You heard the news! You got the call! You know it matters! So now what? What will you do with it? What will you do about it? What will you do for it? Will you share the news? Will you answer the call? Will you obey?
Aft such a powerful reminder yesterday and with today’s reading starting with Abraham, these questions came to mind. If God called you to come, would you come? If God called you to go, would you go? Let’s start off taking a look at how things went with and for Abraham. (Abraham is the name God changes Abram to later…)
Abram Obeys the Calling1Then Adonai said to Abram, “Get going out from your land, and from your relatives, and from your father’s house, to the land that I will show you.2My heart’s desire is to make you into a great nation, to bless you, to make your name great so that you may be a blessing.3My desire is to bless those who bless you, but whoever curses you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.4So Abram went, just as Adonai had spoken to him. Also Lot went with him. (Now Abram was 75 years old when he departed from Haran.)5Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his nephew, and all their possessions that they had acquired, and the people that they acquired in Haran, and they left to go to the land of Canaan, and they entered the land of Canaan.6Abram passed through the land as far as the place of Shechem, as far as Moreh’s big tree. (The Canaanites were in the land then.)7Then Adonai appeared to Abram, and said, “I will give this land to your seed.” So there he built an altar to Adonai, who had appeared to him.8From there he moved to the mountain to the east of Beth-El and erected his tent (with Beth-El to the west and Ai to the east). There he built an altar to Adonai and called on the Name of Adonai.9So Abram kept on journeying southward.–from Genesis 12
Could you do it? Would you do it? Just pack up your things and go? Not knowing exactly where just that God had called you to go somewhere with him? Not realizing the impact it would and could have on so many generations to come?
Do you realize when you answer the call and start to walk the walk, God has your back and will give you a hedge of protection? He will protect you from yourself sometimes. Will you allow fear to direct you or discourage you?
Abram and Sarai in Egypt10Now there was a famine in the land. So Abram went down to Egypt to live as an outsider there, because the famine was severe in the land.11Just as he was about to enter Egypt he said to Sarai his wife, “Look, please, I know that you are an attractive woman.12So when the Egyptians see you they’ll say, ‘This is his wife.’ And they’ll kill me; but you, they’ll let live.13Please say that you are my sister, so that I’ll be treated well for your sake, and my life will be spared because of you.”14When Abram came to Egypt, the Egyptians did see that the woman was very beautiful.15Indeed, Pharaoh’s officials saw her and they raved about her to Pharaoh. Then the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house.16But Abram was treated well for her sake, and he got sheep, cattle, male donkeys, male and female slaves, female donkeys and camels.17But Adonai struck Pharaoh and his household with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife.18So Pharaoh called Abram and said, “What’s this that you did to me? Why didn’t you tell me that she is your wife?19Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her to be my wife? Now, here is your wife. Take—and go!”20Then Pharaoh instructed men concerning him, and they expelled him, with his wife, and everything that belonged to him.–from Genesis 12
Will you be humble enough to trust God? Will you be humble enough to allow the other person to go first? Will you be humble enough to get the other stuff? Will you be humble enough to take what is left? We see how Abram handled it with Lot as he allows Lot to choose first and he would take the other, the left overs.
1So Abram went up from Egypt—he and his wife and everything that belonged to him, and Lot with him—to the Negev.2Now Abram was very rich in livestock, silver and gold.3He proceeded by stages from the Negev as far as Beth-El—to the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Beth-El and Ai,4to the place of the altar that he had made there at first, and there Abram called on the Name of Adonai.
Lot Separates From Abram5Now Lot, who was going with Abram, also had sheep and cattle and tents,6so that the land could not support them living together, because their possessions were many, and they were not able to stay together.7So there was a quarrel between the shepherds of Abram’s livestock and the shepherds of Lot’s livestock. (Now the Canaanites and the Perizzites were living in the land then.)8So Abram said to Lot, “Please, let there be no strife between me and you, or between my shepherds and yours, since we are relatives.9Isn’t the whole land before you? Please separate yourself from me. If to the left, then I’ll go to the right, and if to the right, then I’ll go to the left.”10Lot lifted up his eyes and saw that the whole area surrounding the Jordan was well watered in its entirety (before Adonai destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah)—like Adonai’s garden, like the land of Egypt—till you come to Zoar.11So Lot chose for himself the whole area surrounding the Jordan. Lot journeyed to the east, and they separated from each other.12Abram dwelled in the land of Canaan, and Lot dwelled in the cities of the valley. And he moved his tent from place to place near Sodom.13But the people of Sodom were evil—very great sinners against Adonai.14After Lot separated himself from him, Adonai had said to Abram, “lift up your eyes, now, and look from the place where you are, to the north, south, east and west.15For all the land that you are looking at, I will give to you and to your seed forever.16I will make your seed like the dust of the earth so that if one could count the dust of the earth, then your seed could also be counted.17Get up! Walk about the land through its length and width—for I will give it to you.”18So Abram moved his tent from place to place, and came and dwelt by Mamre’s large trees, which are in Hebron, and there built an altar to Adonai.–from Genesis 13
God didn’t forget Lot when he and Abram separated. Abram didn’t forget Lot when they split up. And when a group had come in and taken Lot and the entire region prisoner, Abram went after them to save his family and all there stuff.
Abram Rescues Lot1Now it came about in the days of Amraphel king of Shinar, Arioch king of Ellasar, Chedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of Goiim,2that they made war with Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (this is Zoar).3All of these kings joined forces in the Valley of the Siddim (this is the Salt Sea).4For 12 years they had served Chedorlaomer, but in the thirteenth year they rebelled.5In the fourteenth year Chedorlaomer came with the kings who were with him, and they defeated the Rephaim in Ashterot-karnaim, the Zuzim in Ham, and the Emim in Shaveh-kiryataim,6and the Horites in the hill country of Seir as far as El-Paran, which is beside the wilderness.7Then they came again to En-mishpat (this is Kadesh), and they subdued all the territory of the Amalekites, as well as the Amorites who live in Hazazon-tamar.8Then the king of Sodom, the king of Gomorrah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (this is Zoar) went out and lined themselves up for battle with them in the Valley of the Siddim,9against Chedorlaomer king of Elam, Tidal king of Goiim, Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar: four kings against five.10Now the Valley of the Siddim was full of tar pits, and as the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, they fell into them, and those who remained fled to the hills.11So they took all of Sodom and Gomorrah’s possessions and their food and left.12They also took Lot, Abram’s nephew, and his possessions, and they left (as he was living in Sodom).13Then a survivor came and told Abram the Hebrew, who was dwelling by the large trees belonging to Mamre the Amorite, the brother of Eschol and the brother of Aner—they were Abram’s allies.14When Abram heard that his kinsman had been taken captive, he rallied his trained men, those born in his household, 318 of them, and went in pursuit as far as Dan.15Then he divided his servants against them at night, and he defeated them and pursued them as far as Hovah, which is north of Damascus.16He brought back all the possessions, and also brought back his kinsman Lot and his possessions, as well as the women and the other people.–from Genesis 14
You know how some people try to say that the tithe was an Old Testament law thing. Know how some people try to say that the tithe shouldn’t matter anymore with the power of the law having been broken by Jesus? Do you realize it was out of the outpouring of a man’s heart that the first tithe took place? Do you realize it wasn’t a commandment or a law, but that it was something that was started out of the right heart in a situation? Watch Abram as they come back from this big victory…Who do you want to give all the praise, the honor, and the glory to? Will you let anyone other than God receive it?
Melech-Tzedek, King of Salem17Now after he returned from defeating Chedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet him in the Valley of Shaveh (this is the King’s Valley).18Then Melechizedek , king of Salem, brought out bread and wine—he was a priest of El Elyon.19He blessed him and said, “Blessed be Abram by El Elyon, Creator of heaven and earth,20and blessed be El Elyon, Who gave over your enemies Into your hand.” Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.21Then the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the people—the possessions take for yourself.”22But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I raise my hand in oath to Adonai, El Elyon, Creator of heaven and earth.23Not a thread or even a sandal strap of all that is yours will I take, so you will not say, ‘I’ve made Abram rich!’24I claim nothing but what the young men have eaten, and the share of the men who went with me—Aner, Eschol, and Mamre—let them take their share.”–from Genesis 14
Would you allow the threats of man keep you from doing what God is calling and asking you to do? Would you give up your call from God to fear of man? You do realize that they might be able to cause physical harm, but they can’t touch your soul and your plans in eternity, right? You realize that the fear of man is a snare where as trust in God will keep you safe, right? Do you realize God can put questions in the mouths of others in order to provide you a door to even greater testimony of Him? Imagine if you were there when Peter and John had this experience in Acts.
Standing Before the Sanhedrin1As Peter and John were speaking to the people, the kohanim and the captain of the Temple and the Sadducees came up to them.2They were indignant because Peter and John were teaching the people and announcing in Yeshua the resurrection of the dead.3So they grabbed them and put them in jail until the next day, for it was already evening.4But many who heard the message believed, and the number of the men came to about five thousand.5On the next day, the rulers and elders and Torah scholars were gathered together in Jerusalem.6Annas the kohen gadol was there, and Caiaphas and John and Alexander, and all those who were of high-priestly descent.7When they had placed Peter and John in their midst, they began to inquire, “By what power or in what name did you do this?”8Then Peter, filled with the Ruach ha-Kodesh, said to them, “Rulers and elders of the people!9If we are on trial today for a mitzvah done for a sick man, as to how this fellow was healed,10let it be known to all of you and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Yeshua ha-Mashiach ha-Natzrati—whom you had crucified, whom God raised from the dead—this one stands before you whole.11This Yeshua is ‘the stone—rejected by you, the builders—that has become the chief cornerstone.’12There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved!”13Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John and figured out they were laymen without training, they were amazed. They began to realize that these men had been with Yeshua.14But seeing the healed man standing with them, they had nothing to say in response.15When they had ordered Peter and John to go out of the council chamber, they began to confer with one another,16saying, “What shall we do with these men? For indeed, it’s obvious to everyone living in Jerusalem that a remarkable miracle has happened through them, and we cannot deny it.17But so it won’t spread any further among the people, let’s warn them not to speak anymore to anyone in this name.”18So they called them in and ordered them not to speak or teach at all in the name of Yeshua.19But Peter and John replied, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you decide.20For we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.”21After threatening them again, they let them go—finding no way they could punish them on account of the people, because they all were glorifying God for what had happened.22For the man in whom this miracle of healing had happened was more than forty years old.–from Acts 4
And don’t bottle it up! Don’t keep it to yourself! Share it to build up and encourage those around you! Allow them to hear how God spoke in and through you! Share it with them so that they won’t be in fear, but will be bold and courageous in their situations and circumstances.
Prayer for Courage23As soon as they were released, Peter and John went to their own people and reported all that the ruling kohanim and elders had said to them.24When they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, “O Sovereign Master, ‘You made heaven and earth and the sea, and everything in them.’25You said by the Ruach ha-Kodesh, through the mouth of our father David Your servant, ‘Why did the nations rage and the peoples plot foolish things?26The kings of the earth took their stand and the rulers were gathered together against Adonai and against His Anointed One.’27“For truly both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, were gathered together in this city against Your holy ServantYeshua, whom You anointed.28They did whatever Your hand and Your purpose predetermined to happen.29And now, Lord, look at their threats, and grant Your servants to speak Your word with utmost courage—30while You stretch out Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy Servant Yeshua.”31When they had prayed, the place where they were gathered was shaken. And they were all filled with the Ruach ha-Kodesh and began to speak the word of God with boldness.–from Acts 4
So let’s come together in unity! Let’s come together in one accord! Let’s be helping those who are in need! Let’s be serving those who are in need! Let’s be sharing with those who are in need!
Ruach-Filled Community Life32Now the whole group of those who believed was one in heart and mind. No one would say anything he owned was his own, but they had everything in common.33With great power the emissaries were giving witness to the resurrection of the Lord Yeshua, and abundant favor was upon them all.34No one among them was needy, for all who were owners of lands or houses would sell them and bring the proceeds35and set them at the feet of the emissaries. And the proceeds were distributed according to the need each one had.36Now Joseph, also called Barnabas by the emissaries (which is translated Son of Encouragement), was a Levite and native of Cyprus.37He sold a field that he owned and brought the money and laid it at the feet of the emissaries.–from Acts 4
Let’s allow our lives here to be a representation of the lives that are yet to come. Let’s do it now so that people will come to realize now who God is and how much He loves them! Let’s do it now so that people will come to know Him before it is too late! Let’s do it now so that people will be able to make the decision before it is too late! Let’s do it now, so that they will get to be a part of the incredible future that is yet to come! Let’s do it now, so that they will be in the book of life!
Today’s reading concludes in Revelation 21 as follows…
A New Heaven and a New Earth1Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.2I also saw the holy city—the New Jerusalem—coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.3I also heard a loud voice from the throne, saying, “Behold, the dwelling of God is among men, and He shall tabernacle among them. They shall be His people, and God Himself shall be among them and be their God.4He shall wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more. Nor shall there be mourning or crying or pain any longer, for the former things have passed away.”5And the One seated upon the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new!” Then He said, “Write, for these words are trustworthy and true.”6Then He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will freely give from the spring of the water of life.7The one who overcomes shall inherit these things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son.8But for the cowardly and faithless and detestable and murderers and sexually immoral and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars—their lot is in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”
The New Jerusalem9Then came one of the seven angels holding the seven bowls full of the seven final plagues, and he spoke with me, saying, “Come, I will show you the bride, the wife of the Lamb.”10Then he carried me away in the Ruach to a great and high mountain, and he showed me the holy city, Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God,11having the glory of God—her radiance like a most precious stone, like a jasper, sparkling like crystal.12She had a great, high wall, with twelve gates, and above the gates twelve angels. On the gates were inscribed the names of the twelve tribes of Bnei-Yisrael—13three gates on the east, three gates on the north, three gates on the south, and three gates on the west.14And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and on them the twelve names of the twelve emissaries of the Lamb.15The angel speaking with me had a gold measuring rod to measure the city and its gates and walls.16The city is laid out as a square—its length the same as its width. He measured the city with the rod—12,000 stadia. Its length and width and height are equal.17He also measured its wall—144 cubits by human measurement, which is also an angel’s measurement.18The material of the city’s wall was jasper, while the city was pure gold, clear as glass.19The foundations of the city wall were decorated with every kind of precious stone—the first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, chalcedony; the fourth, emerald;20the fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, carnelian; the seventh, yellow topaz; the eighth; beryl; the ninth, topaz; the tenth, chrysoprase; the eleventh, jacinth; the twelfth, amethyst.21And the twelve gates were twelve pearls—each of the gates was from a single pearl. And the street of the city was pure gold, transparent as glass.22I saw no temple in her, for its Temple is Adonai Elohei-Tzva’ot and the Lamb.23And the city has no need for the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God lights it up, and its lamp is the Lamb.24The nations shall walk by its light, and the kings of the earth bring their glory into it.25Its gates shall never be shut by day, for there shall be no night there!26And they shall bring into it the glory and honor of the nations.27And nothing unholy shall ever enter it, nor anyone doing what is detestable or false, but only those written in the Book of Life.–from Revelation 21