January 05

Read Genesis 13 -- 15

In Today's Reading:

A life-changing message is found in today's reading! God said: Lift up now your eyes, look now, Arise, walk, and he believed. We are witnesses that verse 15:5 has indeed been fulfilled! Do you see the progression of blessings as Abraham continues to put Lot and his family ahead of himself? Fifteen is a key chapter in understanding the development of faith.

The three covenant promises God makes to Abram -- land, descendants, and blessing -- are the very foundation to His program of bringing salvation upon the earth. Are you able to identify who Melchizedek really is? (Compare Hebrews 6:20:8).

Verse for Today:

The Lord said to Abram, after that Lot was separated from him, Lift up now your eyes, and look from the place where you are northward, and southward, and eastward, and westward (Genesis 13:14).

Highlights:

Abram and Lot separate; Abram moves to Hebron and builds an altar; Abram rescues Lot; Melchizedek blesses Abram; God's Covenant with Abram.

God had promised to give Abram all the Land of Canaan (Genesis 12:7). Yet Abram was willing to give Lot the first choice of all the land in an attempt to end the strife between the herdsmen of Abram's cattle and the herdsmen of Lot's cattle (13:7).

Lot exposed his greediness and lack of appreciation to his uncle, who had made it possible for him to have so much, when he chose all the well-watered plains near Sodom. His decision meant losing daily fellowship with Abram, who would become the father of all who believe (Romans 4:11).

What a contrast between Abram and Lot! Lot lifted up his eyes to see material gain, but Abram lifted up his eyes to see a faithful God.

Lot, who chose this world's gain, soon lost all his possessions. But Abram was willing to give up the best land in order to maintain peace with his fellowman. Abram's foremost desire was to please his Lord, and, in doing so, he received eternal riches and rewards.

The spiritual rewards with which God compensates Christians for the loss of any material wealth and popular esteem far exceed what we give up for His sake. Our Lord, the Creator of all things, has assured us: There is no man that has left house, or brethren . . . or wife, or children, or lands, for My sake, and the Gospel's, But he shall receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren . . . and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life (Mark 10:29-30).

A Thought from Proverbs: When wisdom enters into your heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto your soul; Discretion shall preserve you, understanding shall keep you (2:10-11).

Christ Portrayed:

By the high priest, Melchizedek (Genesis 14:18-20; Hebrews 4:15-16; 5:5-10; 7:1-4). Christ is our High Priest today who is interceding in prayer for us and who is deserving of our gifts and service to Him (Hebrews 7:24-25; Isaiah 53:12).

Prayer Needs:

Government Officials: Rep. Thomas Davis (VA), Sen. Mike DeWine (OH), Rep. Chris John (LA), Rep. Nancy Johnson (CT), and Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (NY) · Pray for your Pastor · Country: Morocco (30 million) on the northwestern coast of Africa · Major languages: Arabic and French · Government very hostile to Christians and missions · 99+% Muslim; .5% Christian · Prayer Suggestion: Glorify the person, character, and attributes of God as you pray a prayer of praise (Psalms 8).

Optional Reading: Matthew 5

Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 1:23