Abram trusted The Lord to make him a great nation and make him famous.

Thought:

He trusted him enough to leave his family and head for Canaan. He believed The Lord when he said he would give the land of Canaan to his descendants and bless those who blessed him and curse those who cursed him.
But when he arrived in Egypt he lied about his beautiful wife Serai saying she was his sister. He didn’t trust God to keep him alive when lustful men saw his wife. So he gave her to Pharaoh and accepted many gifts rather than risk being murdered for her.
God’s promises and ways are all very tempting when you hear about them initially, but the reality of life can be another matter. The reality of the threats to our safety in this life can strip us of our faith in a heartbeat! (Genesis 12)
Jesus taught, in the famous sermon in the mount, that God’s kingdom requires a completely different set of values to those required of earthy kingdoms like Egypt in the time of Abram. Jesus teaches that whatever the pressure from society or government, our ultimate reward or judgement will by the rules of the Kingdom of God – so no matter how they hurt you, God will reward you because he values your faith the most when it has been challenged and threatened by the wealth, power and violence of worldly kingdoms…

Word:

Matthew 5:3-12 NLT

“God blesses those who are poor and realise their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted. God blesses those who are humble, for they will inherit the whole earth. God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice, for they will be satisfied. God blesses those who are merciful, for they will be shown mercy. God blesses those whose hearts are pure, for they will see God. God blesses those who work for peace, for they will be called the children of God. God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.

Goal:

These days, living where we do, (in my case: South Wales) we are not likely to be murdered because of our faith, and probably not because our wives might be wanted by Pharaoh! But, there is great fear of faith being out in the open. Our society does not really tolerate people sharing their faith or religious beliefs in public. Our society assumes and encourages secularism. My goal is not to let this pressure from society strip me of my faith. My goal is to see my faith relieve the pressure I feel all around me.

Today’s readings:

Genesis 11:1-13:4, Matthew 5:1-26, Psalms 5:1-12, Proverbs 1:24-28

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