There is so much to our lives. There are so many things that could of, should of, would of. There are so many things we did. There are so many things we finished. There are so many things we accomplished. So take care of yourself so that in the end you will be like Abraham, old and satisfied.
That is where today’s reading starts in Genesis 25, with Abraham and his death at an old age and his descendants.
Abraham’s Old Age and Descendants1Now Abraham took another wife—her name was Keturah.2She bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak and Shuah.3Jokshan fathered Sheba and Dedan. Dedan’s sons were Asshurim, Letushim and Leummim.4Midian’s sons were Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida and Eldaah. All of these were Keturah’s sons.5Now Abraham gave everything that he had to Isaac,6but to the sons of Abraham’s concubines, Abraham had given gifts and sent them away from his son Isaac while he was still living, eastward to the land of the east.7Now these are the days of the years of Abraham’s life that he lived: 175 years.8So Abraham breathed his last and died at a good old age, old and satisfied. Then he was gathered to his peoples.9Then Isaac and Ishmael his sons buried him in the cave of Machpelah in the field of Ephron son of Zohar the Hittite, next to Mamre,10the field that Abraham bought from the sons of Heth. There Abraham is buried along with Sarah his wife.11After Abraham’s death, God blessed Isaac his son, and Isaac lived near Beer-lahai-roi.12Now these are the genealogies of Ishmael, Abraham’s son, whom Hagar, Sarah’s Egyptian slave-girl, bore to Abraham.13These are the names of the sons of Ishmael, by their names according to their descendants: Ishmael’s firstborn, Nebaioth, then Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam,14Mishma, Dumah, Massa,15Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish and Kedem.16These are Ishmael’s sons and these are their names, by their unwalled and walled settlements, twelve princes according to their clans.17These are the years of Ishmael’s life: 137 years. He breathed his last, died and was gathered to his peoples.18Then they dwelled from Havilah to Shur, which is east of Egypt as you go toward Assyria. Over against all his brothers he fell.–from Genesis 25
Today’s reading continues into the story of Isaac’s children. Ever noticed how similar and yet at the same time so different siblings can be? Ever watch how their interests are so different? Ever watch how their responses are so different? Ever watch and wonder how those differences will materialize? Genesis 25 continues speaking to Esau and Jacob…
Esau and Jacob19Now these are the genealogies of Isaac, Abraham’s son. Abraham fathered Isaac.20Isaac was 40 years old when he took for himself Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean from Paddan-aram, the sister of Laban the Aramean, to be his wife.21Isaac prayed to Adonai on behalf of his wife because she was barren.Adonai answered his plea and his wife Rebekah became pregnant.22But the children struggled with one another inside her, and she said, “If it’s like this, why is this happening to me?” So she went to inquire of Adonai.23Adonai said to her: “Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples from your body will be separated. One people will be stronger than the other people, but the older will serve the younger.”24When her time came to give birth, indeed there were twins in her womb.25Now the first came out reddish, all of him was like a fur coat, and they named him Esau.26Afterward his brother came out with his hand holding onto Esau’s heel—so he was named Jacob. Isaac was 60 years old when he fathered them.27When the boys grew up, Esau became a man knowledgeable in hunting, an outdoorsman, while Jacob was a mild man, remaining in tents.28Now Isaac loved Esau because he had a taste for wild game, but Rebekah loved Jacob.29Now Jacob cooked a stew. When Esau came in from the field, he was exhausted,30so Esau said to Jacob, “Please feed me some of this really red stuff, because I’m exhausted”—that is why he is called Edom.31So Jacob said, “Sell your birthright to me today.”32Esau said, “Look, I’m about to die. Of whatever use is this to me—a birthright?”33Jacob said, “Make a pledge to me now.” So he made a pledge to him, and sold his birthright to Jacob.34Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank, then got up and left. So Esau despised his birthright.–from Genesis 25
Do you realize what you have? Do you realize the value? Would you ever give it up or give it away? You need to realize how important and how valuable you are!
Trust God and be obedient to Him! Things may get tough but don’t walk away from God! Things may get challenging but don’t walk away from God! Stick with Him! Ask Him for wisdom! Follow His instruction and His lead so that His perfect plan can be completed in and through your life! We need to walk in faith! God will protect us from our fears, but He tells us not to fear, just believe! As true as that is, have you ever felt fear? Courage isn’t the absence of fear, it is being able to do it in spite of your fear! Trust God! Live under His hand, His blessings, His love!
Today’s reading continues with a great challenge in Genesis 26…
Confirming the Covenant with Isaac1Now there was a famine in the land—aside from the previous famine that happened in Abraham’s days. So Isaac went to King Abimelech of the Philistines, to Gerar.2Then Adonai appeared to him and said, “Do not go down to Egypt. Dwell in the land about which I tell you.3Live as an outsider in this land and I will be with you and bless you—for to you and to your seed I give all these lands—and I will confirm my pledge that I swore to Abraham your father.4I will multiply your seed like the stars of the sky and I will give your seed all these lands. And in your seed all the nations of the earth will continually be blessed,5because Abraham listened to My voice and kept My charge, My mitzvot, My decrees, and My instructions.”6So Isaac stayed in Gerar.7Now the men of the place asked about his wife. So he said, “She is my sister,” because he was afraid to say, “my wife”—“or else the men of the place would kill me on account of Rebekah, because she’s good looking.”8Now after he had been there for a long time, King Abimelech of the Philistines peered down through the window and saw, behold, Isaac caressing his wife Rebekah.9So Abimelech called Isaac and said, “So in fact she’s your wife! Now how could you say, ‘She’s my sister’?” Isaac said to him, “Because I said, ‘Or else I might die because of her.’”10Then Abimelech said, “What is it that you’ve done to us? One of the people could have easily slept with your wife and you would’ve brought guilt on us.”11So Abimelech commanded all the people saying, “Whoever touches this man or his wife will surely die!”
Adonai Blesses Isaac12Then Isaac sowed in that land and in that year reaped a hundredfold.Adonai blessed him13and the man became great and continued to become greater until he became very great.14He acquired livestock of sheep and livestock of cattle, and numerous servants. Then the Philistines envied him.15All the wells that his father’s servants had dug in the days of his father Abraham the Philistines stopped up and filled with dirt.16So Abimelech said to Isaac, “Go away from us, for you are much more powerful than us.”17So Isaac departed from there, camped in the Valley of Gerar and dwelled there.18Then Isaac dug again the wells of water that had been dug in the days of his father Abraham—the Philistines had stopped them up after Abraham’s death. He gave them the same names that his father had given them.19Then Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and found a well of living water there.20But the shepherds of Gerar quarreled with Isaac’s shepherds saying, “The water is ours!” So he named the well Quarrel, because they quarreled with him.21Then he dug another well and they quarreled over it too, so he named it Accusation.22Then he moved from there and dug another well, and they did not quarrel over it. So he named it Wide Spaces and said, “Because now Adonai has created wide spaces for us and we will be fruitful in the land.”23He went up from there to Beer-sheba.24Adonai appeared to him that night and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham. Do not be afraid, for I am with you, and I will bless you and multiply your seed for the sake of Abraham my servant.”25So he built an altar there and called on the Name of Adonai. He pitched his tent there and Isaac’s servants hollowed out a well there.
Covenant of Isaac and Abimelech26Now Abimelech went to him from Gerar along with Achuzzat his friend and Phicol the commander of his army.27Isaac said to them, “Why have you come to me, since you hate me and sent me away from you?”28They said, “We’ve clearly seen that Adonai has been with you. So we said, ‘Let there now be an agreement between us—between us and you—and let us make a covenant with you:29that you will do us no harm, just as we haven’t touched you and just as we did nothing to you but good, and sent you away in shalom. You are now blessed by Adonai.”30Then he made a feast for them and they ate and drank.31Then they got up early in the morning and made a pledge, each to his brother. Then Isaac sent them away and they departed from him in shalom.32Now it happened that on that day Isaac’s servants came and told him about the well that they dug, and said to him, “We’ve found water.”33So he called it Pledge. That is why the city’s name is Beer-sheba to this day.34When Esau was 40 years old, he took as wife Judith the daughter of Be-eri the Hittite, and Basemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite.35But they caused a bitterness of spirit for Isaac and Rebekah.–from Genesis 26
Are you ready for a divine encounter? Are you living a life seeking and asking and desiring God’s will? Have you received the baptism of the Holy Spirit? Consider this next story and consider how you might be able to receive this message and be transformed for the rest of your life…
The Centurion’s Vision1Now in Caesarea there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion of what was called the Italian Cohort.2He was a devout man, revering God with all his household. He gavetzadakah generously to the people and prayed to God continually.3About the ninth hour of the day, he saw clearly in a vision an angel of God coming and saying to him, “Cornelius!”4He stared at him in terror and said, “What is it, Lord?” The angel said to him, “Your prayers and tzadakah have gone up as a memorial offering before God.5Now send men to Joppa and call for Simon, also named Peter.6He is being entertained as a guest by Simon the tanner, whose house is beside the sea.”7When the angel speaking to him had left, he called two of his servants and a soldier from among those attached to his command.8After he explained everything to them, he sent them to Joppa.
Peter’s Vision9The next day, as the soldiers were traveling and approaching the city, Peter went up to the rooftop to pray, at about the sixth hour.10Now he became very hungry and wanted to eat; but while they were preparing something, he fell into a trance.11He saw the heavens opened, and something like a great sheet coming down, lowered by its four corners to the earth.12In it were all sorts of four-footed animals and reptiles and birds of the air.13A voice came to him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”14But Peter said, “Certainly not, Lord! For never have I eaten anything unholy or unclean.”15Again a voice came to him, a second time: “What God has made clean, you must not consider unholy.”16This happened three times, and the sheet was immediately taken up to heaven.17Now while Peter was puzzling about what the vision he had seen might mean, behold, the men sent by Cornelius found Simon’s house and appeared before the gate.18They called out and began to ask whether Simon, also called Peter, was staying in this place as a guest.19Now while Peter was mulling over the vision, the Ruach said to him, “Look here, three men are looking for you.20But get up, go downstairs, and go with them without hesitating, because I Myself have sent them.”21Going down to the men, Peter said, “Here, I’m the one you’re looking for. What is the reason for your coming?”22And they said, “Cornelius, a centurion, a righteous and God-fearing man well-spoken of by all the Jewish people, was directed by a holy angel to summon you to his house and to hear a message from you.”23So Peter invited them in to be his guests. The next day he got up and went with them, and some of the brothers from Joppa accompanied him.
Peter Goes to Cornelius24The following day he entered Caesarea. Cornelius was waiting for them and had called together his relatives and close friends.25As Peter entered, Cornelius met him and fell down at his feet and worshiped him.26But Peter pulled him up, saying, “Stand up! I too am just a man.”27Talking with him, Peter went inside and found many people gathered.28He said to them, “You yourselves know that it is not permitted for a Jewish man to associate with a non-Jew or to visit him. Yet God has shown me that I should call no one unholy or unclean.29So I came without objection when I was sent for. I ask, then, what is the reason why you sent for me?”30Cornelius declared, “Four days ago at this hour, I was praying minchah in my house. Suddenly, a man stood in front of me in shining clothes.31He says, ‘Cornelius, your prayer has been heard and your tzadakahremembered before God.32Therefore send to Joppa and ask for Simon, who is also called Peter. He is staying in the house of Simon the tanner, by the sea.’33So I sent for you immediately, and you have been kind enough to come. Now then, we are all here before God to hear all that you have been commanded by the Lord.”34Then Peter opened his mouth and said, “I truly understand that God is not one to show favoritism,35but in every nation the one who fears Him and does what is right is acceptable to Him.36You know the message He sent to Bnei-Yisrael, proclaiming shalomthrough Messiah Yeshua—He is Lord of all.37You know the message that has spread throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee after the immersion that John proclaimed.38You know how God anointed Yeshua of Natzeret with the Ruach ha-Kodesh and power—how He went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, because God was with Him.39We are witnesses to all He did, both in the Judean countryside and in Jerusalem. They put Him to death by hanging Him on a tree,40but God raised Him up on the third day and caused Him to be visible—41not to all the people, but to us, witnesses who were chosen beforehand by God. We ate and drank with Him after He rose from the dead.42And He commanded us to proclaim to the people and to testify that He is the One ordained by God as Judge of the living and the dead.43All the prophets testify about Him—that everyone who puts his trust in Him receives forgiveness of sins through His name.”
The Ruach Falls on the Gentiles44While Peter was still speaking these words, the Ruach ha-Kodesh fell on all those hearing the message.45All the circumcised believers who came with Peter were astonished, because the gift of the Ruach ha-Kodesh had been poured out even on the Gentiles.46For they were hearing them speaking in tongues and magnifying God. Then Peter answered,47“Can anyone refuse water for these to be immersed, who have received the Ruach ha-Kodesh just as we did?”48So he commanded them to be immersed in the name of Messiah Yeshua. Then they asked him to stay for a few days.–from Acts 10
Cornelius was obedient and sent for Paul. Paul was obedient and went with the men. Lives were transformed by the message of Jesus Christ to the point of the baptism of the Holy Spirit over the people that received the message of Jesus. They were also then baptized in water too.
When will it be your day? Could it be this week? Could it be that you would show up at church on Super Bowl Saturday or Sunday and spontaneously decide to get baptized? (Eastridge is doing that this coming weekend — some have gone through classes and are already signed up, but others will come out of their seats to celebrate Super Bowl through baptism.) Could it be that this coming weekend would have a lot more meaning to you than just football? If not now, then when? If not you, then who? If not here, then where? The choice is in your hands! A Bible believing and Bible preaching church is a great place to get rooted and to learn and grow in the things of God!