Genesis 31

Genesis 31
Even though Jacob had worked 20 years for his two wives, his children and his flock, Laban still says that they are his. Then Laban remembers his dream, so he decides to make a covenant with Jacob.
They set up a pillar of stones as a monument or a reminder every time they came to this place of the vow that was made. Not only was this a reminder to Jacob and Laban, but to their children and their children’s children. Jacob and Laban could tell their children of the covenant of peace made between them and tell of the pillar of stones that represented this covenant.
Today, we have a promise God made at the beginning of time that a Savior would come and die for us so that we could be in heaven with the Lord forever!
Our reminder is the cross that Jesus died on for our sins, and another reminder is the empty tomb proving that Jesus was God …come in the flesh and rose from the dead.
Another pillar we have today from God is the promise to never flood the earth with water again, and we are reminded of this every time we see a rainbow.
But even though God has given us these reminders, the world has perverted them.
We as Christians wear crosses because it’s a reminder that Jesus died for us.
But the world has taken this and perverted it also. You see rock and pop stars wearing crosses in their ears, around their neck, pierced on body parts and even tattooed in unspeakable places on their body. Some people do this because of their religious up bringing. They never had a personal relationship with Jesus. They have no idea what the cross represents. They just know they were taught to wear a cross because it’s a good thing to do, and it shows that you are a religious person.
The only problem with religion is that it’s man made and not of God!
Both Laban and Jacob had a name for the place they set up the pillar of stones. Laban called it Jegar Sahadutha, but Jacob called it Galeed. The interesting thing is they both mean the same thing, which is: “witness heap” . But Laban’s name for the place is Aramaic, whereas Jacob’s is Hebrew.
Even though Jacob had been gone from his home for over 20 years, he still spoke the language of his father, and still served the God of his father Isaac!
Just because we work at jobs of the world and the world is all around us. ..doesnt mean you should take on the form or appearance of the world to fit in.
We are to be separated from the things of the world, which means we are not to allow these things to influence us or control us.
Jacob was around greedy Laban and his son’s for 20 years, but he didn’t allow Laban’s lifestyle to interfere with his relationship with God or the things his father taught him.
This life journey can be hard, especially when we are tempted to become of this world. But if nothing else we should be that light on the hill. The difference , so that individuals are drawn to us. So they are able to say “There is something different about her”

Be the difference that radiates the relationship between you and God , not the religion that the world assumes it to be!

Stephanie

Genesis 29

 

Genesis 29
Jacob has returned to Heram. Heram was where we first met Abraham (or Abram as he was called then). God had just told Abram to leave Haran and go to a new place, which we now know as Israel.
It’s interesting that Jacob was about the same age as his great-grandfather Abraham when he left Haran.
God told Abraham to leave, but his descendants found a way back even though it was around 400 miles away.
Sometimes as kids we say, “I’ll never be like my parents” . But as we grow up we find out what they where teaching us was for our own good,
There was a purpose for Jacob returning to Haran and even his uncle Laban.Jacob was there for quite a while. Not just a few days or even months. No he will be there for over 14 years!
Do you feel like you’re stuck in your job, or even where you live?
Maybe you desire to leave but every time you try an obstacle gets in the way and you just can’t.
Maybe God has a purpose for where you are, whether at your job or where you live. You see there is a purpose for where you are right now!
Jacob meets his future wife in Heram
Gen 29:9-12 9 Now while he was still speaking with them, Rachel came with her father’s sheep, for she was a shepherdess. 10 And it came to pass, when Jacob saw Rachel the daughter of Laban his mother’s brother, and the sheep of Laban his mother’s brother, that Jacob went near and rolled the stone from the well’s mouth, and watered the flock of Laban his mother’s brother. 11 Then Jacob kissed Rachel, and lifted up his voice and wept. 12 And Jacob told Rachel that he was her father’s relative and that he was Rebekah’s son. So she ran and told her father.

Here we see that Jacob is just like his mother, by watering the flock of his future wife and father-in-law Laban.
Remember Rebecca did the same thing when Abraham’s servant went to find a wife for Isaac.
• Gen 24:19 And when she had finished giving him a drink, she said, “I will draw water for your camels also, until they have finished drinking.”
We saw that Rebecca taught Jacob to be a servant, but she also taught him how to deceive others, even his own brother.
So what are you teaching your children?
Do you tell them not to go to so certain things or behave a certain way….but you do?
In Genesis 29 the deception comes once again. Laban convinces Jacob to work for the marriage of Rachel
Gen 29:15-20 15 Then Laban said to Jacob, “Because you are my relative, should you therefore serve me for nothing? Tell me, what should your wages be?” 16 Now Laban had two daughters: the name of the elder was Leah, and the name of the younger was Rachel. 17 Leah’s eyes were delicate, but Rachel was beautiful of form and appearance. 18 Now Jacob loved Rachel; so he said, “I will serve you seven years for Rachel your younger daughter.” 19 And Laban said, “It is better that I give her to you than that I should give her to another man. Stay with me.” 20 So Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed only a few days to him because of the love he had for her.

Jacob deceived his father and in return he himself was deceived by Laban. Laban never told him about the custom they had of the first-born woman being married before any others. Jacob thought he was working for Rachel. In fact that was the agreement.
Jacob could not really argue with Laban, because he knew deception all to well himself.
Wow karma!

Genesis 28

Genesis 28
After Jacob is sent away ,Im sure Esau starts to think to himself, “Jacob has all the luck. He has the birthright, the blessing of the firstborn, and mom and dad are happy with him. They even sent him away with another blessing.
Jacob obeyed his father and mother…by going to Padan Aram to find a wife from his family line and not from the Canaanites. Esau may have figured this out. So he tries to make amends for marrying the two Canaanite women and goes and marries from Abraham’s family. Only he went to the wrong side of the family. He didn’t go to the chosen side, which was Isaac’s, but married Ishmael’s daughter. Ishmael was Esau’s uncle so he married his cousin. Esau was a man pleaser instead of a God pleaser!
Then there is Jacob…running for his life! Now Jacob went out from Beersheba and went toward Haran. So he came to a certain place and stayed there all night, because the sun had set. And he took one of the stones of that place and put it at his head, and he lay down in that place to sleep. Then he dreamed, and behold, a ladder was set up on the earth, and its top reached to heaven; and there the angels of God were ascending and descending on it.
And here God is giving Jacob the same promise He made to Abraham and Isaac. The promise of the land and descendants as the dust of the earth along with the blessing for the whole earth through his descendants, which is Jesus.
But at this time Jacob doesn’t even have a wife,
Has God made a promise to you, but things seem to be going wrong all the time? Have you forgotten God’s promise? We know that God did keep His promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

You may not see God’s promise come to pass in your lifetime. But it doesn’t mean it won’t.
Whatever it is that you are trusting God for, don’t ever give up! Keep praying and believing in God.
As God promised to Jacob: I am with you and will keep you wherever you go He will not leave you nor forsake you either!
Be blessed!

Stephanie

Genesis 23-24

Genesis 23-24
Sarah has died and we see that Abraham has made it his quest to find a Godly wife for Issac
He placed this responsibility upon his servant , knowing that God would surely provide the right wife.. Two things were important… First Abraham wanted to make sure Issac did not marry a Cannanite and second he did not want Issac going back to the land he came from.
This servant Abraham entrusted had no name but no doubt he know about the God Abraham served. He trusted him as well!
Are the people around you in tune and aware of the God you serve. Enough that you can trust them with your well being? Praying for you?
Then enters Rebekah who excludes the perfect qualities
Her family also knew and trusted Gods will for her life. Allowing her to return and be married to Issac…a man they had never met
This is the perfect love story…trusting and obeying Gods will for your life even when the outcome may not be fully clear! Abrahams servant was praying and totally in tune with God. Letting Him ordain his every step. Are you praying for a Godly mate and yet neglecting to pray that God make you a Godly woman or man?
Abide in God and blessings will follow!

Stephanie

Genesis 21-22

Genesis 21-22
Issac is born to Sarah. It seems that Abraham is not in high spirits. Perhaps due to moral conscience? However Sarah is overjoyed…so much that jealousy creeps in again and she demands Hagar and Ishmael be sent away!
Both Abraham and Sarah are not at their best in this chapter
But here is kicker. God came through on his promise!!! Even when faith is at its lowest
Unfortunately our lack of faith and disobedience can cause a delay…yet Gods word is guaranteed!
We see Abraham’s faith at its height in Genesis 22 when he trust God enough to considering sacrificing his own son
Have you ever noticed that Abraham said “we will be back”
Our words mirror our hearts…our faith
Share your thoughts on Genesis 21-22!

Genesis 20-

Genesis 20
Here we go again!..
Abraham once again tries to pass Sarah off as his sister. The same sin he fell in in Genesis 12…You see how easy it is to slip back into old sinful habits??
But take note Sarah must have been one beautiful woman… Even in her older years..she was still desired by other men ..and still passing easily as Abrams sister! 🙂
….and she never said a word.
Whatever Abrams excuse…perhaps he thought he was sparing his family, feeling like all cities were just as wicked as Sodom and Gomorah._
So God has to intervene again
King Abimelech is warned in a dream..in fact God said He would strike him dead!! If he touched Sarah. Some situations are just that urgent and this one was. You see Sarah’s womb was going to bring forth the son of the promise!
Once again God has to rebuke Abraham
Abraham says the fear of God is not in this place….when actually the fear of God was not in Abraham! He even tries to blame God “When God called me to wander from fathers house”..and lastly he uses the old half truth of “Well indeed Sarah is my sister” Really?? Abraham knew he really had messed up..
If He really respected the Lord…his commandments, his promises and his protection He would not have placed his family in his own hands and trusted his own actions to keep his family together!

You noticed that Abraham had no problem accepting gifts from Abimelech when previously in Genesis 14, he refused gifts from a pagan king because he wanted no one to think a man had made him rich.
Sin compromises us. After a while it gets harder and harder for us to stand on our moral character.
So here is my question to you…
How many more excuses do you have for not trusting God with your situation!

Genesis 19-Don’t Look Back

Genesis 19
Don’t Look Back
Wow Sodom….And you thought your neighborhood was bad.
Sodom is nothing new…its all around us…and it will be just like this in the last days.
Luke 17:28-30 28 “Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; 29 “but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. 30 “Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.
Lots decision affected his whole family, and one of those decisions was not a good one wanting to give his daughters over to the perverted men of the city!
How could any father give his daughters to be taken by a mob of perverts, just to protect two strangers? Whatever Lot’s motives were, we see here an illustration of Sodom’s terrible wickedness — a wickedness so great that God had to destroy the entire city!
I often wonder why Lot was still hanging around the next morning?…..
Gen 19:15-16 15 When the morning dawned, the angels urged Lot to hurry, saying, “Arise, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be consumed in the punishment of the city.” 16 And while he lingered, the men took hold of his hand, his wife’s hand, and the hands of his two daughters, the LORD being merciful to him, and they brought him out and set him outside the city.

Sometimes when we get into a rut and God has to grab us by the hand and pull us out of where we are, because it’s just not good for us there anymore!.
They refused to listen to God’s word being spoken, or even listening to the authorities which Lot was. The people wanted to just live their own way because it was OK in their own eyes. Just like the world does today.
• Luke 17:30-33 (NLT) 30 Yes, it will be ‘business as usual’ right up to the hour when the Son of Man returns. 31 On that day a person outside the house must not go into the house to pack. A person in the field must not return to town. 32 Remember what happened to Lot’s wife! 33 Whoever clings to this life will lose it, and whoever loses this life will save it.
And there is Lots wife….She was not only still concerned with the people, but also her heart was towards them more so then the Lord. She allowed the things of this world to have precedent over her life rather then God. Lot’s wife was not only looking back, but the original wording indicates that she was going back to Sodom. She was doing what Jesus spoke about in Luke. Whoever clings to this life will lose it,
She was clinging to the things of this world!.
What’s so important in your life that you are willing to turn your back on God?
Maybe there is something or someone that has caused you to take your eye’s off of God and turn your back on Him.
Lot did not start out in Sodom and Gomorrah, but was in the surrounding cities slowly making his way towards Sodom and Gomorrah.
That’s how sin starts, it seems so innocent and we try to get as close to it as we can without being a part of it. But soon we find ourselves in the midst of it, just as Lot had.

So next time you wonder “How did I get into this mess?” or “How did I fall into this sin?” look back at your tracks and you will see how you played with sin, getting as close to it as you could until it over took you.
But through all this the scriptures says this about Lot.
• 2 Peter 2:7 and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked
Lot was righteous. But Lot wasn’t righteous because of his lifestyle. But rather because of God’s grace.
And even though he was a righteous man, we see the result of the life style that Lot brought his family into….look at the issues that took place
Because Lot choose not only to live by Sodom, but in the city, the result was his wife desired the city, and the people, and turned to go back as God was destroying the city. The result of this was her death by being turned into a pillar of salt.
Second his son in laws did not believe him and made fun of him as he tried to warn them. The result once again was their death, being destroyed in the city.
Finally Lot’s daughters committed a sin by lying with their father Lot to have children. Remember the city of Sodom and Gomorrah were sexually perverse cities and it didn’t phase the girls of what they were doing with their father, since they probably heard and even knew of many people who did the same thing in the city. Some of them may have even been friends of theirs.
Your sin affects a lot more than just YOU! It impacts the generations to come…
But even through all this sin with Lot’s family God is still glorified through it all…..wow

But we forget that we can not earn our way into heaven, or even earn our gifts. They are all a free gift to those who ask. God is not someone who will give you something and take it back because you messed up.
We all mess up everyday, many times each day. We can’t base our salvation, service or love for the Lord and His love for us based on our actions. But rather we must base it on His undying love for us and His Son’s love for you!