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God Comes First

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SCRIPTURE
Genesis 22:9-10, "9 When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son."


OBSERVATION
I have read this passage many times and felt like I as a parent understood the agony that Abraham must have felt so bitterly because he was going to snuff out with his own hands a precious and only son that God gave him at 100 years old. Even worse,, this had to be doubly hard since Abraham literally walked in agony for three days. Then, he was forced to answer Isaac’s obvious question – where is the sacrifice? Abraham had to give him an answer that even he was unsure  – “God will provide” – but he had to have acknowledged that nothing gave him any evidence to support his answer. God was silent all the way to Mount Moriah.  It is one thing to verbally affirm my confidence in God who consistently provides goodness for my life but it is another to demonstrate my trust in his goodness and faithfulness by binding whatever is precious to me and put it on the altar, willing to let it go.

APPLICATION 
How willing am I to put my most precious things, be it my children, possessions, reputation or pride, before God and demonstrate that God comes first?   The toughest challenge is that God is often silent, until the point of death it seems, before his deliverance.  I must have the faith and trust in God in order that God will do great things through my life.


PRAYER 
Father God, I praise your holy name. Your name is great and your love endures forever. Thank you for all your blessings and promise in my life. May you strengthen my faith where I will have complete confidence regardless of what I see or my circumstances. I love you LORD.  In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

Posted by Chels Chae with
in Bible

First Thing Is First

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SCRIPTURE

For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the LORD, and to do it and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel. - Ezra 7:10

 

OBSERVATION

Everything in life has a proper order. The correct sequence is crucial whether it’s a baby first learning how to crawl, then walk and finally to run. When a constructing a building one sets the foundation first, then the walls and roofing and then the interior details. First thing is first. Ezra understood this. He first set his heart to study the Scripture. Notice that it is with the heart, the wellspring of life that Ezra directed his affection and desire to do. What defines our lives is not so much what we think as it is what we love. In his love for God, Ezra ordered his heart to study God’s word. Secondly, he resolved to obey Scripture. He did not study to teach—he studied to obey. He applied God’s word to his own self first then he taught. The purpose of study is self application not knowledge in of itself. Thirdly he taught God’s statutes. There was an outlet for the application and knowledge i.e. there was a ministry of the word. A minister ministers the word of God that he first ministered to himself. As a result of his skill in the Scripture, “the king granted him all that he asked, for the hand of the LORD his God was on him” (7:6). In other words, the favor of God was upon him.

 

APPLICATION

Point of obedience:

  •  Direct my affection to study God’s word: Have my heart renewed, my soul refreshed and my spirit strengthened by God-breathed Scripture.

  • Study in order to apply it to myself first: Watch for the danger of studying only to preach without first being examined and changed by God. 

  • Teach and preach from a place of application: Not only will it result in a stronger conviction and more depth in preaching but I am transformed into Christlikeness which is the end goal.

 

PRAYER

Heavenly Father, 

Thank you for being a God of order. Please forgive me for seasons of studying to preach instead of studying in order to be changed. Please bring me back to my first love of knowing you through your word. Especially in this season of busyness and studying for my master’s I need your grace to study for the sake of applying your word to myself first. I need your anointing Holy Spirit to teach with conviction and power. I love you.

Posted by John Danganan with

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