Tuesday, February 21, 2023

           About a third of the way into Genesis, God spoke to Abram (who would later be called Abraham).  At the time, the Bible says that Abram was ninety-nine years old.  He had lived a long time.  The Bible says, “...the Lord appeared to him and said, ‘I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless’” (Genesis 17:1).  In this message from the Lord to Abram, we find three lessons that stand out for us today.  Even though the message was directed to a single man who lived a long, long time ago, there is still something for us to see today.  First, God revealed Himself.  He said “I am God Almighty.”  The Hebrew is “El-Shaddai.”  God is the One who possesses perfect power and all power.  A few chapters earlier in Genesis, we learned that God had spoken the creation into existence.  And now, with Abram, God was beginning to unfold His plan for redemption and salvation.  From this one man Abram, God will build the nation of Israel and from Israel will come Jesus, our one and only Savior.  As the Almighty, God knows where He wants to take history.  He has a plan in place and He has patiently executed that plan beginning with Abram.
            Second, God called Abram to walk before Him “faithfully.”  Walk refers to one’s life, conduct or behavior.  Walk is who we are and how we have chosen to live.  The word “faithfully” means to walk in a way that is upright and sincere.  The standard really is nothing less than perfection.  Jesus said essentially the same thing in Matthew 5:48, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”  God does not relax His standards or holiness.  He does not lower the bar.  We are always to strive for a sincere and upright walk with the Lord in the way we live.  Romans 6:1 teaches us that we are not to continue in sin or to turn the grace of God into a “get out of jail free card.”  Jesus lived the perfect life that we did not live so His righteousness is credited to us.  But still, the standard does not change and the bar is not lowered.  You would never tell your child just to obey you three days a week and to forget the other four.  Likewise, God does not expect or accept partial obedience or occasional obedience.  The standard is always to live faithfully and uprightly. Delayed obedience or partial obedience is really disobedience.
            Third, God called Abram to “be blameless.”  The word is “tamin” in Hebrew.  It means to walk in truth.  It means to walk and to live without blemish in entirety—that is to say throughout your life.  Examine your motivations, actions, thoughts, inclinations and convictions.  Let the truth of Scripture correct the ones that are wrong or false.  When the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin, we are to respond in confession, repentance and humility.  We are to receive the forgiveness that God offers as we place ourselves on bended knee before Him.  This call to be blameless carried with it a promise that we find in Genesis 17:2. God promised a covenant with Abram and to “increase His numbers greatly.” 
            So, God was going to use Abram to bring His salvation plans into action.  When we seek to live blamelessly, God can work through us.  We are open to Him and we desire His will above and more than the things of this world.  The depth and joys of our walk with God are often connected with the choices we make about how we will live.  His favor rests upon those who walk rightly before Him.  We would never expect to experience God’s favor or blessing if we lie or commit adultery.  For example, Noah’s blameless conduct received a blessing—safe passage in the ark when God (literally) rained judgment upon the surface of the earth.  Scripture often speaks of God rewarding and blessing His people when they obey Him and walk rightly and blamelessly with Him.  His favor does rest upon those who seek Him, honor Him, obey Him and worship Him.  There is a tendency in our world to compartmentalize our lives and think that God belongs on the calendar for Sunday while the other six days belong to us to do as we wish.  Dangerous thinking and unbiblical thinking!  Every day is the day the Lord has made.  Let us rejoice and be glad in each one as we dedicate ourselves to Him.  Have a great Tuesday and remember you can worship, share our worship and invite others to worship at youtube.com/FirstBaptistKannapolis.   

No Comments





Acts Bible Communion Cross God's will God\'s will God Gospels Holy Spirit Holy Week Jesus Joseph Lent Peter Reformation Satan accountability action advent all saints allegory anger anxiety apologetics atonement awareness awe backsliding baptism beginning beloved betrayal bitterness blessing born again burden burnout calling care change character chistmas choices christian living christmas church history church circumcision comfort commitment community compassion complacency confession confidence consequences contentment control conversation cost courage creation death debt deception decisions deliverance denial dependence depth desire despair determination devotion direction discernment discipleship discouragement dishonesty disobedience distractions doctrine doubt dreams eagerness emotion encouragement end times endurance equality eternal life eternity evangelism evil example facing battles faithful living faithfulness faith family fatigue fear fellowship focus follow foreshadowing forgiveness foundation freedom friends fruit of the Spirit future generosity gifts giving glory goodness gospel grace grateful gratitude greed grit growth guidance guilt halloween happiness healing heart heaven help history holiday holiness home honesty hope humble humility identity impossible incarnation inspiration instruction integrity intentional jealousy journey joy judgment justice justification kindness kingdom knowing God lament law leadership lead lies life listening love martin luther maturity measure memorial memories mentoring mercy messiah minor prophets miracles missions mission mistakes motives mountaintops mourning music nation nativity nature new year new next generation obedience obstacles offering omniscience opportunity opposition overcoming parenting passion path patience peace pentecost persecution perseverence perspective plan poetry power praise prayer preparation presence pressure pride priorities process prodigal progress promise prophecy protection provision psalm purpose rebellion reconcile redemption refuge rejoice relationship remember remembrance renewal renown repentance resentment resolution restoration rest resurrection return revenge revival righteousness risk sacrifice sadness salt salvation sanctification scripture second coming seeking God self-control serenity sermon service shame sharing silence sincerity sin solitude sorrow sovereignty spiritual disciplines standard star stewardship storms strength struggle stubbornness stuck submission success suffering surrender talents talking temple temptation ten commandments testimony testing thankfulness thankful thanksgiving theology time tithes tough times traditions transfiguration trials trinity troubles trust truth veterans victory vision waiting warning weakness wisdom wise men witness wonder work worship