Posts Tagged ‘Beautiful’


Genesis 26:1-4,6-7,12-17 Now there was a famine in the land, besides the previous famine that had occurred in the days of Abraham. So Isaac went to Gerar, to Abimelech king of the Philistines. The LORD appeared to him and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; stay in the land of which I shall tell you. “Sojourn in this land and I will be with you and bless you, for to you and to your descendants I will give all these lands, and I will establish the oath which I swore to your father Abraham… So Isaac lived in Gerar. When the men of the place asked about his wife, he said, “She is my sister,” for he was afraid to say, “my wife,” thinking, “the men of the place might kill me on account of Rebekah, for she is beautiful”… Now Isaac sowed in that land and reaped in the same year a hundredfold. And the LORD blessed him, and the man became rich, and continued to grow richer until he became very wealthy; for he had possessions of flocks and herds and a great household, so that the Philistines envied him. Now all the wells which his father’s servants had dug in the days of Abraham his father, the Philistines stopped up by filling them with earth. Then Abimelech said to Isaac, “Go away from us, for you are too powerful for us.” And Isaac departed from there and camped in the valley of Gerar, and settled there.

Today’s chapter has a lot more than just the few verses I’ve selected and I sometimes wonder if we should draw more from it but there will be a time for that in the future. After Abraham and Sarah’s journey, we are now journeying with Isaac, Rebekah, Esau and Jacob.

Amazing how true the statement is that the fruit doesn’t fall far from the tree! Isaac says to the Philistines the very same thing his father Abraham said to them that their wives were their sisters.

They were operating in fear instead of in faith and it is only by God’s grace that they were spared. We read later that Abimelech discovers the truth, is angry again, and prohibits anyone in the land from touching Rebekah.

Because Isaac does not go down to Egypt but stays in the land God promised to bless him in, he is now blessed with abundance of everything, so much so that Abimelech requests him to leave the land and Isaac then moves to the valley of Gerar and settles there.

As we read this passage, we can see the pain of lying, the fruit of obedience and the nature of God. What probably surprises us is why God permits suffering in our lives when we willingly follow Him? (more…)


Genesis 12:10-20 Now there was a famine in the land; so Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land. It came about when he came near to Egypt, that he said to Sarai his wife, “See now, I know that you are a beautiful woman; and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife’; and they will kill me, but they will let you live. “Please say that you are my sister so that it may go well with me because of you, and that I may live on account of you.” It came about when Abram came into Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. Pharaoh’s officials saw her and praised her to Pharaoh; and the woman was taken into Pharaoh’s house. Therefore he treated Abram well for her sake; and gave him sheep and oxen and donkeys and male and female servants and female donkeys and camels. But the LORD struck Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sarai, Abram’s wife. Then Pharaoh called Abram and said, “What is this you have done to me? Why did you not tell me that she was your wife? “Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her for my wife? Now then, here is your wife, take her and go.” Pharaoh commanded his men concerning him; and they escorted him away, with his wife and all that belonged to him.

We now start journeying with Abram and his family and it is an interesting journey indeed. God choses Abram to be the father of the nation and tells him to go to the land God has chosen for him to establish his family in.

Abram certainly was an obedient man and God clearly was being faithful in showing Abram the land that He would bless him with. As Abram journeyed to Negev, a famine hit the land and so Abram went west towards Egypt to take a break until the famine was over.

Sounds like a rational plan until we realize that Egypt was a land ruled by a people whose morals and ethics were far from those of Abram’s and therefore what Abram was venturing to do was a serious risk to life and limb.

This is when he makes the most bizarre request of his wife, Sarai, asking her to claim she is his sister. Technically speaking, this is not wrong because she is his father’s daughter from another mother, but the reality is that she is his wife and she belongs to him and no other man.

The question that comes to mind is not why did Abram did that but rather why God permitted him or rather why God did not stop him? (more…)


Acts 3:4-10
Peter looked straight at him, as did John. Then Peter said, “Look at us!” So the man gave them his attention, expecting to get something from them. Then Peter said, “Silver or gold I do not have, but what I have I give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk.” Taking him by the right hand, he helped him up, and instantly the man’s feet and ankles became strong. He jumped to his feet and began to walk. Then he went with them into the temple courts, walking and jumping, and praising God. When all the people saw him walking and praising God, they recognized him as the same man who used to sit begging at the temple gate called Beautiful, and they were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him.

What amazes me this morning about this miracle, which I have seen performed many times in Sunday School, is not the miracle itself but the response. The temple authorities and the devout who were worshipping at the temple must have been relieved that Jesus was out of the picture and the chance of people following him was destroyed but with what just took place, they were either aghast that this was spreading or they were truly joyful for the unexplained healing that took place. If I was part of the authorities, I would not be the most pleased for certain and my first reaction would be to arrest the blasphemers but what if I was the layman coming to perform my religious rituals? What is the Lord speaking to us this morning through this?

The power of miracles was thought of to be restricted to only a select few. In comics stories of superheroes, these are just one or two people who are extraterrestrial or chanced upon their gift by the virtue of an insect bite or a scientific experiment gone wrong. However, here we seem to have a pandemic because Jesus’ abilities were being exercised by his followers and it was not because they were special but because he chose to give it to them through their submission. The Lord started to work through his body of believers to reach the lost in ways unexplainable and not because of their goodness or holiness but because of his mercy and grace. Are you willing to serve the king of kings? Then call on Jesus right now and ask him how.

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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Luke 3:15-18
The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Christ. John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one more powerful than I will come, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and with fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.” And with many other words John exhorted the people and preached the good news to them.

These are the words of John and in it we see humility not because John was being ‘Appropriate’ or ‘Nice’ or ‘Respectable’ but because he knew this to be the truth. John does not come across as a cultured well mannered person but as someone who dressed wildly, spoke brashly and was willing to die for his beliefs. What a contrast to us today who would rather hide our beliefs, be considered appropriate and mild mannered and avoid conflict. What is the Lord asking of us today?

We now live in Canada and it is a beautiful land with absolutely wonderful, warm-hearted people who make it warmer than the coldest winters can get. One challenge we face here though is that it is not socially appropriate to share your faith and people reserve their thoughts and feeling of religion and politics to themselves. This is not uncommon in most places I have lived in or visited and the challenge for us today is to decide if we want to fall prey to the devil’s taunts through what’s culturally acceptable or if we want to shamelessly profess our gratefulness to our Lord and maker who has transformed us and given us hope all the money in the world would not buy. Are you holding back to be culturally appropriate and losing precious souls in the bargain? Are you willing to be shameless and bold for what the Lord has done for you? Lets be Johns’ in our world and save many than be Judass’ in our willingness to sell our faith for being appreciated in the eyes of man.

In His Loving Service,
Vineet

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Ugly Frame or Beautiful Structure