pastorjohnb

Thoughts and musings on faith and our mighty God!


Leave a comment

Trust in God

Reading: Genesis 15: 1-12 & 17-18

Verse 18: “On that day the Lord made a covenant with Abram”.

Abram has led a pretty good life. Yes, he has left the place he grew up and headed off to an unknown land, having some times of testing along the way. But God has clearly been with him. By his day’s standards, Abram is very well off. Most people live a very basic life – trying to grow or raise enough just to get by. Abram has large flocks and herds, lots of servants. But he is missing one key sign of God’s blessings: children. Perhaps you can relate. Life is really good overall, but you’re still missing one key thing.

For Abram it casts a shadow over all of the other blessings. Maybe that one thing in your life does that as well. Then God shows up and reiterates the promise of children for Abram – and not just a child, but many, many descendants. He is well along in years and his wife, Sarai, is far past her child-bearing years. This thing that God is saying would sound impossible to almost anyone – probably to all of us. Yet Abram believes God. He believes in a God that can do anything, even the seemingly impossible. Most of us think God can do anything, but do we really believe it deep in our hearts? That is the question.

Abram does and God takes the next step. God pledges to give them land too. Not only some children and descendants, but a land for them to live in too. What an awesome God. God seals it by partaking in a sacrifice and by making a covenant with Abram. A covenant is a “no matter what” promise. God will keep His end of the arrangement no matter what. As human beings, we enter a marriage covenant with the same intent. Marriage is our best earthly example of “I’ll love you no matter what”.

What is that one thing you long for? In spite of life being pretty good, what seems to be missing? Give your desire up to God, plead your case. Pour out your heart. Bring it to the God who really, really can do anything. Trust in God’s providence and in God’s love for you. Take it to God in prayer.

Prayer: Lord God, you are an amazing God. Lead me through these uncertain waters. Show me the way that is pleasing to you. Amen.


Leave a comment

Blessings, Providence, and Giving

God brought the Hebrew people out of long years of slavery and oppression and into a land flowing with milk and honey.  It was a drastic change for the people.  They would clearly remember how God had directly intervened to free them, to protect them, and to deliver this new land into their hands.  So when they are asked to bring a portion of their first fruits to God each season, as a way to say thank you, they gratefully follow the instructions.

As we fast forward to today, we in modern cultures have lost the sense of gratitude for God’s direct provision.  All that most of us have is not based on the crops and animals that grow.  We do not see the dry seeds that spring to life or witness the miracle of birth out in the fields.  It can be harder to see God’s hand directly involved in many of the jobs and professions today.  Adding to this distancing are society’s messages about hard work and individuality, the paths to success.

In reality though, God is still an active part of everything.  If we really dig down deep, it was God who formed each of us in the womb and it has been His hand of guidance and providence that has led us, brought opportunities our way, opened doors for us, gifted us with the talents and skills to succeed, and so on.  If we daily acknowledge these things before God, we are much more willing to gratefully follow His instructions on giving.

When we give the first fruits of our labor, we are saying we trust God.  To give that part right at the beginning says we trust His blessings and providence to see us through to the end of the month.  It is a grateful and trusting act of obedience and faith.  It is admitting that all we have is truly His anyway.  May our offerings to God reflect our heartfelt appreciation for all of His blessings and providence in our lives.

Scripture reference: Deuteronomy 26: 1-11