Tuesday, January 14, 2014

January 10, 2014 Devotional - Genesis 17 & 18, and Matthew 9

Genesis 17 - God's Covenant with Abraham and Circumcision as a Sign
Abram was 99 and the Lord appeared and said, "I am God Almighty. Live in My presence and be blameless. I will establish My covenant between Me and you, and I will multiply you greatly." Abram fell face down and God said, "As for Me, My covenant is with you: you will become the father of many nations. Your name will no longer be Abram, but your name will be Abraham, for I will make you the father of nations. I will make you extremely fruitful and will make nations and kings come from you. I will keep my covenant between Me nd you, and your future offspring throughout their generations, as an everlasting covenant to be your God and the God of your offspring after you. And to you and your future offspring I will give the land where you are residing - all the land of Canaan - as an eternal possession, and I will be their God." God further said his offspring and anyone living among them must be circumcised as a sign of the covenant. God said to call Sarai "Sarah", and that God would bless her with a son by him. Abraham fell facedown and laughed asking how, and begging for Ishmael to acceptable to God. God said no, and that He would confirm His covenant with his son by Sarah as an everlasting covenant for his future offspring. Ishmael would be blessed and fruitful, but Isaac will be in the covenant God made with Abraham. Abraham then obeyed and had the males of his household circumcised.

Genesis 18 - 3 Men, The LORD, Going to Sodom & Gomorrah for Justice
The LORD appeared to Abraham at the oaks of Mamre, Abraham saw three men. He bowed to them, and offered them hospitality. They stayed and accepted. So Abraham served them with food Sarah prepared as they ate under the tree. The LORD said in a year Sarah would have a son. She overheard and laughed to herself. The LORD asked why did Sarah laugh, "Is anything impossible for the LORD?" She denied laughing, because she was afraid, but God said, "No, you did laugh." The men got up and looked over Sodom as Abraham was walking with them to see them off. The LORD said He should hide what He's going to do from Abraham, then the LORD told Abraham that the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah is immense, and He will go down to see it. The men turned and went to Sodom while Abraham remained standing before the LORD. Abraham asked if God would really sweep away the righteous with the wicked. Then Abraham asked God to spare the city if there were 50, 40, 30, 20, and finally 10 righteous people in it, and the LORD agreed not to destroy it if there were that many righteous there. The LORD departed when He was finished speaking, and Abraham returned to his place.

Matthew 9 - Healing, Calling the Sinners, Raising the Dead, Teaching and Preaching, Compassion, Sending Workers in the Harvest 
Jesus took a boat back across to go to His home town. He showed His authority and forgave the paralytic's sins. Some said he was blaspheming, then he healed his paralysis and told him to pick up his mat and go home. He called Matthew, the tax-collector to follow Him, and he followed. Jesus and his disciples ate with tax collectors and sinners, and the Pharisees asked why. Jesus said He came to call the sinners not the righteous. John the Baptist's disciples came and asked why His disciples don't fast. He said they will when the groom is no longer with them. You patch old garments with shrunk cloth, and you put new wine into new wineskins to preserve the wine and the wineskin. On the way to healing a leader's daughter, a woman who suffered from bleeding for 12 years touched the tassel on his robe, and was made well by her faith. The leader's daughter had died, Jesus took her by the hand and she got up. News of this spread through the region. Leaving there, two blind men shouted, "Have mercy on us, Son of David!" They believed Jesus could heal, and Jesus said, "Let it be done according to your faith!" And they were healed. Jesus warned them not to tell. As they were leaving, a demon-possessed man, unable to speak, was brought to Him. Jesus drove the demon out. In amazement the crowds said, "Nothing like this has ever been seen in Israel!" The Pharisees said, "He drives out demons by the ruler of the demons!" Jesus went to all the towns and villages. He taught in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness. He felt compassion for the crowds, because they were like sheep with out a shepherd, weary and worn out. He said to His disciples, "The harvest is abundant, but the workers are few. Therefore, pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest."

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