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    Abraham, characterized by unwavering obedience

    Genesis 22:1–14 is part of the lectionary readings for the fourth Sunday after Pentecost, which is June 28th. In chapter 20, we see Abraham repeating a sin he had committed earlier (12:10–20). Specifically, after moving into the Negev (southern Israel), Abraham again identified Sarah as his sister in order to protect himself. Abimelech, the king of Gerar, took Sarah into his harem. Before long, God warned Abimelech to return Sarah to Abraham. For a second time, Abraham found himself reprimanded by a pagan king for lying. Yet, then Abimelech gave Abraham such material benefits as sheep, cattle, and slaves, along with clearing Sarah’s name (reputation). The stage was now set…

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    The Mother of All Virtues

     “Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point…A chastity or honesty or mercy which yields to danger will be chaste or honest or merciful only on conditions. Pilate was merciful until it became risky,” C.S. Lewis What will you undertake this coming year that will require courage? God’s people have always been called to bravery. Obeying God, especially when it’s to our own disadvantage, is the crux of the Christian life. Scripture tells multiple stories of those who demonstrated true bravery in the context of their times. In Joshua 1:1-9, God instructed Joshua to lead His people into the Promised…

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    Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus

    He could have kept a distance, withholding his immanence from the shepherd tending a flock. But, there he was: appearing in a fire that burned, yet did not consume its bushy host. God himself had come. And the shepherd, unable to behold such glory, hid his face while God continued, “’I’ve seen the afflictions and heard the groaning of my people. I know their suffering andI have come down to deliver them out of Egyptian oppression and lead them into a broad land flowing with milk and honey.’” He could have delivered the once-enslaved Israelites from afar. But, there he was: appearing each evening as a flaming fire and each…

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    Heartprints

    When Obedience Isn’t A Product of Faith

    I'm a parent of two beautiful young ladies. My oldest is studying to be a family counselor. My youngest is an RN, working in administration, overseeing the functions of an entire department of a hospital. I am very proud of them and their achievements. I love who they are as sweet caring people and I admire the way they have worked hard to get ahead in life. I wouldn’t trade them for the world. Desiring to raise our girls in a Christian home, we taught them that God’s Word says for children to obey their parents. We had consequences when they didn’t. Obedience seemed easier for our oldest. Our younger…

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    Abraham, characterized by unwavering obedience

    Title: Abraham, characterized by unwavering obedience Aim: To encourage trusting God through life’s tests. Scripture: Genesis 22:1–19   God’s stark command to Abraham, Genesis 22:1–2   In Genesis 20, we see Abraham repeating a sin he had committed earlier (12:10-20). Specifically, after moving into the Negev, Abraham again identified Sarah as his sister in order to protect himself.   Abimelech, the king of Gerar, took Sarah into his harem. Before long, God warned Abimelech to return Sarah to Abraham.   For a second time, Abraham found himself reprimanded by a pagan king for lying. Yet, then Abimelech gave Abraham such material benefits as sheep, cattle, and slaves, along with clearing…

  • Impact

    Abraham, characterized by unwavering obedience

    Title: Abraham, characterized by unwavering obedience Aim: To encourage trusting God through life’s tests. Scripture: Genesis 22:1–19   God’s stark command to Abraham, Genesis 22:1–2   In Genesis 20, we see Abraham repeating a sin he had committed earlier (12:10-20). Specifically, after moving into the Negev, Abraham again identified Sarah as his sister in order to protect himself.   Abimelech, the king of Gerar, took Sarah into his harem. Before long, God warned Abimelech to return Sarah to Abraham.   For a second time, Abraham found himself reprimanded by a pagan king for lying. Yet, then Abimelech gave Abraham such material benefits as sheep, cattle, and slaves, along with clearing…

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    The Son’s Transfiguration

    Title: The Son’s Transfiguration Aim: To assess how our devotion to the Savior can strengthen our understanding of His teachings. Scripture: Mark 9:2–13   The mountaintop experience, Mark 9:2–4   Sometime during the last year of Jesus’ earthly ministry, He told His disciples that He would be executed and then rise from the dead (Mark 8:31-32). Not even Peter, one of Jesus’ closest followers, could prevent this series of events from happening (v. 33).   The Messiah stated that those who give Him complete control of their lives are His genuine followers and would be eternally blessed. In contrast, those who reject Him would experience eternal loss (vv. 34–38).    Mark 9:1 records…

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    Living in Obscurity: Am I Missing God’s Plan for Me?

    Today I'm grateful to have guest blogger Seana Scott here to share her heart with you:  Friends from college are abolishing slavery. Neighbors are fostering to adopt. A family’s church planting in Poland, and the mom with a van full of kids is launching a book. Meanwhile, am I missing God’s plan for me? Because I shuffle through my ordinary day—a grocery run, teaching my toddler shapes with a Melissa and Doug puzzle, ready-to-cook stir fry tossed in a pan, bedtime reading of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.  And I try to push aside the feeling of missing out on “bigger” things for Jesus.  The kids now lie asleep, and I settle…

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    Heartprints

    Teaching Children to Live Love

    Obedience is one of the universal things that both parents and teachers seek to produce in children. As Christians obedience done with a wrong motive may look like obedience to us but it falls short. When it comes to obeying God, the heart attitude is as important as the action. A simple observation of their actions will not be enough to prove Biblical obedience. Sometimes a child gets it right by accident. They didn’t intentionally decide to obey but circumstances were such that without thinking about it they chose the right action. There are children who obey for fear of the punishment and with resentment in their heart. Other children…

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    Heartprints

    GOD’S KINGDOM OBJECT LESSON

      God has a kingdom.  Jesus came to herald the coming of that kingdom, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns too, for that is what I was sent to do.” Luke 4:43 Net Bible. When Jesus sends out the seventy, He tells them to say, “The kingdom of God has come upon you!” Luke 10:9b  Net Bible. Interestingly in that same passage Jesus makes this comment as well, “The one who listens to you listens to me, and the one who rejects you rejects me, and the one who rejects me rejects the one who sent me.” Luke 10:16 Net Bible. Do you…