Highlights In Today's Reading:
A life-changing message is found in today's reading! See the blessings increase as Abram allows Lot to take advantage of him rather than fight for his rights.
Abram said unto Lot, Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren (13:18). The strife was a result of their prosperity, which often reveals hidden spiritual problems. But this strife gave Abram an opportunity to express his faith in God by making peace with Lot. He was much older than his nephew and was also the spiritual leader; therefore, he could rightfully have taken the best for himself. Instead, he graciously offered Lot the choice. And note, he didn't "preach" to him about his greed.
Lot is an example of the worldly-minded, professing Christian. Like so many today, he was more concerned over material gain that he was over spiritual blessings. When the opportunity came, he took advantage of the generosity of his beloved uncle Abram, chose the best land, and pitched his tent toward Sodom (13:12). Lot never recovered from that disastrous decision. He did not pray or consult the Lord about this decision. When he departed from Abram, he became much more influenced by the world, as shown in the fact that he obtained a position of prominence, sitting in the gate of Sodom (19:1). His desire was to have all the fertile valley (13:11); nothing less would satisfy him. Humanly speaking, it appeared that Abram had given everything to Lot (13:11). But Abram's faith and gracious attitude toward Lot was eventually rewarded (13:14-17; 15:1-5,17-21).
The devil desires to make us believe we must grab for the best. But the people who place their faith in God have no need to fight for their rights. No one loses out by putting God first in his life! I can assure you that the forces of evil do not want us to believe that when we trust in the Lord, we have chosen the best way to live (Luke 10:42). But, with the Lord's enabling, we can live victoriously even with our losses, our problems, our heartaches, and our pressures.
In the eyes of the world, Lot's gain was Abram's loss. But Abram's victory is shown in that it was he who later rescued Lot (chapter 14), rather than the other way around. Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God (I Cor. 1:3-4).
Thought for Today:
Abram gave the first tithe recorded in Scripture as a worshipful act of praise and thanksgiving to God. Do we express God's worth by giving our tithes?
By the high priest, Melchizedek (Gen. 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 He 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.
Pray for International Shortwave Radio Broadcasts sponsored by Helayne Abrams • Bible Pathway Media Producer: Rick Hash • Government Officials: Rep. Thomas Davis III (VA), Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (NY) and Gov. Edward Rendell (PA) • Country: Tanzania (31.3 million) in eastern Africa • Major languages: Swahili and English • Churches are expected to help implement Marxist policy • 45% Christian; 19% Muslim; .4% Baha'i; ..1% Hindu; 35.5% Other • Prayer Suggestion: Pray that God will teach you His ways and transform your life by His Word (Is. 2:3).
Optional Reading: Matthew 5
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 1:21