How Is Your Parenting???

There is something I must talk about that is eating away at many hearts to include some that are very close to me.
Train a child in the way he [should] go; and, even when old, he will not swerve from it. Proverbs 22:6
This does not mean put an extra amount of responsibility on a 6 year old girl by one parent when the two parents could not be together anymore. Nowhere does that instruction say to manipulate your children and tell lies about one parent that damage their love for said parent. You will only cause hatred to well up in the children and possibly cause them to be poor vindictive parents as they get older.
Just because two adults cannot be together does not give you permission to tell lies to the children to make them love one and fear or even hate the other. This is a big problem when both parents are living close to one another and have visits with the children. If both parents truly love their children they would not speak evil of the other adult involved. THAT IS ACTING LIKE A CHILD and is detrimental to the children as well as yourself. Sometimes this is a cycle where one parent has had manipulative parents or in the case that I am speaking of there is a large lack of father figures. This has been the case for a few generations now and the women have been able to manipulate their way through many things. THIS IS WRONG.

When two become one, both have a responsibility in raising the child. When one parent pushes the other out and then degrades that parent in front of the children, this is the most despicable thing a person can do The person will eventually be called out and be taken advantage of themselves. THIS HAS TO STOP.

Brothers and Sisters, we need a lot of prayer for this family. The mother has deceived the children, herself, and others and does not care about the consequences. The father loves his children to the ends of the earth and is being called a bad father without being given the benefit of the doubt and has not been able to prove that he is not the bad guy here. They both need our prayers and hopes that the children do not grow up hating both of them.
Love and peace to all,
Pastor Rob

Zacchaeus

PRESS PLAY FOR SOMETHING REALLY COOL

Do you remember this song from your youth? I want to thank members of the NPWI Choir at Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, TN: Noah Starr, Collin Montgomery, Zoe Pearce, Kyle Laird, and Kavanah Manswell for performing and my daughter Katie for arranging and directing it. Brought back memories of singing it during Vacation Bible School.

Accountability and Follow-up: The Unspoken Mission of the Church Family

When babies are brought into the church they are either baptized or dedicated (denomination dependent). Either way the parents and the members of the church take a vow to be guides and watch over the Christian upbringing of the child inside and out of the church walls. Being brought up in the church, those babies grow to into the youth groups and become more reliant on the Youth Pastor and peers for spiritual growth and their faith walk rather than the parents. This is partially due to the worldly influences of culture and the desire of the youth to go their own. The students then prepare for college or going out into the world and some are left to their own devices with church member and family hopes that they remain in Christ. Thing is, the follow up and accountability slowly falls away because people forgot their responsibilities agreed to when they were dedicated or baptized.

Seriously, parental and church member follow-up does not end when the Youth Pastor and Christian Educators take over. Nor is this to be avoided while they attend college. Guess what, follow-up and accountability continues into adulthood even though it takes a different form for those who pursue ministry.

What about the folks that are within the church even still. Yes we have Deacons, Elders, and Bible Study leaders but they are not able to watch over everybody. We are family no matter how much we may dislike each other but isn’t that the best way to keep accountability and ensure issues and spiritual fitness are followed up upon. Why is it so hard for someone to even ask how a day or week has been when outside the church walls while in passing or meeting for an outing or meal?

I myself am a victim of lack of follow-up and accountability. That is why it is very important for me to get this out there. When I was given an opportunity to go to a college that was an hour away from the church, there was little to know communication with the Deacons or Elders which was strange because I was a Deacon in the church before I left for the college at the age of 20. I was so involved in the college life that I did not even open my Bible. I went back to the church the next summer and they acted as if I never left. They were fortunate that I remembered where the church even was. 

 Does not the Scripture say to teach a child in the way he/she should go so they remember when they are older? Does not Scripture remind us to watch over those of like mind? How can we say we are following God’s Word when we cannot even do something as simple as contact the college student who is 10 miles away and attending the Campus Worship service much less the ones that are in a whole other state?

Every person at least once in their life falls due to something but if they are truly a faithful child of God they will return. Mine was while I first served the country by joining the Army. I fell away and did not talk to or even think about God for a few years. I returned to him on the “battlefield” while deployed. While in Bosnia I recommitted my life to Christ and was baptized as an adult yet still felt like a child in Christ coming home after a rough few years away. Thing is, you know it was the Holy Spirit tugging at you when under the water and you hear a voice undisturbed by the water and clear as if being spoken directly in the ear saying, “Welcome Home Son”. If that is not going to give chills then nothing will.

Following up and staying in the lives of fellow brothers and sisters no matter the age is of absolute importance. Of course you cannot control the temptations and the hurt that may cause some to slide but God will bring them home when it is time. Some need a Prodigal Son/Daughter moment to wake them up. It is during those times that we let go and let God but keep watch as the father did at his front porch and praising the day of their return.

When we see a fellow Christian outwardly struggling, do not pass by and think that someone else will take care of him or her. What if you are the third person that did that? What would the struggling Christian think? You see, God did not outright say accountability and follow-up but Jesus sure did put it out there plain as day if you truly understood Him.

Do You? If not then you might want to relook at yourself. Brothers and Sisters, continue to pray for guidance and direction so that when the time comes you know what to do if you are that Samaritan, that parent, that shepherd, that gardener that Jesus spoke of. May God grant you the wisdom and understanding of His Word to be the one that brings the lost, home.

God First

In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, on the first day of the month, the word of the Lord came by the hand of Haggai the prophet to Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Jehozadak, the high priest: “Thus says the Lord of hosts: These people say the time has not yet come to rebuild the house of the Lord.” Then the word of the Lord came by the hand of Haggai the prophet, “Is it a time for you yourselves to dwell in your paneled houses, while this house lies in ruins? Now, therefore, thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways. You have sown much, and harvested little. You eat, but you never have enough; you drink, but you never have your fill. You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm. And he who earns wages does so to put them into a bag with holes.

“Thus says the Lord of hosts: Consider your ways. Go up to the hills and bring wood and build the house, that I may take pleasure in it and that I may be glorified, says the Lord. You looked for much, and behold, it came to little. And when you brought it home, I blew it away. Why? Declares the Lord of hosts. Because of my house that lies in ruins, while each of you busies himself with his own house. 10 Therefore the heavens above you have withheld the dew, and the earth has withheld its produce. 11 And I have called for a drought on the land and the hills, on the grain, the new wine, the oil, on what the ground brings forth, on man and beast, and on all their labors.” Haggai 1:1-11 ESV

Reading this passage what is the first thing that pops into your mind? Did you think about the poor Israelites who just can’t catch a break? Did you think that this has nothing to do with me so why are we studying this? Did you think that the Jews were being selfish and are being tormented? Did you think about God and the fact that these people put themselves before the creator? Well, for the most part that is how many different people view this passage. Yes, God is a jealous God but He is also the provider of all things. They were literally biting the hand that had cared for them and put God off as a secondary thought. This is not the right thing to do as they found out. So what does this have to do with us?

When we are in communion with God we are taken care of but the second we try to do things on our own and not give God the time of day or the glory which is rightly His, we are in trouble. Life can be pretty difficult without God in the forefront of our lives. Think about this…when you forget to talk with God about the positive and negative things happening in your life, is there not a sudden hole and matters seem to get worse? When you don’t spend time reading His Word and get a daily dose of His love and devotion towards you, where does your love and devotion go….to things of the world? Do you not realize that God is in everything, He is everywhere and knows your every move? How much do you have to lose before you go back to God?

We need to always remember to put God first. After all, He is our creator and His name is imprinted in our DNA. Like an artist who signs the painting, God signed us. We do not belong to anyone including ourselves so everything we do is for His glory, not ours, His.  When we wake up in the morning our first thing should be thanking God for our life. I know that most will say that God is not always the first thought especially as we get old and have a full bladder, but God is already waiting for us to wake. He speaks to us if we listen but even the most devout sometimes have trouble opening their ears in the morning. Once we have our faculties about us (when we feel more awake) then we can speak to God without mumbling and bumbling through our thoughts and can hear Him clearly. Recognizing God when we wake before getting on the phone, tablet, or computer and plugging into the world supplies us with the right mind to do God’s work He has planned for us. We are, after all, His temple.

The best part of waking up is knowing that God is with us and has us in His hands. Yes I know, but not all people can have coffee in the morning but they can have communion with the creator.

God’s Perspective NOT Ours

Proverbs 12:15 15 The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise man is he who listens to counsel

How many times are we going to go through this before eyes are opened and it is too late? Numerous times humanity has thought themselves the rulers of their own destinies but oh how they are so wrong. We are not our own and there are many who think they can test the waters. Now, Jesus will still reach out into the waters in which we sink because that is what He does. However, it still remains a matter of full acceptance and embracing the Commandments and the Teachings of Jesus.

Proverbs 21:2–3 2 Every man’s way is right in his own eyes, But YHVH weighs the hearts. 3 To do righteousness and justice Is desired by YHVH more than sacrifice.

Jesus had come into this world as a member of His chosen people, the Israelites, and He changed many but there were still more who just couldn’t see God right in front of their eyes as they were blinded by the world. Are we not just as blind today? The Adversary is on every doorstep, in homes, in the media, in the government. He is the prince of this world but not the King. He has control over many souls but not all. Jesus will win them back unless there is a total turn from God. But here is the thing, Jesus needs us to show the lost, the way.

The Holy Spirit is here to help guide us to do what is right in God’s eyes but sometimes temptation is too great and the veil is closed for a time, sometimes permanently. We cannot give in to temptations much less commit the sins extending from the temptations and remain right in God’s eyes. No matter how much we say we love God and Jesus if we do not have it right in our hearts and minds, we are not right with God.

Since the 1960s carnal and drug induced behaviors have rocked society to its core. We had returned to the ways of the early Greeks, Romans, and other Pagan religious practices to include a distinct move towards devil worship. Not saying it was not around before that but this is the time in our country where we began to really separate ourselves from God.

I spoke in an earlier blog about the Ephraim warnings from Habakkuk. Well here we are again but this time taking it deeper. Let’s go back to the time of the Exodus as it was entering its final years. We see in Deuteronomy 12:8-9,     “You shall not do at all what we are doing here today, every man doing whatever is right in his own eyes; for you have not as yet come to the resting place and the inheritance which YHVH your Elohim is giving you.

Because of the wandering in the desert, certain rules were in place and the Tabernacle was mobile. What is being stated above is the time when they will be settled and there will be one place of full worship of only God. It was also concerning the aliens (non-Jews) and youth among them who had not been fully integrated into the society because of the move. This will be done upon entering and settling into the Land of Promise. There will be those who refuse and God was already aware as was Moses, which is one reason this statement was made.

After Joshua the time of the Judges began. Now this was a time where people were chosen to judge and be priest over the tribes. We know that since the Israelites had not done specifically as God told them but had mercy on some of the indigenous occupants, there was trouble.

Judges 17:6

In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

This happened more than once so we see it again in the exact same verbiage four chapters later:

Judges 21:25

In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

So yes they did not learn. So many people died because they forgot God and His right perspective for us.

So many people today are doing the same thing, ignoring God’s Word and His Statutes. The moral behaviors and laws of the land have changed to meet the minds of those whose mental state and depravity are the “new way of thinking”. God’s rules are eternal, man is temporary so this too shall pass but for how long oh Lord how long must we deal with this immoral time. This is a time where Love is a four letter word and God is no longer the center of many lives. This must change. We must be the instruments of this change. Stop allowing these perversions from entering our children’s minds so they become the norm. I am not saying beat the Bible into them but if that is what it takes, give them God’s Love, His Compassion, His Mercy, and His Tough Love to show them what right looks like. Do not fall into the devil’s snare, evade temptation, Love and He loves us.

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made

What does it mean to be fearfully and wonderfully made? God designs us in a way that our bodies are the fullness of our parents. Our flesh, bones, and inert nature, are already decided even before we are conceived. This is part of God’s plan. We do not have the right to take the life of one that is preordained into existence unless God did not intend for the child to be born just yet. Since we do not know God’s Plan and His Timing is beyond our comprehension, we are not the ones who can decide to end a life before it even begins.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place, when I was woven together in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed body; all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. Psalm 139: 13-16
Fearfully made in this context is standing in awe of God who created from nothing. God formed life from the basic materials found on the ground of the earth as it was being finished. Understanding the intricacies of the human body, it is no wonder the writer was in awe of his own creation. He gives God all the glory for the mere fact He could take mud and clay, mold it, breathe in it and here we are.
Wonderfully made is the uniqueness of the individual in the formation but at the same time understanding that we all have the same basic purpose in life, glorifying God for all He does. We are given a purpose for being on this earth before we are ever conceived physically because God sets for the plan in our lives, placing us with the individuals who shall guide us in the direction we should go.
Yes we still have to fight our sinful nature but God’s purpose in our lives will always win out as long as we believe, have faith and trust that Jesus is our Salvation through His Blood and the only way to the gates is doing as Jesus taught us to do. Worshiping and praising God all the way.
Humans have always wanted to be like God and with the advent of clean abortions (yes hard to believe there is such a thing), stem cell research, and now exploring the possibility of repairing corrupt DNA brings us closer to believing we can create and destroy as we please. We cannot create, only manipulate what is already in place. It is not our place or even our right to destroy what is created by God. You cannot argue that God has a hand in our creation Our spirit is formed before the shell of flesh and bone and our purpose is known by God alone.

 

Importance of the Second Son P4

Ephraim the Helmet

                                                     Ephraim and Manasseh

Before Jacob died he had an audience with Joseph and his two sons. Manasseh and Ephraim were adopted into Jacobs family and became his so that they would be properly blessed. Here is what Scripture tells us

17 When Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on the head of Ephraim, it displeased him, and he took his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. 18 And Joseph said to his father, “Not this way, my father; since this one is the firstborn, put your right hand on his head.” 19 But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know. He also shall become a people, and he also shall be great. Nevertheless, his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his offspring shall become a multitude of nations.” 20 So he blessed them that day, saying,

“By you Israel will pronounce blessings, saying, ‘God make you as Ephraim and as Manasseh.’”

Thus he put Ephraim before Manasseh.

Genesis 48:17-20

He did give both a blessing but the better of the blessings fell on Ephraim. Why did Jacob do this? Was it because he was biased? Or did he understand the need for a younger, stronger nation to be built up. Was it because Manasseh actually lived up to his names meaning, ”forgetfulness”, while Ephraim means, “fruitfulness”. In his blessing Jacob says his younger brother will be greater than he, what does he mean?

Ephraim is spoken of more than Manasseh and suffers curses as well as many blessings. When the kingdom split into two Ephraim was the lead house in the northern kingdom while Judah maintained the south. Ephraim is known to be a mixture of nations and is it unknown how many are truly out there.

Gilead is mine, Manasseh is mine; Ephraim is my helmet, Judah is my scepter Psalm 108:8

Judah is the Scepter….which is the holder of the Kingdom power. Judah is at the seat of the city called holy and the ruling party of God’s Kingdom will sit in Jerusalem. Ephraim is the helmet….the strength of numbers, the strong arm of God. Ephraim will be numerous and as there is strength in numbers they also must be strong in their faith. But something went wrong…..

Ephraim has been known as the largest grouping of many ethnicities which eludes to Ephraim being America with many houses of Jacob intertwined with the world. The book of Hosea shares many things about future Ephraim in 7:11 Ephraim is called a silly dove; 8:9 says that Ephraim has hired lovers. Here is something that is relevant to this very day:

“Ephraim has mixed himself among the peoples; Ephraim is a cake unturned. Aliens have devoured his strength, But he does not know it; Yes, gray hairs are here and there on him, Yet he does not know it.    Hosea 7:8-9

This is a rabbit hole that will hurt. We are a melting pot of many nations this “cake unturned” is a half- baked notion that though we live together we do not truly live as one. There are so many ethnic divisions that cause way to much strife and this will leave us wide open for destruction from within.

If Ephraim is America then we are in deep trouble. Hosea mentions many of the issues we are having from what once was great has caused great tribulation. We led in agriculture but have now poisoned ourselves and the land with Genetically Modified Organisms. We are the richest country but this will be our downfall as greed will overtake the leaders and rich, destroying the economy. We have become harlots from Israel as many in this place have forgotten God and began to serve pagans (false religions and false Christian doctrine). All the attempts to live as one will not work as long as there is still an ethnic and religious division. We are one country with many tribes, as long as these tribes continue to self-identify and spit hate at the others, we will not be one. As long as there is mental dysfunction  causing confusion from what God made and people think they know themselves better than God, there will be disharmony and civil unrest. As long as God’s law continues to be distorted by man, there will be wrath from above which will wipe us out.

What can we learn from Ephraim?? If what Hosea says is true about America then it is time to get out of there, not keep trying to get there. The country is still young and has lost the original premise of the fore-fathers. It is a land of hate and dissention where even those in charge cannot get along because of their misunderstandings and the greed that has infected the government.

But you know something? There is hope. There is a promise, a man, a father, and a friend, who gave us something wonderful. Jesus came to save the wretched, the poor, the greedy, the lost, the hurt, the hopeless, kings, paupers, nobles, servants, warriors, masters, slaves. He came to save us all from our sins by giving up His life on the cross and defeating death once and for all. All we need do is believe in Him and follow Him with our own crosses suffering to do His will and having a fullness of life.

As we come to a close today We need to pray for God to guide us in His ways so that we can be the lights in this dark and weary world. For the Ephraim’s we pray that God will have mercy and look into our souls to save us as we cry out in Jesus Name. Jesus we ask You to do Your will in us through the Holy Spirit so that we can go and make Disciples of ALL men. Thank You Lord. In Jesus Name. AMEN

Importance of the Second Son P3

Jacob and Esau

AND GOD told Rebekah

“Two nations are in your womb,
and two peoples from within you will be separated;
one people will be stronger than the other,
and the older will serve the younger.”
Gen 25: 23
The Younger, Jacob, had known that he would always fight with his brother Esau for the affections of his father. Early in their years Jacob saw an opportunity to make himself better than his brother and Esau sold his birthright over a bowl of stew. Later, when Isaac was near death, it was time for the blessing and Esau was hoping to receive at least that. Well, Rebekah heard the conversation where Isaac wanted Esau to hunt and prepare him a meal then he would bless him. Rebekah, remembering God’s promise dressed Jacob in fur and rubbed a scent which smelled of his brother.
Listen to the blessing Jacob stole:
“Ah, the smell of my son is like the smell of a field that the Lord has blessed.
28 May God give you heaven’s dew and earth’s richness—an abundance of grain and new wine.
29 May nations serve you and peoples bow down to you.
Be lord over your brothers, and may the sons of your mother bow down to you.
May those who curse you be cursed and those who bless you be blessed.”
Gen 27: 27-29

Upon Esau’s return, he prepared the food and came to his father. Isaac realized he was swindled and after much hesitation gave Esau this blessing:
“Your dwelling will be away from the earth’s richness, away from the dew of heaven above. 40 You will live by the sword and you will serve your brother.
But when you grow restless, you will throw his yoke from off your neck.”
Gen 27:39-40

Obviously this does not set well. Esau wanted Jacob’s head so Isaac and Rebekah sent Jacob to live with Laban so he would marry a Canaanite woman. Esau, recognizing the distaste for his Hittite wives, went and married a daughter of Ishmael.

I could speak more of Jacob’s redemptive journey but let’s take a look at his importance:
Jacob was a conniving momma’s boy who really did not know God at first. He stayed in the protection of the tents instead of making something of himself. He knew of God only by name and never fully experienced Him as others had done. When he was on the way to Laban he slept and had a conversation with God in which God promised him a great nation to come from him. Jacob asked for God to protect and provide for his journey then he would follow Him all his days.
1. Sometimes a bargain with God will turn into a test of Faith.
Saying that you will follow God giving Him conditions does not always turn out the way people hope. Jacob was consistently tested and his ability to bargain, barter, and act somewhat treacherously to get free of the bonds. Was this a test of his resilience? Probably. God wants people who can accept and face challenges with God as the guide and protector. It took Jacob to have a wrestling match with the Angel of God (BTW this was Jesus) for him to understand all he was going through was because of bargaining with God.
2. Having Patience with God’s Plan is a good thing.
Face it, we all lose patience at one time or another. We need to remember that things happen in God’s timing and not ours. We cannot tell God when things will happen, God tells us.
3. Having God in Our Lives Creates a Loving Atmosphere that Overcomes Hate
For some this may be a hard pill to swallow but truly being in Christ and not just believing leads to a healthy loving relationship with our fellow man. This relationship with God gives us eloquence in speaking peace, encouragement, and correction as needed. This day and age is filled with many discouraged and lost people who could really use God’s Love from His perspective, not a human one. Our human emotions can get in the way of being in Christ when sharing Him, His Love, and His Tough Love. Having God as the center gives us the courage to stand firm in the midst of hungry lions.
4. Forgiveness is a two way street
The embrace of brothers we see in Jacob and Esau was not an easy one but it began the conversation which led to peace. The forgiveness was mutual as it should be today. When you wrong someone not only do we ask for forgiveness but the other party must be willing to forgive. The one forgiving has to search deeply and ensure their forgiveness is genuine. Finding forgiveness in their heart opens many doors. The one asking forgiveness must be genuine as well and be truthfully willing to never wrong the person or people in that way or any way again.

Jacob and Esau would live with certain tensions for the remainder of their days but for then there was peace.

Let us remember to not tempt God or bargain with Him for we may not like the resulting years of pain before the dawn of the morning. Let us also learn patience with God’s timing and accept all things with grace remembering that God is the center. Forgive and be forgiven; Love as God Loves us. Be blessed Brothers and Sisters.

 

Now Jacob had twelve sons and one (known) daughter. Many things occurred with that family but it our journey takes us next to the sons of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh.

The Importance of Being Second P2

Ishmael and IsaacIshmael and Isaac

Abram had two sons from different women. Ishmael was the son of Sarai’s Egyptian handmaiden Hagar whom she gave to Abram in hopes that he has a physical heir to his properties. Isaac, the son of the promise was born to Sarai when she was very old. Now Ishmael means God Listens while Isaac means Laughter. Sarai thought the Lord was joking when He told her she would bare a son but (sorry) God got the last laugh in this case.
Sarai took it upon herself to let Abram have Hagar and give him a son and she was jealous of Hagar especially when Ishmael was born. Thing is, Ishmael was not the child of the promise and God knew that Sarai would give Hagar to Abram. God still used Ishmael and his descendant
Abram joyfully taught Ishmael all he needed to know and had him circumcised as the first born in God’s covenant with Abram. Sarai became jealous of Hagar which would carry on into the boys. Sarai (now Sarah) bore Isaac and he became the favored child.
The Book of Jasher tells us that when Isaac was five, Ishmael (then 18) attempted to kill Isaac with a bow and arrow. Ishmael was a wild youth who mocked Isaac every chance he had and would not follow Abraham’s direction so Hagar and Ishmael were banished. Abraham asked God for pity on them and He granted them safety. An angel came to Hagar and Ishmael ensuring they were looked after and he would father a great nation. Ishmael had two wives (not at the same time) and twelve sons, the Arab Nation also known as Ishmaelite’s. Later in his life Ishmael and before Abraham died, Ishmael became a penitent man. When he died he was buried in what would be called Mecca.
There are so many issues with timing and age here but should we really worry about semantics over meanings?
When Isaac reached the age to assist his father with the sacrifice, he went with Abraham to the mountain and was the physical object of God’s test of Abraham’s faith. Abraham from there understood that God would provide for him and his many children as long as they were faithful servants. The angel of the Lord told Abraham, ”By Myself have I sworn, says the Lord, that because you have done this thing and you did not withhold your son, your only one, that I will surely bless you, and I will greatly multiply your seed as the stars of the heavens and as the sand that is on the seashore, and your descendants will inherit the cities of their enemies.“
So what is the importance of Isaac besides the second son of the father of many nations? Isaac is the Son of the Promise, honestly that is really the most important thing about him outside of his children. He was a faithful man who would later father twins who would once again separate nations. These two people would suffer contention and strife even today although the brothers found peace in their time.
We learn more about Abraham’s faith from this story than anything else. First we see how Abraham and Sarah could not believe that they would even be able to have children at their age especially since Sarah was well above child bearing years. They learn to listen to God and that He can make all things possible, even what we would consider impossible. Abraham never saw God, only angels that were His messengers and carried out God’s commands. His faith in the unseen made God known personally to Abraham. Ishmael would never have as close of a relationship with God as Isaac did. Maybe that is why there are so many issues.
This story tells us that we can have that personal relationship, in fact that is what God wants. We will later see how much more this point is brought out with Isaac’s son, Jacob.
PRAYER:
Father God, We desire a personal relationship with You. Thank You for giving us Jesus so we can have that relationship. Thank You also for the understanding of faith in the unseen but understood, Father. The lessons from the past are truly alive today because of that relationship You have built with us. Teach us, Oh Lord, so that we may share this relationship with others as we build deeper relationships with You ourselves. Guide us to those who You desire a deep personal relationship so we may tell them our story in order for them to discover theirs. Thank You for the gift of Your Son and His gift of the Holy Spirit. In Jesus Name AMEN