January 22, 2016

Today you should read: Genesis 16

Obedience is doing what you’re told, when you’re told, with the right heart attitude.

Obedience is a critical element to living a life that pleases God.  Now, don’t get confused about this – if you’ve come into a relationship with God through Jesus, YOU are ALWAYS pleasing to God – He loves you and sees you through the blood of Christ.  But, the way we live our lives is not always pleasing to God.

Obedience is not:

  • Partial obedience (doing part or most of what God tells you)
  • Doing it whenever you get around to it
  • Doing it your own way

That’s the trap Abram fell into. God promised to make a great nation from him and from his descendants to bless all peoples of the world.  The problem was he and Sarai (his wife) weren’t getting any younger and God didn’t seem to be coming through.  So, they took matters into their own hands.

Any idea what problems this caused?

  • It caused family problems – (Sarai said) This is all your fault (Abram)!  The LORD will show who’s wrong you or me! (v.5)
  • It caused political problems – Ishmael runs away and goes on to become the father of the nation that would oppose Israel forever – …he will live in open hostility against all of his relatives. (v. 12)
  • It caused spiritual problems – disobedience always does!

God had a plan for Abram and Sarai – and He would work that plan in His time.  His timing is always right – and when we rush things – ours can be quite wrong.

Walk in obedience to all that the Lord your God has commanded you, so that you may live and prosper and prolong your days in the land that you will possess.  Deuteronomy 5:33

THOUGHTS TO PONDER

  • What has God asked me to do that I have not yet done?
  • What has God asked me to stop doing that I continue to do?
  • Have  I obeyed God part way?  … or my way?
  • What do I need to repent of and change?

By: Tim Parsons

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Author: cpclexington

Lexington & Richmond KY

12 thoughts on “January 22, 2016”

  1. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.
    1st Timothy 6:10

    Several weeks ago we read this verse during a sermon on Money Myths. “Pierced themselves with many griefs” really resonated with me today as it relates to Abram & Sarai. By taking matters into their own hands rather than waiting on God, they indeed pierced themselves with many griefs.

    A number of years ago I made some impulsive decisions, rather than waiting upon the Lord, in my business career. The results were disasterous and brought much pain to my family and me. As painful as that period was in our lives, I thank God for the lessons learned about praying through major decisions and waiting upon the Lord. He is always faithful and we are wise to wait upon Him!

    1. Well said! The Lord has always been faithful to show me that He is far wiser than I, usually through the consequences of my impatience.

  2. Good word, Tim, and so hard to walk out for those of us who are seasoned rebels. 😦

    Your post made me think of Samuel’s rebuke to Saul:

    1Sa 15:22 And Samuel said, “Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to listen than the fat of rams.

      1. Sister Susan: Being a rebel is not all bad. Our Founding Fathers were all rebels who rebelled against the injustices of a tyrant King. Jesus & the early church fathers rebelled against the heresy of the Pharisees and Sadduces of their time. We must choose our rebellion wisely. Is God calling us to stand for His truth which may call for rebellion.

  3. Great reminder today Tim. When we try and take things into our own hands and not consider what God has instructed, we make messes for ourselves. What struck me in your commentary & with this passage is the reminder of the future messes that we can create, even when we feel like what we are doing is right in our own eyes. It’s not always in the moment that we deal with the consequences but interest is often collected in the future.

  4. She had lived in a godly household, but possibly, as she thought herself ill-treated, she had conceived a dislike towards the God of her mistress. Such harsh treatment as she had received was not likely to incline her towards the religion of those from whom she had fled! She was godless and hopeless. Do you not see her crouching at the fountain, half mad with pride and vexation and, at the same time, stricken with a sullen despair? She knows not what she is to do, neither does any way of hope open before her. Alas, poor Hagar!

    But although there was no prayer of hers for God to hear, another voice spoke in His ear. The Angel who suddenly appeared to her said, “The Lord has heard your affliction.” That is a very beautiful sentence. You have not prayed. You have been willful, reckless and, at last, despairing and, therefore, you have not cried unto the Lord. But your deep sorrow has cried to Him! You are oppressed and the Lord has undertaken for you. You are suffering heavily and God, the All-Pitiful, has heard your affliction. Grief has an eloquent voice when Mercy is the listener. Woe has a plea which Goodness cannot resist.

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