Reading the Bible in Three Years

Genesis 27 (January 27)

                                                                                         A Delicious Dish

            “...savory food for your father, such as he likes,”

            I remember clearly the breakfast that my three sons cooked for me on the last “Father’s day.  It was delicious!  There were scrambled eggs, fried spam, Cuban bread, cafe con leche (Cuban coffee and milk), pancakes with maple syrup and a few other savory items.  It was truly a feast fit for a King!

            Jacob cooked Isaac’s favorite food (with Rebecca’s help) and brought it to him.  They prepared the best dish, but they had an evil wish.  This banquet was just a small piece in a much larger conspiracy to obtain Isaac’s blessing illegally.  It was similar to sin:  A delicious (yet deadly) trap.

            What is God’s favorite food?

            In John 4, Jesus tells us what his favorite dish is. As he was preaching to the Samaritan woman, his disciples came back from the market and offered Him food or meat. His reply was,

             “My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.” (v.34)

            God also delights himself in his children.  His favorite “food” is a pure heart filled with love; a renewed mind filled with Christ and a consecrate spirit filled with the uttermost devotion.

            Is our life a sweet smelling offering to the Lord? Are we presenting our bodies as a “living sacrifice” unto God? (Romans 12:1)  Our life must be like a delicious dish for our Father; a banquet where he can find faith, hope, gratitude, obedience, trust and love.                  

            This is what our Father likes.

            

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Genesis 26 (January 26)

                                                                      Say No to Egypt

            “Do not go down to Egypt...”

            Egypt, in the Bible represents the world and its pleasures, just as Babylon is as symbol of idolatry and false religions.  In “Egypt” you can find everything (except God of course), that you want.

            No wonder God advised Isaac personally not to go down to Egypt.  Why?  Because going back to Egypt means taking a step back in our Christian life; it means, leaving the Mountain of the Lord and descending into the valley of sin and death.

            But, doesn’t God send us into the valley to preach his saving Gospel? He certainly does.  The difference is found in the purpose or motivation to go back to “Egypt.”  One thing is to descend as God’s ambassadors to spread the Good News, and quite another to go back to the world to satisfy our carnal appetites.  It is not the same to feed the unbelievers with the “Bread of heaven,” as to be fed with the tastier, yet poisonous “food” of the world.

            “Isaac dug again the wells...”

            When there is need in our lives (and who is not needy?), God wants us to return, no to Egypt, but to Him.  He will give us power, wisdom and strength. There is nothing for us in this world. God has provided everything we need.

            We can dig another well, we can begin anew.  How can we dig wells of blessings?

            With prayer.  He will hear our cries of desperation and will come to our rescue in his always-perfect time.  God will open heaven’s windows and pour his manifold blessings over us, so that we never again return to Egypt.

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Genesis 24 (January 24)

                                                     Basic Stuff

            “...ran again to the well...”

            A successful Christian is the one that “sticks” to the basics of Christianity.  What are the steps that we must follow to become a victorious believer?  What I am about to tell you is so simple, that it is...basic.  The first step is the faithful study of God’s word.  At the beginning you will be content if you at least read the Bible; but as you grow and mature as a Christian, you must go deeper and deeper into the Word.

            If your study of the Bible is limited to casual reading and listening to Sunday morning’s sermon, then do not be alarmed if your spirit is weak and your faith is small.

            Drawing “living water” from the Bible requires at least two things:

            Deep Thirst   “She went down to the spring...”

            Perseverance   “she...ran again...”

            “Before he had finished speaking...”

            The second vital activity is prayer.  God always answers our prayers, even though the answer may not be what we anticipated or prayed for in the first place.  Nevertheless, there are occasions when God surprises us by answering while we are still praying. A successful Christian prays to God every day regardless of the nature of the answer.

            “I will not eat until I have told my errand.”

            The victorious believer takes time and effort to communicate God’s message to the lost world.  This is the logical outgrowth of Bible study and prayer.  We have tasted the living water; now let’s tell others about it.  These are the basics of Christianity.

            I told you it was basic.

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Genesis 25 (January 25)

                                                                         Sweet Death

            “... and was gathered to his people.”

            Have you ever thought about your own death?  Death is the most guaranteed event of our lives.  The probability of death is still one out of one, and is intricately connected to us, as a fish is to the sea.  In other words, death is a perfectly natural occurrence and its visit shouldn’t surprise us; but it does, because no one is ever completely prepared to face death.

            Abraham died and was gathered to his people.  What people?  Abraham was reunited with Adam, Enoch, Noah, and many other servants of the living God.  Ever since the time of Abraham, mankind has believed in the afterlife, even the Egyptians!  This is why God was called the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, simply because they were alive with God after death.

            There is a multitude of believers waiting for us in God’s glorious presence.  This is God’s family; these are the people of God from every age and race.  One day we will be reunited forever with them, either through death, or through the “Rapture.”

            Our faith in the Lord we love gives us hope for the future. We have faith in the Christ that died for us on the cross and resurrected three days later. We will die physically one day, but we will live forever through the power of the resurrection.

            If everything I have been saying is true (and surely it is), then death is not as bad as they say.  Death for the Christian is the bridge leading to a better life.  Death also will gather us with our true family in heaven and with our Lord Jesus Christ.

            Isn’t death sweet?   

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Genesis 23 (January 23)

                                                                                               Extraterrestrial

            “I am a stranger and an alien residing among you;”

            Every child of God has felt some type of rejection from the world.  This is a natural reaction, if we consider the fact that to them, we are strangers.  One may even say that the world thinks that Christians are extraterrestrial beings.

            Is this true?

            Well, the Bible says that we have been born again or that we are born from “above” (John 3:3).  Although we live in this world, we are citizens of heaven (Philippians 3:20) and we now belong to God’s family.

            No wonder the unbelieving society calls us aliens!  They don’t know what to do with such a “stubborn” and “intolerant” group of “religious fanatics.”  The world does not understand our faith, and rejects our values and traditions.

            This, in a nutshell, was Abraham’s situation.  He was a pilgrim on this earth, who didn’t own as much as a small lot to bury his beloved Sarah, even though he was rich.

            Why then, do we trouble ourselves listening to those who reject our God?  We are pilgrims and sojourners who are just “passing by.”  Some of us will never be able enjoy a home of our own, but we have a heavenly home, and we have God.  Isn’t that enough?

            Let the world call us what they will, it will not matter.  We are a different race for sure.  We are a “chosen race, a royal priesthood a holy nation, God’s own people...”  (I Peter 2:9).

            I don’t know about you, but I am ready to leave this world behind today. Heaven is my real home, God is my real Father and I can’t wait to see the rest of my real family.

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