Sarai’s Submission

Read Genesis 12

God came to Abram and told him to leave the land of his father. God said He would bless Abram and make him a great nation, giving him a great name and make him a great blessing. Wow!

Three greats for one person! Great nation – he would surely have lots of children if he were to be a great nation! That’s fabulous considering he and his wife hadn’t been able to have kids up until this point. Great name – God was going to give Abram a great place in history and give him a legacy. Great blessing – God was going to use Abram to bless others. How exciting this must have been to wonder how God was going to do these things in his life!

The Bible doesn’t tell us whether or not Abram had a relationship with God prior to this encounter. If he didn’t, wouldn’t this be all the more fantastic? Here Abram is going about his own business when the Lord of the universe appears to him and proclaims these wonderful promises to him! Awesome!

Okay, now you have some background. God spoke to Abram. Abram followed the directions to leave his country. As they got close to Egypt, Abram began thinking of his own wellbeing. He knew his wife was drop-dead gorgeous. Of course, the Egyptians would kill him to take his beautiful wife, he thought. To save his own hide, he convinces his wife to lie, saying she’s his sister.

Can you imagine? Sarai goes along with it. Okay, Abram I’ll lie for you, even though I might have to sleep with the Pharoh. Yikes!! I don’t know if I could do that. So they entered Egypt and as Abram feared, the Pharoh saw Sarai and took her into his harem because she said she was Abram’s sister. I personally would feel like I was just sold into slavery! How could Sarai agree to be given to another man? How could she submit to Abram, when it was lying?

The Bible again doesn’t tell us for sure whether Sarai heard God’s promises to Abram to first hand or whether Abram told her everything God told him. Perhaps she was present when God spoke to Abram. If she knew God was going to make Abram a great name, then maybe she thought she should go along with whatever Abram told her to do because God would some how cover or remove the lies. After all, how can you have a great name if you’re a liar?

Perhaps Sarai trusted Abram with her life. If she did trust him, maybe she thought Abram would get her out before she was violated by the Pharoh. Then again maybe it was God she trusted. I’d like to believer she trusted God, but later we find she laughed at God’s promise to give her a son, so there’s probably more evidence that she didn’t believe or trust God’s promises.

In any case, even though I just don’t understand how she submitted to Abram’s decision to call her his sister, God was able to bring good out of Abram’s bad decision. Isn’t just like our God? He makes us for our lack of faith. He comes through every time. He does exactly what He says He’s going to do. What an awesome God we have!!

©Elizabeth Marks has led small group Bible studies for almost a decade. Author of ThinkOnItBibleDevotions.com and BeingWomenOfInfluence.com websites she has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word.

Abide in Me

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Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. John 15:5 NKJV

When I looked up the word “abide” in the dictionary I found several interesting things.  In the verb tense one of “abide” definitions means to accept without objection.  Isn’t that what Jesus wants of us?  He wants us to accept Him without objection.  Isn’t that what has to happen for us to be saved?  We must accept Jesus for who He is and believed He died for us. 

The list of definitions also said it meant to remain stable or fixed in a state. This coincides with instructions from Paul as he exhorts us to keep our thoughts fixed on good things in Philippians 4:8-9.  We are instructed to renew our minds by letting God’s change the way we think in Romans 12:2.

One last definition was how “abide” also means to continue in place: sojourn.  This one really struck me because God has told us repeatedly throughout the whole Bible we are strangers and sojourners here on earth.

 

Leviticus 25:23 says “for you are strangers and sojourners with Me.” 

Psalm 39:12 “Hear my prayer, O LORD, and give ear to my cry; Do not be silent at my tears; For I am a stranger with You, a sojourner, as all my fathers were.”

One Peter 2:11-12 says “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.”

 

Paul tells us to think on heavenly things instead of the temporary things (2 Corinthians 4:18).   The reason to think about heavenly things is to remind us this life is not all there is.  Heaven awaits us and earth is our temporary home.  We are to keep this perspective in all we do.  We cling tightly to Jesus Christ who is our sustainer, our provider and our very life.

 

Lord Jesus, thank you for being life to us.  Help us remember we are sojourners here on earth.  Teach us to enjoy what we have, use the opportunities we’re given to share God’s love with others and use our gifts, talents, and abilities to honor you.  In your name we pray. Amen.

 

© Elizabeth Marks, author of ThinkOnIt Devotions and has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word.  For more devotions, bible studies and a recommended book store, visit http://www.ThinkOnItDevotions.com today.

 

Blessed by Doing

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Are you a forgetful hearer?  You listen to God’s Word at church on Sunday, but come Monday you are living your life as you choose with no regard to what you heard on Sunday? 

 

The Bible tells us those who hear only actually deceive themselves.  James 1:22 NKJV says “But be doers of the word, and not just hearers only, deceiving yourselves.”  So how does one become a doer of the word? 

 

James 1:25 NKJV gives us some clues: “But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”    James continues to say we need to bridle our tongue, care for orphans and widows in their trouble and keep our self uncorrupted by the world.

 

Jesus teaches us by carrying out God’s commands we become like a wise man. Matthew 7:24 NKJV says “Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock.”  Jesus continued to say though rain, floods and wind came against the house, it stood because it was founded upon the rock.  The same is true for us, when we trust in Christ we become founded upon the rock.  Nothing can move us. 

 

Jesus also taught us about servants and masters in John 13:1-17, when he washed the disciple’s feet.  A servant is not above the master.  We are servants to God, which means our own will is NOT above God’s.  Likewise, the one sent is not greater than the one doing the sending.  We are sent by God to carrying out His good purposes in this life.  We are NOT greater than God who’s sending us.  Jesus capped off this teaching saying “If you know these things blessed are you if you do them.” 

 

Look at what James 1:12 NKJV says “Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved he will receive the crown of life which the Lord promised to those who love Him.”

 

So fellow believer, let us endure temptations and follow Christ’s example.  Let us be doers of the word that we may be called wise and not deceive our self.  For Jesus said in Matthew 7:21 NKJV “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.”

 

Lord Jesus, thank you for your cleansing, healing, righteousness word.  Thank you for your Spirit enabling us to walk in your word and become doers of the word.  Help us continue in your way all the days of life that we may be lights to the world for you. In your name we pray. Amen.

 

© Elizabeth Marks, author of ThinkOnIt Devotions and has a heart for encouraging others with God’s Word.  For more articles, devotions and book reviews, visit http://www.ThinkOnItDevotions.com today.