genesis 16

now sarai abram’s wife had not been able to bear children for him but she had an Egyptian servant named hagar so sarah said to abram the Lord has prevented me from having children.

go and sleep with my servant.

perhaps I can have children through her.

and  abram agreed with sarai’s proposal.

so sarai abram’s wife took hagar the Egyptian servant and gave her to abram as a wife.

( this happened ten years after abram had settled in the land of canaan).

so abram had sexual relations with hagar and she became pregnant but when hagar knew she was pregnant she began to treat her mistress sarai with  contempt.

then sarai said to abram ” this is all your fault”!

I put my servant into your arms but now that she’s pregnant she treats me with contempt.

the Lord will show who’s wrong- you or me!

abram replied look she is your servant so deal with her as you see fit.

then sarai treated hagar so harshly that she finally ran away.

the angel of the Lord found hagar beside a spring of water in the wilderness along the road to shur.

the angel said to her hagar sarai’s servant where have you come from and where are you going?

I’m running away from my mistress sarai she replied.

the angel of the Lord said to her return to your mistress and submit to her authority.

then He added I will give you more descendants than you can count.

and the angel also said you are pregnant and will give birth to a son.

you are to name him Ishmael which means God hears for God has heard your cry of distress.

this son of yours will be a wild man as untamed as a wild donkey.

he will raise his fist against everyone and  everyone will be against him.

yes he will live in open hostility against all his relatives.

thereafter  hagar used another name to refer to the Lord who had spoken to her.

she said you are the God who sees me.

she also said have I truly seen the One who sees me?

so that well was named beer lahai roi which means well of the living one who sees me.

it can still be found between Kadesh and bered.

so hagar gave abram a son and abram named him Ishmael.

abram was 86 years old when Ishmael was born.

😉 selah

sarai’s choosing to use her servant to have children with abram was her desperation and hopelessness talking.

she should have ignored that voice of despair and instead just trusted God.

I know the saying is true happy wife happy life but this is one time when abram shouldn’t have listened to his wife.

he should have just  trusted God  that God would give them a kid if he even wanted them to have one and He did cos He had promised HIm in the previous chapter that He would give him as many descendants as there are stars in the sky and land in all directions of the compasses’ ability to point.

we do not know if abram was despairing over having sexual relations with someone other than his wife or if he jumped into it eagerly like a young teenage boy jumping into his first ride when he finally gets his license after much blood sweat and tears to reach that goal.

after ten years of waiting abram and sarai ran out of patience.

they did not yet possess the stamina of their ancestor noah and his wife who stood firm in faith waiting for the heavens to burst open and surround their boat with floodwaters instead of desert.

it was ok for hagar to take pride in the fact that she had a child but she should not have acted as if she was superior to sarai not just because sarai was her boss  but because no one should lord it over another as if they are inferior to them.

in her view hagar went from being a nobody to being somebody special.

she felt she had gone from being bottom of the food chain to top dog.

she probably thought sarai would have no future without her help.

at that point in time she was abram’s only hope for a physical legacy at least based on what could be visibly seen but we know our God was moving invisibly behind the scenes to fulfil His promise.

it is  significant to mention that hagar came from Egypt not Saudi arabia.

this means Egyptians have a part in the blessing of the Lord coming down to them through God’s selection of Ishmael, choosing to bless their nation through him and his offspring.

perhaps this blessing was God’s way to repay the wrong done by Abraham to the people of Egypt by pretending his wife was his sister.

from that moment on the Egyptians and Israeli people were forever linked and connected even though they had many years generating separate cultures when Ishmael and Isaac went their separate ways cos of the choices of their parent and co parents.

in declaring she had put hagar in abram’s arms sarai admitted culpability and joint responsibility even though she attempted blame shifting in the same sentence.

it is true that abram could have exercised his divinely given authority as a husband over his wife and refused to sleep with their maidservant but he chose to cave in to his fleshly desires and take advantage of her vulnerability.

I don’t think abram was right to leave sarai to deal with hagar.

he had a responsibility as a parent of Ishmael to look after the woman who brought his first son into the world and treat both of them with respect.

you could also say however that it was God’s will that he should make that move of neglecting the responsibilities of fatherhood beyond the age of puberty ( in chapter 21 when Isaac is born and Ishmael and his mum hagar are forced to leave when he was aged 14).

you could say this happened so that Abraham was able to give all of his love from adolescence full to mature adulthood to Isaac.

yes Ishmael suffered from those years of bitterness and neglect as did his mother but God still used them to bring Him glory.

we will never know what was the straw that broke the camels back that made hagar want to run away from what was then known as her home away from home.

perhaps sarai beat her ruthlessly or yelled her head off at her.

all we know is she must have been pushed to breaking point to want to decamp and risk dying in the desert rather than spend another second in the presence of her mistress.

we do not know if hagar knew what she was getting herself into with abram but there is no record of her questioning what she was being asked to do with him.

I’m sure she was scared out of her wits though for all we know abram could have been a persuasive and soothing lover.

we know afterwards he treated her like a dogs breakfast after he had had his wicked way with her.

perhaps he openly expressed a greater desire for her than he did for sarai .

sex does create a bond of fondness between people.

maybe his heart was broken when she ran away and he secretly longed for her.

but we do not know that for sure so I will not be held guilty of adding to scripture just because my mind wants to jump aboard a jumbo jet and take a flight of fancy.

the fact that hagar talks about seeing God face to face after having a personal encounter with what is referred to as the angel of the Lord suggests that she met the preincarnate version of Jesus ( before He came in bodily form) .

if this was Jesus He would have known where she had come from and where she was going but He wanted to establish a personal connection with her and reach into her pain and replace it with HIs joy.

it would have been very hard for hagar to push herself to go back to her mistress.

she didn’t then know that she would be sent away again this time not temporary but permanently and she would not live to see her son’s father again for as long as she lived.

it is significant that Ishmael means God hears.

ishmallah doesn’t have that same meaning 🙂

God can hear you if you are talking to the wrong god or a false god that’s just an idol or a demon but He can only impart HIs nature into you if you are communicating back to Him and walking in obedience to HIs will .

Egypt has had a chequered history of peace accords and war mongering against Israel.

we have to recognise that the current government in charge of Egypt does not represent culturally or spiritually the true native Egyptians who are Christian copts and were there before the arabs came and stole their country.

we know the arabs came as a result of Abraham’s wife keturah.

when hagar says that God sees her the word or phrase used in Hebrew is El Roi – God who sees .

who knew the jetsons were so biblically based 🙂

its amazing to think that God granted hagar a blessing and privilege that He didn’t even spoil moses with.

moses only got to see God’s hindquarters.

hagar was honoured to see HIm face to face in a form that was only a drop in the ocean of the completeness of HIs glory.

may we all experience the heavy thick kabod glory of His presence.

and may it never be said of us Ichabod that His glory has departed from us ❤

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genesis 20:1-21:7

21557768_1572266719503250_3057607044596804368_nAbraham moved south to the Negev and lived for a while between Kadesh and shur and then he moved on to gerar.

while living there  as a foreigner Abraham introduced his wife sarah by saying she is my sister.

so king Abimelech of gerah sent for sarah and had her brought to him at his palace.

but that night God came to Abimelech in a dream and told him you are a dead man for that woman you have taken is already married.

but Abimelech had not slept with her yet so he said Lord will you destroy an innocent nation?

didn’t Abraham tell me she is my sister?

and she herself said yes he is my brother.

I acted in complete innocence!

my hands are clean.

in the dream God responded yes I know you are innocent.

that’s why I kept you from sinning against me and why I did not let you touch her.

now return the woman to her husband and he will pray for you for he is a prophet.

then you will live.

but if you don’t return her to him you can be sure that you and all your people will die.

Abimelech got up early the next morning and quickly called his servants together.

when he told them what had happened his men were terrified.

then Abimelech called for Abraham ‘ what have you done to us?” he demanded.

what crime have I committed that deserves treatment like this making me and my kingdom guilty of this great sin?

no one should ever do what you have done!

whatever possessed you to do such a thing?

Abraham replied I thought this is a godless place.

they will want my wife and kill me to get her.

and she really is my sister for we both have the same father but different mothers.

and I married her.

when God called me to leave my father’s home and to travel from place to place I told her do me a favour.

wherever we go tell the people that I am your brother.

then Abimelech took some of his sheep and goats cattle and male and female servants and he presented them to Abraham.

he also returned his wife sarah to him.

then Abimelech said look over my land and choose any place where you would like to live.

and he said to sarah look I am giving your ‘brother’ one thousand pieces of silver in the presence of all these witnesses.

this is to compensate you for any wrong I may have done to you.

this will settle any claim against me and your reputation is cleared.

then Abraham prayed to God and God healed Abimelech his wife and his female servants so they could have children.

for the Lord had caused all the woman to be infertile because of what happened with Abraham’s wife sarah.

the Lord kept His word and did for sarah exactly as He had promised.

she became pregnant and she gave birth to a son for Abraham in his old age.

this happened at just the time God had said it would.

and Abraham named their son Isaac.

eight days after Isaac was born Abraham circumcised him as God had commanded.

Abraham was one hundred years old when Isaac was born.

and sarah declared God has brought me laughter.

all who hear about this will laugh with me.

who would have said to Abraham that sarah would nurse a baby?

yet I have given Abraham a son in his old age.

🙂 selah

just when you thought that Abraham was done being deceptive he goes right ahead and spoils his reputation again by walking in fear instead of faith and offering up his wife for the night to Abimelech’s people.

it’s interesting how God personally communicated with Abimelech warning him that he is a dead man but he didn’t with pharaoh.

perhaps it’s possible that Abimelech already possessed some fear of God or some level of relationship with God.

it was God’s protection at work keeping him from laying a hand of sexual intention upon sarah.

it’s worth noting that Abraham’s act of disobedience didn’t discount the mantle God gave him nor did it rob him of the opportunity to prophesy or speak the truth about Abimelech’s life on God’s behalf.

this is encouraging cos if God can use Abraham when he messed up and walked in deception He can also use us as His vessels to pour out His blessings on others.

Abimelech knew the sin that Abraham had committed towards him yet just like God questioning where are you to adam and eve in the garden of eden after the fall he wanted to give him an opportunity to come clean be honest and make things right between them.

when we mess up we must always make restitution and try our best to initiate amends.

Abraham could have used more tact and diplomacy rather than saying that Abimelech was godless and he feared he might kill him but perhaps the fact he valued his honesty motivated Abimelech to right the wrong of attempting to sleep with Abraham’s wife by offering a significant sum of money.

not many kings would be so desperate for their wives’ womb to open or so generous that they would give land to perfect strangers who had become bonded to them through a mischievous sexual incident.

it was a miracle how God opened the wombs of the women in Abimelech’s palace.

God cared about their self esteem.

He didn’t want them to endure all the pains of life without possessing the ability to bear children.

for those who do suffer in this way my heart goes out to you.

just like Hannah He can give you offspring.

if He chooses not to He can make you a mother figure to young people ( adults and teens) in your life.

Isaac means he laughs.

his birth brought laughter back to the eyes of his mother.

she no longer had to cry tears of self pity to herself.

God had fulfilled HIs promise to her to enable her to bear children even at her ancient age.

sarah had been laughed at most of her life.

now she was the one having the last laugh and proving the haters wrong when they said that she could never be fruitful.

she counteracted those voices in her head that told her she was worthless cos she didn’t have a child.

she didn’t need a child to find her self worth but she did need to bring forth Isaac from her womb so God could set HIs people apart and use them to show to the world what happens when you walk in radical obedience to God forsaking all other fake idolatrous options.

I can imagine her throwing a huge block party and wanting to give all the camels a pat and an extra feed such was her feelings of good will.

why that night she wouldn’t even have complained about cooking an extra sheep for Abraham’s bulging belly for she knew that her belly had been filled with the baby she had so desperately desired for as long as she could remember.

if you are facing issues of infertility God can meet your need too.

it is possible God may ask you to have a child through surrogacy but I think adoption is a more morally acceptable option and less heartbreaking for the woman whose child is ripped from her hands at the moment of birth and given to another family.

this should only be an option if a woman is not fit to be a parent if her situation is so desperate that she has no way of preserving the lives of her loin’s fruit.

like Abraham and sarah we should hold onto the promises of God .

unlike them we shouldn’t lie and deceive others.

we should be honest even if we feel there is a high possibility that we might get killed for standing up for what we believe in or merely being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

remember this life doesn’t matter that much in the scheme of things anyway.

as long as our hearts and souls belong to Jesus we don’t have to worry about suffering sickness or getting killed for our faith.

from Abimelech we can learn not to ever attempt to take advantage of women.

we know in the act of taking her into his palace he intended to have his wicked way with her.

praise the Lord for all acts of wickedness that have been prevented by God stepping in just when it seemed as if all hope is lost and saving a woman’s reputation from being sullied as well as from her experiencing permanent trauma and a struggle to trust men as a result of mistreatment.

keep on walking by faith and not by sight.

when you feel there is no way God will make your dreams come true keep trusting in HIm.

we are always potentially one prayer away from our breakthrough 🙂

genesis 17:1-18:15

fab3176b99804b9257df1ae217656d0awhen abram was ninety nine years old the Lord appeared to him and said I am El Shaddai God almighty.

serve me faithfully and live a blameless life.

I will make a covenant with you by which I will guarantee to give you countless descendants.

at this abram fell face down on the ground.

then God said to him ” this is my covenant with you : I will make you the father of a multitude of nations!

what’s more I am changing your name.

it will no longer be abram.

instead you will be called Abraham for you will be the father of many nations

I will make you extremely fruitful.

your descendants will become many nations and kings will be among them.

I will confirm my covenant with you and your descendants after you from generation to generation.

this is the everlasting covenant I will always be your God and the God for your descendants after you.

and I will give the entire land of canaan where you now live as a foreigner to you and your descendants.

it will be their possession forever and I will be their God.

then God said to Abraham” your responsibility is to obey the terms of this covenant.

you and all your descendants have this continual responsibility.

this is the covenant that you and your descendants must keep: each male among you must be circumcised.

you must cut off the flesh of your foreskin as the sign of the covenant between me and you.

from generation to generation every male child must be circumcised on the eighth day after his birth.

this applies not only to members of your family but also to servants born in your household and the foreign born servants whom you have purchased.

all must be circumcised.

your bodies will bear the mark of my everlasting covenant.

any male who fails to be circumcised will be cut off from the covenant family for breaking the covenant”.

then God said to Abraham- regarding sarai your wife her name shall no longer be sarai.

from now on her name shall be sarah.

and I will bless her and give you a son from her!

yes I will bless her richly and she will become the mother of many nations.

kings of nations will be among her descendants.

then Abraham bowed down to the ground but he laughed to himself in disbelief.

how could I be a father at the age of a hundred he thought and how can sarah have a baby when she is ninety nine years old?

so Abraham said to God may Ishmael live under your special blessing.

but God replied no sarah your wife will give birth to a son for you.

you will name him Isaac and I will confirm my covenant with him and his descendants as an everlasting covenant.

as for Ishmael I will bless him also just as you have asked.

I will make him extremely fruitful and multiply his descendants.

he will become the father of twelve princes and I will make him a great nation.

but my covenant will be confirmed with Isaac who will be born to you and sarah about this time next year.

when God had finished speaking He left Abraham.

on that very day Abraham took his son Ishmael and every male in his household including those born there and those he had bought.

then he  circumcised them cutting off their foreskins just as God had told him.

Abraham was ninety nine years old when he was  circumcised and Ishmael his son was thirteen.

both Abraham and his son Ishmael were circumcised on that same day along with all the other men and boys of the household whether they were born there or bought as servants.

all were circumcised with him.

the Lord appeared again to Abraham near the oak grove belonging to mamre.

one day Abraham was sitting at the entrance to his tent during the hottest part of the day.

he looked up and noticed three men standing nearby.

when he saw them he ran to meet them and welcomed them bowing low to the ground.

my lord he said if it pleases you stop here for a while.

rest in the shade of this tree while water is brought to wash your feet.

and since you’ve honoured your servant with this visit let me prepare some food to refresh you before you continue on your journey.

all right they said do as you have said.

so Abraham ran back to the tent and said to sarah hurry get three large baskets of your best flour knead it into dough and bake some bread.

then Abraham ran out to the herd and chose a tender calf and gave it to his servant who quickly prepared it.

when the food was ready Abraham took some yoghurt and milk and the roasted meat and he served it to the men.

as they ate Abraham waited on them in the shade of the trees.

where is sarah your wife the visitors asked.

she’s inside the tent Abraham replied.

then one of them said I will return to you about this time next year and your wife sarah will have a son.

sarah was listening to the conversation from the tent.

Abraham and sarah were both very old by this time and sarah was long past the age of having children so she laughed silently to herself and said how could a woman like me enjoy such pleasure especially when my master my husband is also so old.

then the Lord said to Abraham why did sarah laugh?

why did she say can an old woman like me have a baby?

is anything too hard for the Lord?

I will return about this time next year and sarah will have a son.

sarah was afraid so she denied it saying I didn’t laugh.

but the Lord said no you did laugh.

🙂 selah

El Shaddai is often mistakenly interpreted as almighty because it sits alongside that description of Gods character in this passage.

in fact it means the many breasted one or the all sufficient one.

this is the expression of the mother heart of God- Hisher caring nurturing nature.

God is beyond the human limitations of gender He encompasses them yet transcends them for HIs glory is beyond our nature or capacity to fully comprehend this side of eternity.

serving God faithfully and living a blameless life is easier said than done but as He says His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

He gives us the strength and capacity to endure anything the devil throws our way.

He has always provided a way of escape for us and He has promised in HIs word not to give us more than we can handle.

it is by being faithful and blameless that we cause the world to have a good impression of who Jesus is cos rightly or wrongly they judge Him by the behaviour of His followers.

we have to be careful what we watch what we listen to and what we say.

the bible says that bad company corrupts good character.

the people we choose to surround ourselves with will help to determine what kind of future our character yields for us by our willingness to walk according to the will and desire of God or actively fight against it.

our faithfulness to God is proved as much by what we do behind closed doors praying and reading the bible as it is by getting out there and sharing the truth about what we believe and demonstrating His love by being the hands and feet of HIs son Jesus in our kind actions towards one another whether they be to friends or enemies.

we best demonstrate His love when we are friendly towards enemies and strangers cos even a thief is kind to his friends 🙂

I have felt God physically prostrate me on the carpet.

this is one of the humblest positions God can put you in to be flat as a pancake on the ground.

unlike me Abraham didn’t have his face in soft cushioning clean carpet fibres he went smack down in the dirty filthy earth.

this was a humbling and humiliating exercise .

it was proof of faith and of Abraham’s knowledge that he was in the presence of divinity.

we do not always have to follow Abrahams example in Gods presence but we should aim to be devoted to God and to come into HIs presence with holiness and reverence.

we must be respectfully in our consciousness of who we are hanging out with.

yes we can approach God boldly but we should never do so casually.

remember when esther approached the king’s throne she did it with bravery but also with an attitude that acknowledged the high position of who she was about to plead for mercy to.

it must have been a weird experience for Abraham to be given a new name.

imagine all the people he was hanging out with having to get used to calling him by a brand new name.

I can imagine there would have been some confusion until they got used to the idea.

we think of sarah looking questioningly at Abraham thinking you are not the man I married.

that’s right he might cheekily say i’m not abram I’m Abraham.

that’s not what I meant and you know it she might say sulkily or in a cheerful mood.

we see the throne of david being prophesied in God’s mentioning of the fact that He would bring forth kings from Abraham.

even though God knew that his chosen people had the potential to screw up royally He still promised that He would always be the one they worshipped and He would never stop loving them or taking care of them.

He would always be willing to forgive them every time they messed up.

God keeping His covenant with HIs people was conditional on their obedience to HIm.

we can see from the future history of Israel that when they obeyed the Lord He blessed them and everything was going fine in their lives.

it was only when they forsook HIm and worshipped false gods that things went pear shaped for them and they were taken away as exiles into the land of the Babylonians, medes and Persians ( modern day Iraq and iran) as well as to the kingdom of Egypt.

although at that time the Israelites showed their loyalty to God by circumcising their children now we are under Gods new covenant and only need to have our hearts circumcised- we need to remove the fleshly carnal sinful self and replace it with God’s indwelling spirit transforming our nature and personality making it more Christ like holy pure and compassionate.

God prescribed circumcision on the eight day cos He knew that the way He had designed the human body young boys would recover from pain quicker and the body had developed to a certain point on the eight day when it was capable of clotting blood with the highest possible levels of prothrombin available at that day. ( source 101 scientific facts and foreknowledge http://www.eternalproductions.com )

although we will not be cut off from God’s family for not circumcising our flesh we will be cut off from HIs family if we don’t live our lives in covenant to HIm – if we break our promise to follow HIm with our whole hearts which we make at the moment we decide to hand our lives over to Him.

if your name is abram it means exalted father.

God the father was exalted through Abrahams life.

if your name is sarah or sarai both mean princess.

even if your name isn’t sarah you are God’s princess if you have permitted Him to sit upon the throne of your heart and govern your life.

the second time we see Abraham bow down to the ground he is doing it with less respect cos he is laughing at God when He says his wife will get pregnant.

this is ill advised behaviour for us as Christians.

we must never laugh in a mocking way when God calls us to do something.

although it may seem incredulous and not make any sense to us we should follow in obedience to His calling on our lives.

Abraham was prepared to settle for a cop out and said that Ishmael may as well be the one who God chooses to be the main source of HIs blessing but God always planned to use Isaac primarily although He did bless Ishmael with wealth and prosperity.

Isaac was a miracle baby.

if God had allowed Abraham to settle for being blessed exclusively through Ishmael He would not have a chance to prove His miracle working power to Abraham.

which makes you more likely to follow God- just the promise that you will have many kids and future generations or that your wife will have a kid when she is all dried up and past all human possibility of bearing children 🙂

Abraham and sarah must have been flabbergasted.

their jaws would have dropped to the floor at the amazing power of God made manifest before their very eyes that day.

it is significant that God told Abraham and sarah the exact time of year when to expect their child.

we can assume it was nine months later 🙂

it is significant that Abraham responded instantly in obedience to Gods command to get circumcised.

imagine if he had delayed or deferred his obedience he possibly  would not have experienced the blessing of multiple descendants.

Abraham and Ishmael and the other men all experienced a great deal of pain that day.

they would have been extremely sore and groaning for a long time.

but it was worth it- for in their future their family trees were plentiful with fruit !

I think it rather cheeky of Abraham to tell what we can only imagine was a preincarnate version of Jesus God the father and the HOly Spirit appearing in front of his tent that he would prepare a meal for them when it was in fact his wife who did the grunt work.

still he was in charge of whether they ate or had to stick on their skates ( although they could have turned stones into bread) .

although the time waiting for food is not mentioned even with unleavened bread it would have taken some time to kill a calf and prepare baked bread for the triune visitors.

should we see significance in the fact that Abraham prepared a sacrifice for God and God was planning on preparing a sacrifice for him ( one far more costly in terms of what He was required to give up in order to achieve the restitution of the sins of humanity)?

God seems to be tougher on sarah than He was on Abraham cos they both laughed but she didn’t bow down to the ground so we may infer that she had a less respectful attitude towards God than Abraham but she later changed her ways.

we may wonder if at the time sarah even recognized that she was in the presence of divinity for she thought she hadn’t been overheard by God when she was laughing.

it’s possible that both Abraham and sarah were in the process of understanding what it meant to serve the God of the universe who is all seeing and all knowing and everywhere at once so it’s impossible to hide secrets from HIm.

anyways she can be commended for her heart of hospitality and willingness to attempt sexual relations with her husband even if it might lead to heartbreak and disappointment.

perhaps she had such an attitude cos she thought God I’ve already got this I arranged for Abraham to have a child by proxy I didn’t want to give my servant up so he could have a kid but I thought there was no other choice and now you are telling me you know better than me you are telling me that I was wrong and I should have been more patient 🙂

perhaps her laughter may have been mixed with tears of disappointment in herself that she didn’t wait and trust God to see what might happen to her in the future.

she could have avoided the mistake of Ishmael if she hadn’t persuaded and pushed her husband to do the horizontal tango with hagar.

but we know God used Ishmael too.

He can turn a bad situation into an opportunity to display His glory.

He proved His miracle working power to hagar in the desert by sending an angel to comfort her.

although He left sarah with a hard word of you did laugh instead of thanks for the delicious bread and calf He also left her with the most important thing to remember which was that royalty would be born from her loins.

that was what she held onto until the day she saw God’s promised fulfilled

🙂

 

genesis 11:27-12:20

WIN_20170901_11_10_02_Pro_LIthis is the account of terah’s family. terah was the father of abram nahor and haran and haran was the father of lot. but haran died in ur of the chaldeans the land of his birth while his father terah  was still living. meanwhile abram and nahor both married. the name of abram’s wife was sarai and the name of nahors wife was milcah( milcah and her sister iscah were daughters of nahor’s brother haran). but sarai was unable to become pregnant and had no children. one day terah took his son abram his daughter in law sarai ( his son abram’s wife), and his grandson lot( his son haran’s child) and moved away from ur of the chaldeans. he was headed for  the land of canaan but they stopped at haran and settled there. terah lived for 205 years and died while still in haran. the Lord had said to abram leave your native country your relatives and your father’s family and go to the land that I will show you. I will make you into a great nation. I will bless you and make you famous and you will be a blessing to others. I will bless those who bless you and  curse those who treat you with contempt. all the families on earth will be blessed through you. so abram departed as the Lord had instructed and lot went with him. abram was seventy five years old when he left haran. he took his wife sarai his nephew lot and all his wealth his livestock and all the people he had taken into his household at haran and headed for the land of canaan. when they arrived in canaan abram travelled through the land as far as shechem. there he set up camp beside the oak of moreh. at that time the area was inhabited by canaanites. then the Lord appeared to abram and said I will give this land to your descendants. and abram built an altar there and dedicated it to the Lord who had appeared to him. after that abram travelled south and set up camp in the hill country with bethel to the west and ai to the east. there he built another altar and dedicated it to the Lord and he worshipped the Lord. then abram continued travelling south by stages towards the Negev. at that time a severe famine struck the land of canaan forcing abram to go down to Egypt where he lived as a foreigner. as he was approaching the border of Egypt abram said to his wife sarai “look you are a very beautiful woman. when the Egyptians see you they will say ‘this is his wife let’s kill him then we can have her’. so please tell them you are my sister. then they will spare my life and  treat me well because of their interest in you”. and sure enough when abram arrived in Egypt everyone noticed sarai’s beauty. when the palace officials saw her they sang her praises to pharaoh their king and sarai was taken into his palace. then pharaoh gave abram many gifts because of her – sheep, goats, cattle, male and female donkeys, male and female servants and camels.

but the Lord sent terrible plagues upon pharaoh and his household because of sarai abram’s wife. so pharaoh summoned abram and accused him sharply” what have you done to me” he demanded. ” why didn’t you tell me she was your wife? why did you say she is my sister and allow me to take her as my wife? now then here is your wife. take her and get out of here! pharaoh ordered some of his men to escort them and he sent abram out of the country , along with his wife and all his possessions.

😉 selah

it must have been upsetting for abram to deal with the death of his grandfather terah.

it’s weird to us modern day people to think of marrying our niece.

we have to wonder if there was a shortage of available women in the land at the time of abram’s youth ( what was traditionally thought to be suitable marrying age).

it would have been a source of shame for sarai ( or lets be honest sometimes its the guy that’s the reason) when she found herself infertile.

in those days to have a child was considered the sole reason for a women’s existence.

she lived to have kids and raise them to become fine examples to the community.

her life centred around her home.

to not be able to bring forth progeny into the world would have meant she was looked down upon and seen as useless by the society in which she lived.

this was of course the opposite of truth but it must have effected her self worth and caused her to feel shame for who she was, tunnelling her feelings inside herself and forcing herself to live with her disappointments having no better options available.

she did not think to cry out to the God who spoke to Abraham at least as far as we know.

perhaps she sobbed to HIm secretly in her tent, bubbling and boiling resentment inside herself when she saw the other mothers with babies round about her.

perhaps her sister milcah was fertile and she wasn’t.

it must have been a source of some upheaval and upset attitudes when abram was urged  by his father terah to leave the city where the god they had previously known the demon who was worshipped in disguise as the moon.

later on he would discover the reality of the one true God who made the sun moon and stars but first he had to walk away from spiritual blindness and deception.

it’s quite incredible to us in this day and age to think of terah living 205 years.

it’s tragic that he left ur and reached haran but never reached the land of promise flowing with milk and honey ( Canaan) which God promised to Abraham and his descendants which would encompass a multitude of nations.

we are grafted into the blessing of this inheritance through the blood of Jesus.

it was a huge step for abram to leave behind his family, his country, his land and his people and make a brand new start in a place that was completely foreign and alien to him.

it took a lot of bravery and guts to step out in faith and risk being killed by those who already owned the land which God was going to give him who he had to kill in order to receive their land into his hands cos they weren’t just going to give it to him without a fight .

they might have let him live peacefully amongst them but God knew that he had to get rid of them in order that they may not become distractions and hindrances to his walk with HIm.

although abram started out wrong and initially his first interaction with pharaoh was revealing him to be more of a curse than a blessing to the nations he later proved God right when he walked in obedience to HIm.

it is true that every nation has been blessed by Abraham’s jewish bloodline.

because God chose him the blessing He gave him rests upon all those who are kind to jewish people.

this is an irrevocable timeless  covenant.

it’s hard for us to imagine starting a brand new life at age seventy five yet that’s exactly what abram did in obedience to God’s calling on his life.

God was already fulfilling His blessing to Abraham by expanding his household at haran before he had even walked in obedience to God by leaving that place and setting out on a marvellous adventure that would cost him his life before he saw the total fulfilment of the promise of everything God guaranteed He would do  through him making his descendants as numerous as the stars.

was God’s telling Abraham that He would curse those who treated him with contempt a warning to him to expect danger ahead but not to worry about it?

it’s possible some canaanites were whispering to one another in the darkness when God promised to give their land to Abraham’s descendants ” not if I’ve got anything to do about it” 😉

but we know what happens when we stand in the way of God’s plans.

we always lose.

therefore we are better off not trying to fight against God but simply to walk in HIs will even if it’s killing us inside.

we know the eternal benefits outweigh the temporary pain we experience in the moment of HIs revelation of truth to us.

it must have been amazing for abram to experience a personal appearance from Yahweh right in front of his very eyes.

it must have been scary and exciting.

if I was in his sandals I would have been speechless and afraid to die.

it is said that we must approach God with fear and trembling that is a mark of respect for His wisdom.

we must never be so full of ourselves that we think we have a right to demand His presence or command His power to manifest itself.

we only have the right to become children of God through the shedding of HIs blood without which there can be no forgiveness of sins.

when the famine came along it must have tested abram’s willingness to trust God.

yet as far as we know he never wavered in his faith.

we can learn a lesson from the strength of his character and determination to keep his eyes on the prize of the fulfilment of God’s promise.

it’s easy to trust God when you have plenty of food on the table and in your pantry or larder not so much when you have no discernible means of income when you may face the prospect of eating your herds of cattle rather than starving to death or in more desperate cases eat your family to survive which I wouldn’t recommend not just because it tends to destroy friendships and causes damage to your health but because it is not our right to take a life of the human variety only God’s.

we put ourselves under a curse and remove HIs hand of blessing from our life when we don’t walk in His will.

abram was a smart cookie buttering up his wife with  flattering compliments before he asked her to forsake their marriage vows to make a mockery with her actions of their promise to love honour and obey each other til their dying day.

even if it was true that the Egyptians would ( and history proved they did) treat abram and his wife better as a result of sarai offering herself to them as an option available for sexual pleasure she should have never agreed to do as abram suggested.

this is one of those cases where obedience and submission to your husband is not a good thing.

if your husband asks you to do something that’s not in the will of God don’t do it.

even if it results in you getting beaten black and blue you can always leave that relationship and start again with someone more appropriate to God’s calling on your life.

however despite his foibles we have no reason to doubt that abram was the man God intended to be with sarai.

think of the example they set for Isaac and Rebecca and later for Jacob with Rachel and leah.

she must have been a stunning beauty to capture every man’s attention in the land.

yet in truth she only had eyes for one man even though he forced her to make herself available as an option for other men to touch and take advantage of.

no price they paid would ever be high enough to warrant the sacrifice of her purity.

even though God used the situation to both of their advantage by enabling them to keep their ill gotten gains obtained through deception it was not HIs best.

I’m sure He would much prefer that they trusted in HIm to take care of them like He had already proven to them in their journey so far and waited for Him to move in the hearts of the Egyptians and make them generous towards them.

it’s easy for us casual readers of the bible to forget that the plagues which God brought about through moses wasn’t the first onslaught of God’s wrath upon the Egyptians.

it started way back in abram’s time.

we can learn a lesson from what happened to the Egyptians that when we mess with God’s people and when we walk outside His will we are bringing a curse upon ourselves so we’d better watch out.

although angry pharaoh showed remarkable restraint in the face of abram considering what he had done by causing God’s wrath to fall upon them and suffer in some unmentionable way we can assume it was a plague of sickness that didn’t result in death as far as we know.

it is a wonder then that when joseph came back to Egypt the pharaoh at the time didn’t bear an ancient grudge against him but chose to walk in forgiveness for the crimes his people had done against him and open up his arms of generosity and walk in a loving way towards joseph and the people of Israel.

we can only assume that pharaoh giving abram and sarai and co an armed escort out of his country meant they parted ways on hostile terms and pharaoh was determined that they would not come back in a hurry.

you can see why it took an entire 2 generations passing away for the Israelis to risk making a return.

sadly abram didn’t learn from his deceptive ways and tried the same trick again on Abimelech.

he passed on this abominable behaviour to his son.

the best thing we can say about Abraham is his bravery to walk in obedience to God more often than he did the opposite.

what made him one of the heroes of the faith mentioned in Hebrews 11:10-19 was the ultimate sacrifice of offering his son up to God in an act of radical obedience to Him.

how many of us could say we possess the same faith?

let us walk with integrity before God all our days until He calls us home ❤

 

I aint got time for playing games just that chick who sets my heart aflame

it aint no mystery what happened with her and me/ how it wasn’t meant to be/ how we fell apart like the little statuette I made of my art group leader in his honour cos it wasn’t properly prepared for the kiln/ am I ready to endure that blazing tongue licking trial and torture/ don’t kick me when I’m down cos you will teach me nothing you will just breed little beasties of resentment in me/ which wrap themselves around my neck and strangle the living daylights out of me/ in Jah I delight if you didn’t know already/ rocking steady to this beat/ the music that’s playing in my head when I write this/ I wont be defeated by my pitiful circumstances/ they say time heals all wounds but I’ve still got scabs cos I keep picking them open every time they start to recover/ breaking the bars of my skin cells cracking them open like fortune cookies/ fresh blood flows out my flesh/ I look like a wookie when folks give me stress/ I’m so blessed/ not oppressed by demons any longer/ though you might think otherwise if you saw the way I treat those pretty witty butterflies that come into my net/ live my love life with no regret/ you can make me soaking wet like the sea/ but I crave a deeper intimacy than the kind that your mind could ever possibly provide/ and its deeper than just bumping and grinding for me/ I want that church and steeple kind of love/ I want that sunday morning you in that white wedding dress kind of love/ I want the whole world knowing about us kind of love/ I don’t like doing things in the secret chambers of a garden dark/ hey why should we hide our affection from the world we have been doing that for far too long and you wonder why I snapped my link with you/ don’t expect to be respected if you aint prepared to show it shorty/ I aint hating on you I still love you but we can never be together again you already know that/ I know you harbour no illusions about the potential of the two of us to be together/ I’m desperately scribbling like an idiot jailbird chewing his last meal to avoid the temptation of another live video broadcast I shouldn’t be watching streaming from the lounge room of some cutie I probably shouldn’t be friends with but my love for God is endless/ so can I extend a benevolent hand without my motives being twisted all out of shape like pipe cleaners/ some say I’m a dreamer cos I spit that utopian paradise concept I utilize these skills not to pay the bills just to entertain the masses/ some may say I’m classist nah I’m just a classic/ like retro reebok or Adidas sneaks/ I do speak my mind in volumes copious compendiums of the freedom I’ve been extended by Jesus/ I won’t end up like my grandfolks did/ going to hell in a handbasket/ unless they truly turned around on their deathbeds/ I’ve got to hope what they confessed to my moms n pops was genuine/ cos id sure hate not to see their lovely faces in heaven/ its pretty tricky yo when youre the second generation/ passing on the truth you learned from your ancestors/ I can relate to that indigenous struggle to maintain cultural heritage/ keep the language alive/ keep our songs and dances going/ put our art on blast/ cos we don’t want our past to always remain our past sometimes we want it present in our future also/ only the bits that can potentially be redeemed for Jesus/ some say I’m an also ran/ but I aint gonna freeze up just because hate and criticism be on the increase/ shorty knows ive got it locked with Jesus He causes the evil to decrease in me/ less of me and more of you Lord this is my plea/ I know I cheat cos I don’t flow to the beat/ just the music drumming in between my own ears/ perfect love casts out all fear/ you can tell I’m sloppy with my rhyme schemes panting for Christs living water like a thirsty deer/ unlike my homegirl channy I don’t flow properly/ I do it sloppily but I’m still Gods property/ I dig this rap game ever since I was knee high to a grasshopper/ ive been that wannabe rhyme dropper/ homies hate on the skills got me wondering why don’t they go ahead and do it themselves if they want to hear something slightly more endearing/ I would be cheering/ I aint hating for the sake of hating/ big up my homies I be celebrating/ not denigrating/ this is more than a recreational pursuit for me/ I would do it for a full time job but noones dangling golden cash carrots under me/ little wonder cos my thunder got stolen by way too many broken hearts and the molten lava I fell in/ cos my ego got in the way of my progress/ little girls calling me their idol/ people comparing me to my heroes/ as if I could ever be considered their peers and equals/ my head got big and swelled/ I could barely hold it up it was so bursting with pride/ yet when I chose to walk by the side of the lion of zion I realized how little I was without His help/ and what wee amounts of change I could accomplish stranded on my own on a lonely island/ selfishness just gets you nowhere fast/ ive got regrets for the way I used to live/ that die is cast but I broke the mould/ still haven’t got a woman to have and hold/ for the rest of my life though when I do I’m gonna treat her like purest gold/ a diamond that’s been cut innumerable times made more beautiful by her scars/ she will forever own my heart/ I hate the fact that I cant be with her right now/ I hate the fact that God said no to one girl but He might say yes to another/ plenty fish in the sea for this brother/ I know its a tired stale old cliché but I believe that I don’t have to settle for a life of permanent bachelorhood/ and if youre a chick youre a spinster/ don’t let them stick that bachelorette trash labelling on you/ whats in a name/ identity distinction/ you aint one of the bros you’re your own person/ I give up on myself too soon just like I did with you/ strap me to a billion black balloons let them weigh down this sad faced clown/ fill them up with concrete when its still dripping liquid/ if that’s even possible/ descriptive of the way I feel/ like I’m sweating bullets and lead/ scared of the future without a bae to call my own/ unlike that game show I don’t aim to claim the throne/ I’m just happy playing follow the leader/ not straying from Jahs calling rounding up those stubborn ones I’m that sheep dog/ prodding cattle to get moving on a journey of self improvement/ no one knows the troubles ive seen or where ive been/ or the times when ive come in between a rock and a hard place/ or husbands and wives/ gossip separates friends/ and causes you to use kitchen knives/ for something other than slicing up animal meat/ I don’t want any more blood flowing down our streets/ we already got robbed once I would be a dunce if I ever put myself in a position to allow that to happen again/ now God provided the money so we can claim back on insurance all that got jacked from us/ and so we could tighten our security/ Lord I wanna live a life of purity but you know what these two eyes see/ pretty young things find their way to me when I aint even looking for them/ so ive gotta be extra careful do that dip and bounce with my eyeballs/ when other dudes in seventh grade were making collages of busty babes I was pasting tiny babies snaps to my page/ we didn’t even get to use a pen til then/ maybe it was freshman year/ can we live our lives without causing each others eyes to drip rivers of tears/ all of these days weeks months I wasted/ all of the blood on my lips I tasted/ only from my own d n a far as I could tell/ though some share the same  as me/ in some small way linked by code of genetics to all of humanity/ its pathetic how we start race wars and act sexist/ all because were stubborn and pigheaded/ tell ourselves we can’t forgive the wrongs of the past but that’s a lie of the enemy/ crazy talk like suddenly sprouting legs and trotting round if you’re a sea anemone/ I aint a portugese man of war I wonder what I’m fighting for/ instead of delighting in you Lord igniting that holy fire in me/ I’m frightened for what the future has in store/ I don’t wanna be the same old me anymore/ but I find myself in wrestling matches with angels / like Jacob pretty soon I’m gonna wind up missing hip bones/ could you change my name to Israel/ so I know God will prevail evey time someone calls my name/ seeing myself as His success upon each occasion when they point out my failures/ and they will know us by the trail of the dead skin cells attached to bloody bandages we leave behind us when we go strolling down the gardens of the ghettos we all know and love/ I’ve still gotta live with the consequences of my actions this side of heaven/ I’m so dense and intense most cant handle me so they sit on the fence and observe the way my candles lit/ while I collect my dollars and cents and just smile cos Gods a genius/ cracking me up cos suckers and liars said I could never make any money outta this biz/ guess what I proved them wrong even though that wasn’t the motivating factor/ saving souls and taking care of my future family was the only reason why I ever wanted to get cashed up/ I talked way too much trash for my own good/ folks misunderstood the way I acted in my neighbourhood/ losers calling themselves outlaws/ if they got locked up in jail how would they feel for real/ bush rangers strangers highway men by way men/ you aint going my way men so I can relax/ and even if you did pull me over to one side and told this kid to give his money cough that cash give it up quick smart like pash rash or risk losing his life you think i’d care to open my wallet for such deviants/ losing my life means nothing to me cos its in the hands of Jesus stupid/ so I aint fretting if you pull a gun on me and stick it to my head tell me that youre gonna pull the trigger on my skull and blast it to smithereens/ cos I know who my king is/ and I know where my future is/ lying beyond the stars/ they treat me like a spider from mars sipping cider from a glass/ eyeball with a hole where the pupil should be/ I’m like john lennon legend and tupac I wrestle with my own vanity/ that’s insanity/ but one out of three found Jesus in the end/ at least that’s the truth of which I’m convinced my friend/ some say I’m gonna deal with my sorrow tomorrow then they don’t live another day there  has to be a better way/ homies who consider themselves sold out for Jesus still watch movies with cussing does that even bear discussing/ why the shortie of my dreams watching scream queens better yet what I’m doing in that haunted house I should ask myself/ why the ski mask or hockey like Jason why I’m chasing that dragon why I’m facing these giants why I see myself  as a dwarf but my God towers over my oppressors/ why I love the fact that He forgives me despite my constant messing round with transgressions and gressors/ how am I supposed to address this/ so much we don’t talk about for the sake of love/ like I quit paying out on atheists/ cos I knew that wasn’t winning souls for His kingdom/ it wasn’t Christs mindset/ even though I don’t believe that atheists truly exist theyre such an easy target/ I close my eyes and try to forget/ about all the blood sweat and tears it took to get my homegirl to where she is today/ thank you Lord for all the change you have brought to her life that death for life exchange/ I had to force myself to slow down cos I wasn’t getting anywhere speeding too fast through life/ is it cos I drink too much coffee that I’m mentally rushing through this cconversation already thinking of what I’m gonna do with my day once you’re up and gone/ why can’t I just chill with it and enjoy the moment/ I don’t have a remote control button to freeze the sun and keep you here with me shortie so I’ve gotta lap up the milk of time you’re giving me like a happy cat and don’t complain/ cos I cant prolong your stay for any longer than you wanna be here/ I’m sincere in my apology for trying to express my love for you in a physical way before you were ready/ I should have stuck with emotional expressions of the deep impression you carved into my heart right from the very start/ I guess I should have been more careful the kind of pics I was allowing my eyes to look at less than an hour before meeting you/ now I’m entreating you have mercy on me/ give me date number two/ or call it business meet/ cos I mix business with pleasure when the two of us are standing on the same street/ I’m demanding your attention never commanding it/ you could conquer the world if you quit hanging with twits/ do I include myself in that category/ guaranteed you could win a game of scattergories/ look at me I’m an allegory/ for what could happen if you trust in Jesus with your whole heart/ quit playing church and pushing HIm to the furthest branch of your birch/ I know sometimes life situations have got you out on a limb/ and I can’t even imagine what you went through having to endure refugee camp/ dealing with that cramped space/ though I can relate to starting over in a brand new country where no one knows your name or face/ or the beauty of your personality/ I know it was hard for your folks cos they probably started at the top in your country then slid back to the bottom in ours/ having to begin all over again/ I remember how excited you were on the advent of becoming a citizen/ we’ve been through some happy times together/ getting higher than Everest/ stoked off that moment enthralled by your cleverness/ when you got into uni and excelled at those good grades/ when I saw you shining like constellations up on stage/ such a sensation I’m amazed/ you were on the line up for a folk festival I only visited as a paying guest/ is it only in my fantasies you lay your head down on my chest in wedded bliss/ baby let me comb your hair/ I love you in everything you wear/ can you do a fashion show for me when you select what you determine to be the best dress for that particular occasion/ you don’t need any make up to look gorgeous/ I could wake up next to you every morning and fall asleep with my head besides yours on the pillow every evening/ you got me weeping like a willow cos I only share this double bed with ghosts and memories/ they say the rap  game is a widow maker/ cos cats be onto you pouncing when you shake your money maker and bouncing round the house like that/ every dog on the block wants to chat with you/ wants to lock you in chains make a hood rat out of you/ but you aint going for their smooth talk/ cos your eyes are on your heavenly prize/ not just like some souls whose only goal is to see themselves blaze bright and all the rest of the world can just burn up like a pile of garbage you discarded in your yard cos you couldn’t stand the sight of carnage/ they feed people to pigs in my country no really/ they got mafia operating in my local area maybe/ living next door to a bikie gang affiliated lady/ still she can’t use her shotgun to make a hole in the foot of an intruder/ its crazy how our laws sometimes protects criminal elements more than it does those who are innocent victims/ I’m sick of chewing humble crow pie eating it just cos evil minded fools won’t let sleeping dogs lie and give me peace/ as much as I care about the cause you’re fighting for I can do it my own way without your help/ although you asked for mine you didn’t want it in the way I was offering/ so I withdraw my assistance/ and I say forget about our friendship if you can’t treat me right/ i’m not the scum between your toes/ i’m not a handkerchief you can wipe your bloody nose with/ i’m not that goober dripping from your snoz gonzo/ you think you’re the fonz but you’re barely fuzzy bear yet alone tonto/ Jah come to my aid pronto get this hate off my mind/ help me stop thinking about the friendships which I’m forced to leave behind/ should have drowned his companionship when my homegirl left me/ romantically though I was the one who hopped on that plane/ I didn’t get why wendy Matthews song was sad cos I associated blue skies with gladness even though billy was right they do bring tears/ yet they can also fill you up with cheer/ when you know theres sunshine for days so yall can come out and play/ and I struggle to relate to songs about the sun which stays bright until late in the evening like those catastrophic gothic trolls panicking at the disco  / cos I operate under a different hemisphere but I’m more concerned about concentrating on what unites us instead of what divides/ believe it or not/ I’m ripley praying for those victims of homicide regicide and suicide/ suckers talked about killing God yet He still lives/ despite all of our obnoxiousness such snotty nosed punks He still forgives/ some get drunk off their own pretentions of genius/ yet they forget God is the one who gives their clogs their cleverness and their pants their smartness/ I wont be a bossy boots if you don’t shoot the messenger/ did I forget Jesus is in the drivers seat/ I permanently play the role of passenger/ who paid for my passage Yah/ I aint saying things just to massage your ego/ I don’t care if the truth is offensive to people/ though I try to speak it in love I don’t shove folks in boxes/ without my spirit finding its home in Christ I’m a vagrant with no fixed address having no place to rest like He spoke of Himself in unfavourable comparison to vixens and foxes ❤ 🙂

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john 15:9-7

I have loved you even as the father has loved me.

remain in my love.

when you obey my commandments you remain in my love just as I obey my father’s commandments and remain in His love.

I have told you these things so that you will be filled with my joy.

yes your joy will overflow!

this is my commandment love each other in the same way I have loved you.

there is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

you are my friends if you do what I command.

I no longer call you slaves because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves.

now you are my friends since I have told you everything the father told me.

you didn’t choose me.

I chose you.

I appointed you to go and produce lasting fruit so that the father will give you whatever you ask for using My name.

this is my command : love each other !

😉

although we are almost continually saying thinking and doing things which by all rights should put us out of a relationship with God He continually lavishes His love upon us.

we must not falsely perceive His love for us to be a license to sin .

His love is not a starting gun to immediately begin ignoring the dictates of our conscience.

rather it is a blessed assurance and a continual reminder that we are never so far gone that He can’t redeem us from hell until we exhale our last breath.

the provisio for remaining in His love is walking in obedience towards HIm.

when we sin we are in effect saying we don’t respect HIm and we hate HIm.

if we are in relationship with Him we will automatically want to do the things that please HIm.

His spirit only abides within those who walk in His will who love what He loves and hate what He hates.

note God never hates people just the horrible state or situation they put themselves in when they reject HIs authority and ignore His warnings.

He wants us to come and be with HIm and dwell in His house forever.

obedience is inseparable from joy.

any happiness we experience outside of pleasing God is not a happiness that lasts.

in the end it inevitably results in sadness sprung from guilt or the destruction of ourselves we set in motion through our contemptuous attitudes which set us up for a let down for their only conclusion can be torture in a lake of fire never enduring euphoria.

Jesus loved everyone unconditionally.

He did not get His disciples to take a course instructing them in the ways of the master rather He led by example of His servant hearted leadership in HIs daily life.

if we impose conditions and terms, if we attach strings to our love saying it is dependent upon other peoples behaviour or what they can do for us then we do not truly love them and we don’t know how to love.

perhaps we have never been shown an example of true and purest love.

look no further for your guidance than the words leaping off the pages of your bible.

if we love like Jesus we do not hold others sins against them or use them as an excuse not to display HIs love towards them.

conversely it is unloving to withhold the truth from someone when you know it can set them free.

I love my friends and although there is one woman in the world I would take a bullet for my death wouldn’t be enough to forgive her of her sins just as her death wouldn’t qualify her as a suitable candidate to forgive mine.

only the blood of Jesus is a worthy sacrifice that cancels all the debts the enemy had hanging over us before we decided to follow Jesus with 100 % of our hearts.

if obedience makes us God’s friends what does disobedience make us?

yet He still loves us.

but in loving us He cannot permit us to enter paradise if we have not surrendered our hearts and submitted control of our destiny to HIm.

He never sends us to heaven or hell we choose that future for ourselves by the decisions we make here on earth.

it’s wonderful to think that God whispers His secrets to us 🙂

in a way we are slaves to righteousness but that is more like a bondservant or someone who has willingly put themselves in someone elses service rather than anything that’s been forced upon us.

the devil can never get us to follow him by revealing the consequences of putting our lives in bondage to him so he uses deceit and trickery instead.

it is amazing to think of the level of trust Jesus had in His disciples to reveal all of His truth and as much of the mysteries of God as their finite minds were able to grasp.

although we are making a conscious selection when we pick Jesus to be Lord and master of our hearts we are also influenced by His guidance of our decision making.

the key to miraculous provision in our lives is allowing God to use us so we can be fruitful in harvesting a plentiful multitude of souls for His kingdom.

in this time when we hear of terrorist attacks senseless hate crimes seemingly endless violence international liberation of possessions , disgraceful treatment of women and children exploited for sexual activity, government and law enforcement corruption and such like the words of Jesus to love one another have never been more poignant or relevant.

like Rodney king said during the famous l.a riots- why can’t we all just get along?

why indeed?

loving Jesus is the key ❤

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philippians 3:12-14

I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection but I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ once possessed me.

no my dear brothers and sisters I have not achieved it but I focus on this one thing : forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God through Christ Jesus is calling us

🙂

when paul refers to these things he is definitely talking about having a resurrected body and most probably could be referring to the state of perfection obtainable upon entering heaven or achievable when Jesus creates a brand new heaven and earth.

earlier in the chapter we see paul discussing discarding everything for the sake of Christ so He could gain Him and become one with HIm.

my heart longs  for this deep intimacy with my creator yet I live with the tension of finding within myself a strong unwillingness to sacrifice my life.

yet if I truly love Christ I must love HIm more than my own life and be willing to lay it down so that truth might be propagated from this human vessel.

 

paul admits he still makes mistakes.

we know he was known to have a fiery temper and was famous for insulting people whether deservedly or otherwise but the important thing to focus on was what he gave up and his life of passion for and subsequent devotion to Christ following His entry into his heart.

when we accept Jesus we must allow HIm to completely control our mind will and emotions and permit HIm to console us when others refuse to roll with our way of thinking actively opposing it or choosing to remain in a state of blissful agony even as each passing day brings them to an uncertain future outside the comfort of owning a guaranteed inheritance in His kingdom.

we must daily teach ourselves to be amnesiacs about all the rotten deeds and thoughts that exist in our pasts and focus on our glorious future in Christ’s home whose walls are covered in jewels and whose twelve gates are encrusted with pearls.

God doesn’t want us to stay bogged down in the guilt of the past continually reminding ourselves of what we did wrong.

He only wants us to ever look backwards for the purpose of making things right with HIm once we have done that He has thrown all memory of it in His deep forgetful sea where theres a great big sign that says no fishing .

if God chooses not to remember our sin we shouldn’t choose to keep rehashing it either.

in our eagerness to cross the finish line we must make our best effort to bring as many people as possible into the land of hope and glory where there is no more pain and sickness no wars or famines or greediness where theres always plenty for everyone so theres no need for anyone to fight, where there is no light or electricity save that supernaturally generated by the power of God’s son.

I can’t wait to see you all up there. ❤

keep your eyes on HIm and the things on earth will grow strangely dim in the brightness of HIs grace and soul transforming face :)><>

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