Identity

Do you know your own weaknesses? As believers, we need to Identify Areas of Weakness (Genesis 20:1-2). After the angelic onslaught of a once vibrant sin-filled community called Sodom has been laid waste, Abe takes his leave from the towering trees of Mamre (Genesis 18:1) and travels southerly Genesis 20:1~From there Abraham journeyed toward the territory of the Negeb and lived between Kadesh and Shur; and he sojourned in Gerar. (ESV) A powerful king joins the scene Abimelech, and Abe again fears losing his wife, Sarah. It causes Abe to repeat a sin. Do I have any repeat offenders? Anyone bound by the three strikes rule? You may remember a time when in life there was a famine, and you moved without God’s approval, trying to help the Lord, you knew He was busy, only to find one’s self knee deep in some deep…, well you get the picture. This is Genesis 12:12-13~and when the Egyptians see you, they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me, but they will let you live. Say you are my sister, that it may go well with me because of you, and that my life may be spared for your sake. (ESV)

So, Abimelech sends for Sarah and takes her Genesis 20:2~And Abraham said of Sarah his wife, “She is my sister.” And Abimelech king of Gerar sent and took Sarah. (ESV) Grasp that this post-menopausal hottie, i.e. Sarah 90 years plus some days has drawn the eye of Abimelech whose desire is certainly more than a mere look see. How in the world could Abe do this again, especially after God had just told him about this time next year, you’ll have a son. Genesis 18:10~The Lord said, “I will surely return to you about this time next year, and Sarah your wife shall have a son.” And Sarah was listening at the tent door behind him. (ESV) Part of the answer is found in our propensity, a natural inclination towards. Yes, we all have certain sins to which we’re especially susceptible. Hebrews 12:1~Surrounded then as we are by these serried ranks of witnesses, let us strip off everything that hinders (εὐπερίστατος euperistatos) us, as well as the sin which dogs our feet, and let us run the race that we have to run with patience, (JBP)



The Weight of Sin

Wouldn’t it be great, that at the moment of our first confession of Jesus Christ as our personal Lord and Savior, we became perfect Christians, no more flaws, errant thoughts or comments, our actions faultlessly aligned and properly reposed, never sinning again. But wait that is me, I mean us, right. We live right, act right, heck, we are right, just ask my spouse. Well, I will text you the right time to ask her. Perhaps you remember a Monday night when Don Meredith responded to Howard Cosell of nuts and Christmas, could be you still remember your 1928 Literacy lesson reading a Chapter of Ifs. All harken back to Gottfried August Bürger (1747-1794) who originally said: Are you there, my old fox, with your ifs and your ans? But I need not remind you, they’re not pots and pans, else tinkers would starve, (as I learnt from my nurse;) still the answer shall pass, for it might have been worse. Only when if’s and buts are dollars and cents will we all be wealthy men. 

This old sod has seen only one who’s perfect, complete, lacking nothing. His name is Jesus Christ, His premise has come no matter your state, His promise is rest. Matthew 11:28~Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (NIV) Spoken by our Lord Jesus Christ this promise revealed was later unpacked by Paul who wrote to remind all Biblical readers in Philippians 1:6~There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears. (MSG) Perfection is our aim, better today is our strive, hope for tomorrow is our promise of a bright future given in Jesus Christ. 1 John 1:8~If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. (NIV) 

What is instantaneous for every believer at conversion is a complete work wrought in our lives through Jesus Christ when we repent, which is to turn from our sins and trust in Christ Jesus our Savior. However, this only the beginning of a journey through life and faith. Where believers are to grow spiritually as they mature in their faith. This is the spiritual process of sanctification. Though it seems more gradual for some than others. As great Bible preachers have for eons reminded their parishioners: It took just one day to get Israel out of Egypt, but it took God forty years to get Egypt out of Israel. It only takes God a second to save us, but a lifetime to mold us into His image. In Genesis 20, we discover that we never grow too old to sin. If you get discouraged because we are not a perfect believer, even after years of dutiful trying, then join me as we consider again the Life of Abe and the Weight of Sin: Identify, Register, Beware.



Look to the stars

Many have walked away from the faith, to live life on their own terms and it has cost them. What is your response to judgment being poured out on others? Abe’s is recorded in Genesis 19:27~And Abraham went early in the morning to the place where he had stood before the Lord. Genesis 19:28~And he looked down toward Sodom and Gomorrah and toward all the land of the valley, and he looked and, behold, the smoke of the land went up like the smoke of a furnace. (ESV) Abe watches the fertile land, so coveted by Lot, simmer like a rumbling pot. Apparently, Abe doesn’t know what happened to Lot and never sees him again. 

We all need to stand with Abe, to look toward Sodom Because what happen to Sodom is only a preview of what is coming for those without Jesus. We live in a country with a plethora of churches, where Bibles are in every hotel room, whether by satellite, streaming or old fashion radio and TV religious music, discussions, preaching and teaching abounds. Yet in spite of all this, we witness the moral decay and rejection of God and His Holy Word on an unprecedented scale. Listen to Christ Jesus in Matthew 10:15~Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town. (NIV) Rock Hill, Charlotte, Atlanta, New York, LA-Lower Alabama, and Los Angelos.

Saints, we need to be mindful of what is in front of our children. For though Lot and his daughters escape the doom of Sodom, the influence was just too great. Lot’s daughters get him drunk, sex him up and bear him children. (Genesis 19:36) These children lead to the Moabites and Ammonites (Genesis 19:37-38). Who will become Israel’s enemies worshipping other gods (1 Kings 11:33). The last we read of Lot, he’s drink, dishonored, and having sex with his daughters.

Our Takeaway: Where are you looking? David writes in Psalm 121:1-2~I lift up my eyes to the mountains– where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. (NIV) Jesus said it this way in John 12:32~And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself. (NIV) Look today toward the risen Messiah Jesus Christ and Stay Connected by Refusing to compromise, Rejecting selfish desires, and Remember that we will reap what we sow.