The Rewards of Faith In God

In reading the whole chapter of Genesis 13, I glorified God for all that He rewarded Abram with in verses 14-16, and I would encourage you to read down to at least those verses. You see, in verse 4, Abram had stopped to worship the Lord, in spite of being without a place to call ‘home’ for he and his family. Let’s meditate on our ability, or inability, to worship God in all circumstances of life, especially in those times where it seems like things are not going well for us. How well do we do at that?

Saturday, 2019-01-12

Bible Reference: Genesis 13:1-5
Translation: Living Bible (TLB)

Bible Text: 1-2 So they left Egypt and traveled north into the Negeb—Abram with his wife, and Lot, and all that they owned, for Abram was very rich in livestock, silver, and gold. 3-4 Then they continued northward toward Bethel where he had camped before, between Bethel and Ai—to the place where he had built the altar. And there he again worshiped the Lord. Lot too was very wealthy, with sheep and cattle and many servants.

OBSERVATION: In reading the whole chapter of Genesis 13, I glorified God for all that He rewarded Abram with in verses 14-16, and I would encourage you to read down to at least those verses. You see, in verse 4, Abram had stopped to worship the Lord, in spite of being without a place to call ‘home’ for he and his family. Let’s meditate on our ability, or inability, to worship God in all circumstances of life, especially in those times where it seems like things are not going well for us. How well do we do at that?

APPLICATION: Let’s stop to consider this scenario for a few moments today. Let’s try to place ourselves in Abram’s role and try to imagine what we would’ve done, or perhaps would do, in our current relationship state with God. Abram had just been kicked out of town by Pharoah, and now, with the responsibility of leading his precious family, Abram must find a place to call ‘home’. There is no indication that Abram had any remorse about the situation he found himself in, but he knew that he needed God. But notice the one thing that the Scripture made clear – Abram was very rich in livestock, gold and silver. I live and work in agriculturally rich towns, but I hear repeatedly of people facing similar challenging times in life, regardless of their monetary worth. Friends, we were designed by an awesome God, and if you go back to the beginning chapters of the Bible, you will note that He loved us so much that He provided everything for us to survive, enjoy and be in awe about. We should therefore always remember that, no matter how inflated our bank accounts are, or how big our farms are, we must remember from whence we came, and who exactly gave us the opportunities and blessings of becoming earthly ‘rich’. Often when hard times of health degradation or losing a loved one comes our way, there is no degree of earthly richness that will satisfy our souls. But also be reminded of how awesome our God is, for He saw the faithfulness of Abram; He saw the trust that Abram placed in Him even after he had attained much earthly wealth; He saw the humbleness in Abram, that even though he was the senior member of the family, yet he gave Lot the option of choosing his area of land first, and leaving Abram to settle in the remainder. I feel like often God looks at our choices in circumstances when we think no one is watching, to truly bless us, for He then sees the ‘heart’ of man. Notice in verses 14-16 how God, having recognized the ‘heart’ of Abram, blessed him beyond all measure. Notice that this blessing came even though Abram was not pleading with God for more, more, more. Friends, let us be consistent and persistent in our relationship with God, especially in those times that we can’t see what lies ahead for us. Be reminded that you are a child of the most high God, He loves His children, and He gives His very best for us, just as He did at Calvary. If you have never surrendered Your life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, may I encourage you to consider that today? It is the one critical means of bringing you into the sonship of the Almighty God. Please don’t delay that decision my friend. Let this be the best day of your life here on earth, as you prepare for eternity!

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, please have Your will and way in the lives of each one reading this devotional today. Just as You presented Abram with unlimited blessings, I believe that You are prepared to bless us with unlimited time with You and the Father. It just doesn’t get any better than that! May You be glorified today in all decisions made for true relationship with You. AMEN!

FOOTNOTE: There are two more pages on my blog that will provide you with additional information, one of them being ‘To Know Jesus’. If you have been challenged to make a decision today after reading this devotional, please click on the above page, or speak with a local Bible Teaching Pastor, or contact me at Please allow someone to pray with you and give you help and/or encouragement as you begin, or continue your walk with Jesus. Words underlined in my blog might indicate a link to a song that came to mind as I wrote the devotional. Feel free to click on the link and listen as you continue to read or pray. If this devotional was forwarded to you and you would like to see more, please go to Nuggets From God’s Word and read more, or you may freely subscribe for a daily email conveniently containing each day’s devotional. If you are anywhere near the Sebring, Florida area and do not have a church home, I would be thrilled to welcome you at Bible Fellowship Church, located at 3750 Hammock Rd, Sebring, FL 33872! Click the link to check out service times and/or other special activities. God is at work among us! Please consider coming to worship with us!

A Covenant Relationship

Scripture: Genesis 17

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the Lord appeared to him and said, “I am El-Shaddai—‘God Almighty.’ Serve me faithfully and live a blameless life.2 I will make a covenant with you, by which I will guarantee to give you countless descendants.”3 At this, Abram fell face down on the ground. Then God said to him,4 “This is my covenant with you: I will make you the father of a multitude of nations!5 What’s more, I am changing your name. It will no longer be Abram. Instead, you will be called Abraham, for you will be the father of many nations.6 I will make you extremely fruitful. Your descendants will become many nations, and kings will be among them! Gen 17:1-6 (NLT)

APPLICATION (How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

Much is said in God’s Work about covenant relationships. In this particular chapter there were several covenant relationships made with Abram (Abraham) and they all were similar in form. God made a covenant that He would do certain things and this was either preceded, or followed by, certain things that would be required by Abram and/or his people. In this particular covenant God told his servant who was once fatherless, that he would become the father of countless descendants and of many nations, and to mark this his name would be changed to reflect the new him, because Abraham actually means ‘Father of Many’. Now prior to all this being revealed, God demanded of Abram that he vow to serve Him faithfully and live a blameless life. Throughout God’s Word He makes many promises to us, the greatest of which was the gift of His Son Jesus. In this particular covenant, God sent His Son so that those of us that believe on, and accept Him as Lord of our life, would have eternal life. At Christmas time we celebrate the gift that was presented to us. I trust that for all who may read this devotional, You would truly accept this gift and complete the covenant presented by God, for I guarantee you that He will live up to His part of the covenant by opening heaven’s gates and receiving us into eternity with Him. Friend I pray that your eyes will be opened to this invitation, because the alternative is not very bright for those who refuse to accept Jesus. An eternal life of damnation and the unpleasentries of Hell is not anything that I can imagine anyone wanting to set as a goal in their life.

PRAYER (With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Father I thank You for the greatest gift ever given – Your Son. I thank You also for touching my life and encouraging me to accept Your gift some 35 years ago. I am concerned about the numerous number of family and/or friends and/or co-workers that have chosen to ignore Your gift and the covenant You have offered to us. I pray that this will be an important Christmas weekend in the lives of those that You have touched my life through, because I pray that You will once again overly sensitize their hearts so that they will understand how hopeless life is without You. May they experience the real meaning of the reason that we celebrate Christmas as they surrender and submit their lives to You this week.

Be a Godly Example and receive His Blessings

Scripture: Genesis 13

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

14 After Lot had gone, the Lord said to Abram, “Look as far as you can see in every direction—north and south, east and west.15 I am giving all this land, as far as you can see, to you and your descendants as a permanent possession.16 And I will give you so many descendants that, like the dust of the earth, they cannot be counted!17 Go and walk through the land in every direction, for I am giving it to you.”18 So Abram moved his camp to Hebron and settled near the oak grove belonging to Mamre. There he built another altar to the Lord.  Gen 13:14-18 (NLT)

APPLICATION (How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

In an earlier chapter we saw where Noah pleased God when he created an altar and gave a sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving to God. In turn, he was blessed with a lot more than he thought he would have just coming out of the ark. In this passage we see where Abram was very open in being a peace maker. He was the key leader in this whole journey with Lot, yet when strife broke out, Abram was the one willing to step back and give Lot first preference in whichever land he wanted to settle on with his family, herds and belongings, and Abram settled for whatever was left. Although not specifically said in the passage, it is evident that this peaceful act, this display of family love and devotion, pleased God very much. In fact, so much so, that He met with Abram and showed him everything that would really belong to him. Abram, being the Godly man that he was, settled in and immediately built an altar to the Lord. Today it almost seems to be more important that we strive to be the revenger, the better man, the victor, the winner, to look bigger in the eyes of onlookers or those we try to impress, instead of being the peacemaker like Abram. I don’t believe that it ever hurts to eat ‘humble pie’ and always please God with our actions. This helps us be a much ‘bigger’ person in the eyes of our beholders, as they will realize that it must have been the power of God working in and through us, to face possible condemnation, possible defeat in the eyes of those looking for a fight, but to look and act more like God in what He would do in the same circumstance. In our passage today God has shown yet another example of what it means to represent Him and act in a Christian manner in our everyday lives. As we study His Word we will find more and more ways to look more like Him in all that we do and say instead of jumping in with both feet and doing what self, or the world promotes. Let’s be God-followers, even if it means eating the ‘humble pie’ like Abram did! In all circumstances let us be good examples of God in word and deed.

PRAYER (With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Your Word is filled with examples of how we should act and what it really means to represent You well while blessed to be here on this earth. Thank You for the example of Abram in this passage today. Today we are faced with equally as important decisions and/or challenges. May I not act in haste and respond in a manner outside of Your will or Your character. May I continue to represent You well in the good times, but may I also learn to represent You even more when old Satan rears his ugly head and tries to bring out the worst in me. May the worst in me be cleansed by You and replaced with qualities pleasing to You so that I may respond to life’s circumstances in a Godly fashion. It’s You I live for and You that I desire to please in all that I say or do, but I need Your constant touch on my life. Please continue to teach me Your ways and give me strength each day to be victorious in being Your representative in all things and in all ways.

Dt 11:22: (The Blessings of Obedience) – 22 “Be careful to obey all these commands I am giving you. Show love to the Lord your God by walking in his ways and holding tightly to him.

God is still God!

SCRIPTURE Studied: Genesis 12

OBSERVATION (What is God saying here?)

7 Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “I will give this land to your descendants. ” And Abram built an altar there and dedicated it to the Lord, who had appeared to him.8 After that, Abram traveled south and set up camp in the hill country, with Bethel to the west and Ai to the east. There he built another altar and dedicated it to the Lord, and he worshiped the Lord.9 Then Abram continued traveling south by stages toward the Negev. 10 At that time a severe famine struck the land of Canaan, forcing Abram to go down to Egypt, where he lived as a foreigner. Gen 12:7-10 (NLT)

APPLICATION (How Can I apply what God is saying here to my circumstances today?)

At the beginning of this chapter it is so amazing to see God at work in Abram’s life, and also Abram being so obedient to leave his hometown and all the people that he knew, to move to a foreign land far away. In these verses, it is also interesting to note that during Abram’s journey everything was not rosy, no, everything did not go without a hitch and/or challenges. In fact, while passing through Canaan there was a great famine that hit the area. Now in a perfect world, most of us would say that if this was a journey destined by God, led and directed by Him, then why would there be obstacles. Friends this is the same way it is today. Just because we surrender our hearts to the Lord, we are not exempted from all the trials and tribulations of this world – at least as long as we live in this world! Often challenges will come our way – the question, or challenge for us is to determine is, which way will we go? A life totally surrendered to God will always do like Abram did, we will wait for further instructions, while during the interim challenge, looking to God for direction and depending on Him for strength to overcome. I believe that often our faith is determined by how we handle trials, not just on how well we do during the times of blessings and riches. God is still God during the highs, and during the lows of our lives. We must insure that our faith holds strong daily, because we don’t know what may be in store for us each day. Let’s think in terms of a partnership, we don’t jump ship on our partner on a day when things are rough, nor do we when our partnership celebrates its highs. A true partnership stays in tact during both good and bad times. So should our relationship with God. What are you facing today? Trust only in God and never lean on your own understanding, for only He knows what lies ahead for us. I love the words of that gospel song “God of the Mountain”, listen to it and be blessed as you reflect on the words of this Bible passage.

PRAYER (With God’s help, what am I going to do differently today because He said it?)

Like in the case of Abram, You bless me beyond measure each day oh God, and this morning I want to say thank You with all of my heart. Please forgive me when I worry about the challenges I see in life from the small perspective of my personal abilities. Please help me to stay so focused on You that I will always look through Your eyes and therefore face life’s challenges with the benefit of Your unlimited power and Your everlasting love for me. I believe that as I place my faith totally in You, I will always receive Your protection and You will bring me through life’s challenges in ways that will bring You glory. I know that this may not always come in the way that I may personally desire, but Lord I pray that You will help me to hide behind the cross and allow Your glory to shine through in all that I do or say. Self is insignificant in the whole scheme of things, for only those things that are done for Christ will last. May Your love shine through in all that is done in Your name this Christmas time! Thank You for sending Your Son as a babe, so that we may ultimately be re-born into life with You, and accepted into Your kingdom!