Pastor's Meditations

Rescue Mission (Genesis 14)

                "He divided his forces against them by night…"

                There was a time in my life when my innermost desire was to become a great firefighter. I was awestruck by the “glamour” this profession offered, such as becoming an everyday hero, walking out of burning buildings with babies in my arms, and rescuing little old ladies.

                Although I still relish the role of a hero (I have been involved in a few minor rescue missions), firefighting does not hold the same appeal. Now I know it involves dealing with injuries, burns, and blood. I wanted to be a “hero,” not a doctor.

                Abram was, no doubt, a man of peace. The last thing in his mind was probably to get involved in a rescue operation, even less a war, but he was forced to do it. Lot, his foolish nephew, was taken captive by the enemy, and it was up to Abram to save him. He attacked the enemy camp by night and was rewarded with a complete victory.

                God is extending an invitation to would-be heroes to enlist in the most fantastic and rewarding rescue mission. This is not for the faint-hearted or lukewarm Christian, for it requires complete devotion to God. The mission: to attack the forces of darkness and rescue as many souls as we can from our spiritual enemy.

                "Then he brought back all the goods…"

                Jesus came to seek out and save the lost (Luke 19:10). His mission is in need of courageous volunteers who would carry the torch of the gospel to the prisoners in the kingdom of darkness and despair. His mission is not impossible.

               A. G.

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Down but Up (Genesis 13)

                So Abram went up from Egypt…

                The only difference between an unbeliever and a Christian is Christ in the heart of the believer. As Christians, we also fall into temptation and sin, but as Bob Carlyle sings, “We fall down, we get up and the saint is just a sinner that falls down and gets up.”

                Jesus is our strength; he lifts us up when we are down, he forgives us when we confess our sins, and he gives us the wisdom to choose better the next time we face temptation. The popular Christian group Audio Adrenaline testifies about this in their song “Get Down.” You might not enjoy the rhythm, but the message is clear: God lifts us up.

                "…to the place where he had made an altar…"

                Abram ascended from Egypt and returned to Canaan, to the altar, to God. In the same manner, we must return to the Lord. All of us have fallen down one time or another, but we need to be as resilient as boxing champion. A true champ may fall in the ring, but he will find a way to get up, we return to the fight, and win.

                "Abram settled in the land of Canaan…"

                Abram’s example is worthy of emulation. His sin was great, but so was his recovery. How did he do it? He went up from Egypt (the place of temptation and sin), returned to Canaan (the place where God had called him to be), and settled once again in the Promised Land (the place where God had called him to be), and settled once again in the Promised Land (the place where God was waiting for him).

                God’s will for our lives is to be not near, around, or even close to him, but in Him. Let us return to our first love; let us come back to our Lord.

                A. G.

 

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The Call of the Sink

                “Alex”

                I heard a voice calling me from the kitchen the other day.

                “Aleeex”

                I heard the same voice again. It startled me. I looked all around the house and I saw no one. I was a little shaken by the whole experience. I thought I was going crazy. There was no one in the house and it was not coming from the TV, computer or my cell phone.

                I turned around to go to bed and then I heard it loud and clear again:

                “Aaaleeex!”

                I was looking at my dishes calling me to wash them. I had ignored them for days now, busy doing other things. The call of the sink grew louder and louder, until I gave up and washed all the dishes. I could almost hear a sigh of relief.

                There are many voices calling for our attention today; their calling is loud and powerful. Our jobs families, responsibilities, chores and even entertainment demand our attention. Some voices lead us to be productive, while the majority of them are just distractions and even worse, temptations.

                The voice of God also calls every morning for our undivided attention. The only difference is that most of the time his voice is not loud like the others. He calls us in our quiet times to come to Him and spend time in meditation and prayer.

                This is what happened to Elijah the prophet:

“Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold , the LORD  passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. So it was, when Elijah heard it…” (1 Kings 19:11-13 emphasis added)

                 Do not allow for the many voices of this world to drown the “still small voice” that speaks from heaven. To hear this divine voice, you must turn off all the other ones and spend time in prayer, reading God’s Word and in worshipful meditation.

                 There is always time to do many things in our daily lives, but let us give God our undivided attention every morning and begin the day with Him. During the rest of the day, seek other times to be alone with the Savior and end every day in communion with the Lord.

                  If you and I begin to do this, we will find out that we will have time for more things than we could ever imagine…even for dirty dishes.

                  A. G.

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The Seed of Evil (Genesis 12)

                "So Abram went down…"

                Abram, the man God called to possess the Promised Land, went down into Egypt for food. What shall we do with this information? Was Abram right in going to the world (symbolized by Egypt), or was he supposed to starve to death in Canaan?

                The key, I think, was the intention of Abram to reside in Egypt. By making the decision of descending into Egypt to stay, Abram was opening the door to sin. This is reminiscent of Lot’s decision to move into Sodom. Perhaps this little “Egyptian affair” opened Lot’s eyes to the possibility of worldly living in Sodom later on.

                Sin affects our lives and those around us. Sin does not explode suddenly in all its wickedness, but is rather a process that sometimes begins with a “little descent.” The “seed” of sin is planted in our hearts, and we are sent in a downward spiral so deep that sometimes we end up committing the same acts we often criticize.

                "Say you are my sister…"

                The evil seed of sin, when planted in our hearts, bears a wicked and rotten fruit. This seed is different for everyone. For Eve, it was knowledge; for David, a beautiful woman; and for Abram…an empty stomach.

                One sin always leads to another, and Abram, having descended into Egypt, was now lying about the identity of his wife. We must call on Jesus; the owner of the garden of our heart, when the devil comes to plant his sinful seeds. We are not helpless victims; we can say no to temptation because Jesus paid in full.

                 Remember, no seed=no sin.

                 A. G.

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The Real Hill  

There is a Hill, which I climb every day

Far from the distractions of this world

A place where I can rest and pray

And find peace and hope for my soul

 

There is a Hill where heaven and earth

Meet together in a loving embrace

Where the Skull was crushed, and Death

Was conquered for the human race

 

There is a Hill from which a river flows

A fountain that brings healing to the nations

Flowing with the holy and precious Blood

To rescue those who need salvation

 

There is a Hill, which you must also climb

To bring, and leave your cares and burdens

Once you reach the top, you shall find

A brand new future, glorious and certain

 

There is Hill with a beautiful tree

Injured and defiled by three nails

That have opened a fountain of peace

To heal our hearts and make us well

 

There is a Hill that is calling your name

Open arms waiting to receive you

Wounded hands that will cover your shame

Loving eyes and lips that speak only truth

 

Some men have climbed Capitol Hill

And a few have reached Mount Everest

But this Hill is by far the very best

For in this Hill love ended the strife

And all that kneel in this Hill

Will find everlasting life

A. G

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