I just finished my second cup of coffee this morning, and I'm looking for a third after I write down a few things. There is so much to write I have to just pick out a few of the notes I jotted down while I read them. I usually write something in the margin of the Bible and then I will come to it and write about it. I put a star by it the first time, I put a star that is circled the second time through the Bible, I put a square the third time, I put a square and a star inside the fourth, and I keep coming up with new things so I don't write about the same things each time I read the Bible through. Eventually, we will have discussed a lot of Scripture truths together! Here are some thoughts for today:
1) LAUGH, LAUGH, LAUGH! Yes, laughter! When Sarah overheard that she would have a child, she laughed within herself and then denied it when the angel mentioned it. (first laugh); The when she had a son, she laughed again! (Gen. 21:6, second laugh); and finally, when she named her son, she called him Isaac... which means "laughter". (third laugh)
2) NOW I KNOW Gen. 22:12 is so interesting! Here God says of Abraham after taking the knife to slay his son and being stopped of God. God says: "for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me." Here is what is interesting: "God already knew!!" So why did He have this put in Scripture... for us! We needed to know how much Abraham loved God so we could be challenged to love the same way. It was for us that God said "now I know".
3) MADE SURE Gen. 23:20 Here Abraham bought the field of Machpelah to bury Sarah, and having bought it, it was "made sure unto Abraham for a possession of a buryingplace". The application is simple: we need to "make sure" the things that we have come to know about God. The truth comes to us: "Remove not the ancient landmarks"; and reminds us that we need to set up some landmarks for our children and grandchildren. "Make sure" what you believe and possess!
4) THEY CAME TOGETHER Gen. 25:9 tells us that when Abraham died at 175, his two sons, Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah. They were living different lives, but at the funeral of their father, they came together. This is also true of Jacob and Esau as they come together for the death of Isaac in Gen. 35:28,29. Funerals are not a time for families to fight, but to come together.
5) FACTOID- Abraham was 175 when he died. Ishmael was 89 at the time and Isaac was 75. Ishmael went on to live 48 more years and die at 137 years old, while Isaac lived another 105 years and died at the age of 180. Isaac lived five years longer than the 175 of Abraham. He was 40 when he married, 60 when Jacob and Esau were born, and then lived for another 120 years. A long life. He passed away 10 years before his son Jacob went to Egypt to be with his son Joseph.
6) DIG AGAIN! Gen. 26:15 tells us that the Philistines had stopped up all of the wells that Abraham had dug, and so his son Isaac had to re-dig the wells that were stopped up by the enemy. In every life, in every generation, it is time to "dig again" that which the enemy is stopping up. Dig again in your spiritual life today to get that vibrant walk with Christ again in your life. You start the digging, and God will put the fresh water that refreshes in it.
7) ISRAEL Jacob had a name change, from "deceiver" to "a prince with God". Notice the progression: Fears-Gen. 32:7; Fighting-Gen. 32:24; Favor- Gen. 32:28; Face-Gen. 32:30. I've never preached on this, but it would preach! He feared his brother, fought with an angel, got favor with God and had a name change, and called the place "Peniel" which means "The Face of God". Amazing story!
8) LEAD SOFTLY Gen. 33:14 I use this principle often when speaking about leadership. Esau wanted Jacob to follow him home, but Jacob said that the men would overdrive the flocks and the young ones, and that the flocks would die. So, he told Esau to "pass over before his servant" and "I will lead on softly" and "the children be able to endure". If we as leaders, lead softly, most people will be able to follow our leadership. When we lead "hard', we will loose many of those who follow us. And we lead people to lead them to Christ and His Will for their lives, so that it why it is important to lead properly. "Lead on Softly"!!
Well, I could write on and one, but it would be too much. You have a blessed day!!
Pastor Mike Mutchler
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