Monday, September 8, 2014
“Now the Lord said to Abram” (Genesis 12:1a).
Do you know of anyone who has sent his or her resume to God? “Hey God, I see you’ve got an opening in regional management that I think would be a perfect fit for me.” No, life in the kingdom doesn’t work that way.
God doesn’t accept resumes, instead God calls people. We may not even feel capable of accomplishing the task that God sets before us, but God still calls us. When we answer, God empowers us with the Holy Spirit. To what is God calling you?
Almighty God, you are present in the world and intimately involved in our lives. When you call us, may we answer with a resounding, “Yes!” Amen.
Tuesday, September 9, 2014
“Go from you country and your kindred” (Genesis 12:1b).
Do you remember how teams were picked during gym in grade school? Two captains would be picked, and then they would take turns picking their teams, usually starting from the best players to the worst? God doesn’t pick the members of God team like we did in grade school. God goes with the flawed and the ordinary.
The writer of Genesis doesn’t mention any significant attributes for Abram, which would warrant God’s call. Abram was one of thousands; in other words, ordinary. Later in his story the reader becomes aware of some of Abram’s faults. He had faith, but he wasn’t perfect.
This is great news for us because most of us fit into the ordinary and flawed category. We’re not sidelined! God calls us and uses us to be God’s presence in the world—God’s hands and feet.
Gracious Lord, we give you thanks and praise for the privilege of serving you even though we aren’t perfect. Use our words and actions today to honor you. Amen.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
“To a land that I will show you” (Genesis 12:1c).
GPS units in our cars have made road travel much easier. I recently took a cross-country trip. My GPS led me right to where I wanted to be, all I needed to do was to follow the little arrow on the screen and listen to its voice. I like GPS units a lot better than maps—most of the time.
Abram and Sarai didn’t have maps. They didn’t even know where they were going. They did have God leading them and that was all they needed. God led them through the hills and valleys of the mid-East and they arrived at the land that one day would be theirs. In a similar fashion, God’s Spirit leads us through the hills and valley of our lives. Eventually we arrive at where we need to be—and getting there proves to be quite an adventure!
O Loving Lord, lead us and we will follow. Walk beside us and encourage us. Walk behind us and when we balk, give us a gentle nudge. Amen.
Thursday, September 11, 2014
“I will bless you and make your name great” (Genesis 12:2a).
The Lord promised Abram riches, land and descendants when Abram followed. These items were understood by the people of Abram’s time as indicators of God’s blessings. Some Christians still think that’s how God blesses God’s people, even though there are very few Christians throughout the world who possess such gifts.
God’s blessings today, though abundant, are often more subtle. They are blessings that cannot be taken away from us. God’s blessings include unconditional forgiveness, overwhelming grace and steadfast love. Indeed, we are richly blessed.
God of Abundance, thank you for the blessings you pour into our lives. Amen
Friday, September 12, 2014
“So you will be a blessing” (Genesis 12:2b).
It seems that every child goes through a stage when they do not want to share their toys with anyone. Words like “No,” and “Mine,” frequent their vocabulary. Some people never grow out of that mindset. They go through life accumulating more, while refusing to share at all with others. They have forgotten (or never have wanted to remember) the second half of Genesis 9:2.
Blessings were never meant to be kept for ourselves. God blesses us so that we can be a blessing to others. Sharing and a generous lifestyle are marks of God’s people. It started with Abram and has been that way ever since.
O Giving Lord, forgive us when we become self-centered and selfish. Open our hearts and hands that we may be a generous and sharing people. Amen.
Saturday, September 13, 2014
“And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed” Genesis 12:3).
Generosity has a ripple effect. In the movie “Pay It Forward,” people were encouraged to perform an act of kindness for someone and then ask that person to also perform acts of kindness for three other people. Those acts of kindness had powerful and unexpected outcomes.
Sharing the abundant blessings that God showers upon us encourages others to live generously. Blessings are spread, resources are shared, love is given and God is honored and glorified.
Dear Lord, bless the gifts that we share that they might benefit others and accomplish your purpose. Amen.
Sunday, September 14, 2014
“So Abram went as the Lord told him” (Genesis 12:4).
The path of faith is often paved with uncertainty. I think Abram was dealing with bouts of uncertainty as he, “… went as the Lord told him.” God’s revelation to Abram was probably a vision or the voice of God sounding from the clouds. Abram might have thought that his mind was playing tricks on him, or that he was hearing things. Abram didn’t know where he was going. He didn’t know how long it would take to get there, and he wasn’t sure what he would do once he arrived. There were many reasons for him to pause and think it over.
Sometimes a specific action just feels like the right thing to do. It may not be logical nor convenient, but at the core of our beings we know that it is the proper action to take. Such a time is scary and filled with doubt and uncertainty. We can conjure up several reasons why we shouldn’t do it. In the end, we know that we must follow Abram’s example, take the step of faith and go as the Lord tells us.
Faithful Lord, help me discern your will and be faithful and obedient to it. Amen.