As I was preparing to teach on the life of Abraham a truth concerning his life stood out to me in a fresh way. Abraham was commanded by God to leave his country and family and go to a land the Lord would show him. Abraham left his country but he brought his nephew Lot along. Throughout the course of Abraham’s sojourningthe Lord blessed him abundantly. Also, Lot benefited from the blessings of Abraham. Nevertheless, in Genesis 13, there came a point when Abraham had to separate from his nephew. The herdsmen of Lot’s flock contended with the herdsmen of Abraham’s flock as the land where they dwelt was unable to support both flocks. The Bible says, “They could not dwell together,” and there was “strife” among them. Even though the Lord had promised the land to Abraham, Abraham gave Lot the first option to choose the parcel of land he wanted. The Bible says that Lot chose for himself the Jordan Valley because it reminded him of Egypt. So, Lot left the place of fellowship with Abraham and pitched his tent toward Sodom. As difficult as it must have been for Abraham to watch his nephew leave, the contention ceased. But, the Lord spoke to Abraham once again and reaffirmed His promise. Abraham trusted in the Lord. He was confident that the Lord would keep His Word. Rather then demand his rights, Abraham let the Lord choose what was best for him. Abraham's separation from Lot brought fresh revelation from the Lord.
But He said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” John 6:20
The disciples of Jesus got into a boat and headed to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. While enroute they encountered a storm. Naturally they kept on rowing but their situation did not improve. Then in the midst of the wind and waves they saw Jesus walking on the water. At first they didn't recognize Him, and they were terrified. Then Jesus spoke to them. He said that they didn't need to be afraid for He was with them in the storm. You might find yourself in the midst of a storm today. You’re rowing as hard as you can but nothing is changing. You’re fearful that you might go under. You don't have to be afraid, for the Lord is with you. You will make it to the other side.
The king took an oath and said, "As the Lord lives who has redeemed my life from every distress..." 1 Kings 1:29
On more than one occasion David had been in great distress. Reading through the Psalms he descriptively recorded how he felt in those moments. Sometimes he despaired of life. Other times he thought he had been forsaken by the Lord. Yet at the end of his life he reflected upon the faithfulness of God. He testified that the Lord had redeemed his life from every distress. He had tried the Lord and found Him consistent and ever faithful to deliver. The Lord is faithful to deliver those who put their trust in Him.
Our Lord's prayer in John 17:21 "let them be one" was our theme for yesterday’s marriage conference. What a joy it was to see several couples taking the time to invest in their marriages. My friend Pastor Jerel Hagerman and his wife Merrily shared with our couples. The Hagermans have an amazing story of how the Lord brought them together. The time we spent together was encouraging and uplifting. Our 2B1 marriage ministry has several events planned this year to bring couples together.
And looking at Jesus as He walked.. John 1:36
We live in a world full of distractions. Because we are inundated with information from every direction it's easy to lose focus. As a believer, the best way to remain focused is to keep our eyes upon Jesus. Rather than look at what someone else is or isn't doing pay attention to what Jesus is doing. Read and meditate upon what Jesus is saying in His Word. Observe the life of Jesus and pray to be more like Jesus. It's when we take our eyes off Jesus that we can quickly lose clear direction.