In the beginning...

Just say Jesus

Category: Genesis 12

12-29-2015 Genesis 12:10-20

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10 Now there was a famine in the land, and Abram went down to Egypt to dwell there, for the famine was severe in the land. 11 And it came to pass, when he was close to entering Egypt, that he said to Sarai his wife, “Indeed I know that you are a woman of beautiful countenance. 12 Therefore it will happen, when the Egyptians see you, that they will say, ‘This is his wife’; and they will kill me, but they will let you live. 13 Please say you are my sister, that it may be well with me for your sake, and that I may live because of you.” 14 So it was, when Abram came into Egypt, that the Egyptians saw the woman, that she was very beautiful. 15 The princes of Pharaoh also saw her and commended her to Pharaoh. And the woman was taken to Pharaoh’s house. 16 He treated Abram well for her sake. He had sheep, oxen, male donkeys, male and female servants, female donkeys, and camels. 17 But the Lord plagued Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife. 18 And Pharaoh called Abram and said, “What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? 19 Why did you say, ‘She is my sister’? I might have taken her as my wife. Now therefore, here is your wife; take her and go your way.” 20 So Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him; and they sent him away, with his wife and all that he had.

Reading this I see how Abram deceived Pharaoh to save his life.  We have so much deception in our world.  We try to fool people to get what we want.  Our media deceives us into believing lies.  Even our colleges teach lies and deception.  It’s a crap shoot when we encounter others.  The bible teaches us to trust God.  I have found that when I follow this my life is okay. It’s not perfect by any means but it is okay.  Jesus said: “I am the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6). The only way to not be deceived is to follow Jesus.  Abram relied on deception and he made it through.  The bible doesn’t say if he was commanded by God to do this.  Either way, if we follow God’s instructions the outcome is always better.  The bible is full of stories of men who strayed away from God, however when they turn away from their way and follow God, He brings them through.  The same goes for us.  If we repent (turn away) and follow Jesus, He will get us through. It’s not easy and doesn’t always make sense, but Jesus is the way.  But if you’re still confused, and don’t know what to say….just say Jesus!

12-22-2015 Genesis 12:7-9

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Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” And there he built an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him.  And he moved from there to the mountain east of Bethel, and he pitched his tent with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; there he built an altar to the Lord and called on the name of the Lord.  So Abram journeyed, going on still toward the South.

There is two phrases here that seem to get my attention: “he called on the name of the Lord” and ” Abram journeyed”.  Our life here on this earth is but a journey.  It is to prepare us for the place Jesus has for us. Jesus said: “I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:3).  Most of us try to establish a place here to call home.  Home gives us a place for comfort, rest, and family.  While these are good things, our real home is in heaven with Jesus. So this time on earth is just a journey.  It’s a training ground for the ultimate home.  We all know that our homes here on earth can be destroyed.  Some of us have moved several times to different places, sometimes hundreds or even thousands of miles away.  The old place is either sold, or eventually destroyed.  Here on earth all things can be taken away, but the place that Jesus has made (the home) can never be destroyed. Jesus said: “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal;  but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21).  So to me it’s simple, just as Abram called on the Lord, I look to Jesus and keep on moving.  For my time here is short and this journey on earth is over quickly.  My treasure is in heaven, and there is where my heart lies.  But if you’re still confused, and don’t know what to say or do…. Please!… Just say Jesus!!!

12-16-2015 Genesis 12:4-9

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So Abram departed as the Lord had spoken to him, and Lot went with him. And Abram was seventy-five years old when he departed from Haran.  Then Abram took Sarai his wife and Lot his brother’s son, and all their possessions that they had gathered, and the people whom they had acquired in Haran, and they departed to go to the land of Canaan. So they came to the land of Canaan.  Abram passed through the land to the place of Shechem, as far as the terebinth tree of Moreh. And the Canaanites were then in the land.

Then the Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants I will give this land.” And there he built an altar to the Lord, who had appeared to him.  And he moved from there to the mountain east of Bethel, and he pitched his tent with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east; there he built an altar to the Lord and called the on the name of the Lord.  So Abram journeyed, going on still toward the South.

As we read about Abram I see him being obedient.  He listens to God’s word and then proceeds to follow that word. How many of us truly follow God’s word?  The parable of the sower that Jesus taught seems relevant here.  Some of us hear God’s word, and we like what is said. We say that sounds right, and we move on, however there is no root in the words. As soon as “shit happens” we tend to stop believing and of course stop following.  We believe somehow there’s a better answer.  There are some of us that hear God’s word and we follow and praise God, seeming like good Christians…you know church going folk!  But when the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things show up it chokes what we have learned.  We fall away and become lead by the world and our problems. But if we are like Abram and we hear God’s word, obey it, and follow it, we prosper and become the light for someone else.  Jesus is the light that is within each and every one of us.  Jesus said: ” I am the way the truth and the life, no one comes to the father except through me” (John 14:6).  Jesus is calling us to follow Him and trust Him, just as Abram did.  Abram trusted God when it didn’t make sense.  When we can do this we are truly free.  Then, nothing of this world can affect us. Paul the apostle wrote: “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).  You can also do this if you just call on the name of Jesus!  If you are reading this and you still don’t know what to say or do, I encourage you to …..just say Jesus!

12-14-2015 Genesis 12:1-3

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Now the Lord had said to Abram:

“Get out of your country, From your family, And from your father’s house, To a land that I will show you. I will make you a great nation; I will bless you, And make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, And I will curse him who curses you; And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

Here the Lord gives Abram a command.  He tells him to leave his family, his house, everything, and to go to another land without knowing where he is going.  Could you do this?  Can you follow what God is telling you and trust Him? As we continue to read God tells Abram he will make him great, and the people that bless Abram God will bless, and the people that curse Abram will be cursed. That’s pretty strong promises.  Now He (God) didn’t say that wouldn’t be any struggles along the way.  The same holds true today.  Jesus promised us a better place and a better life.  He said: “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know” (John 14:2-4).  God also promises that as children of God we are heirs to the kingdom.  Paul writes: “we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together” (Romans 8:16-17).  When we follow Jesus we receive the blessings just like Abram.  It won’t be perfect but in the end we receive paradise. In the same chapter Paul writes: “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18).   The problems we endure throughout our lives are nothing compared to our reward.  So how do we get all this great stuff. Even the apostles weren’t sure. Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?” Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (John 14:5-6). But if you’re still not sure and don’t know what to say…just say Jesus.

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