Pastor's Meditations

Time Alone With God (Genesis 18)

                "My Lord, if I find favor with you, do not pass by your servant."

                Every morning of our lives, we wake up to face the challenges and uncertainties of each day. We also awake to the certainty of God’s presence in our own rooms. This is a blessing, an opportunity that is ours; don’t let it pass you by.

                Time alone with God in the morning is without a doubt the best moment of the day. Abraham was conscious of the importance of spending time with the Lord. He prepared a banquet for the heavenly visitors. Oh, what a great time he had with God!

                Is our time with God like a banquet, where we offer our best to him? The “food and drink” God desires is the undivided attention and devotion of his children. Every morning, before eating breakfast, we must take hold of Christ. Its’ easy sometimes to forget about the Lord, but he never forgets us.

                "Sarah shall have a son."

                There is always an abundant overflowing of blessings when we spend time alone with God. Our hearts are warmed by his love, and our hope is refueled by his promises the touch of God also gives us the assurance that he is still and will always be in control.

                How sweet it is to be alone with the Lord! We enjoy his fellowship; we feel his approval; he answers our prayers, reveals his will, and tells us through the Holy Spirit that everything will be all right.

                A. G.

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Two Circumcisions (Genesis 17)

                "Every male among you shall be circumcised."

                What does it mean to be circumcised in the twenty-first century? To be circumcised is to reveal that which was hidden, to open that which was closed. Circumcision is still practiced today, and it has proven to be a healthy and sanitary practice.

                In Old Testament times, circumcision was the outward sign of the Abrahamic covenant, and it was applied to the foreskin of the male reproductive organ. This practice was continued all the way to the time of Jesus (Luke 2:21).

                But even in the Old Testament, God made sufficiently clear that circumcision was worthless if it was not accompanied by a sincere commitment of the heart. In other words, the Israelites were commanded to circumcise their foreskins and their hearts.

                This is what God demands from you, child of God! Our minds and hearts must be opened by God through the deep incision of the Word (Heb.4:12). This is what the apostle meant when he exhorted the Romans to "renew their minds" (Rom.12:2). This daily exercise requires a conscious effort on our part to come to God, asking him to remove any sin or worldly encumbrance and to make us holy in his sight.

                A circumcised heart (either from a man or woman) is a heart that is open before the Lord, with nothing to hide and no “closed doors.” God is free to roam around and to dictate his will. One may be circumcised physically and be on his way to hell; but the circumcised heart is already in heaven, for God lives there.

                 A. G.

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Three Rewards (Genesis 15)

                "…your reward shall be very great."

                New Position "and the Lord reckoned it to him as righteousness."

                In Christ we have a new position or legal status before God. We have been totally justified from the penalty of sin; we have been adopted as children of God and we are now "…joint heirs with Christ" (Rom. 8:17). All this comes as a result of our conversion. Have you been truly converted?

                New family "…count the stars, if you are able to count them."

                As children of God we enjoy many blessings and privileges, such as belonging to a brand new family, the family of God. Every true believer is part of this blessed and eternal family, where God is the Father and we are brothers and sisters.

                I have found that in most cases, the family of God has been closer and more helpful than any relative in the flesh. We are united in the same Spirit, and we worship the same God. One day we will have a complete family reunion in heaven. On that great day we shall be like the stars, not only in “number,” but in splendor and eternal glory.

                New possession "…to give you this land to possess."

                The third reward is our heavenly inheritance. To Abram, God promised the land; to the Christians, Jesus promises heaven. He has prepared a special place for us in glory through his sacrificial death on the cross. Jesus is our “admission ticket” into heaven. He is the only way to God (John 14:6). If you have not made your reservation yet, call on Jesus. He is standing by twenty-four hours a day. He will take your call.

                A. G.

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Two Looks (Genesis 16)

                "…she looked on me with contempt."

                How do you look at those that surround you?

                “If looks could kill” is an old saying that depicts the way we sometimes look at another person with hatred in our eyes. Everyone is guilty on this regard, for we have shown our disgust or anger through our eyes in many occasions.

               “But people have hurt me!” you reply.

                 It’s true. Even Hagar displayed a look of disdain for her mistress Sarai.

                How do you look at those who surround you?

                We are surrounded by evil. We live in a post-Christian society. It is clear that we should expect hatred, criticism, and all kinds of unjust persecution. A Christian who expects love and appreciation from the world is hallucinating at best and compromising his or her daily walk with the Lord at worst.

                "You are the God who sees."

                Was Hagar wrong in looking with evil contempt? Of course, nevertheless, there was not a hint of anger in God’s eyes. God despises our sins, but his gaze is full of grace toward his children. In God’s eyes we are winners because he looks at us through his Son, and everything he sees is filtered by love and compassion.

                How do you look at those who surround you?

                There are only two ways, either with worldly hatred or divine love. The worldly look is easy and freely available to all. Even Christians can learn to stare in this manner. The divine look, however, is only possible for Christians who are full of God.

                A. G.

               

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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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