Thursday, January 14, 2010

One Thing: Generational Faults -- Generational Faith

This week was more complex than the more straightforward account of last week where we read about the creation, the fall of man, the flood, etc.  God has promised not to flood the entire earth again, and men and woman are learning to trust God to the best of their ability -- and finding out that even a fresh start and a covenant with God didn't fix their sin problem.  We are introduced to people that seem a lot like those we see these days -- maybe even by looking in the mirror.

There is the man who has faith in God, but he still gets afraid and lies. --Abraham

The woman who laughs in unbelief when she hears God's good plans for her life. --Sarah

The man who learns to trust God at a young age, but his family life is a wreck. --Isaac

The woman who intentionally deceives and manipulates her husband --Rebekah

The man who is whip smart and dedicated to his work but acts selfishly --Jacob

The women who bicker together about something as precious as children --Leah and Rachel

These men and woman were not perfect.  They had their high moments as well as their low moments.  They trusted God, but they also took matters into their own hands.  Sometimes, punishment happened quickly, and we can see the immediate misery their sins caused them.  Other times, their dubious actions seemed to prosper them -- for a time, at least.

I like to look for the moments of faith in their lives.  They needed God just as much as we do -- not more or less.  We are all sinners in need of God's mercy.  So, we should not be too harsh on Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their families; neither should we glamorize them.  We should learn from their lives, appreciate their examples of faith, and be thankful that it is through them that we are blessed.  We should drop to our knees in thanksgiving that we have Jesus Christ to save us from our sins.     

This week, I picked a few things out to dwell on.

  • 8 January: Treat others the way I want to be treated.
  • 9 January: Keep my testimony fresh; tell others about Jesus and how He is actively working in my life.
  • 10 January: Be kind from the inside out. God will use "little" acts of kindness in big ways if we stay faithful. Let outward actions spring from a kind attitude.
  • 11 January: Never act as though God cannot see my actions. Have the right kind of fear; trust and rely on God. Honor Him and look for wisdom.
  • 12 January: Honor the Lord with my money, belongings, time, and attitude. Give Him the best of everything -- not the leftovers. To me, this means doing my Bible reading when I know I will be the freshest and start only when I have enough time to give the reading thought and prayer. Internalize it, don't just check it off.
  • 13 January: Don't have copycat obedience. Understand the command and do your best to honor the spirit as well as the letter of any instruction. Obey God and let Him be your leader.
  • 14 January: Practice showing godly submission while actively seeking wisdom and purity. God's wisdom is of more value than anything I desire.

This week's scripture readings were from:

Genesis 18:16-31:16,
Matthew 6:25-10:23,
Psalm 8:1-12:8,
and Proverbs 2:6-3:15

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