22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.

24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

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Give Thanks to the Lord

1 Chronicles 16

King James Version (KJV)

7 Then on that day David delivered first this psalm to thank the Lord into the hand of Asaph and his brethren.

8 Give thanks unto the Lord, call upon his name, make known his deeds among the people.

9 Sing unto him, sing psalms unto him, talk ye of all his wondrous works.

10 Glory ye in his holy name: let the heart of them rejoice that seek the Lord.

11 Seek the Lord and his strength, seek his face continually.

12 Remember his marvellous works that he hath done, his wonders, and the judgments of his mouth;

13 O ye seed of Israel his servant, ye children of Jacob, his chosen ones.

14 He is the Lord our God; his judgments are in all the earth.

15 Be ye mindful always of his covenant; the word which he commanded to a thousand generations;

16 Even of the covenant which he made with Abraham, and of his oath unto Isaac;

17 And hath confirmed the same to Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant,

18 Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan, the lot of your inheritance;

19 When ye were but few, even a few, and strangers in it.

20 And when they went from nation to nation, and from one kingdom to another people;

21 He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes,

22 Saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.

23 Sing unto the Lord, all the earth; shew forth from day to day his salvation.

24 Declare his glory among the heathen; his marvellous works among all nations.

25 For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised: he also is to be feared above all gods.

26 For all the gods of the people are idols: but the Lord made the heavens.

27 Glory and honour are in his presence; strength and gladness are in his place.

28 Give unto the Lord, ye kindreds of the people, give unto the Lord glory and strength.

29 Give unto the Lord the glory due unto his name: bring an offering, and come before him: worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.

30 Fear before him, all the earth: the world also shall be stable, that it be not moved.

31 Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice: and let men say among the nations, The Lord reigneth.

32 Let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof: let the fields rejoice, and all that is therein.

33 Then shall the trees of the wood sing out at the presence of the Lord, because he cometh to judge the earth.

34 O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good; for his mercy endureth for ever.

35 And say ye, Save us, O God of our salvation, and gather us together, and deliver us from the heathen, that we may give thanks to thy holy name, and glory in thy praise.

36 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel for ever and ever. And all the people said, Amen, and praised the Lord.

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David’s Final Prayer of Thanksgiving

1 Chronicles 29:10-19

King James Version (KJV)

10 Wherefore David blessed the Lord before all the congregation: and David said, Blessed be thou, Lord God of Israel our father, for ever and ever.

11 Thine, O Lord is the greatness, and the power, and the glory, and the victory, and the majesty: for all that is in the heaven and in the earth is thine; thine is the kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as head above all.

12 Both riches and honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all; and in thine hand is power and might; and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all.

13 Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name.

14 But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee.

15 For we are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers: our days on the earth are as a shadow, and there is none abiding.

16 O Lord our God, all this store that we have prepared to build thee an house for thine holy name cometh of thine hand, and is all thine own.

17 I know also, my God, that thou triest the heart, and hast pleasure in uprightness. As for me, in the uprightness of mine heart I have willingly offered all these things: and now have I seen with joy thy people, which are present here, to offer willingly unto thee.

18 O Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, our fathers, keep this for ever in the imagination of the thoughts of the heart of thy people, and prepare their heart unto thee:

19 And give unto Solomon my son a perfect heart, to keep thy commandments, thy testimonies, and thy statutes, and to do all these things, and to build the palace, for the which I have made provision.

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God’s Sovereignty

Spurgeon near the end of his life.

Spurgeon near the end of his life. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is nothing for which the children of God ought more earnestly to contend, than the doctrine of their Master over all creation–the kingship of God over all the works of His own hands–the throne of God and His right to sit upon that throne. Charles Spurgeon

Romans 9:6-30

King James Version (KJV)

6 Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:

7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.

8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

9 For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son.

10 And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac;

11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)

12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.

13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.

15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.

16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.

17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.

18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.

19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will?

20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus?

21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour?

22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction:

23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,

24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?

25 As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.

26 And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.

27 Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved:

28 For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth.

29 And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha.

30 What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.

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Prayer of the Remnant

English: Moses Pleading with Israel, as in Deu...

English: Moses Pleading with Israel, as in Deuteronomy 6:1-15, illustration from a Bible card published 1907 by the Providence Lithograph Company (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Isaiah 63:7-19

King James Version (KJV)

7 I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the Lord, and the praises of theLord, according to all that the Lord hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which he hath bestowed on them according to his mercies, and according to the multitude of his lovingkindnesses.

8 For he said, Surely they are my people, children that will not lie: so he was their Saviour.

9 In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old.

10 But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit: therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them.

11 Then he remembered the days of old, Moses, and his people, saying, Where is he that brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd of his flock? where is he that put his holy Spirit within him?

12 That led them by the right hand of Moses with his glorious arm, dividing the water before them, to make himself an everlasting name?

13 That led them through the deep, as an horse in the wilderness, that they should not stumble?

14 As a beast goeth down into the valley, the Spirit of the Lord caused him to rest: so didst thou lead thy people, to make thyself a glorious name.

15 Look down from heaven, and behold from the habitation of thy holiness and of thy glory: where is thy zeal and thy strength, the sounding of thy bowels and of thy mercies toward me? are they restrained?

16 Doubtless thou art our father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not: thou, O Lord, art our father, our redeemer; thy name is from everlasting.

17 O Lord, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways, and hardened our heart from thy fear? Return for thy servants’ sake, the tribes of thine inheritance.

18 The people of thy holiness have possessed it but a little while: our adversaries have trodden down thy sanctuary.

19 We are thine: thou never barest rule over them; they were not called by thy name.

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Redeemed Not by Law, But by Faith

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Galatians 3:19-29

Stained glass window of the sacred Heart of Je...

Stained glass window of the sacred Heart of Jesus Christ in the former Mosque (Cathedral) of Cordoba, Spain (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

King James Version (KJV)

19 Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator.

20 Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one.

21 Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law.

22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

23 But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.

24 Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

25 But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

26 For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

29 And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

Galatians 4:4-5

King James Version (KJV)

4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

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Of Faith

English: Sarah and Abraham hosting three angels

English: Sarah and Abraham hosting three angels (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Romans 4:16-25

King James Version (KJV)

16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,

17 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.

18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.

19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb:

20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;

21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.

22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.

23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;

24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;

25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

PTG

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Saints and Sinners via Days of Praise

“Then Job answered the LORD, and said, Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth.” (Job 40:3-4)

It is remarkable how the saintliest of men often confess to being the worst of sinners. The patriarch Job was said by God Himself to be “a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil” (Job 1:8). Yet when Job saw God, he could only say, “Behold, I am vile.”

And consider Abraham, who is called “the father of all them that believe” (Romans 4:11). When he presumed to talk to God, however, Abraham said that he was “but dust and ashes” (Genesis 18:27).

David, “the sweet psalmist of Israel” (2 Samuel 23:1), and “a man after |God’s| own heart” (1 Samuel 13:14), said: “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me” (Psalm 51:5). Isaiah, the greatest of the prophets, testified when he came into God’s presence: “Woe is me! for I am undone; because I am a man of unclean lips” (Isaiah 6:5).

The angel recognized Daniel the prophet as “a man greatly beloved” by God (Daniel 10:11). Yet when Daniel saw God, he fell on his face and said: “My comeliness was turned in me into corruption, and I retained no strength” (Daniel 10:8).

In the New Testament, the apostle Peter said: “I am a sinful man, O Lord” (Luke 5:8), and Paul called himself the chief of sinners (1 Timothy1:15). God dwells “in the light which no man can approach unto” (1 Timothy 6:16).

The closer one comes to the Lord, the more clearly one sees his own sinfulness and the more wonderful becomes God’s amazing grace. No one who is satisfied with his or her own state of holiness has yet come to know the Lord in His state of holiness! None dare face the Lord except by His grace through the mediator Jesus Christ. HMM

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Look Back via Days of Praise

“Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the LORD: look unto the rock whence ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence ye are digged.” (Isaiah 51:1)

While it is not good to dwell too much on the past—whether in pride of past accomplishments or despondency over past failures or grieving over past losses—it is well never to forget what God has done for us. In this passage, Israel is reminded of Abraham and Sarah, who had been lifted out of the pit of paganism and cut out of the rock of idolatry, and whom God had greatly blessed.

David, looking back, had written that God “brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay” (Psalm 40:2). Paul looked back and said: “In time past . . . beyond measure I persecuted the church of God. . . . But when it pleased God, who . . . called me by his grace, To reveal his Son in me . . . they glorified God in me” (Galatians 1:13, 15-16, 24).

Whatever our own background may be—bigoted skeptics, or flagrant sinners, or self-righteous hypocrites—God has indeed, if we are now saved by His grace, lifted us out of a pit and set us on a solid rock. We were “strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world” (Ephesians 2:12). But God “hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son” (Colossians 1:13).

“Such were some of you,” wrote Paul of such gross sins as fornication, idolatry, homosexuality, adultery, and thievery, as well as covetousness and drunkenness. “But ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus” (1 Corinthians 6:11). An occasional look back will help us to remember more often to look up in humble thankfulness for the grace of God. HMM

The Institute for Creation Research

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How to Hear From God

by JohnMcTernan

Abraham or Lot

Genesis 18:17 And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do;

Commentary

Hebrews 11:9,10 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise: For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

Genesis 18 and 19 reveal truths from the Bible that have a direct application for us today. It shows how Abraham was in tune with God. Because of this, God revealed coming judgment to Abraham that was soon going to completely destroy Sodom and Gomorrha along with five other cities. These cities were completely given over to the sin of fornication.

Lot on the other hand was living in ground zero of this judgment, and he had no idea it was on the way. He was completely blinded to God’s judgment, which was about to be unleash where he was living.

The destruction of Sodom and GomorrahThe destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah

Abraham knew it was on the way while Lot had no idea. There were reasons why God warned Abraham of the coming catastrophic judgment on sin and Lot was blind. The reasons are still valid today and can be applied to us.

In this is seen the stark difference between the two believers. Abraham heard from the Lord while Lot could not hear and was blinded to the imminent destruction. Even though Lot was living in Sodom, the Bible makes it very clear that he was just and righteous before God.

2 Peter 2:6-8 And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly; And delivered just Lot, vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked: (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, vexed his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)

Lot was upset with the sin of Sodom, but that was not enough to hear from God. Just like today, there are many, who are upset with the sin of America, but that is not enough to hear from God about judgment. The problem was Lot living in Sodom and unknowingly becoming part of it. He was drawn to Sodom because of its wealth and lifestyle. He made a conscious decision to be part of Sodom. By doing this, he blocked hearing God’s voice and warning, which led to disastrous consequences for him and his family.

The following verses from Genesis describes the separation of Abraham and Lot, and Lot choosing to live near Sodom:

Genesis 13:6 And the land was not able to bear them, that they might dwell together: for their substance was great, so that they could not dwell together.
(7) And there was a strife between the herdmen of Abram’s cattle and the herdmen of Lot’s cattle: and the Canaanite and the Perizzite dwelled then in the land.
(8) And Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren.
(9) Is not the whole land before thee? separate thyself, I pray thee, from me: if thou wilt take the left hand, then I will go to the right; or if thou depart to the right hand, then I will go to the left.

(10) And Lot lifted up his eyes, and beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered every where, before the LORD destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, even as the garden of the LORD … (11) Then Lot chose him all the plain of Jordan; and Lot journeyed east: and they separated themselves the one from the other.

Sodom was alluring to Lot and Ezekiel 16: 47-50 states what was so alluring. These people were haughty and full of pride and they were wealthy with “fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness”. The land was full of an abomination, which means homosexuality. It appears that Lot overlooked the sin of Sodom to live the “good life”. He was drawn by the easy lifestyle, and did not fear God about judging this sin.

After they separated, Lot moved close to Sodom. The Bible makes it very clear that at this time the people of Sodom were exceedingly wicked before the Lord. Lot knew this, yet he moved with his family close to Sodom while Abrahan stayed away. Again, Lot choose the easy lifestyle knowing full well that the people were given over to sin. The use of the words “exceedingly wicked” means that they were consumed with sin. Their thoughts, deeds and actions were continually sinful.

Genesis 13:12 Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the plain, and pitched his tent toward Sodom. (13) But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.

Later, in Genesis 19:1, Lot is sitting at the “gate” of Sodom. At the “gate”, means that he was in a position of authority and commerce. Lot had become part of Sodom.

Genesis 19:1 And there came two angels to Sodom at even; and Lot sat in the gate of Sodom: and Lot seeing them rose up to meet them; and he bowed himself with his face toward the ground;

Notice the progression of Lot, as he first looked toward Sodom; then he moved near Sodom; and then he was sitting at the gate of Sodom. Once Lot separated from Abraham, he was drawn to Sodom, until it became part of him. This is the reason that Lot was unable to hear from the Lord of the imminent judgment. He was part of Sodom.

Abraham on the other hand would have nothing to do with Sodom. Genesis 14 records Abraham saving Lot and many people of Sodom from a unified attack. The King of Sodom approached Abraham and offered him all the goods, which Abraham had saved during the battle. Abraham refused to take anything from the King of Sodom! He wanted nothing to do with Sodom and lived separate from them.

Genesis 14:21-23 And the king of Sodom said unto Abram, Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself.And Abram said to the king of Sodom, I have lift up mine hand unto the LORD, the most high God, the possessor of heaven and earth, That I will not take from a thread even to a shoelatchet, and that I will not take any thing that is thine, lest thou shouldest say, I have made Abram rich:

Just before God judged Sodom and Gomorrah, He spoke with Abraham. He mentioned that Abraham was mighty in the sight of the Lord, and that all the nations of the earth where going to be blessed in him. God then went on to show why Abraham was so blessed, and why God was revealing to him the judgment on Sodom.

The outstanding characteristic that caught God’s attention was that Abraham was a family man and put God first in his life and in the life of his children. The ways of the Lord were most important to Abraham and to instill them in his children and everyone connected with Abraham. Abraham would not think of going to Sodom because of the sin, and this sin could get into his family. The things of God were of the utmost importance and not living a leisurely life in Sodom. Abraham is our example of what it means to be a family man. Notice how simple this is, yet it caught the heart of God and got His attention.

Because Abraham was so faithful in following the ways of God and instilling them in his family, God could trust Abraham with His plan for man’s redemption. God’s plan of salvation went right through Abraham to his son Isaac and his grandson Jacob right down to the Lord Jesus Christ!

Genesis 18:17,18 And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do; Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him?

(19) For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.

When God revealed the coming judgment on Sodom, Abraham immediately cried out for his nephew Lot. He interceded before the Lord to spare the righteous from destruction. This shows the heart of Abraham as he immediately interceded before the Lord. I believe this is another reason why God revealed the judgment to Abraham. He wanted intercession, which is exactly what Abraham did. Based on Abraham’s intercession, God spared Lot and his family from the judgment.

Genesis 19:20,21 And the LORD said, Because the cry of Sodom and Gomorrah is great, and because their sin is very grievous; I will go down now, and see whether they have done altogether according to the cry of it, which is come unto me; and if not, I will know. (23) And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou also destroy the righteous with the wicked?

Abraham showed the spiritual character of a man of God. He was a family man instilling the ways of the Lord in his family. He put God before pleasure and protected his family from sin. Immediately upon learning of the judgment, he interceded before God for mercy. This is a true man of God, whether it was 4000 years ago or today, as nothing has changed with God.

Although Lot was spared from being consumed with Sodom, he paid a terrible price. He lost his entire family. Lot tried to warn his daughters and their husbands of the coming judgment and to flee Sodom with him. His family mocked Lot. While living in Sodom, Lot had no power from God and the power of Sodom was so overwhelming, that his family would not leave.

They lived in Sodom and Sodom lived in them. Lot’s daughters and husbands had just watched the Sodomites attempt to break into Lot’s house and sexually assault the angels. Yet, they wanted to stay in Sodom! When the sin of Sodom gets into a person’s heart, it is extremely powerful and spiritually blinding,

Genesis 19:14 And Lot went out, and spake unto his sons in law, which married his daughters, and said, Up, get you out of this place; for the LORD will destroy this city. But he seemed as one that mocked unto his sons in law.

The angels grab Lot, his wife and two unmarried daughters and fled from the city. Lot and his family were warned not to look back or they would be consumed. Lot’s wife looked back and died along with the rest of the family that choose to stay in Sodom. Lot fled to the mountains with his two remaining daughters. The daughters got their father drunk. They then seduced him in an incestual relationship which produced two children.

Lot and daughters fleeing the destruction of SodomLot and daughters fleeing the destruction of Sodom

Lot and his daughters fled Sodom, but the spirit of Sodom was alive and well in them. In the end, Lot lost everything. He lost his wife and his daughters along with their families that stayed in Sodom. His two remaining daughters committed fornication with him, which produced sons named Moab and Ammon. Their descendants became pagans and bitter enemies of Israel.

What a legacy for Lot! His descendents became pagans much like the inhabitants of Sodom. His daughters raised their sons with the spirit of Sodom! And finally, Lot lost all his wealth which was the reason he went to Sodom!

While Lot was running for his life and everything he owned along with most of his family were destroyed, Abraham was safe and watched the entire event! What a vivid description of the two believers. One was told by the Lord of the judgment and was safe long with his family and everything he owned. The other was fleeing for his life and lost everything.

Genesis 19:27,28 And Abraham gat up early in the morning to the place where he stood before the LORD: And he looked toward Sodom and Gomorrah, and toward all the land of the plain, and beheld, and, lo, the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace.

Abraham left an entirely different legacy. He followed God, and his descendants carried the everlasting covenant. Through Abraham’s seed came the prophets, the law, and the word of God. From Abraham came eternal salvation through his greater Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Today, to follow Abraham takes a great desire and effort. America has become like Sodom and Gomorrha. We need to put our family first and not wealth like Lot did.

This might mean moving away from “Sodom” to a place with a better environment.

It might mean taking a less paying job and living in a smaller house.

It might mean closely watching our children and who they associate with.

It might mean home schooling them to keep Sodom away from them.

It means spending time with them teaching them how to memorize the King James Bible and protecting them from the modern corrupted translations.

It means teaching them the truths of the Bible and protecting them from the heresies all around us.

It means keeping your children for getting tattoos as the pagans wear them.

It means that your daughters dress modest and not lewd like the pagans.

It means that your children do not have rings and piercings in the their bodies like the pagans do.

It means protecting them from the contemporary rock music and providing them with Godly music.

It means daily prayer and intercession for your family.

All of this is very serious because the consequences are enormous. Do you want to hear from God? Do you want to be consumed in judgment? Do you want your family protected? Do you want a godly seed and legacy?

Are you living in Sodom and like Lot turned your family over to spirit of Sodom, or are you like Abraham looking for the Second Coming of Jesus Christ and the New Jerusalem?

1 John 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. (16) For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. (17) And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.  

Reposted with permission of the author!

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Honoring Our Fathers via Days of Praise

“Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.” (Exodus 20:12)

This familiar command was the fifth in God’s list of Ten Commandments, the law of God, and it has never been abrogated. It was quoted by Christ as His own command, when He said: “If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. . . . Honour thy father and thy mother” (Matthew19:17, 19). The apostle Paul also cited it as of special significance: “Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise” (Ephesians 6:2).

This all indicates that God considers the honoring of parents by their children to be of great significance. Since the father has been charged with the primary spiritual responsibility for his family, it is of supreme importance that fathers lead their children properly and the children follow that lead with all due respect and diligence. God blessed Abraham as “the father of us all” (Romans 4:16) because He could say concerning Abraham: “For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment” (Genesis 18:19).

It is not easy being such a father, but it is vital if our children are to come also to honor their heavenly Father. “For what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? . . . Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?” (Hebrews 12:7, 9).

“And ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord” (Ephesians 6:4). If we fathers diligently follow God’s Word in leading our children, then they will honor their fathers, not only while they are children, but all their lives. HMM

The Institute for Creation Research

Moses with the tablets of the Ten Commandments...

Moses with the tablets of the Ten Commandments, painting by Rembrandt (1659) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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A.W. Tozer : Truth that Seeks Lost People

Our Lord said, I am the Truth, and again He said, The Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. Truth therefore is not hard to find for the very reason that it is seeking us. Truth is not a thing for which we must search, but a Person to whom we must hearken. This is taught or taken for granted in the record of Gods dealings with men throughout the Sacred Scriptures. After the sin in Eden it was not Adam who cried O God, where art Thou? but God who cried Where art thou? as He sought for Adam among the trees of the Garden. Abraham heard God speak and responded, but it was God who was the aggressor. God appeared unto Jacob before Jacob came to appear before God. And in the burning bush God revealed Himself to Moses. Again and again did God take the initiative. He sought for Gideon and found him on the threshing floor of Ophrah. He showed Himself to Isaiah when there is no evidence that Isaiah was seeking Him. Before Jeremiah was born God laid His hand upon him, and He opened heaven to let the discouraged priest Ezekiel see a vision and hear a voice. Amos said he was not a prophet neither a prophets son, but the Lord took him as he followed the flock. Again God was the aggressor. In the New Testament things are not otherwise. True, multitudes came to Christ for physical help, but only rarely did one seek Him out to learn the truth; and even that rare one usually turned away when the truth was told him. The whole picture in the Gospels is one of a seeking Savior, not one of seeking men. The truth was hunting for those who would receive it, and relatively few did. Many are called, but few are chosen.


Standing on the Promise

Luke 24:49
And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

Acts 1:4
And, being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me.

Acts 2:33
Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this, which ye now see and hear.

Acts 2:39
For the promise  is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the LORD our God shall call.

Acts 26:6
And now I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God, unto our fathers:

Romans 4:13
For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

Romans 4:16
Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,

Romans 9:8
That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.


Redeemed from the Law

Galatians 4:1-6

King James Version (KJV)

4 Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;

But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.

Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:

But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,

To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.


The Redeemer of Israel

Jacob (Israel), Russian icon from first quarte...

Jacob (Israel), Russian icon from first quarter of 18th cen. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Isaiah 41:8-14

New International Version (NIV)

“But you, Israel, my servant,
Jacob, whom I have chosen,
you descendants of Abraham my friend,
I took you from the ends of the earth,
from its farthest corners I called you.
I said, ‘You are my servant’;
I have chosen you and have not rejected you.
10 So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

11 “All who rage against you
will surely be ashamed and disgraced;
those who oppose you
will be as nothing and perish.
12 Though you search for your enemies,
you will not find them.
Those who wage war against you
will be as nothing at all.
13 For I am the Lord your God
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
I will help you.
14 Do not be afraid, you worm Jacob,
little Israel, do not fear,
for I myself will help you,” declares theLord,
your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel.


Christ Our Redeemer

Isaiah 53:5-10

King James Version (KJV)

But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lordshall prosper in his hand.

Hebrews 9:11-12

King James Version (KJV)

11 But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;

12 Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.

Romans 3:24-25

King James Version (KJV)

24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

1 Peter 1:18-19

King James Version (KJV)

18 For as much as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;

19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

Galatians 3:13-14

King James Version (KJV)

13 Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree:

14 That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

Ephesians 1:3

King James Version (KJV)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:

Ephesians 1:7

King James Version (KJV)

In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;


Stephen Preaches to the Council

Moses Pleading with Israel, as in Deuteronomy ...

Moses Pleading with Israel, as in Deuteronomy 6:1-15, illustration from a Bible card published 1907 by the Providence Lithograph Company (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Stephen Preaches to the Council

Acts 7

Then the high priest said, “Are these things so?”

And he said, “Men and brethren and fathers, listen: The God of glory appeared to our father Abraham when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Haran,

“and said to him, ‘Get out of your country and from your relatives, and come to a land that I will show you.’

“Then he came out of the land of the Chaldeans and dwelt in Haran. And from there when his father was dead, He moved him to this land in which you now dwell.

“And God game him no inheritance in it, not even enought to set his foot on. But even when Abraham had no child, He promised to give it to him for a possession, and to his descendants after him.

“But God spoke in this way: that his descendants would sojourn in a foreign land, and that they would bring them into bondage and oppress them four hundred years.

‘And the nation to whom they will be in bondage I will judge,’ said God, ‘and after that they shall come out and serve Me in this place.’

“Then He gave him the covenant of circumcision; and so Abraham begot Isaac and circumcised him on the eight day; and Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot the twelve patriarchs.

“And the patriarchs, becoming envious, sold Joseph into Egypt. But God was with him

“and delivered him out of all his troubles, and gave him favor and wisdom in the presence of Pharaoh, king of Egypt and all his house.

“Now a famine and great trouble came over all the land of Egypt and Canaan, and our fathers found no sustenance.

“But when Jacob heard that there was grain in Egypt, he sent out our fathers first.

“And the second time Joseph was made known to his brothers, and Joseph’s family became known to the Pharaoh.

“Then Joseph sent and called his father Jacob and all his relatives to him, seventy-five people.

“So Jacob went down to Egypt; and he died, he and our fathers.

“And they were carried back to Shechem and laid in the tomb that Abraham bought for a sum of money from the sons of Hamor, the father of Shechem.

“But when the time of the promise drew near which God had sworn to Abraham, the people grew and multiplied in Egypt

“till another king arose who did not know Joseph.

“This man dealt treacherously with our people, and oppressed our forefathers, making them expose their babies, so that they might not live.

“At this time Moses was born, and was well pleasing to God; and he was brought up in his father’s house for three months.

“But when he was set out, Pharaoh’s daughter took him away and brought him up as her own son.

“And Moses was learned in all the wisdom of the Egyptians, and was mighty in words and deeds.

“But when he was forty years old, it came into his heart to visit his brethren, the children of Israel.

“And seeing one of them suffer wrong, he defended and avenged him who was oppressed, and struck down the Egyptian.

“For he supposed that his brethren would have understood that God would deliver them by his hand, but they did not understand.

“And the next day he appeared to two of them as they were fighting, and tried to reconcile with them, say, ‘Men, your are brethren; why do you wrong one another?’

“But he who did his neighbor wrong pushed him away, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and judge over us?

‘Do you want to kill me as you did the Egyptian yesterday?’

“Then, at this saying, Moses fled and became a sojourner in the land of Midian, where he had two sons.

“And when forty years had passed, an Angel of the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire in a bush, in the wilderness of Mount Sinai.

“When Moses saw it, he marveled at the sight; and as he drew near to observe, the voice of the Lord came to him,

“saying, ‘I am the God of your fathers— the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ And Moses trembled and dared not look.

‘Then the Lord said to him, “Take your sandals off your feet, for the place where you stand is holy ground.

“I have certainly seen the oppression of my people who are in Egypt; I have heard their groaning and have come down to deliver them. And now come, I will send you to Egypt.” ‘

“This Moses whom they rejected, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge?’ is the one God sent to be a ruler and a deliverer by the hand of the Angel who appeared to him in the bush.

“He brought them out, after he had shown wonders and signs in the land of Egypt, and in the Red Sea, and in the wilderness forty years.

“This is that Moses who said to the children of Israel, ‘The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear.’

“This is he who was in the congregation in the wilderness with the Angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our fathers, the one who received the living oracles to give us,

“whom our fathers would not obey, but rejected. And in their hearts they turned back to Egypt,

“saying to Aaron, ‘Make us gods to go before us; as for this Moses who brought us out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.’

“And they made a calf in those days, offered sacrifces to the idol, and rejoiced in the works of their own hands.

“Then God turned and gave them up to worship the host of heaven, as it is written in the book of the Prophets;

‘Did you offer Me slaughtered animals
and sacrifices during forty years in
the wilderness,
O house of Israel?
Yes, you took up the tabernacle of
Moloch,
And the star of your god Remphan,
Images which you made to worship;
And I will carry you away beyond
Babylon.’

“Our fathers had the tabernacle of witness in the wilderness, as He appointed, instructing Moses to make it according to the pattern that he had seen,

“which our fathers, having received it in turn, also brought with Joshua into the land possessed by the Gentiles, whom God drove out before the face of our fathers until the days of David,

“who found favor before God and asked to find a dwelling for the God of Jacob.

“But Solomon built Him a house.

“However, the Most High does not dwell in temples made with hands, as the prophet says:

‘Heaven is My throne,
And earth is My footstool.
What house will you build for Me? says
the LORD,
Or what is the place of My rest?
Has My hand not made all these things?’

“You stiff-nescked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you.

“Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers,

“who have received the law by the direction of angels and have not kept it.”

When they heard these things they were cut to the heart, and they gnashed at him with their teeth.

But he, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God,

and said, “Look! I see the heavens opened and the Son of Man standing at the right had of God!”

Then they cried out with a loud voice, stopped their ears, and ran at him with one accord;

and they cast him out of the city and stoned him. And the witnesses laid down their clothes at the feet of a young man named Saul.

And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”

Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.


Faith

The Reconciliation of Jacob and Esau, as in Ge...

The Reconciliation of Jacob and Esau, as in Genesis 33, oil on panel, at the National Galleries of Scotland (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Faith

Hebrews Chapter 11

Defination of Faith

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.
By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visable.

Abel

By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, through which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts; and through it he being dead still speaks.

Enoch

By faith Enoch was translated so that he did not see death, “and was not found because God had translated him”; for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Noah

By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.

Abraham and Sarah

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to the place which he would afterward receive as an inheritance. And he went out, not knowing where he was going.
By faith he sojourned in the land of promise as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise;
For he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
By faith Sarah herself also received strength to conceive seed, and she bore a child when she was past the age, because she judged Him faithful who had promised.
Therefore from one man, and him as good as dead, were born as many as the stars of the sky in multitude— innumerable as the sand which is by the seashore.
These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
For those who say such thngs declare plainly that they seek a homeland.
And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return.
But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Thereofre God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.
By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promised offered up by his only begotten son,
of whom it was said, “In Isaac your seed shall be called,”
accounting that God was able to raise him up, even from the dead, from which he also received him in a figurative sense.

Isaac

By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau concerning things to come.

Jacob

By faith Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff.

Joseph

By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the departure of the children of Israel, and gave instructions concerning his bones.

Moses‘ Parents

By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s command.

Moses

By faith Moses, when he became of age, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter,
choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin,
esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured as seeing Him who is invisible.
By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them.
By faith they passed through the Red Sea as by dry land, whereas the Egyptians, attempting to do so, were drowned.

Joshua and Rahab

By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they were encircled for seven days.
By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.

Many Other Heros of Faith

And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon and Barak and Samson and Jepthah, also of David and Samuel and the prophets:
who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions,
quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.
Women received their dead raised to life again. And others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection.
Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment.
They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented—
of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth.
And all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not recieve the promise,
God having provided something better for us, that they should not be made perfect apart from us.


Faith Proves Itself by Works

Faith

Faith (Photo credit: sspantherss)

Faith Proves Itself by Works

James 2:14-26

What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?

If a brother or sister is naked and destitute of daily food,

and one of you says to them “Depart in peace, be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what does it profit?

Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works is dead.

But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.

You believe that there is one God. You do well. Even the demons believe– and tremble!

But do you want to know, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?

Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered Isaac his son on the alter?

Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?

And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” And he was called friend of God.

You see then that a man is justified by the works, and not by faith only.

Likewise, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out another way?

For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.


Abraham’s Righteousness Was by Faith

Sarah and Abraham hosting three angels

Sarah and Abraham hosting three angels (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Romans 4:16-25

Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only those who are of the law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all

(as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believe, even God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did;

who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall you descendants be.”

And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah‘s womb.

He did not waiver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God,

and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to ferform.

And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.”

Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him,

but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead,

who was  delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.


God Pleads Micah 6:10-16 and Micah Replies Micah 7

Amri(Omri) was king of Israel and father of Ahab.

Amri(Omri) was king of Israel and father of Ahab. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Are there yet the treasures of wickedness

In the house of the wicked,

And the short measure that is abomination?

Shall I count pure those with the wicked balances,

And with the bag of deceitful weights?

For her rich men are full of violence,

He inhabitants have spoken lies,

And their tongue is deceitful in their mouth.

“Therefore I will also make you sick by striking you,

By making you desolate because of your sins.

You shall eat, but not be satified;

Hunger shall be in your midst.

You may carry some away, but shall not save them;

And what you do rescue I will give over to the sword.

“You shall sow, but not reap;

You shall tread the olives, but not

anoint yourselves with oil;

And make sweet wine, but not drink win.

For the statutes of Omri are kept;

All the works of Ahab‘s house are done;

And you walk in their counsels,

That I may make you a desolation,

And your inhabitants a hissing.

Therefore you shall bear the reproach

of My people.”

Micah Replies

Woe is me!

For I am like those who gather summer fruits,

Like those who glean vintage grapes;


There is  no cluster to eat

Of the first-ripe fruit which my soul desires.

The faithful man has perished from the earth,

And there is no one upright among men.

They all lie in wait for blood;

Every man hunts his brother with a net.

That they may successfully do evil with both hands—

The prince asks for gifts,

The judge seeks a bribe,

And the great man utters his evil desire;

So they scheme together,

The best of them is like a brier;

The most upright is sharper than a thorn hedge;

The day of your watchman and your punishment comes;

Now shall be their perplexity.

Do not trust in a friend;

Do not put your confidence in a companion;

Guard the doors of your mouth

From her who lies in your bosom.

For son dishonors father,

Daughter rises against her mother,

Daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;

A man’s enemies are the men of his own house.

Therefore I will look to the LORD;

I will wait for the God of my salvation;

My God will hear me.

Do not rejoice over me, my enemy;

When I fall, I will arise;

When I sit in darkness,

The LORD will be a light to me.

I will bear the indignation of the LORD,

Because I have sinned against Him,

Until  He pleads my case

And executes justice for me;

He will bring me forth to the light,

And I will see His righteousness.

Then she who is my enemy will see,

And shame will cover her who said to me,

“Where is the LORD your God?”

My eyes will see her;

Now she will be trampled down

Like mire in the streets.

In the day when your walls are to be built,

In that day the decree shall go far and wide.

In that day they shall come to you

From Assyria and the fortified cities,

From the fortress to the River,

From sea to sea,

And mountain to mountain.

Yet the land shall be desolate

Because of those who dwell in it,

And for the fruit of their deeds.

Shepherd Your people with Your staff,

The flock of Your heritage,

Who dwell solitarily in a woodland,

In the midst of Carmel;

Let them feed in Bashan and Gilead,

As in days of old.

“As in thhe days when yu came out of the land of Egypt,

I will show them marvelous things.”

The nations shall see and be ashamed

of all their might;

They shall put their hand over their mouth;

Their ears shall be deaf.

They shall lick the dust like a sperpent;

They shall crawl from their holes like snakes of the earth.

They shall be afraid of the LORD our God.

And shall fear because of You.

Who is a God like You,

Pardoning iniquity

And passing over the transgression of

the remnant of His heritage?

He does not retain His anger forver,

Because He delights in mercy.

He will again have compassion on us,

And will subdue our iniquities.

You will cast all our sins

Into the depths of the sea.

You will give truth to Jacob

And mercy to Abraham,

which You have sworn to our fathers

From days of old.


The Lord Shall Subdue All Nations Psalm 47

Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples!

Shout to God with the voice of triumph!

For the Lord Most High is awesome;

He is a great King over all the earth.

He will subdue the peoples under us,

And the nations under our feet.

He will choose our inheritance for us,

The excellence of Jacob whom He loves,

Selah  

God has gone up with a shout,

The Lord with the sound of a trumpet.

Sing praises to God, sing praises!

For God is the King of all the earth;

Sing praises with understanding.

God reigns over the nations;

God sits on His holy throne.

The princes of the people have gathered together,

The people of the God of Abraham.

For the shields of the earth belong to God;

He is already exalted.


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