Genesis 35:7 Creating Reminders

“There he built an altar, and he called the place El Bethel, because it was there that God revealed himself to him when he was fleeing from his brother.” Genesis 35:7

When Jacob found out his brother Esau was going to be meeting him, he was scared. He had deceived Esau of his birthright and blessings. Now he expected Esau to kill him. The night before there were to meet God came down and dealt with him. Jacob fought with God until He blessed him. God changed his name to Israel.

Now some time later, Israel was back at that same place. He builds an altar there in memory of what God had done to and for him. He remembered that it was there that God had revealed Himself to him.

As a person goes through life, they have many different events that happen. One of the most common ways to remember what had happened was through the taking of pictures. People take pictures to remember the joy someone had, the beauty of some place, or for many other reasons. All of them are to remember something.

When God did something great for a person in the Old Testament, it was common for that person to build an altar to God. It was a reminder to themselves and to others that God had done something for them. Later people would ask why the altar was there, and it could be said because God did something and then tell what it was.

There will be times when God does something great in your life. When He does this do not rely only on your memory to remember what He had done. Set up little reminders.

Many people write in a journal their experiences. Other ways may be to set little notes up on your walls with what happened and when. Or purchase some little object that will remind you of that event.

However you choose to remember what God did, do it. Do it for when times get rough. Do it to have something to tell others about when they ask about that object. Use it to be His witness.

In any event, do not forget what God has done for you.

I pray today that you will see what God has done and is doing for you; that you will remember what God has done for you; that you will set up reminders of what God has done for you; and that you will be able to use what God has done to be a witness to others.

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The Exodus Mandate

Title: The Exodus Mandate: Moses Reveals How You Can Accomplish The Impossible
Author: Brother Andrew and Al Janssen
Publisher: Open Doors International
Pages: 117

The main author, Brother Andrew, is known for smuggling Bibles into Russia prior to it’s collapse. It was known as an impossible mission, yet God was with him and he was very successful. In this book he takes a detailed look at the life of Moses and how he had an impossible mission to lead the Israelites out of Egypt and to the Promised Land.

He points out the many highs and lows that Moses had to go through. Each of these events helped make him into the man God needed to lead the people. Moses learned to be completely dependent upon God for everything.

In each of these events of his life, Bro Andrew shows how today a believer can be going through a similar event or had gone through one already. He uses a chapter for each event in his life.

At the end of each chapter is a few questions to have you think about what was talked about and how you can apply it to your own life. He will challenge you to get closer to God at any cost and to be willing to do whatever God asks you to do no matter how big the task is.

This is a very short book. Each chapter is only a few pages long. This allows for you to be able to read and study it and ponder what is being said without being overloaded with information. It is very simple in its wording and reading, but very profound in what is said.

I encourage every believer to read this book and allow God to change your life.

Genesis 29:25 Deceive And Be Deceived

When morning came, there was Leah! So Jacob said to Laban, What is this you have done to me? I served you for Rachel, didn’t I? Why have you deceived me?” Genesis 29:25

Jacob had been working for his uncle Laban. At one point Laban said he needed to offer something to Jacob for his work. Jacob loved Rachel, Laban’s daughter, so he agreed to work for seven years to get Rachel as his wife. When the seven years were up, they had the marriage. The bride was covered up at the time she went in with Jacob. In the morning he realized that Laban had given him his daughter Leah, instead of Rachel as agreed. He ends up working another seven years to get Rachel.

Years before his living with Laban, Jacob had deceived his brother, Esau, into selling his birthright. Later he deceived his father into getting his brother’s blessings as the firstborn. Deception had been a way of life for Jacob.

Often people think that it is acceptable to deceive someone into getting something or getting them to do something. It seems to work at the moment in their favor. Many will just say that it is something little, and no real big deal.

The challenge comes when they get deceived. Very few people like to be deceived. When they are deceived, they will get very angry.

When you deceive someone, chances are that someone else will come along and deceive you. Along with that deceiving someone is lying to them and to God. If you are willing to deceive a person, you most likely will choose to deceive God.

People like to act as though they are in the right standing before God, while they are living in a sinful act. They try to tell people and God that they are doing everything correctly.

People may be deceived, but God is not. He sees the heart and your mind.

Live your life open before God. Do not try to deceive any person or God. In the end it will come back on you and hurt you. It is not worth it.

I pray today that God will guide you in how to treat other people; that you will love others as God loves them; that you will live in truth; that you will always speak truth to everyone; and that God will strengthen you to never deceive anyone.

Genesis 28:16-17 The House Of God

“When Jacob awoke from his sleep, he thought, Surely the Lord is in this place, and I was not aware of it. He was afraid and said, How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven.” Genesis 28:16-17

Jacob was in the process of fleeing from his brother Esau. Esau was out to kill him because he had taken his birthright and blessings. When Jacob went to sleep one night God gave him a vision. It was a vision of a ladder going up into heaven with angels going up and down that ladder. When Jacob woke up, he realized that the place he was in was the house of God and that God was there.

Most people think about the house of God being a church building somewhere. They feel that in order to meet with God you must go to a church building. This happens all the time in movies. A person is searching for God and they go sit in some big church building.

The truth is that God is everywhere. God will be found by anyone who seeks Him. Jesus said that He is with every believer at all times. He said He would never leave or forsake you.

When you accepted what Jesus had done for you, God came into you and set up His home there. You are now a temple of God. You are a dwelling place for God.

As Jacob said, ” How awesome is this place!” Think about that for a moment. The God who made the universe and everything you see, is living inside of you. He made His home in you and with you.

Many people are searching for God. You can show them God. Show them by your life and how God is living in you.

Also remember that if God is living in you, you will want to keep your house clean. Stay away from all sin. Repent of all sin and allow Jesus clean you up so God can continue to stay there. Be the House of God.

I pray today that God will reveal His presence to you; that you will be the house of God; that you will allow Jesus to cleanse you from all sin; that people will see that God lives in you; and that you will show people who Jesus is.

Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus

Title: Seeking Allah, Finding, Jesus
Author: Nabeel Qureshi
Publisher: Zondervan
Date: 2015
Pages: 296

This is an autobiography by the author on his quest to find Allah. He grew with parents who were very devout Muslims in America. They felt their mission was to get more converts to Islam.

As a young child he had a few questions regarding his Islamic beliefs, but was always told to accept what he was told because the teachers knew best. As he became a teen-ager and a young adult he desired to get closer to Allah and know Him more.

While in college he met a person who became his best friend. This friend was a Christian. He was challenged to find out why he believed what he believed. The more he studied the Islamic beliefs, the more it did not make sense to him. Over time it led him to look to Jesus. Through a series of events and studies he gets to know Jesus as the Messiah.

This book goes into extreme detail in the Islamic belief. It also takes a very critical look at the Christian belief. He looks at many verses in both the Bible and the Koran. He uncovers what Islam really teaches and the core beliefs that have been held for centuries.

In it is also a strong challenge to Christian believers in their mission in this world and the belief in God.

I would highly recommend every believer to read this book. It will help you to understand why Muslims believe the way they do. It will also help to understand how Muslims view Jesus and Christians as a whole.

Parts of it will be a little dry, due to the extreme details being presented, but in the end it is worth reading.

Genesis 25:33-34 Selling For Temporary Pleasure

“But Jacob said, ‘Swear to me first.’ So he swore an oath to him, selling his birthright to Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and some lentil stew. He ate and drank, and then got up and left. So Esau despised his birthright.” Genesis 25:33-34

Esau had been out hunting all day and came home very hungry. He saw that Jacob had a pot of some stew available. He asked for some. Jacob agreed to give him some only if Esau would sell his birthright to him. Esau was so hungry that he agreed. He got some of the stew and was filled up then he left. At that point he despised his birthright and was angry.

For a short time fill of food, Esau sold out his birthright. The birthright as the first-born was something that would last a lifetime, not just a few hours. The stew, no matter how good it was, would only last a few hours at best. It was a temporary thing.

In life many people swap out something eternal for a short-term temporary pleasure. People want the pleasure right now, regardless of how much it costs.

Most Christians would immediately say that they would never do that. Yet, how many times have you chosen to do something that you knew God did not want you to do. You felt God’s Spirit telling you not to do something, yet you did it anyway. You wanted the pleasure of doing that thing.

That thing could be an act, a word, or even a thought. Any one of those things, yet all of them were against God’s desire.

You are to live your life like Jesus did. He did only what His Father, God, wanted Him to do. He only said what God wanted Him to say. This was regardless of how painful or hard that thing may be. Ultimately He went to the cross and laid His life down for you.

How much can you do for God?

Jesus purchased your birthright for all eternity, not just this life. Are you going to trade it in for a simple one moment pleasure of sin?

I pray today that you will know what Jesus has done for you; that you will know the birthright you have in Jesus; that God will strengthen you to turn from all sin; and that you will honor God with the birthright Jesus has purchased for you.

Genesis 22:12 Do Not Hold Back Anything

“Do not lay a hand on the boy, he said. Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.” Genesis 22:12

After waiting for nearly one hundred years, Abraham was in the process of doing what God had told him to do. God told him to sacrifice his son, Isaac, on the altar. He took his son up the mountain to the place where it would happen. Just as Abraham was to bring the knife down on the boy and kill him, God called out to him and stopped him. God provided a ram in the bushes to do the sacrifice. God told Abraham that now He knew that Abraham truly feared Him and would do anything He asked.

Although God has done away with physical sacrifices in the lives of His followers, He still requires sacrifices of a different kind. God will not ask you to ever kill someone on an altar for Him. The sacrifices of today are to give up everything for Jesus and follow Him.

Jesus had said that you are not to love anyone or anything more than Him. When you stop loving something or someone more than Him, you are sacrificing that person or thing to God. You are giving up something that you love in order to be closer to God.

Imagine how hard it had to have been for Abraham to give up his son, who he had prayed for nearly a hundred years. Most likely you have not prayed for something that long and then received it. Yet, there are things that may be dear to your heart. Do those things take the place of God?

Are there people in your life who take the place of God in your heart?

Don’t hold anything back from God. Give everyone and everything up to God. Pursue Jesus with all of your heart. God will provide for you as He did for Abraham.

Sometimes you may get back what you gave up. Other times God may give you something better. Trust God to be the One Who Provides. Worship God and God alone.

I pray today that God will give you strength to give up what needs to be given up; that you will trust all of God’s words for you; that you will trust in God’s provision and direction; and that you will seek God with everything in you.