Daily Word

Genesis 17

Read Genesis 17 – Faith and time – Abram is 99 years old and Sarai is 90.  It has been roughly 23 years since the LORD promised Abram he would be the father of many, and 13 years since God reminded Abram of His promise after the birth of Ishmael. 

God is outside of time.  Just because you have to wait longer than you want, do not lose faith. 

The LORD gives Abram a new name.  Abram means ‘the father of many’; his new name will be Abraham, meaning ‘the father of many nations’. (:5)  The LORD makes a covenant with Abraham to give him and his offspring the land of Canaan and to be their God.

This covenant will be sealed through the act of circumcision… much like Salvation in Christ Jesus is offered, yet one must seal it by saying yes and asking Jesus to be their Lord and Savior. 

God required circumcision of every male, 8 days old and older.  Science would discover the 7th day of life is when an infant’s immune system begins to mature and their bodies develop blood clotting agents (vitamin k and prothrombin), making the 8th day the most optimal… as God knew all along. 

The LORD also has a promise for Sarai, and a new name, Sarah.  Both versions mean princess, the first Sarai, is to one family; the second Sarah is princess over a multitude. 

In verses 17-22 we see how very real Abraham’s relationship is with the LORD, pointing out the problem of their advanced years and suggesting that the LORD is referring to Ishmael, to which God says no.  “But I will establish my covenant with Isaac, whom Sarah shall bear to you at this time next year.” (:22) 

We see Abraham’s great faith and leadership in :23 when he, and Ishmael and every male in his household is circumcised on that very day. 

Beloved, is there something you’ve been waiting for a long time?  I pray these Scriptures would refresh your faith that the LORD has not forgotten your prayers.  He is at work in His timing and purpose, and when it is time, you will say, “Yes, LORD, that was perfect.”

Daily Word

Acts 15

Read Acts 15 – Disagreement does not negate the faith. 

Disagreement over circumcision breaks out between some men from Antioch and Paul and Barnabas.  The church decided to send them all to Jerusalem, so they could go before the apostles. This is important and both sides have passionate arguments for their view.  Notice that both were willing to pursue the matter to resolve. 

Together, they did come to resolve, deciding the most basic tenets for the new believers are to abstain from eating food offered to idols, from consuming blood or the meat of strangled animals, and from sexual immorality. 

Beloved, be willing to work things out, take them to church leadership if you must, but work towards resolve.  There was great joy for the Gentile believers as they read this encouraging message. (15:1-31) 

Paul, Barnabas, Judas and Silas stayed on encouraging and strengthening the Antioch believers for some time.  Down the road Paul and Barnabas decided to return to the cities where they had preached to see how the believers were doing, but they came to a personal disagreement as to bringing John Mark along.  Scripture does not indicate favor for either side, but records they decided to split.  Barnabas took John Mark to Cypress, and Paul took Silas to strengthen the churches throughout Syria and Cilicia.

Beloved, this division did not lead to resolve between the men, but it did lead to God’s glory in that they reached more places than they would have together.  Is God calling you to something different?  What’s holding you back?