Highlights In Today's Reading:
A life-changing message is found in today's reading! Do you see the blessings increasing as Abram allows Lot to take advantage of him rather than demand his rights? 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 plan for bringing salvation to all who obey His Word (Matthew 7:24,26; Luke 8:21; John 14:15)..
After these things the Word of the Lord came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward. And Abram said, Lord God, what wilt Thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus . . . And he believed in the Lord; and He counted it to him for righteousness (Genesis 15:1-2,6).
Abram reached the age 80 and was still childless. Humanly speaking it seemed very unlikely that God's promise, I will make of thee a great nation (12:2), could be fulfilled — at least in the way he desired it. So Abram began to consider some other person through whom the promise would be fulfilled. Abram confessed in prayer his fears: Lord, what wilt Thou give me, seeing I go childless. This was not a prayer of unbelief in God's power to perform His promise but rather a searching as to how it should be accomplished. Could his expectations have been misunderstood? God knew Abram's thoughts and revealed Himself to him for the fifth time encouraging him to fear not.
The Lord assured Abram that he was not to look to Eliezer of Damascus as his heir but that his own son would be born. Even though there was no prospect of a child, the Scripture says that Abram believed in the Lord. To believe in the Lord means so much more than to merely believe in His existence. We may believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God yet this may be nothing more than acknowledging its existence. When we say we believe that the Lord exists, it is one thing; but when we say that we believe in the Lord, confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved (Romans 10:9) it is entirely different. Faith grows even when circumstances look impossible if we simply take God at His Word and remain faithful.
For what saith the Scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness (4:3-5).
Thought for Today:
Believe that God has the ability to do what He says He will do. God will test our faith. Like Abram, we will be empowered by our faith. God is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think (Ephesians 3:20).
By the high priest, Melchizedek (Genesis 14:18-20; Heb. 4:15-16; 5:5-10; 7:1-4). Today Christ is our High Priest who is interceding in prayer for us and who alone is deserving of our gifts and service to Him.
13:6 bear =upport; 14:5 smote =ubdued; 14:18 Salem =erusalem; 14:20 tithes =ifts of the first 10% of all material or financial increase; 14:22 I have lift up mine hand unto the LORD =braham made an oath (promise) to God; 15:3 seed =escendants; 15:4 thine own bowels =our own body; 15:5 tell =ount; 15:13 stranger =emporary resident; 15:14 great substance =ealth; 15:15 go to thy fathers =ie; 15:16 full =omplete; iniquity =in; 15:18 Covenant =inding agreement with qualifications given by God.
Pray for The English International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts in honor of Linda Kennon • Government Officials: Rep. Thomas Davis III (VA), Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (NY) and Gov. Edward Rendell (PA) • Country: Vietnam (78.5 million) in Southeast Asia • Major languages: Vietnamese and French • Very strict control of Christians in the North; the South has been more lenient but is getting tighter • 60% Buddhist; 8% Catholic; 1% Protestant; 3% Cao Dai; 2% Hoa Hao; 3% Islam; 13% Other; 10% None • Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to reveal what is not pleasing to Him (Psalm 139:23-24).
Optional Reading: Matthew 5
Memory Verse for the Week: Deuteronomy 4:2